Watford fan Matthew Mesiano says it is now time for Gianfranco Zola to change the Hornets' formation

Watford Observer: Picture: Action Images Picture: Action Images

Gary Johnson got two things absolutely spot on last Saturday. Number one his tactics and number two his post match comments.

He said: "Most of the Watford fans would have seen this as an easy three points because of our poor league position”

I don’t like to admit it but I did view the Yeovil match as a win in the bag before the game.

I learnt a very important lesson on Saturday. To be honest, I’m surprised its taken me this long to acknowledge what several people, including Gianfranco Zola, have been saying for several months now: “Anyone can beat anyone in this division, irrespective of league position”

This statement is a good reflection of the Championship and it’s probably the reason why it’s widely regarded as one of the most exciting leagues in the world.

Watford fans however were not the only ones to think Watford would win the game against Yeovil.

Pundits and bookies alike had this game down as a likely Watford win and after the match it was put to Zola as to whether he thought his job as head coach was in jeopardy. 

Gianfranco, diplomatically replied: "There is no point asking questions that I can't answer. But I don't need the threat of being fired or sacked to push me to react or do more. There is no need for that”

This suggests that he appreciates that the match was a disappointing loss for Watford, but that admirably, he is determined not to give up.

I must admit his never say die attitude is rather touching, however, I think perhaps that this may be Zola’s problem.

Never give up. Very well said Mr Zola. But this doesn’t mean that you have to do this by pushing onward with your current strategies like a racehorse with blinkers on.

Zola is still young in management terms and perhaps he too has some lessons to learn of his own.

One key lesson that I hope he learns sooner rather than later is thus: It takes a good manager to employ tactics to lead a team to glory but it takes a great one to admit when tactics are not working and alter them to turn the weakness in to strength.

Comments (12)

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12:50pm Mon 2 Dec 13

rousman 2 says...

We need to up the tempo at home & mix it up a bit it is all very well knocking the ball across the back 4 or in Watford's case the back 3 if you are in front but when you are behind it is not the best plan in the world. Burnley away home banker ? we all saw what happened against Yeovil, we will get a result on Tuesday.
We need to up the tempo at home & mix it up a bit it is all very well knocking the ball across the back 4 or in Watford's case the back 3 if you are in front but when you are behind it is not the best plan in the world. Burnley away home banker ? we all saw what happened against Yeovil, we will get a result on Tuesday. rousman 2

1:02pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Harry's Bar says...

That's certainly the most patronising fan's article so far.
That's certainly the most patronising fan's article so far. Harry's Bar

1:44pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Chris the Vic says...

It is an article that is too easily written. It details out the problems and comes up with no really constructive suggestions.

After the match Troy was limping badly he had given his all to little avail, fernando had worked hard again to little avail etc etc

In a couple of weeks it is likely Abdi will return , this will help speed up the breaks and perhaps we will do better, along with Nyron being match fit and Manuel recovered from illness.

But whatever our tactics we need luck the best players fit a little luck, very good noisy support and a team willing to give everything. Matthew failed to mention the library atmosphere but hey no one wants to accept too much responsibility
It is an article that is too easily written. It details out the problems and comes up with no really constructive suggestions. After the match Troy was limping badly he had given his all to little avail, fernando had worked hard again to little avail etc etc In a couple of weeks it is likely Abdi will return , this will help speed up the breaks and perhaps we will do better, along with Nyron being match fit and Manuel recovered from illness. But whatever our tactics we need luck the best players fit a little luck, very good noisy support and a team willing to give everything. Matthew failed to mention the library atmosphere but hey no one wants to accept too much responsibility Chris the Vic

2:39pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Golferever says...

Most people have their opinion of what is going wrong, so I will give mine.

We are holding the ball in midfield very well, but we are too slow in getting the ball into the last 1/3. We used to attack with PACE, NOW when the ball gets there, there are 7 or 8 defenders between us and the goal. We tried to improve that in the second half, but by then they did not need to attack us since they were ahead. We need to attack quickly early on!!

Defence
How many times are we caught out at Corners, when we never seem to cover the back post. Basics, but its not happening!
Finally, we must maintain cover when attacking, because WE are the ones caught out by the counter-attack.
If we improve on the basics, CONFIDENCE will return.
Most people have their opinion of what is going wrong, so I will give mine. We are holding the ball in midfield very well, but we are too slow in getting the ball into the last 1/3. We used to attack with PACE, NOW when the ball gets there, there are 7 or 8 defenders between us and the goal. We tried to improve that in the second half, but by then they did not need to attack us since they were ahead. We need to attack quickly early on!! Defence How many times are we caught out at Corners, when we never seem to cover the back post. Basics, but its not happening! Finally, we must maintain cover when attacking, because WE are the ones caught out by the counter-attack. If we improve on the basics, CONFIDENCE will return. Golferever

3:58pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Dino1982 says...

We need to work on defending crosses sand corners.

We need some one in midfield to do a pressing role and help the defence and mop things up.

We need a leader who is going to role their sleeves up and wake the team up when necessary.

We need Deeney to forget about speculation on transfers and to start proving himself this season.

We need to get behind thew team next game and try to forget the last few!
We need to work on defending crosses sand corners. We need some one in midfield to do a pressing role and help the defence and mop things up. We need a leader who is going to role their sleeves up and wake the team up when necessary. We need Deeney to forget about speculation on transfers and to start proving himself this season. We need to get behind thew team next game and try to forget the last few! Dino1982

4:48pm Mon 2 Dec 13

not a regular says...

A fan’s view that saw this as an easy three points? You must be in a pretty small minority if you’d seen anything over the last month that suggested this team is anywhere near a win, let alone a certain one. I actually predicted a 4-0 loss just before kick off, albeit in jest, but haven’t we seen it all before? And not just this season, not just this manager.

Zola is part of the problem, but not all of it. I’d reckon there are three parties responsible:

Nani. The recruitment, or lack of it, this summer was arrogant at best. Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg weren’t replaced. Don’t get me wrong, Faraoni is a class act but nobody else has really come in. We are now in a position whereby there is only one formation that we can realistically play and that’s the very one that isn’t working right now.

Zola. He does need to change the things within his control. Unfortunately due to injuries and the recruitment as above this is limited although I do question his tactical ability. Losing Corradini last year was a huge blow. Even last year the paper that was Vydra-in-December was covering up a lot of cracks in the team. We still only ever played well with our backs up against the wall. We don’t like winning. We can’t handle it, we’re not mature enough or streetwise enough to handle what comes back at us after landing the first punch. It’s like stealing candy from a baby and then crumbling to our knees when their dad comes over.

However, he can get us moving the ball quicker. He can coach us to move into space. He can sort out the f***ing set pieces. But he can’t make players run quicker! He can’t fully cut out player errors or lapses in concentration. He can’t legislate for his captain and most experienced player to inexplicably drop a ball he’s holding onto. But he must, must, instill some mental willpower.

Finally, the fans. Ask any Watford fan how they feel defending a lead in the last 10 minutes. Ask any Watford fan how they feel defending a corner. Ask any fan how they feel playing a team on a bad run of form. You’ll have got the same answer 2 years ago under Dyche. 3 years ago under Malky. 6 years ago under Boothroyd! It’s the stadium. It’s the “HOW SIMPLE IS IT?” 50 year old in the Rookery. It’s the constant moans and groans and the “Shooooot! – WHY THE F*** DIDN’T YOU PASS” and the “PASS! – WHY THE F*** DIDN’T YOU SHOOT”. You can feel the anxiety in the air even at 3-0 up in injury time. It’s been with us for as long as I’ve been going to games and if you think it doesn’t translate to the players then you’re a fool.
A fan’s view that saw this as an easy three points? You must be in a pretty small minority if you’d seen anything over the last month that suggested this team is anywhere near a win, let alone a certain one. I actually predicted a 4-0 loss just before kick off, albeit in jest, but haven’t we seen it all before? And not just this season, not just this manager. Zola is part of the problem, but not all of it. I’d reckon there are three parties responsible: Nani. The recruitment, or lack of it, this summer was arrogant at best. Vydra, Chalobah and Hogg weren’t replaced. Don’t get me wrong, Faraoni is a class act but nobody else has really come in. We are now in a position whereby there is only one formation that we can realistically play and that’s the very one that isn’t working right now. Zola. He does need to change the things within his control. Unfortunately due to injuries and the recruitment as above this is limited although I do question his tactical ability. Losing Corradini last year was a huge blow. Even last year the paper that was Vydra-in-December was covering up a lot of cracks in the team. We still only ever played well with our backs up against the wall. We don’t like winning. We can’t handle it, we’re not mature enough or streetwise enough to handle what comes back at us after landing the first punch. It’s like stealing candy from a baby and then crumbling to our knees when their dad comes over. However, he can get us moving the ball quicker. He can coach us to move into space. He can sort out the f***ing set pieces. But he can’t make players run quicker! He can’t fully cut out player errors or lapses in concentration. He can’t legislate for his captain and most experienced player to inexplicably drop a ball he’s holding onto. But he must, must, instill some mental willpower. Finally, the fans. Ask any Watford fan how they feel defending a lead in the last 10 minutes. Ask any Watford fan how they feel defending a corner. Ask any fan how they feel playing a team on a bad run of form. You’ll have got the same answer 2 years ago under Dyche. 3 years ago under Malky. 6 years ago under Boothroyd! It’s the stadium. It’s the “HOW SIMPLE IS IT?” 50 year old in the Rookery. It’s the constant moans and groans and the “Shooooot! – WHY THE F*** DIDN’T YOU PASS” and the “PASS! – WHY THE F*** DIDN’T YOU SHOOT”. You can feel the anxiety in the air even at 3-0 up in injury time. It’s been with us for as long as I’ve been going to games and if you think it doesn’t translate to the players then you’re a fool. not a regular

5:23pm Mon 2 Dec 13

femalehornet122 says...

WE seem to have a lot of people who like to use bad language to express themselves and I really don't think it is necessary.
As a team we have had our ups and downs over the years. We are now with new owners who hopefully want to move Watford forward properly and as already stated, we over achieved last year, far more than expected.

Apart from the manager , who everone love to blame. How about our local press and the coverage of being in "crisis" , This is acting like the worst tabliod newsapers.

yes we are playing badly and I to think Zola should change things - we need to play a champtionship game, not necessarily good passing football all of the time.. I get concerned that opposing teams fill the goal mouth and we have no way of dealing with it. This is think is a must to train and train on looking at how you overcome this. use the whole squad to look at the problem.
As fans we are as much to blame if all we do is moan. I moved seats to join a chorus which I though was there to supprt the team. Instead of which on Saturday they sang that awful song about being embassed. I am embarssed to be part of that and if they do not intend to support the team I am going to move again.

WE should all be in this together that is what Zola asked for last Saturday and as fans we do nothing to keep up the spirit of our players.

I like this article because this person is saying it as it is, we need different tactics for different teams- else they all know how to stop us.

lets try and support the team, not destroy it.
WE seem to have a lot of people who like to use bad language to express themselves and I really don't think it is necessary. As a team we have had our ups and downs over the years. We are now with new owners who hopefully want to move Watford forward properly and as already stated, we over achieved last year, far more than expected. Apart from the manager , who everone love to blame. How about our local press and the coverage of being in "crisis" , This is acting like the worst tabliod newsapers. yes we are playing badly and I to think Zola should change things - we need to play a champtionship game, not necessarily good passing football all of the time.. I get concerned that opposing teams fill the goal mouth and we have no way of dealing with it. This is think is a must to train and train on looking at how you overcome this. use the whole squad to look at the problem. As fans we are as much to blame if all we do is moan. I moved seats to join a chorus which I though was there to supprt the team. Instead of which on Saturday they sang that awful song about being embassed. I am embarssed to be part of that and if they do not intend to support the team I am going to move again. WE should all be in this together that is what Zola asked for last Saturday and as fans we do nothing to keep up the spirit of our players. I like this article because this person is saying it as it is, we need different tactics for different teams- else they all know how to stop us. lets try and support the team, not destroy it. femalehornet122

6:33pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Hornankey says...

I do not agree with the base premise of this article: a great manager would not have allowed this series of poor performances to occur. Can you see Ferguson, Mourinho, Stein, Clough, Shankly (yes, I remember them all) sitting back and accepting this state of affairs?
Zola is a nice man - one of the few gentlemen in the game. I hope very much that he can turn it round. Let's hope he becomes a good manage but don't confuse it with greatness which is many seasons of consistent achievement away.
I do not agree with the base premise of this article: a great manager would not have allowed this series of poor performances to occur. Can you see Ferguson, Mourinho, Stein, Clough, Shankly (yes, I remember them all) sitting back and accepting this state of affairs? Zola is a nice man - one of the few gentlemen in the game. I hope very much that he can turn it round. Let's hope he becomes a good manage but don't confuse it with greatness which is many seasons of consistent achievement away. Hornankey

7:33pm Mon 2 Dec 13

HunsburyHornet4 says...

Golferever wrote:
Most people have their opinion of what is going wrong, so I will give mine.

We are holding the ball in midfield very well, but we are too slow in getting the ball into the last 1/3. We used to attack with PACE, NOW when the ball gets there, there are 7 or 8 defenders between us and the goal. We tried to improve that in the second half, but by then they did not need to attack us since they were ahead. We need to attack quickly early on!!

Defence
How many times are we caught out at Corners, when we never seem to cover the back post. Basics, but its not happening!
Finally, we must maintain cover when attacking, because WE are the ones caught out by the counter-attack.
If we improve on the basics, CONFIDENCE will return.
Tell us something we don't know.
[quote][p][bold]Golferever[/bold] wrote: Most people have their opinion of what is going wrong, so I will give mine. We are holding the ball in midfield very well, but we are too slow in getting the ball into the last 1/3. We used to attack with PACE, NOW when the ball gets there, there are 7 or 8 defenders between us and the goal. We tried to improve that in the second half, but by then they did not need to attack us since they were ahead. We need to attack quickly early on!! Defence How many times are we caught out at Corners, when we never seem to cover the back post. Basics, but its not happening! Finally, we must maintain cover when attacking, because WE are the ones caught out by the counter-attack. If we improve on the basics, CONFIDENCE will return.[/p][/quote]Tell us something we don't know. HunsburyHornet4

7:42pm Mon 2 Dec 13

HemelHornet says...

I'm not a manager, I don't know tactics and I doubt the person that wrote this article does either. But what he and I both agree on is that if Zola wants to be a great manager he does need to accept that what he's been doing so far this season is not getting results and its evident that he's not willing to experiment. I wouldn't have minded losing so much last week if we had tried something different. What exactly I can not say, but surely Zola could come up with something?
I'm not a manager, I don't know tactics and I doubt the person that wrote this article does either. But what he and I both agree on is that if Zola wants to be a great manager he does need to accept that what he's been doing so far this season is not getting results and its evident that he's not willing to experiment. I wouldn't have minded losing so much last week if we had tried something different. What exactly I can not say, but surely Zola could come up with something? HemelHornet

8:06pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Oldhorn says...

Not sure if we are all missing something here. Gianfranco is NOT the team manager. He is head coach. Perhaps it's time to let him get on and coach players who undoubtedly respect him for his playing career and feel that they can learn from a true legend of the game, and put some pressure on our technical director instead.

Right. A good night's sleep then off to Lancashire tomorrow and Yorkshire on Saturday for more of the same!!!!
Not sure if we are all missing something here. Gianfranco is NOT the team manager. He is head coach. Perhaps it's time to let him get on and coach players who undoubtedly respect him for his playing career and feel that they can learn from a true legend of the game, and put some pressure on our technical director instead. Right. A good night's sleep then off to Lancashire tomorrow and Yorkshire on Saturday for more of the same!!!! Oldhorn

10:00pm Mon 2 Dec 13

N Joydegame says...

Oldhorn wrote:
Not sure if we are all missing something here. Gianfranco is NOT the team manager. He is head coach. Perhaps it's time to let him get on and coach players who undoubtedly respect him for his playing career and feel that they can learn from a true legend of the game, and put some pressure on our technical director instead.

Right. A good night's sleep then off to Lancashire tomorrow and Yorkshire on Saturday for more of the same!!!!
GFZ may be Head Coach but he has got an almost entirely untried or tested team behind him. He not only lost the spine of the team at the end of the season but he also lost (by choice??) almost all of his backroom staff. To me this is as important as the player changes. GFZ needs a strong 'championship streetwise' Number 2, who can get some of these below par player performances improved, and advise on the tactics. GT had Bertie Mee, Hoofroyd had Burkinshaw, and Malkie had Dyche. In this league you've got to have a strong backroom team and my gut feel is that GFZ doesn't have this and is taking too much on himself at this very difficult time.
[quote][p][bold]Oldhorn[/bold] wrote: Not sure if we are all missing something here. Gianfranco is NOT the team manager. He is head coach. Perhaps it's time to let him get on and coach players who undoubtedly respect him for his playing career and feel that they can learn from a true legend of the game, and put some pressure on our technical director instead. Right. A good night's sleep then off to Lancashire tomorrow and Yorkshire on Saturday for more of the same!!!![/p][/quote]GFZ may be Head Coach but he has got an almost entirely untried or tested team behind him. He not only lost the spine of the team at the end of the season but he also lost (by choice??) almost all of his backroom staff. To me this is as important as the player changes. GFZ needs a strong 'championship streetwise' Number 2, who can get some of these below par player performances improved, and advise on the tactics. GT had Bertie Mee, Hoofroyd had Burkinshaw, and Malkie had Dyche. In this league you've got to have a strong backroom team and my gut feel is that GFZ doesn't have this and is taking too much on himself at this very difficult time. N Joydegame

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