Six things we learned from Watford's win over Bolton Wanderers

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
Last updated
by

One game into a season is not the time to make sweeping statements or a realistic prediction on what a campaign will hold for a team. But Saturday's opening day victory for Watford over Bolton Wanderers did highlight a number of positives.

1) Juan-derful - One display does not make a career and time will ultimately tell whether Juan Carlos Paredes will cut it in English football. But as debuts go, Paredes' was very, very good and the excitement surrounding his arrival may have been justified.

The 27-year-old was dynamic and provided a constant outlet on the right side. He has explosive pace, like the two other leading candidates for the right wing-back position, and also sent in several dangerous crosses.

The Ecuador international almost grabbed a stunning debut goal early into the second half when he rattled the crossbar and the only downsides to his first outing in the yellow of Watford appeared to be fitness related - despite Beppe Sannino's claims he was 100 per cent fit.

There was at least one occasion where Paredes was woefully slow at tracking back after an attack and he failed to get back into position as Bolton had a man unmarked at the far post. Fortunately it didn't amount to anything.

And, whilst Paredes played the whole 90 minutes, he arguably should have been taken off after going down with cramp with 18 minutes to go.

He carried on but minutes later the final substitute was used and in the end he was unable to run so Fernando Forestieri had to fill in at right wing back. Thankfully the game was out of sight by that point but it didn't help the Hornets' defensive structure and organisation.

As with all debutants who have a good game, he was awarded the man of the match award - in this case arguably deservedly.

It is easy to get carried away but, based on Saturday’s performance, Paredes could become a crucial player for the Hornets this season.

2) Captain Fantastic - Gino Pozzo may well be thinking that even an offer of £10m-plus is not enough for Troy Deeney.

The 26-year-old became the Golden Boys' official captain in the summer and led from the front admirably against Bolton. It wasn't just his goal. Deeney held up the play, linked well with his team-mates and worked tirelessly for the team.

Like all players, Deeney wants to play in the Premier League and if he continues to perform like he did at the weekend, and remains at Vicarage Road, then the Hornets will have a superb chance of getting there next summer.

When I asked one highly-respected broadcaster for his views on the game so far at half-time, the first thing he said was: "Watford have to keep Troy Deeney". It is a view that may well be shared by the Pozzos and the club's hierarchy.

3) Goals, goals, goals - Watford are blessed with attacking options. Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra rekindled their partnership effortlessly on Saturday and both were on the score sheet.

Fernando Forestieri also netted after coming on as a late substitute while strikers Mathias Ranegie, Odion Ighalo and Diego Fabbrini didn’t even feature against the Trotters.

Almen Abdi looked dangerous when he ventured forward, Lewis McGugan is always a threat from set-pieces and from distance while Gabriele Angella can pop up with goals.

In the summer Gabriel Tamas stated with certainty that Watford will always score goals this season and the emphasis should be on defensive solidity. He was proved right against Bolton.

4) Summer camp - Beppe Sannino has spent a large proportion of his pre-season working on Watford's defensive organisation and that was evident during Saturday's match.

Bolton enjoyed some good spells in the second half and the Hornets' fitness appeared to play a part as the visitors applied late pressure but for a large part of the game, the Golden Boys were cruising defensively. Tougher opposition will surely follow but it is a positive sign for the future.

5) A signing of the summer - A huge factor in the Hornets keeping a clean sheet was free transfer Heurelho Gomes. As well as being a vocal presence who was happy to command his area, the Brazilian dealt with any meaningful effort on goal and made a couple of superb stops. His also endeared himself to the Vicarage Road faithful with his passionate celebrations after each goal. He looks likely to be one of the Championship's signings of the summer and if he maintains that level of performance, he is also likely to become a fans' favourite at the Vic.

6) Spoilt for choice - Watford were able to brush aside Bolton with ease and they did so with Ikechi Anya (injured), Craig Cathcart (injured), Keith Andrews (ineligible), Cristian Battocchio, Sean Murray (injured), Diego Fabbrini and Odion Ighalo not even in the squad, let alone the starting XI. All of those players would arguably start for a large number of Championship clubs.

The Golden Boys' strength in depth is incredible but the downside is Beppe Sannino will have a tough job on his hands keeping them all happy.

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:10pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Uncle_Albert says...

Some good points....revisit this article in 10 games time to see if the points raised still stack up.
Some good points....revisit this article in 10 games time to see if the points raised still stack up. Uncle_Albert
  • Score: 19

12:20pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Bringe says...

Sorry Frank but you are confusing the position of wing back with that of full back, with the extra central defender there should be enough cover. Defensively a wing-back's main job is to prevent quality deliveries being sent in from wide and by that I mean make the winger fluff his lines rather than block crosses altogether. There's some tricky players out there and you can't stop quality crosses if you've already been put on your backside.
Sorry Frank but you are confusing the position of wing back with that of full back, with the extra central defender there should be enough cover. Defensively a wing-back's main job is to prevent quality deliveries being sent in from wide and by that I mean make the winger fluff his lines rather than block crosses altogether. There's some tricky players out there and you can't stop quality crosses if you've already been put on your backside. Bringe
  • Score: -25

12:53pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Hornankey says...

My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.
My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence. Hornankey
  • Score: 4

1:36pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Larrythe Loafer 'Orn says...

We do indeed miss a Fitz Hall type character in the middle of the back line. Why is it that Angella is so good in the opponents box but rarely wins a defensive cross in his own box? Our variety in short and long balls was very effective and difficult to play against but we still need Angella to command the back line. HG is great and I love the way he is so vocal - it is so needed
We do indeed miss a Fitz Hall type character in the middle of the back line. Why is it that Angella is so good in the opponents box but rarely wins a defensive cross in his own box? Our variety in short and long balls was very effective and difficult to play against but we still need Angella to command the back line. HG is great and I love the way he is so vocal - it is so needed Larrythe Loafer 'Orn
  • Score: 3

1:36pm Tue 12 Aug 14

endean2 says...

Hornankey wrote:
My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.
Please take special note of this point
We badly need that giant as a centre back,sort that out
And we have the complete team.
[quote][p][bold]Hornankey[/bold] wrote: My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.[/p][/quote]Please take special note of this point We badly need that giant as a centre back,sort that out And we have the complete team. endean2
  • Score: -4

2:31pm Tue 12 Aug 14

WFCKingy says...

Hornankey wrote:
My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.
I was sitting next to Tamas' family and friends. I think they'd disagree with you there!
Between Ekstrand, Angella and Tamas, Bolton onlu eon a handful of aerial duels. Where we lost out in heading was in the RWB position. They identified paredes as a weak point and pretty much pinged right-to-left diagonals in for the last 15 mins, and this was virtually their only threat bar corner routines all game.
[quote][p][bold]Hornankey[/bold] wrote: My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.[/p][/quote]I was sitting next to Tamas' family and friends. I think they'd disagree with you there! Between Ekstrand, Angella and Tamas, Bolton onlu eon a handful of aerial duels. Where we lost out in heading was in the RWB position. They identified paredes as a weak point and pretty much pinged right-to-left diagonals in for the last 15 mins, and this was virtually their only threat bar corner routines all game. WFCKingy
  • Score: 3

2:34pm Tue 12 Aug 14

bornyellow says...

Reports of a 10 million offer from leicester for our captain....if it is true i just hope he stays..
Reports of a 10 million offer from leicester for our captain....if it is true i just hope he stays.. bornyellow
  • Score: 0

2:48pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Hornankey says...

WFCKingy wrote:
Hornankey wrote:
My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.
I was sitting next to Tamas' family and friends. I think they'd disagree with you there!
Between Ekstrand, Angella and Tamas, Bolton onlu eon a handful of aerial duels. Where we lost out in heading was in the RWB position. They identified paredes as a weak point and pretty much pinged right-to-left diagonals in for the last 15 mins, and this was virtually their only threat bar corner routines all game.
Tamas was good, but not seriously challenged on Saturday. He would be my choice for the centre ahead of Ekstrand.
[quote][p][bold]WFCKingy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hornankey[/bold] wrote: My concern remains the defence - I am not sure that I agree with your point 4. But for Gomez we might have had a very tense last few minutes on Saturday! The vulnerability to the set-piece cross into the box is still there. We were out-muscled several times. We lack the height and sheer physical strength of a commanding central defence.[/p][/quote]I was sitting next to Tamas' family and friends. I think they'd disagree with you there! Between Ekstrand, Angella and Tamas, Bolton onlu eon a handful of aerial duels. Where we lost out in heading was in the RWB position. They identified paredes as a weak point and pretty much pinged right-to-left diagonals in for the last 15 mins, and this was virtually their only threat bar corner routines all game.[/p][/quote]Tamas was good, but not seriously challenged on Saturday. He would be my choice for the centre ahead of Ekstrand. Hornankey
  • Score: 2

3:11pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Ricky Holden says...

Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle.

Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something?
Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle. Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something? Ricky Holden
  • Score: 10

3:42pm Tue 12 Aug 14

longcliffe says...

DEENEY off to warm the bench elsewhere?
DEENEY off to warm the bench elsewhere? longcliffe
  • Score: -19

5:57pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Meadey39 says...

Lets wait until we play stronger teams than Bolton
Lets wait until we play stronger teams than Bolton Meadey39
  • Score: 1

5:57pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Hornankey says...

Ricky Holden wrote:
Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle.

Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something?
We have a fantastic squad, great going forward. You forget last season very conveniently or was the difficulty of defending set-pieces mere myth? The defensive unit is little changed: most observers will require the evidence of slightly more than one game to confirm that the defensive frailties of last season have been eradicated.
[quote][p][bold]Ricky Holden[/bold] wrote: Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle. Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something?[/p][/quote]We have a fantastic squad, great going forward. You forget last season very conveniently or was the difficulty of defending set-pieces mere myth? The defensive unit is little changed: most observers will require the evidence of slightly more than one game to confirm that the defensive frailties of last season have been eradicated. Hornankey
  • Score: 1

6:05pm Tue 12 Aug 14

1234566789 says...

Larrythe Loafer 'Orn wrote:
We do indeed miss a Fitz Hall type character in the middle of the back line. Why is it that Angella is so good in the opponents box but rarely wins a defensive cross in his own box? Our variety in short and long balls was very effective and difficult to play against but we still need Angella to command the back line. HG is great and I love the way he is so vocal - it is so needed
Because when we have the set piece he can choose his position and get the run on the defender. Whilst defending a set piece he has to keep his man in check, not choose his path and attack the ball
[quote][p][bold]Larrythe Loafer 'Orn[/bold] wrote: We do indeed miss a Fitz Hall type character in the middle of the back line. Why is it that Angella is so good in the opponents box but rarely wins a defensive cross in his own box? Our variety in short and long balls was very effective and difficult to play against but we still need Angella to command the back line. HG is great and I love the way he is so vocal - it is so needed[/p][/quote]Because when we have the set piece he can choose his position and get the run on the defender. Whilst defending a set piece he has to keep his man in check, not choose his path and attack the ball 1234566789
  • Score: 1

10:54pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Ricky Holden says...

Hornankey wrote:
Ricky Holden wrote:
Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle.

Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something?
We have a fantastic squad, great going forward. You forget last season very conveniently or was the difficulty of defending set-pieces mere myth? The defensive unit is little changed: most observers will require the evidence of slightly more than one game to confirm that the defensive frailties of last season have been eradicated.
Of course one game doesn't make a season. Equally you can't judge a different back three against last seasons frailties. The point remains on Saturday's showing we dealt with the majority that was thrown in the box and Bolton were left with long range shots.
[quote][p][bold]Hornankey[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ricky Holden[/bold] wrote: Funny I don't remember many crosses not being dealt with apart from when Gomes made the save in the last 10 minutes. If anything Bolton were kept to long range shots throughout the game which you'd expect your keeper to handle. Is this big mythical central defender the last attempt at negativity just to keep all the moaners clinging to something?[/p][/quote]We have a fantastic squad, great going forward. You forget last season very conveniently or was the difficulty of defending set-pieces mere myth? The defensive unit is little changed: most observers will require the evidence of slightly more than one game to confirm that the defensive frailties of last season have been eradicated.[/p][/quote]Of course one game doesn't make a season. Equally you can't judge a different back three against last seasons frailties. The point remains on Saturday's showing we dealt with the majority that was thrown in the box and Bolton were left with long range shots. Ricky Holden
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree