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Martin Taylor praises impact of Manuel Almunia and Matej Vydra
Watford defender Martin Taylor believes new signings Manuel Almunia and Matej Vydra will be big hits at Vicarage Road this season.
Pacey forward Vydra, one of six season-long loan signings, arrived from Udinese whilst goalkeeper Almunia signed on a one-year-deal following his release from Arsenal.
The Hornets have brought in eight new players so far this summer and Taylor singled out Vydra and Almunia for praise.
“Almunia is a class act in goal, you can see he’s obviously been at Arsenal a long time,” he said.
“He’s great at the basics of goalkeeping – coming for crosses and shot stopping – but he also talks really well.”
The 35-year-old stopper played 175 times for Arsenal but was released this summer and arrived at Vicarage Road looking for regular first team football.
Taylor said: “He’s got lots of experience and as a defender it’s great to have someone like him behind you.”
Although 15 years Almunia’s junior, Vydra is also looking to prove himself and the 20-year-old got off to the perfect start scoring the winning goal on his league debut against Crystal Palace.
Taylor says he is expecting big things from the Czech youngster this season.
“He has got lots of the right attributes, especially his pace and directness and he looks agile as well,” Taylor said.
“Coming in from Europe he probably wasn’t used to people closing him down all over the pitch but he’s got used to that and he’s done very well.
“I think he’s definitely got a lot to give this season.”
Six of Watford’s eight signings have come from Udinese and Granada, who are both owned by the Pozzo family who took over Watford in June.
But despite his new team-mates’ lack of Championship experience, Taylor isn’t worried about the new arrivals settling in.
“A lot of the players have played in a lot of countries around Europe and are used to moving around at new clubs so it’s not a problem for them at all,” Taylor said.
“The other lads have taken to them really well – they’ve come in and been comfortable with everyone.”
New players aren’t the only thing that’s different at Vicarage Road as the squad try to adjust to Gianfranco Zola’s new ideas and style of play.
Taylor says there’s room for improvement but the players are so far responding well.
“He has a certain style that he wants us to play and the lads have tapped into that really well,” he said.
“We’ve only had four or five weeks really with the gaffer and it’s a little bit different to how we’ve played over the last couple of years I’ve been here.
“But on the whole everyone has worked hard and we are pleased with how it’s gone so far.”