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Golden Boys set for another season in the Championship.
After Tuesday’s draw to Norwich and Saturday’s defeat to Hull City, Watford’s play off dreams are all but over. The Hornets lay seven points off sixth place and would most probably have to win their five remaining games to have any hope of snatching sixth place or higher.
Watford have slowly dropped down the Championship table ever since the loss away to Cardiff City on the 22nd of January. Before that game took place, Malky’s men were sitting comfortably in sixth place after winning six games on the bounce. The loss of Andrew Taylor and Jordon Mutch has certainly contributed to this downturn in form as they were such key players with their wide range of passing and creative movement abilities. Since Taylor has returned back to his parent club Middlesbrough, the presence of a left foot has been severely missed within the team. The Hartlepool born left back frequently over lapped the winger to swing the crosses and so was instrumental in attack as well as in defence.
Lloyd Doyley and Lee Hodson, who both have played at left back respectively since Taylor’s departure, have found themselves needing to cut inside when going forward as their left foot isn’t quite up to standard. This has made it increasingly obvious when they are about to cut in to cross the ball, which has helped the opposition to defend.
Other factors have also contributed to the slump in form, such as the Vicarage Road pitch which has only recently recovered after a heavy winter period of many Rugby and Football games along with high amounts of rain. Watford have been forced into playing the long ball because of the conditions, compared to quick passing that was previously played on the pitch before the quality of the surface slowly deteriorated. The Hornets have really struggled with the long ball due to the lack of height up front.
Wherever Watford now finish at the end of the season, will be considered as an achievement due to the extremely tight budget Malky has had to work with. The underestimations of the team’s potential at the beginning of the current campaign will also be taken into an account when reviewing how the Golden Boys have performed this season.
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