Premier League Mid-Season Report: Watford – A Relegation Sting?

It is a very strange time over at Watford. There have been arguments with football federations over player availability and a flurry of transfers in January already. Watford’s first six months back in the Premier League have been difficult, that is for sure.

The Season so far

Seventeenth in the league with thirteen points is a concern for the newly promoted side, with the club currently on a six-game losing streak. The playing squad has not been up to the task, and Watford fans have called for improvements to the team with crucial matches coming up.

Big wins over Everton and Manchester United have been the highlights in a season full of struggle for the the team from Hertfordshire.

The Managers

Watford were the first club in the Premier League to replace their manager this season, with Spaniard Xisco Munoz lasting only seven games.

In came Italian veteran Claudio Ranieri, who had been out of work since leaving Italian club Sampdoria in the summer. Ranieri has picked up just six points in charge so far, one less than predecessor Munoz, but there have been signs of improvement since his arrival.

Player of the season so far

A punt at £3.6 million, Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis has eclipsed all expectations since his arrival from Club Brugge in the summer. With eight goals and five assists so far in the Premier League, he has contributed to 61 percent of Watford’s 22 goals in the division.

Dennis has dazzled fans with his superb technical ability, and fantastic turn of pace, with fans calling him the signing of the season. Hornets fans will be glad the Nigerian has stayed put this winter, with season-defining games in the coming weeks.

Signing of the season

While most Watford players have underperformed this season, Moussa Sissoko has come in and added much needed quality to the team. Sissoko signed from Tottenham in the summer and has shone for the Hornets.

The Frenchman has been a mainstay in the team since his arrival, with his constant work-rate making him another firm fan favourite. Sissoko still has plenty to offer in the English top-flight, and Ranieri will be hoping he can help guide Watford to safety.

Most disappointing player

When Danny Rose signed for Watford, it was believed that the former England left back could add much needed defensive stability and quality on the left-hand side. However, it has not worked out for Rose and Watford, with Adam Masina displacing the former Tottenham fullback in the team.

Rose has since been told he can leave the club in January, with left-back Hassane Kamara coming in from French club Nice. A sour end to what seemed to be positive signing.

Grade so far: E+
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