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Watford flying high under Project Pozzo - Interview
Thursday, 14th Feb 2019 20:38 by Clive Whittingham

They rotate their managers, and their players, and it doesn't matter - the rise and rise of Watford under the guidance of the Pozzo family and their world-beating scouting operation apparently knows no bounds. Fun times for Vicarage Road regular Richard Segal.

How would you assess Watford’s season so far?

Very good, ten wins by the end of February and on course for the highest points total and finish since the 80’s Glory days. A run to the latter stages of the FA Cup is also keeping everyone excited

Given your league situation the FA Cup looks like a big opportunity for you to pick some silverware up this season, or are you one of those midtable Prem sides that too cool for this school now? What sort of team selections have you been turning out in this so far?

No, first of all we are not midtable. Secondly, I don’t get the impression amongst Watford fans that we are that arrogant to dismiss the FA Cup and its traditions. Lots of people are hopeful of Javi picking a stronger side for Friday night then the previous rounds. Apart from Craig Cathcart playing in the last round he has played the second string in both matches (2-0 away wins at Woking and Newcastle), I would imagine he will mix it up a bit more this time.

Watford have become known for rattling through managers/head coaches and it not making a great deal of difference/hindering the club’s progress – how and why?

Because we have the best owners in football. Prior to the Everton game and a certain ex-manager back in town he was asked in one of his press conferences about his relationship with the owner and other people in the hierarchy, his response was “When we have the possibility to meet we do; when not, we speak on the phone.” If you compare this to the relationship Javi has with Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury and Filippo Giraldi it is very different. They see him every day at training, they sit and eat with the players and reading between the lines everyone seems to get on well.

They have built on the family club ethos that Graham Taylor and Elton John installed 40 years ago, that coupled with a strong dressing room and our captain drawing on the previously mentioned values enables the club to continue to be successful despite the upheaval of head coaches in their six and a half years in charge.



And how is Javi Gracia doing?

Good, the first manager to be in charge for 39 games since Gianfranco Zola left in November 2013!

Not that any fans really know but he just seems like a decent, honourable guy who was grateful for the opportunity to manage in this league. A reluctant hero I suppose, I just wish he would stop picking Ken Sema.

You’re now bumping up against the glass ceiling of the so-called big six – can you realistically break into that over the coming years? Are you going to be a cup side? Is it still just about surviving each year? What’s the end game for this Watford project?

The immediate answer to the first question is no but then you have to remind yourself that Leicester did win the league. It seems that football has moved on in that small period of time and if Arsenal and Chelsea need to spend £100-odd million to catch the top four then how much do we or a Wolves or even Everton have to spend to catch them?

It is an interesting stage for Watford, I think most fans would agree that we need that ‘top striker’ but the club is around £50m in debt and though we will wipe that out with the sale of Abdoulaye Doucouré I can’t see them spending lots of money on this. I was discussing with a friend on Saturday if we were to look, for example, at a Daniel Sturridge-type, who I believe would score goals in this team, the big issue is a player of that ilk would demand £150k a week in wages. I don’t believe we will pay that money. We just hope one the players we look at in the best scouting system in the world (I believe that is what Ian Holloway called it) comes up good.



For those that haven’t watched you this season, how do you set up and what’s the style of play?

We had an old skool Mike Basset 4-4-2 style for the first couple of months with Deeney and Andre Gray up front. That has changed slightly with Gerard Deulofeu playing off Deeney as an auxiliary striker recently. The big problem with that is that Deulofeu’s best position is out wide and the game is very narrow without him.

To be honest I don’t know what he will play tomorrow. Personally I think 4-3-3 would work with Deeney, Gray and Adalberto Peñaranda playing in front of Tom Cleverly, Domingos Quina and possibly Doucoure, then a back four of Adam Masina, Miguel Britos, Christian Kabasele and Daryl Janmatt with Mr Gomes in goal.

Lets go for 3-3 with Watford to win on pens. Whoops-probably should not of mentioned the p word…………..

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francisbowles added 09:52 - Feb 15
Thanks Richard. It's going to be a very difficult night for us, whichever players you select. I hope we can stay in the game, a make a real battle of it and maybe we can get that little bit of luck or inspiration we need.

Good luck with the big boys for the rest of the season.
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