The Opposition View - Watford
1) What are your expectations for the season?
To stay up, although based on our start - no win in six league and cup game that's more of a hope now!
2) What are your strengths and weaknesses as a team?
One strength is our depth. Last year we flooded the team with a lot of youngsters, and although they did well this year we have more depth which is due to the five sub rule and 10 summer additions. I think the defence is pretty solid too and that is due to the fact it's been pretty settled with a fulcrum of 'keeper Scott Loach and centre-halves Martin Taylor and Adrian Mariappa missing two league games between them from the start of last season. Weakness' - well, everything else! At the time of writing we have had the highest number of shots on target in the league but the lowest conversion rate.
3) Who is the player/s to look out for?
Former Aston Villa youngster Jonathan Hogg only made his debut for the club the week before the international break but he already looks at home. Fearsome in the tackle but with the guile to open up a defence with a good through-ball he looks like a solid acquisition. Home-grown striker Marvin Sordell is another to watch, 15 league and cup goals in his debut campaign last season, he's got a couple already and scored thunderbolt for England U21's vs. Israel in midweek.
4) How did you think your gaffer has suited to the managers role from assistant?
I was personally quite positive about the appointment on the basis he provided continuity. It's early doors and I don't think it's fair to judge him yet. Based on results alone - badly! But realistically, he's done everything he could by bringing in his own staff, patched up the holes in the squad and said the right things in the press.
5) Have you suffered with losing some key players this summer? (Graham, Buckley, Cowie etc.)
Massively: Danny Graham obviously scored 27 goals last season and although Don Cowie and Will Buckley didn't neccesarily rack up the goals or assist they certainly brought things to the table. Cowie was an absolute workaholic and not at all in your traditional winger mould per say. Buckley was the traditional winger; unplayable at times, absent the rest.
6) Are you pleased with the acquisition of Joe Garner?
Yes. The more I think about it, we need him. Sordell is our main forward and other than him we have Andi Weimann (a loanee), Troy Deeney, who's never cut it at this level and Chris Iwelumo who is currently injured and the scapegoat, despite playing just a couple of games since signing due to injury. We needed someone and if he can score six from 14 for a poor Scunthorpe side last season hopefully he'll re-discover his scoring touch at Vicarage Road!
7) What is your prediction for the game?
A Watford win! 2-1 in a hard-fought victory I think. Not at all biased ;)