Welcome back, to another update on the DNA Series at Watford! Today, we will be going over the key points, as we enter the midway point of season 2. Will it be the same as last season, where the club were called the surprise package of the league or would the team continue from where they left off? Watford only won 5 games in the 2nd part of the season and form look a nose dive! Let’s dive right in and find out what Wolfgang & his team have been up to!
Summer Transfer Business:
As we know, Wolfgang did not do any first-team business last season and could not wait to re-shape the side after the year 1 assessment. The board gave 30M to spend & wanted to team to establish themselves again in the Premier League.
At the back end of season 1, Wolfie started to find that certain players needed to leave and the team needed strengthening to be competitive & find the right players for the system implemented. As well as making the first team stronger, the plan was to invest in more youth for the future, where possible looking at British talent.
So, 2 of the players (Etebo/Kucka) already had transfer deals set before Wolfie came in and were on loan the previous season. Firstly, Cooper was a player recommended by mentor Bielsa who said to Wolfie that, this is exactly the type of player that is needed in the dressing room. Especially with the potential out of contract leaders leaving at the end of the season, which will leave a gap. Kristensen & Ricci, players who were carefully picked who are young, hungry lads who will sure have teams looking at them in the future. These players add a bit of quality to the side and have huge potential to become stars. Solanke, a player who was banging in goals for Bournemouth the previous season, was a player that again carefully selected. His work rate and tall presence are what was needed up top for Watford and he has another chance to prove himself in the Premier League. Guzman, was found by the scouting department, he has gone back out on loan, but we expect to see him next season. A very creative & intelligent player maker who has shot up in value already and is part of the Columbian national set up.
So, in terms of outgoings, we can see there is a lot of movement on this part. However, most of these players have gone out to get game time experience. Wolfie has set a pathway for the youngers and wants as many of them as possible to get exposure to first-team football, some of who may be part of the team as early as next season if they perform well. However, the first team outgoings were players who did not perform well or show dedication in training. Wolfie stuck to his principles by letting a few of these go, and he is not afraid to do the same for any other players who show a lack of desire. Wolfie has started to build a strong bond with the team and has trimmed down the numbers, so he can work with a smaller group.
Competitive Results (Thus far);
League Table (Thus Far):
Wolfie and his team are again attracting attention but again suprising the odds and this time sitting 3 points behind top spot! Wolfie has already sent warnings out from last season where the team did the opposite in the 2nd part of last season, so he knows not to get too ahead of himself here!
Wolfie has stuck to the 4-1-4-1 which he started out with in the first season, which has seen the players produce some amazing performances and pick up some amazing results against the top teams.
Last season, from a data perspective, there was not much that backed up the good start for Wolfie’s side, however this season is different. There are some stats that actually show why his team are performing so well, so lets take a look.
Why Is The Team Performing Well (Data/Stats):
So, just to summarise, we can see that Wolfie has done a lot of good work on the training ground. Defensively, the team appear to be more solid, winning the ball back much more and most impressively keeping the most clean sheets in the league so far.
Attacking wise, the team are creating more chances and attempting to score more aggressively which appears to be paying off.
Wolfie has got the team in a good place on and off the pitch. It seems there is more of a togetherness and having a good clear out in the summer has seemed to have helped the team cohesion which was previously a struggle.
On another positive note, the board have offered Wolfie a contract extension which to most is unheard of when it comes to the Watford Board. However, the board are very pleased with the work that is being done at Waford and the blueprint set. Bielsa/Ralf met up with Wolfie over the Christmas period and were very pleased with how their protégé. In the press, even the likes of Pep/Klopp were very complimentary of how Wolfie has done yet again with a team that was tipped to go down once again this season.
Will Wolfie’s side keep their cool in the 2nd part of the season or will it come crumbling down again? The team finished 12th last season, Wolfie is eyeing top half at least but with football, anything goes!
That wraps up todays quick update, I hope you enjoyed it. Please share your thoughts and retweet this so we can get more eyes on it. Let’s see if we can get Watford’s attention on Twitter on this one too!
Many thanks as always, much appreciated.