Opposition view – Watford

We catch up with Watford fan Harry Welch ahead of the Swans’ trip to Vicarage Road this weekend…

How would you assess your season so far?
To be honest, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster season. I’m quite surprised we are where we are in the league as it’s not really felt like a very exciting and positive but the table would say otherwise. I think right now and at the start of the season most Watford fans would take our current position as a finishing position. We have had the great games such as our win over Arsenal away and United at home but then we look at our away loss to Millwall in the FA Cup and our 6-1 battering away to Liverpool, so it’s difficult to summarize our season, except a rollercoaster one.

Watford are known for chopping and changing managers often so do you think Walter Mazzarri will be with you next term and what’s your thoughts on him?
Yes we most definitely are. A lot of people were shocked when we binned Quique Flores last season after a pretty outstanding season, but most Watford fans weren’t due to his questionable tactics. But now, personally, I see Quique’s sacking as a big mistake. His connection with the fans was absoultely brilliant, whereas Walter Mazzarri will just storm off straight down the tunnel after a game, win draw or lose, he will ignore us fans. I, along with plenty of other Watford fans want him out. Along with his abysmal connection with the fans, his tactics are worse than Quique’s. We even saw the lack of harmony he has with his backroom staff against West Brom last week. Obviously a manager’s future will always be rumoured to be in doubt when results are poor, but it has been made clear by Gino Pozzo that Mazzarri will be in charge of Watford next year, and Mazzarri recently said him and Gino were talking about the next three years ahead, so unfortunately I think Mazzarri will still be in charge next year.

Best and worst moments of the season?
Well there has been a few very good moments this season. My personal favourite though will be when we beat Man Utd at home 3-1 in September. Obviously for our sort of ‘new look’ team against a very very solid ‘new look’ Man United team to win and put in a very solid performance was very impressive and a highlight I won’t forget. Without a shadow of a doubt, going to Millwall away in the FA Cup and losing was the worst moment. Probably the worst I have seen Watford play in a long long time.

Who have been your star performers and who needs to up true game?
When we resigned Tom Cleverley I was a bit wary, but he is done unbelievably well in that midfield alongside Doucoure. Also, I’m liking the recent performances of Niang, hopefully we can secure him permanently in then summer. Where as players who need to up their game, since we have signed Kaboul, he’s been very liable at the back and we have some very good defenders who are willing to put on a show ahead of him but don’t get game time like Mariappa for example, so if he is to stay in the Watford team he will need to be a lot more solid.

How do you see the relegation battle currently?
Close. Sunderland are gone, no doubt about it. Middlesbrough are down too I feel. So it’s just that last spot up for grabs and I think it’s anyone’s. I say that as the teams who are in and around it are very solid and have been recently, so it will no doubt go right down to the wire. In regards to Swansea, I would like them to stay up ahead of Hull but it will be a big ask as Hull have improved since their managerial change. I would say it’s between Hull and Swansea now for that last spot, as Palace who are just above the two are way too strong to go down based on recent form.

What are your thoughts on Swansea and which players if any do you fear?
Due to Swansea’s position in the league and how many games are left of the season, it’s going to be a very tough battle. Swansea now will be looking at the table and will be well up for the game, and will probably look at their fixture away to Watford with an opportunity to go there and get something. Saying that, we have been very good at home this season. Gylfi Sigurdsson is different class. I think he will be a very big problem for us like he has been this season against most teams.