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Analysis: How Marco Silva Has Turned Watford Into A Remarkable Premier League Outfit

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Marco Silva

How Marco Silva Has Transformed Watford Into A Formidable Premier League Side

Marco Silva has had a relatively short managerial career so far, but he has already been tasked with undertaking some extremely difficult jobs over the period. He succeeded in taking Estoril from the Portuguese second division to fourth place in Primeira Liga but he also failed in his attempt to keep Hull City in the Premier League last season.

Adversity has only made him better over the last six years, and what he is doing at Watford is a true testament of that. He turned down a lucrative job at Porto to assume control of the Premier League side. Improving a team like Watford was certainly not an easy job fo Silva.

The club suffered miserably last season under Walter Mazzarri, finishing 17th and being dragged into a late relegation battle. The Hornets were extremely fragile at the back, having conceded a whopping 68 goals last season. Their troubles only intensified as far as the attack was concerned since they were lacklustre in front of the goal as well.
Mazzarri was clearly failing to do anything spectacular with the team.

They were inefficient, chaotic and never put up a single attractive display over the entire 2016/17 season. However, all that changed for the better once Silva took control.

Silva’s trademark style of football revolves around quick, counter-attacking play, coupled with a resolute defence and a pressing midfield. This leaves very little scope for opposition players to get any time on the ball. To achieve this at Watford, he needed the right players.

After a couple of drab deals in previous transfer windows, the Hornets did surprisingly well in terms of new acquisitions this time. In came Kiko Femenia to fill the right-back slot, Tom Cleverley (joined permanently after a loan spell), Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah to add energy to the midfield, along with record signing Andre Gray and Richarlson to offer pace further up the field.

Eight games into the new season and all these players have truly made a difference to the side. Besides that one match where Watford lost miserably to top-placed Manchester City, the Vicarage Road club have managed to come out on top on several occasions. Gracing the 4th spot in the league table right now, Watford are clearly benefiting under Silva’s tutelage.

The Portuguese manager’s decision to drop club captain Troy Deeney did raise several eyebrows. After all, Deeney had been instrumental in many of Watford’s previous good fortunes. However, Silva recognised that Deeney’s game revolves around hold-up play due to his lack of pace, which often ended up stifling Watford while going forward. The inclusion of Gray and Richarlison has solved that problem due to the threat they offer with their speed.

The Hornets are no longer the weak outfit from the 2016/17 season. They boast of tactical intelligence, youthful energy and an attacking combination which has the ability to hurt several big teams.