Two of the Premier League’s form sides went head-to-head on Sunday afternoon as Watford hosted Tottenham Hotspur at Vicarage Road at the end of a week in which the visitors had already recorded a 3-0 victory at Man United.
The unpredictability of football is what makes it the most universally admired sport on the planet. Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat against Watford served as a quintessential example of how every game is different and ultimately three points is all you can win at full-time, regardless of the calibre, history or reputation of the opponent.
Javi Gracia got the better of Mauricio Pochettino and continued his impressive record with the Hornets to take his points tally to 30 from his opening 20 fixtures, which averages out at 1.5 points per game.
If the 48-year-old manager manages to achieve a rate of 1.5 PPG in this season alone then Watford will finish on 57 points – a total which would have seen them finish in 7th place during the 2017/18 campaign, just 6 points behind Arsenal.
In reality, Gracia is currently on course to achieve a Premier League record of 114 points, but nobody is holding out too much hope for Watford to continue their 100% record until the end of the season.
Obviously this brilliant run Watford are on must and will come to an end, but there is a growing feeling that the club may well have struck gold with their most recent appointment after chopping and changing for a number of years.
There are certainly comparisons to be drawn between Gracia’s success with Watford and Pochettino’s first foray into English football management at Southampton.
On the south coast Pochettino established quite the reputation for his expansive style of football whilst still managing to average 1.45 PPG before Spurs decided to take a punt on the Argentine.
Gracia is not quite as expansive in his style as Pochettino was when he took the reigns at Southampton, but it must be considered that Watford’s resources are limited and he is attempting to squeeze the maximum out of a squad which was relatively cheap to assemble.
So far Gracia has struggled to get his side to perform on the road but that should change as Watford continue to develop under his leadership and, with further exposure to Premier League football, the Spaniard could eventually be the man to replace Pochettino at Spurs.
Naturally, the Spurs supporters are eager for Pochettino to remain at the helm for the long-term future, but the lure of a club of Real Madrid’s stature could ultimately force him away from north London in the future.
And with that in mind, Tottenham should keep a close eye on Gracia’s development at Watford as he has shown glimpses of his potential to manage a top-4 club since he took over at Vicarage Road.
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