Watford supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side comprehensively beaten in the Premier League just prior to the international break.
Javi Gracia’s men went into their meeting with Bournemouth at Vicarage Road back on October 6 off the back of losing 2-0 to Arsenal in their previous league encounter, and thus seeking to end a run of three league games without a win when Eddie Howe’s Cherries visited Hertfordshire. Yet the Hornets were soundly beaten by the South Coast outfit, with a brace from Josh King as well as goals from David Brooks and Callum Wilson sealing a 4-0 victory for Bournemouth, thus instigating Watford’s fall to ninth place in the Premier League table.
As such, there have been many disappointed Hornets supporters up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have been reflecting on their side’s start to the campaign, and wondering whether it will follow the same pattern as the last two seasons.
But given how impressive the Hertfordshire-based outfit have been at times this term, even in matches they have lost, it could well be third time lucky for Watford to finally make their telling start amount to something very special indeed.
Ultimately, the last two campaigns have seen the Hornets make fast starts to the season, firstly under Walter Mazzarri in sitting seventh in the division after ten games of the 2016/17 campaign, and then again under Marco Silva last time round in ascending to fourth place after just eight matches.
However, they then went on to finish 17th and 14th respectively to underline just how quickly things tailed off for the Hornets, so supporters of both Watford and indeed other clubs can be forgiven for thinking that the same may happen again this time round.
Yet having kept faith with Gracia over the summer, who replaced Silva to reasonably good effect back in January of this year, the Spaniard was able to lay foundations for the improvements his side have made this term – they haven’t had a manager finish one season and then remain in charge at the start of the next since Giuseppe Sannino back in 2014.
And in winning their opening four games of this season, including a 2-1 success over Tottenham, sticking with Gracia looks to be paying off in leading the Hornets to yet another great start – and while they since haven’t won in four games, it’s not as if they have played badly in all of them.
In fact, the Hornets were denied a point against Manchester United last month thanks to an excellent late save from David De Gea, and while they managed a 1-1 draw away at Fulham the week after, it was a game they should have had won by half time – they almost came away with something from the trip to Arsenal as well, instead conceding two goals in the last ten minutes.
Yes, the Bournemouth result was really poor, but on the whole Watford have made a remarkably encouraging start to the new season, arguably more encouraging than each of their recent two fast starts to the Premier League campaign.
And with Burnley unlikely to hit the heights of seventh like they did last term, there could be an opportunity for the Hornets to compete for that ‘best-of-the-rest’ tag outside of the top six – a position which could yield a European place for next season.
And while they have been here before, things feel slightly different this time round to suggest that it could be third time lucky for Watford in their quest to turn their telling start into something very special.
Watford fans… what do you think? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!