Thursday, August 10, 2006

More Premier League club previews

It has been a while since I did my last preview and with the season coming up in nearly a weeks time, I decided I should get a move on. So I decided to preview the club I know about the least - Watford.

Aidy Boothroyd's team is probably everybody's favourite to go down this season. With a weak financial basis plus a very inexperienced side, they will find it difficult to stay in the Premier League. In fact they shouldn't really be here in the top echelon of English football, after sweeping aside favourites Leeds United in the Football League Championship playoff last season.

If they are going to stay up, they will require Marlon King and Ashley Young to get their goals plus some good defending from a relatively young back four.

Positional review

GK: Richard Lee, Alec Chamberlain

Quite a lot of whether or not Watford stay up depends if they can convince Manchester United to loan Ben Foster for another season. The young goalkeeper was exceptional last season, culminating in an England call-up to the World Cup squad. If Manchester United get Tomas Kuszczak from WBA, then Watford's chances of another season in the Premier League are much brighter.

RB: Lloyd Doyley, James Chambers

Quite a relative inexperienced back line starts here at right back with both players in this position with relatively little experienced in the top flight.

LB: Jordan Stewart, Chris Powell

Aidy Boothroyd was clever in getting a season professional to come and bolster the defence. Chris Powell has played in the top flight with Charlton Athletic and has international experience as well. His knowledge of how a small club can fight with the big boys will be invaluable.

CB: Clark Carlisle, Jay DeMerit, Malky Mackay, Danny Shittu

A relative young centre back pairing in Carlisle and DeMerit might be where Watford become unhinged. Get Shittu was good but that is just bringing up the numbers. What they needed was a veteran with knowledge of the Premier League. Unfortunately those players maybe outside Watford's price range.

RM: Anthony McNamee

Another player with no top flight experience. Although he is young and talented, McNamee might become unhinged against tougher opponents such as Ashley Cole (wherever he turns up) or Gabriel Heinze. Again another area Watford need to reinforce in - they might turn to Chris Eagles again after he did so well for them last season.

LM: Ashley Young

Young will be one of the players Watford will be depending to star in this season and keep them in the Premier League. He contributed a signficant amount of goals and will be relied upon to produce again if Watford are to have a chance. Watford may require another attacking player to back up McNamee and Young if injuries start to crop up.

CM: Matthew Spring, Gavin Mahon, Alhassan Bangura, Dominic Blizzard, Damien Francis

Again Aidy has proven his managerial capabilities by capturing Francis from Wigan. With his experience and his box-to-box running, hopefully the central midfield will be a bit more combative.

FW: Marlon King, Darius Henderson, Hameur Bouazza, Tamas Priskin

Even though Aidy has just brought another striker in, this is where most promoted clubs struggle - getting goals. Some strikers find it hard to convert their lower league form into the top flight. Watford will hope that this doesn't happen to King. If King can get close to anywhere near his total last season, Watford could have a chance.

The things hampering Watford from staying up affect all promoted clubs but the Hornets especially. The lack of finance to bring in new players, a relatively inexperienced side and the inevitability for the drop. If Boothroyd can get the best out of the veterans of Francis & Powell whilst Young & King can produce the goals they did last season, it would be close to a miracle if Watford can stay up.

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