HORNETS NEED AA MAN TO COME TO RESCUE
WATFORD’S dramatic defeat to Ipswich last weekend served to illustrate two truths.
One, that without the injured Almen Abdi, the Hornets are like a tiger with no teeth.
Since his arrival from Udinese in 2012, the Swiss maestro has always been a class above the Championship. His perception, his movement, his weight of pass; it’s the glue that knits Watford’s attacking play together.
Go back over the last three seasons and you’ll see that any duff period coincides with Abdi’s absence. The Hornets were hardly poor against Ipswich but, without Abdi, they lacked variation and unpredictability.
Which brings us neatly to point two – nobody in the division organises a back four like Mick McCarthy.
On paper, this Ipswich team should be nowhere near the top six. Nothing about their budget or team-sheet says ‘promotion push’. But when your defence is so well drilled that you concede barely a goal a game, you can achieve.
Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo both boast a berth in the Championship’s top five scorers. Yet the likes of Luke Chambers and Tommy Smith barely gave them a kick. They marked sensibly. They played when they could. They kicked it into the stand when they couldn’t.
You get the impression that McCarthy could be a handed a troupe of baboons and still get them to hold a line within 24 hours.
MISSED: Almen Abdi