The Hornets’ defensive struggles have cost them vital points this season. Can the Nigerian defender help stop the rot?
Watford earned their last win away at Everton with an impressive display from their attacking players. They mounted a superb comeback after having gone behind twice due to some shoddy defending that has now come to characterize the newly promoted team this season. The fact that they still are one of the only 3 teams who haven’t kept a clean sheet in the current campaign despite having had a decent season so far speaks volumes.
For a team that boasted of one of the best defenses that the English Championship has seen, last season, with their performances matching the best ever record there has been in the league. Although Xisco Munoz team was built on the type of high-octane style that focused on attacking, the team also maintained such a stellar defense, enough to have matched that record that they did.
This season on the other hand couldn’t have been more different. Although their attackers have maintained the kind of nous that ensured that their play still bears some fruit, the defending has been quite shambolic by their own previous standards. This will definitely be one of the areas of the pitch their newly employed manager, Claudio Ranieri, will be looking to improve vastly on if they intend to still play Premier League football next season.
Having arrived at the club in 2020, William Troost-Ekong has already racked up 40 appearances for the club, becoming one of the mainstays of that defensive unit that got so much credit last season. His solidity at the back (or the lack of it) has meant that no Watford player has played more minutes than he has this season.
Although it can be argued that the gulf in quality between the Premier League and the Championship is vast, the 28 year old and his teammates can lead the team from the back with improved performances.
The defender after the Everton game was quizzed on their performance and he had this to say:
“Every game is difficult, that’s this league. It’s a reasonably new team, most of the boys joined us in the last week of September, we’ve just changed manager. I don’t want to ask for time because we don’t get it this season but I think everybody is understanding we’re still working on a lot of things and we’re trying to improve every week and I think Mr. Ranieri is going to help us with that”
Hopefully those efforts will start to bear fruit sooner rather than later, especially if the Hornets intend to keep their buzz.
“Babafemi Busari is a passionate writer whose experience writing across several niches bring unique perspectives to familiar subjects.”
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