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Watford aren’t just fun to watch – they’re incredibly effective too

The Hornets should have been out of sight against Fulham but stay in the top four

Watford could, and perhaps should, be sitting top of the Premier League after six games.

The Hornets have begun the season like a house on fire when many felt – myself included – Javi Gracia was a shoo-in to win the sack race.

Because, well, Watford are a really strange phenomenon aren’t they?

Hornets

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Hornets

Almost every season they dismiss their manager, recruit a load of fairly unheard of players and yet finish respectively in one unorthodox mess of fun and entertainment.

Against Fulham the only thing that was missing was the sustained clinical edge that Andre Gray displayed inside 90 seconds at Craven Cottage.

Let’s not beat around the bush, this should have finished 3-7 with Gray and Troy Deeney both guilty of wasteful finishing after the opener.

Friendly

Reuters
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Friendly

But it speaks volumes of the progress they’re made that this and last week’s defeat to Man United are both now disappointing results.

There is something of the Leicesters about them; a beautifully simple manifestation of 4-4-2 football.

On any other day Gray and Deeney could have had hat-tricks and they must be a nightmare to play against, as Calum Chambers and Alfie Mawson can vouch for.

The new Cole and Yorke

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The new Cole and Yorke

Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes have the guile and vision to provide magic moments whilst Abdoulaye Doucoure is fast becoming one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the league.

Pereyra is their joker in the pack, reminiscent of Riyad Mahrez in the way he glides in from the flanks.

Watford’s answer to Mahrez

Reuters
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Watford’s answer to Mahrez

Then there’s the fact no Premier League player has more assists than Jose Holebas this season, while Daryl Janmaat is equally effective on the other side of defence.

They’ve combined nastiness with flowing attacking football and if they keep this up can gatecrash the European places.

Gracia is building something at Vicarage Road and I won’t be the only one who owes him an apology for doubting him.


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