A View Inside The Hornets Nest
Tom, thanks for speaking to us again. Both teams have seen backroom changes since our last encounter, so let's see how that affects things.
What are your hopes, fears & expectations for the season?
The hope was certainly to better last season`s 11th place finish. The expectation to stay out of relegation trouble and the fear that the 14 loan signings, change of management and complete re-jig of the club would see the club plumb new depths by falling into the relegation zone.
A lot of people thought Sean Dyche was a little unlucky being cast aside for the Gianfranco Zola Latin revolution. What was your take, unfair or a bold move in the best interest of the club?
He was incredibly harshly sacked. Whilst it now seems to be the fashionable thing to bash those who praise or even mention Dyche`s achievements at the club, he did a superb job with limited resources and a distinctly average squad whilst chaos reigned off the field.
Eleventh flattered us somewhat, largely due to a late season run of form, but he did very well to deliver our highest finish since 2007/08.
Was it in the best interest of the club? Much like Blackpool & Michael Appleton - time will tell.
Has the influx of loans from Italy brought a different style of play?
The new players, or those who have played regularly, fit the system well. Zola had implemented his style and system from day one though to his credit and at his introductory press conference he was at pains to state that his side would play attractive, passing football, without fail.
Clearly those who have become mainstays in the side - Daniel Pudil, Almen Abdi, Marco Cassetti, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri - have all excelled in the system and are of a higher calibre tan the players we had, but they aren`t the sole reason for our change to passing at all costs.
Who will be the key man on Saturday?
The aforementioned Forestieri is one of the most technically gifted and enjoyable footballers to wear a Watford shirt in yonks. He is far too good for this level and if he could cut out the amateur dramatics to the bare minimum, away supporters would probably appreciate a superb talent a bit more too!
He is short of stature and fairly stocky, traits which allow him to weave with the ball between defenders at great pace. A constant menace and our biggest threat.
One player you`d drive to his next club & why?
Joe Garner is wasting away as a footballer. One goal since signing last summer, he`s re-found his level on loan at Carlisle.
One Blackpool player you`d sign & why?
I`d want someone who`d fit the system, and if there is one area where we are perhaps a touch weak, I reckon it would be right wing-back. Cassetti is excellent, but at 35 he needs cover/competition. Zola doesn`t fancy Lee Hodson, so assuming Neal Eardley could play there, I`d take him.
There`s always injuries with 40 man plus squad!
John Eustace (back), Prince Buaben (thigh), Nyron Nosworthy (hamstring) and Neuton (ankle) are all out. Fitz Hall should be available for selection but whether he`ll break into the Lloyd Doyley - Joel Ekstrand - Tommie Hoban back three.
There should be goals, so I`m going to say 3-2 to the Golden Boys!
Well, there are a couple of people may well take you up on the offer re Eardley, he certainly is on of our 'marmite' players (he is Mini LS's favourite player!)
We wish Tom and Watford all the best for the rest of the season, after Saturday of course.