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How far can Watford go this Premier League season?

Thursday 7th September 2017
Entering the 2017-18 Premier League season, Watford could have been considered a lost cause. Three weeks into the campaign, Marco Silva's side have not tasted defeat.

Preseason talk tends to centre on potential title winners and how top-flight debutantes will cope. Then events unfold. Attention is now being directed at the Hornets.
After recording a 2-0 triumph over Bournemouth and securing one point each against Brighton and Liverpool, Watford were among seven teams that entered the international break without a loss.

Though early, the Hornets' performance with Silva at the helm is a considerable improvement from last campaign's struggles under Walter Mazzarri. A year ago, Watford only bagged a point from its three season-opening games, setting in motion their 17th place finish.

Silva tried to help Hull City retain their Premier League status last season. Following his January arrival, the Tigers embarked on an incredible run at the KCOM Stadium, winning seven of their nine home matches. Earlier results proved impossible for the Tigers to overcome, however. This season, Silva seems to have brought the same managerial brilliance to the Hornets.

His major work has been done in the transfer market. The Portuguese tactician made his presence known, adding quality and depth to each position in the squad.
Andre Gray's purposeful signing, a club record £18.5 million, captured the headlines. The 26-year-old's nine goals and three assists for Burnley last season have inspired hopeful discourse. Gray's pace and guile definitely add strength to Watford's attack.

His link-up play with young Brazilian prospect Richarlison, another summer intake in an £11 million move, has yield good results. Silva may have uncovered a top-notch partnership.

Silva's business went further back on the pitch, too. Young England duo, Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah, gird the central park. Fullbacks Marvin Zeegelaar and Kiko Femenia provide more options for defence to transition into attack.

Add winger Andre Carrillo from Benfica, Tom Cleverley from Everton, the Udinese duo, central defender Molla Wague and goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis, and Silva definitely had a busy time in the summer transfer window.

The most impressive signing is Chalobah. The Chelsea youngster signed for a bargain £5 million. The 22-year-old arrived and took immediately. His power, skill, and confidence dominated. Chalobah roamed the midfield freely and broke into the opposition third with speed and intent.
For a club that rarely receives attention, it has surely been a thrilling time at Watford. Silva has the side wrapped up in an exciting style previously unseen at Vicarage Road. The season has started on a high note and the trend could continue through their upcoming fixtures against Southampton, West Brom and Swansea.

If they build on their early form, it's very possible Watford could finish at the top half of the table.
Adebayo Temitope

Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, before I joined IRIAW you may have seen my work on The Football Weeks. I'm also a keen music fan


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