Watford vs Huddersfield Town

Competition: EFL Championship Matchday 24

Date: 16/01/2021

Score: 2-0

Ground: Vicarage Road

5 Conclusions from the Game

1. High looks Brilliant!

A late cameo for the B team captain today and what a promising performance it was. He played some good passes while also mopping up well in the middle of the park, while also testing the keeper with a volley from the edge of the box. He gained some experience out on loan at Shrewsbury earlier this season and is looking better as a result of it. If a certain Town midfielder doesn't start performing to the level he showed last season and with Premier League clubs lurking, I would not be against starting High in his place.

2. The move to 3 centre backs.

Town played 3 centre backs against Plymouth, although played a slightly different midfield and attacking shape, but on the whole, there is a lot more defensive solidity when we play with 3 centre backs. Vallejo played well in defence today, his passing was good while also commanding the team - something we have not really had in the defence since losing Stearman! The first goal was 25% Vallejo's fault and 75% Schofield's and I don't think it was as a result of the system we played. The second goal should have been stopped by a defender, but considering that the goals were the only high value chances that Watford had, I am not concerned with this change from 2 to 3 centre backs.

3. Game-Changing mistakes

Firstly the Deeney tackle on Bacuna, or should I say assault? The referee HAS to send Deeney off for that tackle, I am unsure why the referee blows straight away if he is not going to send Deeney off? Aarons is through on goal and could have scored.
Ultimately the mistake that will overshadow the whole game is Ryan Schofield's horrendous misjudgment of an Alex Vallejo back pass. Ryan will know that he should have lumped it long, but he is 21, barely 30 games into a professional career and is bound to make mistakes. Town has put their faith in Schofield and him making mistakes is the only way he is going to get better. In the reverse fixture, Ryan made key saves to make sure Town won the game.

4. Town missed the player relationships on the flanks.

The Mbenza/Pipa and Koroma/Toffolo relationships were truly missed today, Rowe and Aarons both played well in my opinion, but the link up on the wings and understanding between the winger and full back wasn't there today. Aarons didn't look up to match fitness and although there were flashes from him, they were nowhere near the level we had seen from Josh Koroma. I thought Rowe played very differently to Mbenza, he ran at defences and chased down balls playing more like a traditional winger, but we definitely missed Isaac's dead-ball delivery today.

5. Fans need to keep perspective!

11 players out injured today is not a great statistic to be seeing, but it is the state that Town are in. The wage bill for those players out injured will be around 70% of the club's total wage bill and considering the current set of circumstances, you can't go and break the bank and sign 4 new players to cover for their injuries. Half the teams in the Championship failed to pay their players on time in December, Town did, but this could change for future months if they go reckless with signing players.
It may have been a 2-0 loss, but against a side that was in the Premier League last season, I am not too disheartened and fans shouldn't be too.
We go again on Wednesday night against Millwall.

Town Team:

Starting 11: Ryan Schofield, Pipa, Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Alex Vallejo (77' Danny Ward), Romoney Crichlow, Harry Toffolo, Juninho Bacuna, Lewis O'Brien, Rolando Aarons (62' Patrick Jones), Fraizer Campbell, Aaron Rowe (68' Scott High)
Subs: Joel Pereira, Demeaco Duhaney, Jaden Brown, Josh Austerfield, Kieran Phillips, Patrick Jones, Danny Ward, Mustapha Olagunju, Scott High
Formation: 352

Match Statistics

Watford: Huddersfield Town:
xG (Expected Goals): 1.64 0.19
Possession %: 53 47
Total Shots: 10 4
On Target: 7 1
Tackles: 17 19
Pass Accuracy %: 80 79
Fouls: 10 12
Yellow Cards: 3 2
Red Cards: - -

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