Sep 10, 2017
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“Silva continues to work wonders” – Three things learnt from Southampton 0-2 Watford

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Watford’s unbeaten start to the new Premier League campaign continued on Saturday as goals either side of half-time proved too much for a tepid Southampton side down on the south coast.

It was far from a classic down at St Mary’s but the visitors took the lead shortly before the break when Adboulaye Doucoure’s low half-volley from 25-yards out had enough pace to find the corner.

And substitute Daryl Janmaat provided an almost identical goal from 30-yards to double the Hornets’ lead and secure all three points, arrowing a shot past Fraser Forster’s outstretched reach.

The victory means that Watford remain in the top-four of the Premier League, just two points behind Manchester United and Manchester City, whilst Southampton currently lie in 11th place.

Read below for three things The Boot Room learnt from another strong Watford display.

Watford’s unlikely rise continues

The most unexpected of revivals at Watford just keeps going from strength to strength under new manager Marco Silva as the Portuguese tactician continues to work his magic in the Premier League.

Nobody could have expected the Hornets to remain unbeaten after four matches after their disappointing season last time out, but the appointment of Silva seems to have been a revelation.

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The Hornets seem to have a new-found sense of discipline about them this season, being hard to break down inside their own half, but they now possess the pace and desire to hurt teams at the other end of the pitch too and it’s a combination that is beginning to bear fruit already this season.

Perhaps the key word is organisation, with Silva drilling his side during the week and ensuring that each and every player knows their responsibilities for the weekend – a far cry from Walter Mazzarri.

It may still be early days but there’s already a feeling of anticipation growing around Vicarage Road over what this team can achieve this year, and it’s now all eyes on a tricky Manchester City test next.

Southampton simply can’t score

It’s beginning to sound a bit like a broken record but it was a case of another Premier League match, another game where Southampton can’t score as Watford ran out comfortable winners at St Mary’s.

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After drawing another blank in front of goal it now means that the Saints have only scored in one of their four league matches this campaign – and more worryingly, only three of their past 12 matches.

Already this season they’ve failed to find a way past Swansea, Huddersfield and Watford, three teams that were all tipped for relegation before the season began, and it represents a big problem.

The fact that Cedric Soares’ injury-time effort – the first time Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was called into action all afternoon – was met with ironic cheers from the crowd tells its own story.

It must be incredibly frustrating for manager Mauricio Pellegrino as it’s not like there’s a lack of attacking options – after all, he was able to turn to Charlie Austin and Shane Long from the bench on Saturday – but the fact of the matter is that there’s an issue in front of goal that needs resolving.

Chalobah shines for the Hornets

It will come as a surprise to very few to see Nathaniel Chalobah finally showing his raw potential now he’s being given regular first-team football week-in, week-out since his switch from Chelsea.

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The 22-year-old has taken to this Watford side extremely well and has played an influential role in their unexpectedly impressive start to the season, posing a commanding figure through the middle.

For somebody still so young he shows an excellent level of maturity on the football pitch and he’s slowly becoming one of England’s best central midfielders full of pace, strength and determination.

The partnership on show between Chalobah and Abdoulaye Doucoure on Saturday would have certainly pleased boss Marco Silva too, with the duo complementing each other well in the middle and starting to show a good understanding of each other’s play, knowing when to push forward.

It’s early days in his Watford career but he’s already made quite the impression on the Watford supporters, and if he continues in this vein of form Chelsea will be wondering why they let him go.

Article Categories:
Match Reaction · Southampton · Watford