Marco Silva will be a welcome breath of fresh air at Watford

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) looks at what we can expect from Marco Silva and Watford during the 2017/18 Premier League season.

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Background

Walter Mazzarri won’t be missed after failing to learn the language and engage properly with the media. The team stumbled through an ugly 2016/17 campaign. Besieged by injuries, they showed occasional glimpses of quality but lacked a coherent tactical identity. By the end, the Italian was being openly ridiculed by fans and apparently couldn’t care less. Now the Hornets hit the reset button with Marco Silva, who was a breath of fresh air at Hull. Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah bring much-needed fresh legs to an ageing midfield.

Personality

There’s an air of authority about Silva that immediately puts players at ease. He takes total control of situations, happy to lead the way on difficult paths and accept full responsibility for results. Last season, the Hull players spoke in reverential tones about his early training sessions, literally man-handling players to move them into the positions where they needed to be in certain situations. There was no ambiguity in the message, nothing that could get lost in translation. They unanimously appreciated it and responded accordingly.

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Verdict

Silva clearly did his homework on the Premier League before rocking up at Hull and with the added benefit of that early experience, there’s an information advantage he can carry through into this campaign. Right now, you suspect he knows the league and its teams better than they know him. When you combine that with an underachieving team who were evidently disjointed for long periods last term, there’s scope for dramatic improvement. As such, the first half of the season might be more productive than the second.

Prediction: 11th

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