Watford season review: ‘Let’s never talk about it again’


Mike Parkin, From the late Rookery, external

Evaluation: Giving this abysmal campaign anything above 1/10 would be generous. It was a disaster and I’m sure the highlight was the merciful sound of the final whistle at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Let’s never talk about the 2021-22 season again.

Best performance of the season: Almost ridiculously easy to pick, with wins so rare that I was surprised the club didn’t release a commemorative DVD after every win. Watford beat Everton 5-2, but that was as much down to their defensive collapse as Watford’s quality. Hence, it goes to the exhilarating 4-1 win over Manchester United at Vicarage Road. Incredibly, it was the Hornets’ last home win of the season – in November.

Player of the Season: It is in summary of the campaign that Hassane Kamara was voted player of the season. He only joined halfway through the January transfer window. He was nothing more than consistently satisfying, but with such a lack of quality, that – along with his effervescent approach and positive relationship with fans – was enough to make him stand out. A bit more objectively, Emmanuel Dennis probably deserves it for his goals and assists, considering the team he was in.

Player whose time is up: Dennis will be absent, as will Ismaila Sarr and Joshua King. Moussa Sissoko will no longer like the second level. Ben Foster left the club after his second stint at Vicarage Road, and it’s a shame that a fairly good career at Watford ended in such a dismal season. We’ll check YouTube to see where it ends up.

Opposing player you would like on your team: It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone (of any caliber) making a difference. That said, I’ve always admired Son Heung-min. He offers so much more to Spurs than just finishing. Surely the only thing he has left to prove is that he can do it at Championship level? If that doesn’t work, we’ll take Virgil van Dijk to bolster our incredibly porous defence.

Happy with your new manager? Hiring a Ligue 2 coach is a gamble, but it’s the kind of appointment the fans are asking for. Rob Edwards received almost exclusively positive reviews from everyone who met him and after the disastrous reigns of more experienced managers, Edwards’ new approach is sending ripples of positivity through the fan base.

A lesson to remember next season: Players must have the right character. Too many times we have seen shoulders slump and fingers pointing. This collection has never had the appetite for relegation, so the new signings must have the heart for what will be a tough campaign in the Championship.

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