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Opinion: Watford need a change in strategy to survive

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Watford arrived in the Premier League this season and never really convinced that they were set to stay in the division.

The Hornets limply earned relegation back to the Championship, where the club must now prepare to compete in once again.

Xisco Munoz was sacked in October, Claudio Ranieri survived until January and Roy Hodgson has committed to retirement once again.

That is another campaign filled with chop and change and no direct vision for the future of the club.

This kind of directionless structure is not built to survive in the Premier League and it will struggle in the second division as things stand.

Watford return to the Championship with an ageing side, filled with very few exciting talents and no manager to take the reins of the squad.

But now could be a great opportunity for all of that to change.

The Pozzo family have had their ups and downs while owning the club, but the chaos has proven itself not enough to maintain a place in the top flight.

Of the six players who received over 2,000 playing minutes in the Premier League this season, five are over the age of 30-years old.

The sixth man is Emmanuel Dennis, who Watford will do well to keep at the club this summer.

The Nigerian has been by far the standout performer in the side this season, scoring 10 goals and earning six assists.

Other often-used players this season were Kiko Femenia (31) and Juraj Kucka (35).

This is not the platform a club should be going into the Championship with, these are not players who can be relied upon to compete in so much in such a long and difficult season.

Hiring managers well past their sell-by date is another easy step the club needs to take in order to improve.

24 Watford quiz questions about their time in the EFL – Can you score 100%?

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1. Which was Watford's last season in the Championship?

Hodgson and Ranieri have had great careers but have not done anything in recent years to suggest they should be competing at an elite level.

A young, exciting coach with new ideas should be targeted and trusted to build a team with a long-term vision.

Players like Ismaila Sarr, Imran Louza, Joao Pedro, Cucho and the aforementioned Dennis are those that should have the squad built around.

Keeping those names will be difficult, but worthwhile as they could be the foundation of the next promotion side.


Irish sports writer

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Watford need a change in strategy to survive

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