Pre-season Projection preview – Watford

To enhance my 2016/17 Premier League projection I’m reviewing factors that may impact each team’s strength compared with last season, as explained here. Next up Watford.

Last Season

Watford achieved their objective of avoiding relegation. Their underlying numbers suggest that a finishing position of 13th was about right. Curiously, it also cost Quique Flores his job. But that’s the way that Watford do things.

Player Turnover

To illustrate the relative strengths of key players joining and leaving, the numbers below compare defensive, passing and attacking strength against the average premier league player in 2015/16 (0% means at the same level as the average premier league player, greater than 0% is better and less than 0% is worse). Defensive assessment is the sum of defensive actions (tackles, interceptions, clearances and blocks). Passing is number of completed passes, and attacking strength is goals plus assists (all measured per match). This isn’t a robust statistical analysis, and can be skewed due to acquisition from a weaker league or lack of minutes played – but the purpose is to simply indicate the comparative strength of incoming and outgoing players.


Nathan Ake, highly effective in defence, will be missed. It’s difficult to assess the quality of acquisitions.

European Competition

No. No change.


Yes. Walter Mazzarri

Overall assessment

It’s difficult to know what to make of Watford. Frequently changing manager is usually a recipe for failure – but Watford have thrived on it in recent seasons. Overall probably little change.


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