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End of Term Report 2020 – Part 6 20/08/2020

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

27- Christian Kabasele

I like Christian Kabasele.  He comes across as a decent bloke, and has a lot about him as a player… quick, strong, charismatic.

Thing is, having criticised Craig Dawson for being too conspicuous as a defender I’m going to now criticise Kabasele for the opposite.  Kabs isn’t a youngster, he’s 29 years old… but he went missing in the tail end of the season when we needed experienced heads to drag the team onwards.  To an extent it’s unreasonable to criticise him for what is a failing of the defence as a whole, but he was another who seemed to be swept along with the fate of the team rather than affecting it too much.  Disappointing from a player who had previously been becoming an increasingly assertive part of the team.

Next Season:  His physical attributes mean that he’s probably the most likely of our defenders to be picked off.  I’d be happy enough if he stayed, but happy enough also if we got good money for him.

29- Étienne Capoue

Here’s a rare thing, I guess.  A senior player who didn’t let themselves down in 2019-20.  No, he didn’t reach the heights of the previous season, but over the years with us Capoue has matured from a good game/bad game flickety player to an absolute monster who dominates more games than he doesn’t.

And last season he was still, largely, a force for good.  Yes, you’d have wanted more…  but he was still a vital cog of the side, perhaps the most significant single cog bar Troy.  You can add his end of season hammy to the list of things that might have tipped the balance…  the lack of his heavyweight presence from West Ham, Man City, even Arsenal was painfully visible.

Next Season:  An advantage, perhaps, of our situation is that we have a large number of desirable, poachable assets.  An almost indecent number given the kids attracting glances in Spain.  So… maybe that affords us a little control over who we keep and who goes, subject to the players themselves of course.  It’s not like we have a couple of big assets only, who would have to go.  And maybe, just maybe, at 32 and with two years left, we’ll get away with Capoue.  Which wouldn’t half be a result.

33- Ignacio Pussetto

We don’t really know yet, is the short answer;  his seven appearances for the Hornets all came off the bench and accounted for barely an hour’s worth of football between them.  Perhaps this in itself isn’t surprising;  signed for a relatively small fee and without fanfare from Udinese, this smacked of a “might come in useful” deal that was relatively easy to execute.

He looks dogged and pugnacious, from what little we’ve seen, certainly not a delicate flower of a wide man, but he was only used once after the lockdown in what became increasingly conservative team selections.

Next Season:  Pussetto could plausibly be one for the future, in which case we’ll see him get more game time this coming season, or a short-term attempt to bolster a struggling squad which didn’t quite work out and has already ended.  Time will tell.

37- Roberto Pereyra

When Roberto Pereyra arrived from Juventus a year into our Premier League spell his signing reflected where we were, how far we had come.  Yes, there was a previous Udinese connection…  but nonetheless we were signing an Argentine international midfielder.  From Juventus.  Not a bit part player, but someone who’d made nearly 70 appearances over two seasons in Turin.  An artist, not a functional player.  Having stayed up in 2015/16, this was a statement.

If, as seems likely, these are the last days of Pereyra’s Watford career then his departure similarly tells a story.  A fabulously talented player who has contributed an awful lot during his time at Vicarage Road but whose final year meandered alarmingly to the point where someone with the ability to make the difference was affecting games far too infrequently.

The reductive version of events is that Pereyra is lazy;  that he hasn’t been putting a shift in for the last twelve months, and spasmodically before that.  I don’t think that’s quite fair;  his problems have tended to be in his head, sure, but lack of conviction, of confidence have been the problem rather than effort. For all his occasional flamboyance Pereyra appears to be a slightly nervous character, affected as he was by his bad injury early in his Watford career and cowed by the pressure of the situation.  The outcome was the same…  frustratingly ineffectual performances from a player capable of such a lot more, but even then he ended the season as our third highest score in all comps behind only Troy and Sarr.  Disappointing.

Next Season:  Assuming that Bobby does leave he shouldn’t be remembered for his disappointing final season.  For three years he was a bold, clever, tough, flamboyant force for good, and a sign of how far we’d come.


1. steven fewster - 20/08/2020

So Pussetto has gone back, for the same fee he came. Neutral bit of business.

Should Pereyra go, I’ll remember him as an incredibly talented player who was on the receiving end of the boo boys too often. Overshadowed by the daring-do of Deulofeu, he scored some magnificent goals and was incredibly creative. I don’t see a place for him in the Championship though, and I’m getting excited about a possible attempt to build around youth. We shall see.

2. Alan Ahern - 20/08/2020

Of course since this was written Pussetto is gone. A shame because we are likely to also lose Sarr and Geri and maybe he could have shone as a replacement – now we’ll never know!

3. Harefield Hornet - 20/08/2020

I’m a huge fan of RP and his many detractors should spend a while looking through some of the clips recorded from the last 4 years displaying his remarkable talent, before they write him off so easily. One of the most talented footballers ever to wear a Watford shirt.

PhilM - 20/08/2020

Couldn’t agree more. Inconsistent at times perhaps, but one of my favourite players ever. I just loved watching him play and will be gutted to see him leave, which seems inevitable. The type of player that would have been the stuff of dreams a few years ago. Some folk really do need a reality check.

4. thanet horn - 20/08/2020

Haven’t seen any final announcement of Pussetto leaving a shame if so we need cover in wide areas. And we’ve hardly seen him and don’t know what he could have achieved. At least looks combative which would have been an asset in the Championship
Harefield agree re Pereyas talent, I will have fond memories of performances I saw V Newcastle, Leicester, Palace He was a gifted player but sometimes didn’t live up to his potential or ability. Unlucky with injuries sometimes seemed to disappear not because of lack of effort/ entirely just got nullified or bogged down, id, have preferred to see him be used just behind the strikers concentrating more on attack
but if he goes we need to appreciate how good he was when at his best, Kabasele confuses me but so do most of the cbs. brilliant at times dodgy other times. I would probably keep him Capoue one of my favourites hope he stays coyh

5. Ray Knight - 21/08/2020

Pereyra has been very unfairly criticised. He is not a shirker and is a great technical player, maybe not quite suited to the pace of the EPL. Will go with fond memories. It would be great to keep hold of Capoue, as long as he remains motivated. Kabesele is a very frustrating player, probably best in a 3 than a 4 at the back due to his pace. He always seems slow however to get into games or has concentration issues. If we get a good fee I would sell because he a borderline EPL player at best. Pussetto never really had a chance but can’t see him as an answer in England.

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