Nigel Pearson was appointed as Watford manager, the side were in crisis. Sacking Quique Sanchez Flores for a 2nd time, rock bottom of the table and looking like relegation favourites. Even at the halfway point of the season, it looked certain. But now, they’re outside the relegation zone and look like serious contenders to survive the drop.
The former Leicester manager has arrived at Vicarage Road and inspired an incredible improvement in results. Everyone knows about the so-called ‘managerial bounce’ a team gets from a new appointment. Especially mid-season when the players are sick to death of the new man’s predecessor. Pearson has epitomised a managerial bounce. After losing 2-0 to Liverpool in a game where the Hornets at points looked like they could leave Anfield with at least a point, the upturn in form has been outstanding.
Watford – The new manager ‘bounce’
Watford Premier League form since Nigel Pearson took over
What sums up the Pearson effect Watford have felt since appointing him are their wins against Aston Villa and Wolves. Both games, they were down to 10 men and still came away with 3 points. The grit and determination you want from a team near the bottom of the table has been apparent for the side.
A 2-0 win against an in-form Manchester United side at the time was also impressive. The fact they were disappointed to come away from the game against Tottenham with a point speaks volumes. Of course Troy Deeney missed the penalty which would’ve given them more breathing space between themselves and Villa in 18th. But this run of form gives Hornets’ fans a huge boost in their hopes to go into 2020/21 as a Premier League team.
He’s done it before…
Nigel Pearson doesn’t get enough credit for his heroic escape with Leicester. The sacking was harsh at the time, especially after their ‘great escape’. At least he holds a place in Foxes’ hearts because without him, they wouldn’t have miraculously won the Premier League the following season.
Considering he’s done it before, I don’t think this is a purple patch. As a neutral, I’m confident Watford can survive the drop with Pearson at the helm. At this rate, he’s getting a contract extension from beyond this season. Then again, you never know with the Pozzo Family…
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