Will promotion for Watford bring continued success or untold troubles?
I'm sure many of you reading this are aware of the potentially prosperous, potentially poisonous situation they find themselves in. For those that aren't fully aware of the Watford situation i'll give a very brief overview. In June 2012, Watford were taken over by Udinese and Granada owner Giampaolo Pozzo and family. Ownership of more than one club is permitted when the clubs do not play in the same country, a very strange loophole indeed. Watford have for better or worse became the Pozzo families feeder club, with the owners sending no less than 13 players on loan to Watford from Udinese and Granada, leaving Watford with a very limited amount of first team players on permanent contracts with the club.
So there's a brief description of Watford FC currently. Now on to the real issue that needs considering. Watford now sit 2nd in the championship with some of the loanee's heavily contributing to the exciting football that the Vicarage road following are being treated to this season. Players like Matej Vydra, Almen Abdi and Fernando Forestieri are the stand out loanee's for the club (although Fernando Forestieri is technically a permanent Watford player which i do not understand the reason for selling a player from the club you own to your other club, effectively paying yourself) but lets say that Watford get promoted, something which i believe is becoming even more of a certainty week after week, and Udinese and Granada are so thrilled with the development of their youth players on loan at Watford that they want them back for their respective first teams. What is the plan then? Is the strategy to send the next influx of youth players to Watford and bank on them all clicking and adapting to Premier League football well enough to ensure Watford do not end up as cannon fodder. If this is the preferred strategic plan of Giampaolo Pozza and Chairman Raffaele Riva then I'm sure manager Gianfranco Zola will not be impressed as I'm sure he will feel he needs more tried and trusted players at Premier League level or around the world. Even an ever optimistic Zola will have to concede that without more experience in the squad, should they get promoted, the loanee's may struggle to come to terms with the weight that would be placed on their shoulders for Watford's survival.
When the owner completed the takeover he reassured Hornet fans that they are here for the long term. This brings me on to the other potential alternative for Watford. If Watford really are part of the long term aims of the Pozzo family then it would only be right to keep the loanee's that have had the most impact on the first team, Vydra, Abdi, Ikechi Anya, Battocchio and Cassetti amongst others, whilst using the obvious financial benefits of promotion to look toward adding experienced heads in key area's to ensure that when the fluctuations in form that occur over a season happen. Watford will still have a solid base of players to keep the younger players calm and in control.
Personally, I hope this adventure works out for Watford and they have a successful future with the Pozzo family. They certainly are playing some of the best football in the Championship, which I suffered first hand when I watched Watford teach Birmingham a lesson in the 4-0 drubbing that we were given recently. Many Championship fans are very envious of Watford due to their current success under the loan regime although lets face it, if it were to happen to their club i'm sure they wouldn't be complaining about the loophole too much, I certainly wouldn't complain given the shambles down St.Andrews with my Birmingham City at the moment.
Thanks for reading, please comment if you agree or disagree with my views on the Watford situation
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