There isn’t much hope around Swansea at the moment, with a woeful performance at West Ham the most recent in a sequence of poor results for Paul Clement. We spoke to Watford fan Bradley Hayden, who gave his thoughts on tomorrow’s game…
Name – Bradley Hayden
Age – 20
How long have you supported Watford? 10 years
1) You’re currently 10th in the table, how would you sum up your season?
It’s been a funny old season. We’ve been consistently inconsistent and you just never know what Watford team will turn up. Will it be the team who beat Manchester United and Arsenal or the team who got thrashed by Liverpool back in November? We started the season ok, but up until our win over Sunderland a couple of weeks ago, we had only won three times in the league since December and it looked like we were going to be that mid-table team that fell into the relegation battle. Two wins over Sunderland and West Brom changed all that and we are now pretty much safe. A lot of fans, myself included, still have doubts over Walter Mazzarri, but it’s been a strange old season. I won’t be complaining too much though if we stay up!
2) As a Watford fan, who has been your standout player this season?
This might sound crazy, but there hasn’t really been one, because each player has gone through a spell of inconsistency or poor form. If I had to choose one it would be Nordin Amrabat – who was excellent up until he picked up an injury against Spurs on New Years Day – but he hasn’t been as good since returning recently. Sebastian Prodl also enjoyed an excellent first half of the season, but he hasn’t sustained that either. Troy Deeney’s been on a good goal scoring run lately, but even he had a slightly poor run of form before Christmas. So there hasn’t really been a standout player this season and there’s no one who really stands out as being a candidate for Player-of-the-Season.
3) Is there anybody in particular you think we should be wary of on Saturday? Is there anyone showing particularly good form?
M’baye Niang would be the one to watch out for. He’s shown glimpses of what he can do since joining on loan from AC Milan in January. We have the option of making his move permanent in the summer, but he’s got the lot. He’s got pace, power, trickery and an eye for goal and can cause teams lots of problems on his day. He also scored a fantastic goal against West Brom recently, curling one into the net from outside the box, and also netted a sublime assist in that game to set up Deeney. Niang needs to work on his consistency and work-ethic, but the signs are there that he is going to be a fantastic player.
4) Likewise, is there anybody who you think you will pinpoint as a threat for Swansea?
It has to be Gylifi Sigurdsson. He’s a fantastic player and I think a big team will come in for him this summer, especially if you do go down. He’s a real threat not just from set pieces but from open play as well. 9 goals and 11 assists shows just what an important player he is for you and I think he’ll have a key part to play over the rest of the season.
5) What is your opinion of Swansea this season?
It’s been a tough old season for you. You improved drastically under Paul Clement but have hit a poor run of form lately. I think Swansea’s a great club with good supporters and I think you’ve finally got the right man in charge in Paul Clement. The squad is there and I think you’re more than capable of avoiding relegation, but it’s down now to the players to perform.
6) Are there any weaknesses in your sides you think we could exploit?
Out wide is where you could find some joy. If our wingers don’t track back, then Holebas and Janmaat could have their work cut out. They can be suspect defensively sometimes, and we’ve struggled to defend crosses into the box this season, although we have improved lately.
7) How do you think you’ll line up against us on Saturday?
Gomes, Janmaat, Cathcart, Mariappa, Holebas, Cleverley, Capoue, Doucoure, Amrabat, Deeney, Niang.
8) What’s your prediction for the game?
9) Do you think the Swans can avoid relegation this season?
Yes I do. The squads there and you’ve got a good coach in Paul Clement, so I still think you’ll avoid relegation and Hull City will go down.