Player Ratings: Watford 1-1 Everton


Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 1-1 draw with Everton at Vicarage Road, giving each one a rating out of 10.

Heurelho Gomes

If I’d been given a pound for every time I’d heard the words ‘Gomes kept Watford in the game with a number of crucial saves’ this season, I’d be considerably better off. On numerous occasions throughout the 2015-16 campaign the Brazilian has been called upon and ultimately delivered.

Gomes’ heroic season continued against Everton as he prevented Gerard Deulofeu and then Ross Barkley from finding the top corner in the first half. He then went full stretch to stop a low deflected Aaron Lennon effort and despite the fact he could only parry it away, the Watford goalkeeper managed to react faster to claw away the loose ball on the follow up. His Everton Counterpart Joel Robles was superb but Gomes was even better.  8.5

Juan Carlos Paredes

Quique Sanchez Flores opted to replace Allan Nyom with Paredes in the starting line-up and definitely gave the horns a more attacking outlet going forward and I feel that the Ecuador international gives the right-hand flank a greater degree of pace. Paredes’ crossing lacked a bit of craft but he had a solid game. 7

Miguel Britos

An unusually average performance from Britos who has arguably been the Hornets’ best centre half this season. He was certainly at fault for the Toffees goal as his loose touch allowed James McCarthy in on goal – a chance which was tidily finished by the Republic of Ireland international. His costly error certainly shadowed over his performance but his aerial duels were superb especially against the ever present Romelu Lukaku. 6

Craig Cathcart

The Northern Ireland international has been solid all season, rightfully earning himself the title ‘Mr Reliable’, however he’s looked a bit nervous on occasions at the back in recent times. Fortunately, this one wasn’t one of those games. He stood tight to Lukaku and from the outset didn’t allow him to bully him or get in behind.

Cathcart kept the ball out of Gomes’ box when needed and crucial block on the line to stop a Lukaku shot was a pivotal moment. He had a better game than his partner at the back, Britos, but both been great this season. 7.5

Jose Holebas

After airing his frustrations on Instagram about the selection of QSF, Holebas rightfully was given his chance. Holebas looked superb throughout this one notably scoring the goal on the cusp of half-time which sent the rookery into pandemonium, his wicked left stood over a couple of free-kicks but nothing availed from it. He look really comfortable with the ball and in my opinion was the best-outfield player on the pitch for us. 8

Valon Behrami

A uninspiring 45 minutes from the Swiss midfielder who was forced to spend most of his time on the right-hand side as cover for Paredes, who looked to get forward at every opportunity. Didn’t opt to cross and looked to go inside on several occasions. 6

Ben Watson

It looked written in the stars when the ‘Ginger Gerrard’ saw a shot deflected off of John Stones and it appeared destined for the top corner, but Everton goalkeeper Robles matched the speculative effort. Watson mopped up some mistakes from his defensive team-mates on a number of occasions and last but not least, it appears that he’s learnt to take a corner (apart from the one which went for a goal-kick). 6.5

Etienne Capoue

Watford boss Flores clearly likes Capoue as a player and today he played him in his favoured central midfield position which, as you might expect, led to a complete contrast on recent performances that have seen him portray a square peg in a round hole. The midfielder tirelessly got forward to support front men Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo which was a pleasure to see who by some has been brandished ‘lazy’. 8

José Manuel Jurado

Jurado was at the forefront of the key attacks in the early stages, proving a threat whenever he cut inside from the left-hand side, beating Everton’s midfield press with ease. Like Ben Watson had sweetly struck shot saved by Robles around the post which surprisingly was with his weaker left foot. Decent game overall but was replaced by Nordin Amrabat on the hour mark. 6.5

Troy Deeney

A good performance from the captain who is certainly fulfilling the role of provider to his strike partner, Ighalo, with his outside-of-the-boot pass the pick of the lot in this one. Deeney was regularly dropping into midfield to prevent the Everton attacks and has been doing this more so recently to shore up the midfield. Used his size and strength to lay the ball off on several occasions but unfortunately nothing came of it. 7

Odion Ighalo

This was arguably one of Ighalo’s worst performances of the season and as the game wore on became increasingly isolated by the pair of England defenders he was up against. He got in behind the defence but the predictable ‘Iggy Chop’ isn’t having the quite the same effect as it had earlier in the season and the Nigeria international struggled to beat his man once squared up to him. I put this one down to tiredness and would be in favour of giving him a break at West Brom next week, allowing Flores to shuffle the pack. 6


Adlene Guedioura

Guedioura was certainly trying to prove a point to Flores by putting in a good shift once again. A fan favourite, the midfielder immediately lifted the crowd’s spirit creating a decent chance early on. His run from inside his own half deserved a goal. He covered lots of ground throughout the game and definitely deserves another chance to show what he can do next time out. 7

Nordin Amrabat

Amrabat failed to really get a grip of the pace when coming on at the hour mark. Stayed really tight to the touchline which provided us with all important with but found it hard to stamp his authority on the game. 5.5

Mario Suarez

Came on around the 83 minute mark and didn’t really have time to make a mark on the game. N/A

Player Ratings: Watford 1-0 Newcastle United

Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 1-0 win over Newcastle United in Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie at Vicarage Road, giving each one a rating out of 10.

Heurelho Gomes

Gomes was calm and collected when called into action and kept Watford in the game with a number of crucial saves. 8/10

Allan Nyom

Nyom had a relatively quiet afternoon at Vicarage Road and was guilty of letting Newcastle wing-back Kevin Mbabu cut inside to shoot on a couple of occasions. Average performance. 6

Sebastian Prödl

An accomplished performance from Prödl who replaced Britos in Quique Sanchez Flores’ starting line-up. He won a lot of headers and didn’t really give Newcastle a sniff at goal in the second period. 7.5

Craig Cathcart

It seems as though Cathcart has lacked composure since his mistake during the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham. The Northern Ireland international has been solid all season, rightfully earning himself the title ‘Mr Reliable’, however he’s looked more and more nervous at the back in recent games. Twice in the first half he gifted the Magpies possession and perhaps better opposition would have punished his mistakes. I think Cathcart could do with a break. 6

Jose Holebas

After deputising for the banned Nathan Ake over the Christmas period, Holebas looked knackered throughout this on. Like Cathcart, could do with a break although he hasn’t done much to cement a place in the Chelsea loanee’s absence. 6

Steven Berghuis

A dismal performance from the summer signing who appeared, on the face of it, to lack any sort of fight to earn his place in this Watford team. Was more interested by the criticism hold of him from other teammates believe getting on with the job and marking his man. In fairness the game was not set up for Berghuis: awful weather and an awful pitch but he’s not going to get many more chances to prove himself this season. 5

Ben Watson

Every week Watson turns in a solid performance and this one was no exception. He got the hornets out of trouble on several occasions, mopping up some mistakes from his defensive team-mates on a number of occasions. Watson asserts him self as one of the most experienced players in the team and I wouldn’t of thought I’d be saying that when he joined the club. 7.5

Adlene Guedioura

Guedioura was certainly trying to prove a point to Flores by putting in a good shift: chasing down every lost cause in the midfield and working well with Watson in the middle of the park. He covered lots of ground throughout the game and putting in some hard challenges which I feel we lack at times. 7.5

José Manuel Jurado

Much like Berghuis, the game wasn’t really set up for flair players such as Jurado; it was a game to get the job done considering the conditions. He was guilty of trying to do too much at times. 5.5

Troy Deeney

A top performance from the captain who hasn’t started many games without his strike partner Odion Ighalo alongside him in recent months. Deeney was the difference between two teams who both lacked creativity and his well-taken  goal ultimately proved to be the winner. Used his size and strength to bully Newcastle defender Jamal Lascelles in the second half. 8

Obbi Oulare

A decent debut game for the young Belgian who put himself about every opportunity. Oulare won a couple of headers and did his best to bring others into play. Sometimes lacks touch but that will come given time to acclimatise to his new surroundings. 6


Ikechi Anya

Anya was a breath of fresh air after coming on and was willing to run at the defenders which Berghuis and Jurado certainly lacked. 7

Almen Abdi

Abdi solidified the side after coming on and ran up and down the flanks tirelessly. Looked to help out his team-mates at every opportunity. 6.5

Odion Ighalo

Ighalo came on with 15 minutes to go and held up the ball nicely, helping Watford secure a passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup. 6.5

Player Ratings: Watford 3-0 Liverpool

Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 3-0 win over Liverpool at Vicarage Road, giving each one a rating out of 10.

Heurelho Gomes

Gomes didn’t himself in a bad light in front of the Sky Sports cameras, claiming a number of crosses to ease the pressure on the Hornets’ back line. The goalkeeper make a good save to deny Jordan Henderson early in the second half and was continuously reliable throughout. 7.5/10

Allan Nyom

Nyom did well defensively and made some great surging runs forward when given the opportunity; something he clearly enjoys doing! Held a great line with his team-mates too as Liverpool were caught of side on a number of occasions. 8

Miguel Britos

Much like his partner in the heart of the Watford defence, Britos is asserting himself as a Premier League defender and looked assured all afternoon against the Reds. The Uruguayan seemed to relish the physical battle against substitute Christian Benteke. 8

Craig Cathcart

Cathcart has been one of the Hornets’ best and most reliable defenders this season. The Northern Ireland international hasn’t put a foot wrong for a while – with the Liverpool game being no exception – and has formed an impressive pairing with Britos at the back. 8

Nathan Ake

Ake looks to be a real prospect and has already displayed great maturity at such a young age. His early goal got Watford going and as ever the Dutchman again displayed his class to the Vicarage Road faithful. The Hornets came under threat early in the second half but Ake showed superb concentration not to dive in or make a rash challenge. Sign him up, Quique! 8.5

Jose Manuel Jurado

Solid game for the Spaniard making a couple of incisive runs towards the penalty area and feeding some tidy balls in to the Liverpool penalty. Jurado looked a bit lazy on occasions but, like Abdi on the other side, put a good shift in. 7.5

Etienne Capoue

When Watford committed men forward it was Capoue who was the most progressive midfielder, with him at the forefront of most of the pressing, robbing midfielders and breaking away – something which has become a regular occurrence throughout this campaign. A prime example of this was for the Hornets’ third goal as Capoue stole possession and laid it off to Behrami who provided it on a plate for Ighalo to make it 3-0. 8

Ben Watson

A favourite of Watford head coach Quique Sanchez Flores, Watson broke up play throughout the afternoon by sitting in front of the back four. His strong partnership with Capoue means that fit-again Behrami may struggle to win back his place in the starting 11.  8

Almen Abdi

A very disciplined performance from Abdi who went about his work in a quiet fashion, doing the dirty work for the Hornets which, in hindsight, was vital for his side in picking up the three points. Although didn’t possess much attacking wise, he put in a real shift today. 7.5

Troy Deeney

Hassled the back four tirelessly and displayed an eye for a pass too by creating Ighalo’s second goal with a fine ball over the top of the Liverpool defence. 9 MOTM

Odion Ighalo

The ever reliable goal-scorer is on fire. A world-class finish for the opening goal, shrugging of Skrtel and finishing from that angle was truly impressive and his second, which was delivered on a plate by substitute Behrami, capped another fantastic day for the Nigerian. 8.5



Cracking ball to Ighalo who couldn’t miss, should he play instead of Abdi? Flores certainly has a selection dilemma on his hands. 6.5

Player Ratings: Watford v Arsenal

Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal at Vicarage Road, giving each one a rating out of 10.


Although the score line may reflect a different story, Gomes didn’t paint himself in a bad light in front of the Sky cameras. His save from Alexis Sanchez early in the first half provided his first test in the game and he dealt with the situation well. Little he could do to keep about the Gunners’ goals. 6.5/10


Solid evening and likes get forward at every opportunity overlapping Anya. He can get somewhat over enthusiastic with his challenges (bordering on reckless in the Palace game), but was issued a harsh yellow card. He kept Sanchez at bay in the first half but became isolated in the second period as Sanchez continued to run down his flank. 6.5


Having conceded three goals in twelve minutes, both centre backs will not be pleased with their performances. In the first hour the former Wolfsburg man looked solid but fatigue clearly kicked in towards the end of the game. 6


After scoring his first international goal for Northern Ireland this week, it was a quiet re-introduction to the Premier League for the defender who, like Prodl, was very solid the first hour. As soon as the first goal went in, the defence started to look brittle under every Arsenal attack. 6


Looks to be a real prospect with him already showing great maturity and at such a young age. He showed glimmers of what he could do in the last 20 minutes of the Palace game and gave a good account of himself with his strength power and pace. In this one, however, Bellerin (one of the fastest players in the league) gave him a run for his money on the right-hand side. He found it difficult, especially in the second half, to keep Arsenal at bay. 6


A tentative display after coming back from a calf niggle. Anya worked well with Nyom and did get in behind the Arsenal defence on a couple of occasions. His decision-making was good but unfortunately nothing came of it. Great work rate, like many of the Hornets players did tire towards the end but didn’t give up. 6


Best player on the pitch for the first hour, but the formation Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores played meant Watson and Capoue had to ‘stick or twist’ on a couple of occasions. When Watford committed men forward it was Capoue who was the most progressive midfielder. 7.5


By playing in front of the back four, Watson made some great winning challenges in the middle of the park before laying possession off to more creative outlets such as Capoue his midfield partner. I think we can all agree that he’s limited as a creative player and goals are unlikely to come from this source. 6


On his 100th Hornets’ appearance, there was not much to smile about for the Swiss playmaker. It pains me to say it but Abdi physically didn’t look capable playing at this level and, in my opinion, Flores should have started with a natural winger. 5.5


Worked hard for the cause. Out-muscled Bellerin in the first half which summed his best attributes. Chased down every lost cause and did his best to provide ammunition for Ighalo. His rising first-half strike kept Petr Cech on his toes. The first goal is coming Troy, don’t worry. 7


The reliable goal-scorer had an off day culminating with him spurning two good opportunities. Ighalo didn’t match with Deeney’s work-rate and would have been substituted had we had another striker on the bench, I feel. 5



It’s been a tricky start for the new boy adapting to the premier league but if this cameo is anything to go by, his career won’t last long in England. Everything he tried to do went wrong, and lost the ball on several occasions. Good job the game was over by this time otherwise it would have been more painful. 4


Is there any proof that he actually come on? Anonymous. N/A

Player Ratings: Watford v Crystal Palace

Jacob Culshaw analyses each Watford players’ contribution during the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road on Sunday, giving each one a rating out of 10.

Heurelho Gomes: Again reassured the Hornets faithful that he is not afraid to rush off his line to clear danger, especially in the first half. The Brazilian was fortunate that Gayle’s deflected shot hit the post rather the back of the net but could do little to stop Cabaye’s powerful penalty. 6.5/10

Allan Nyom: Struggled with the pace of Sako, eventually tired and the turning point of the came when Sako’s replacement Zaha tempted Nyom into a lunge on the former Manchester United man. It was clearly a foul but whether contact was made in the box was doubtful. Tough afternoon for the right-back. 5.5

Craig Cathcart: Another solid performance; Cathcart had a busy afternoon and tested with the pace of the Palace front men. Showed his class in the air dealing with Palace’s aerial attack and crucially deflected Gayle’s goal bound shot onto the crossbar. 7

Sebastian Prödl: Restricted Palace’s chances and forms a fantastic partnership with Cathcart in the middle. He counteracted his lack of pace with some astute defensive positioning. 7

Ikechi Anya: Ever versatile, played left-back and right-back but failed to make as big an impact as the home games against Swansea and Southampton. The Scotland international crossed a few decent balls in to the box after surging forward a number of times but faded in the second half. 6.5

Almen Abdi: Not great today cautioned for a foul on Bolasie in the 38th minute which hindered his free flowing style, making him very wary of tackling and conceding a second yellow. Should have been swapped for Guedioura early in the first half. Both he and Jurado need to practice crossing and avoiding the first man. 5.5

Etienne Capoue: Looked out of sorts in the middle of the park and appeared tp be missing the insurance of Behrami. Capoue did well to restrict his fellow Frenchman Cabaye in the first half but kept giving away cheap fouls; he also failed to make the most of serveral opportunities to shoot. 5.5

Ben Watson: Watson clearly looked in some discomfort with a wrist injury sustained in the first half. For 20 minutes he was played with his left arm which hung limply by his side and this clearly affected his mobility. Carried on gamely but didn’t offer much. 6

Jose Jurado: It seems as though the diminutive Spaniard is adapting to the physicality of the Premier League with wanting to get stuck in more than in previous games where he’s looked lightweight. He was unfortunate to see his well-hit free kick to strike the underside of the crossbar, however failed to beat the first man numerous times at other set pieces. The Palace defence stood off him as he clearly poses a threat with his pace and trickery but, like Abdi, his crosses generally lead to nothing. 6.5

Troy Deeney: Dominated by Palace defence and more-often-than-not strayed into wider areas to get the ball, leaving Ighalo isolated. Watford’s captain has great chemistry with his strike partner Ighalo but today nothing came of it. Industrious but ineffective. 6

Odion Ighalo: for a small man, the Nigerian showed how to compete and be physical with the taller defenders. However, Palace defended well against him and both he and Deeney had to feed of scraps and became isolated up front as the game wore on. 6


Steven Berghuis: Failed to make any real impact apart from successfully shanking two crosses into the first man and over hitting one into the Rookery. Looks like the new signing is still trying to adapt to the English game.

Nathan Ake: The Chelsea loanee – like Chabolah before him – looks a quality asset. He was involved immediately when he came on for Nyom as left-back (with Anya moving to the right-hand side). His questionable hairstyle belied his physical and technical ability. I suspect it may just be a matter of time before see him in the starting eleven.

Victor Ibarbo: Great reception on his debut but that’s about it for the Colombian who failed to make an impression with his limited minutes.