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.