In the end, time will tell.
Time will tell whether moving on from several promotion-winning heroes was the way to go. Whether Gabriele Angella’s refusal to talk of the club he so passionately served is a warning sign. Whether Matej Vydra’s forlorn wave to the adoring travelling contingent at the Etihad was more than just a sign of appreciation. Whether a side-story exists to there being no official farewell to Daniel Tozser. Whether Fernando Forestieri’s tears were for a club who have gone one step too far in their ruthless pursuit of glory.
Time will tell whether the country’s fifth-highest net-spenders have discovered ground that no promoted team dare venture before. Whether the relentless search for new foreign gems was the fated route for a club which has hardly done it the conventional way. Whether brutality and heart-break is a soon-to-be-forgotten by-product of a regime which has the success of Watford Football Club at the heart of its every move.
The reconstruction of a squad which held a truly loving connection with its fan base, was always going to be hard to take. For many, to see Vydra and Troy Deeney attack Premier League defenders with the vigour they have shown in two of the last three years was the prize. To witness Almen Abdi sweeping forward on the counter-attack, Ikechi Anya galloping at twice the speed outside him, in the top tier was what we celebrated in Brighton back in April.
But ultimately, a change in division and a change in coaching staff bring yet more change.
Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, haven’t got it wrong very often; Udinese qualified for Europe, Granada ended up in La Liga and little old Watford are in the Premier League.
Three years ago, a similar demolition of the playing squad produced famous consequences. Over three years, really not long for a club drowning in the Championship to turn up in the Premier League, they found the promotion-winning formula.
And we’d do well to remember the events of that summer.
Similar accusations of ripping the soul out of the squad, of ruining ‘everything’ good to do with the club, were thrown around. They hadn’t.
And it really is unlikely that the Pozzos have done so this time, either. Who’d have believed that Fernando Forestieri leaving Watford would bring a tear to your eye, when he became the 16th summer signing on 31st August 2012? Players move on and there’s every chance Victor Ibarbo will be our new hero by November.
Ultimately the owners are good at what they do. They targeted promotion within three years. Done it. Forgotten it. Moved on. What needs to be done to survive amongst the vultures?
A change in head coach, a change in playing style and, therefore, a change in feel… we were, after all, warned not to get too attached to players.
Who knows? If it all capitulates then perhaps we can turn around a point a finger. There’s no justification in doing so just yet, though. Time will tell.
And let’s remember, we wanted to be in this league. This is the reward. And we’ve been led there by an Italian family who, by and large, have known exactly what they are doing.
Nothing’s really gone wrong yet… surely they’ve earned our trust again?
Let me know what you think in the comments below!