Will Watford ‘bounce’ under Hodgson?
Watford have now appointment Roy Hodgson to replace Claudio Ranieri who was sacked after just 14 games in charge at Vicarage Road. Will Watford show the much desired new manager bounce under Hodgson and what can we expect from his Watford team.
Roy Hodgson has managed 1,213 matches in his 46 year managerial career. Hodgson stood down from his role at Crystal Palace at the end of the 2020/21 season, a club which he managed 162 games for.
Hodgson takes over at Watford with them sitting in 19th place in the Premier league with just 14 points. Only Burnley have less points than Watford, however they have played two less Premier League matches than the Hornets.
With Watford currently in the middle of a Double Gameweek, many FPL manager are invested in the likes of Josh King, Emmanuel Dennis and Ben Foster and so will be deciding whether to keep their assets or sell them ahead of the next deadline.
Hodgson’s Style of Play
One of Hodgson’s key jobs at Watford will be to sort their defensive weaknesses.
At Crystal Palace, Hodgson nearly also set up with two organised banks of four. This meant that Palace regularly had less possession than their opposition but they were ready to counter attack at will through the likes of Wilf Zaha.
Dennis’s eight goals and six assists make him FPL’s second-highest scoring forward. However, since not travelling to the African Cup of Nation his form has dipped, culminating in his Gameweek 23 red card against Norwich.
Only West Ham’s Michail Antonio in the forward position has more owners than Dennis. However Hodgson’s attacking returns in his last two seasons at Place will likely concern King’s owners. in 2019/20 and 2020/21 Palace ranked third-worst and second-worst for goal attempts across the devision.
Josh King is far more differential in FPL teams than his team mate Dennis and has returned nine goal involvements so far this season.
King is an experienced FPL forward having been through a relegation battle with Bournemouth something which could be invaluable to Hodgson in the second part of this campaign.
Who gets the nod up top?
If as expected Hodgson deploys 4-4-2 formation there may be some disappointment for FPL managers. Hodgson inherits a squad containing Sarr, Dennis, King and Joao Pedro meaning that he is likely to only be able to play two of these up top at any given time to ensure better defensive play.
All four of these players have also played out wide this season, and whoever plays in this wide position for Hodgson will need to work hard both in attack and in defence. Meaning Sarr could be key to securing new manager bounce and unlocking Hodgson’s plans when back from injury.
If Hodgson is able to work his magic on the Watford’s defence, then Foster be a gift to FPL managers. Priced at just £4.1m he is already a great second goalkeeper for managers, however if the Watford defence improves he could be part of a rotating pair rather than simply a bench option.
Foster has struggled with injury this season as well as m=having missed the first game of Gameweek 23 through Covid, although he is now back in training. Foster was Hodgson’s goalkeeper during his time managing West Brom and it seems likely that he will be Watford’s number one again once available.
To read more on Watford and Hodgson and potential new manager bounce head over to Fantasy Football Scout.