By 90Min
October 13, 2017

While they never looked in any real danger of relegation last season, a dismal run of six defeats in their last six games saw Watford slip from tenth to seventeenth in the final standings.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the trigger-happy nature of the club's owners, the Pozzo family brought a swift end to Walter Mazzarri's short managerial reign at Vicarage Road as a result.

From the moment Mazzarri was relieved of his duties at Watford, it seemed that the Pozzo family felt there was only one man to take over the reigns at the club. While Watford were slowly slipping down the league, Marco Silva was doing his level best to pull off a great escape and keep Hull City in the Premier League.

In their 17 league games under Silva, Hull collected 21 of the total 34 points they ended the season with, but still fell six points of safety. Despite eventually coming up short, the fight that Silva instilled in his side was clearly enough to catch the eye of Watford's decision makers, and so far, that decision has been proved absolutely right.

Under Silva, Watford have started the season in promising form that shows that Silva's work at Hull was far from a fluke. From seven games this season, the Hornets have won three, drawn three, with a 6-0 mauling at home to Manchester City the only real blot on the copy book as they sit eighth in the table with twelve points.

What is particularly impressive for this stage in the season is the amount of points Silva's side have earned in stoppage time of matches. Already, Watford's victory over Swansea and draws with Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion have been earned courtesy of goals scored in the ninetieth minute later, accounting for four of their twelve points. 

To have instilled such a never say die into his squad so quickly is not only a testament to the impact Silva has had on side, but also a clear message to those around them that Watford under Silva will not be an easy team to beat.

Another indication of Silva's managerial quality that looks to be shining through is his eye for a talent. Already, the newly signed forward duo of Richarlison and Andre Gray look to be striking up a dangerous partnership, with Richarlison's physical presence in particular proving a problem for defences from set pieces.

Behind the duo, Tom Cleverley (brought in permanently from Everton following a loan spell) is enjoying long-awaited game time as they work to pull the strings in the centre of midfield, as was Nathaniel Chalobah prior to a knee injury. If Chalobah can get back quickly, this could be the opportunity in a World Cup year he needs to force his way into the thinking of England manager Gareth Southgate.

That Silva has managed to lead Watford to such a promising position, is a further indicator of his ability to get the best from a relative outsider, and it isn't the first time he's done so. The Portuguese manager's first job in his home country saw him guide Estoril to a best ever top division finish of fourth and a first ever victory at national giants Porto, enough to earn him a job at Sporting CP.

Even so, Silva was still unheralded ahead of his move to England with Hull, but it seems that, early days though it may be, the Tigers may have found Watford just the sort of manager they needed.

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