Mahon: “They Look More Organised And Compact”
By Kevin Affleck
Gavin Mahon saw enough from Watford in their comprehensive victory over Aston Villa to suggest his former team will navigate its way out of trouble.
The former captain was at Vicarage Road for the first time since the 4-1 win over Chelsea nearly two years ago and was mightily impressed with what he saw.
“They had a game plan, a shape and look more organised and compact,” he said on Added Time. “You need that sound base as you are not going to beat teams 4-3 or 3-2 all the time. You need to be defensively sound. They look so athletic and fit, and I think they will be fine, I really do. They need to keep doing what they are doing.”
It's now three games unbeaten, five goals without reply in the last two home games and three matches at Vicarage Road without conceding a goal. The team look, on the face of it, solid at the back and a threat at the other end.
“They look dangerous going forward,” said Mahon, who played 215 times for the Hornets between between 2002 and 2008. “Deulofeu and Troy give you a chance at the other end and they have a top goalkeeper in Fozzy. When you have a top, top goalkeeper you have always got a chance.
“The biggest thing for me was the athleticism and hunger for it. You could see Troy being a leader on the pitch today. When you are in a dog fight, you need those kind of people.”
You also need a Head Coach like Nigel Pearson, someone who has no qualms about rattling a few cages but mixes it up with plenty of arms around shoulders.
“From speaking to people who know him and who have worked with him, his man-management is top drawer,” said Mahon. “As a player he didn't leave anything on the pitch or any stone unturned. That's how he comes across. He's got this team fit, organised and working hard for each other. That's what you need in a difficult position.”