Calcio Watford 4, Calcio Leeds United 1

24 Aug 2014 09:29 pm, by YorkshireSquare

Watford 4 (Forestieri 20,67 Deeney 57, Tozser 92)
Leeds United 1 (Tamas 32og)

Leeds travelled to Vicarage Road for the battle of the Italian owned clubs with some serious questions to answer following the defeat to Brighton on Tuesday. David Hockaday made two changes to the side that lined-up midweek with Giuseppe Bellusci replacing Liam Cooper having been granted international clearance and new signing Mirco Antenucci starting ahead of Matt Smith up front alongside Billy Sharp.

The midfield had been the issue on Tuesday and to be fair they played much better in the first half against Watford, there were signs of improvement. It was the home team though that had the best of the opportunities and Fernando Forestieri headed the Hornets into the lead on 20 minutes after Silvestri saved his initial shot. Leeds got a bit of luck just after the half hour mark when a Billy sharp cross was deflected into the net by Gabriel Tamas. All square at half time.

The less said about the second half the better. Forestieri was involved again just before the hour mark when he got free of debutant Bellusci. In attempting to recover the situation the Italian defender brought down Forestieri in the box, penalty and red card. Troy Deeney stepped up to give the home team the lead again from the penalty spot. Down to 10 men Liam Cooper came on for Billy Sharp which left Leeds rather toothless up front.

Forestieri got a second goal 10 minutes later, after beating several defenders he slotted the ball home off the post but it was in extra time when things went from bad to worse. First Daniel Tozser hit home a free kick from 30 yards out to make the score 4-1 then Sam Byram got sent off for aiming an elbow at Daniel Pudil. Here are the thoughts of some of our members;

The views of Cozy;

Hockaday is clearly tactically out of his depth or is simply acting upon orders from above on team selection - either way he's the wrong man for what is a massive job with a massive weight of expectation.

I read somewhere that Hockaday was responsible for the signing of Sharp and Cooper while the rest of the signings have been 'given' to him. If that's the case and Hockaday is picking the team and is responsible for the tactics why's he not sticking with HIS signings and taking them off when they are a) his choices & b) probably more match fit/ready for Championship football.

Whether Hockaday is the fall guy or is getting his orders from above - he can't honestly defend his substitution of Sharp today when he'd got a unproven at this level debutant on the pitch playing alongside him who could have been sacrificed instead.

The views of weasel;

We were at least equal to Watford until the second goal. Yes 4-1 defeat sounds bad and is bad but up until the penalty+goal+red card and it sounded like a bit of progress being made, which is all we can realistically hope for in this season of transition. Two new players straight into the starting line-up today in addition to new players seemingly being dropped into the team every match.

I don't blame Hockaday, it is going to take time, we won't win every match playing great straight away. If slight progress is made then it is good, sometimes we'll even take 1 step forward and two back but we have to keep moving forward. Cooper and Sharp made their debut last week, two more made their debut yesterday and no doubt one or two more will make their debut against Bradford. We have players dropping in with various levels of fitness, no idea if they even speak any language that their team mates do and having had little time for themselves to even acclimatise to being in a different country playing in a league that is probably a lot more physical and quick than they are used to.

I will be glad when the transfer window shuts. Sometimes bringing in so many players can be more harmful than helpful. Instead of Hockaday knowing his preferred 11 he has 20+ players that are all considered first team and with every defeat the temptation is to make changes. We need a settled formation and a settled side for us to get any semblance of settled performances.

People need to have patience. Leeds have been awful this year calendar wise. Since Christmas time we have been awful and to simply expect us to turn it all around is staggering, no matter who the coach/manager is. The knee jerk reaction to 'sack the manager' after every defeat is ridiculous. If he was a big name manager we wouldn't be acting this way. Give him the same chance that they would get.

The views of theleedsmango;

Some of these players barely share the same language with their new team mates and some are just bedding in. Which makes subbing off Sharp instead of Antenucci that more baffling. Sharp, who stole us points in the Middlesbrough game was the most likely candidate to score. He has knowledge of this league, he's the most (only) inform striker we have. The manager can't control what happens on the pitch but he can control who is on it, indirect control.

And the other problem, not so much Hockaday's fault, is that this unconventional system is struggling to work. A manager should be able to fit a system in and sign players in for that system. With Cellino and Salerno, there doesn't seem to be any plan with the signings. We need width, we need control. Hockaday has probably never seen Benedicic or Bianchi play until they showed up in the training and he has to find out where to fit them in.

The problem here is the system. We need a manager who has a bit more experience to be able to stand up to Cellino and say "No, we don't need this guy, we want this guy in this position. I'll win you games but you need to do it this way. Can you get me this guy." Cellino is trigger happy but he won't fire a manager that is winning.

Hockaday just doesn't have the weight behind him to say any of this. He doesn't have the confidence and he is starting off from a difficult position. I've heard many people in the game praise Hockaday, and Steve Clark was the latest, and it's not a negative shot at his ability. Heck, he might be the best person there is out there to fill this pseudo Head Coach role; the problem is that nearly every other club goes with the conventional Manager because it works. Managing Leeds is hard enough without throwing more obstacles in the way.

Watford Line-up:
Gomes, Tamas, Angella, Hoban, Paredes (Anya 55), Abdi (Andrews 81), Tozser, Munari, Pudil, Deeney, Forestieri (Ighalo 57)
Unused Subs: Bond, Doyley, Fabbrini, Vydra

Leeds United Line-up:
Silvestri, Byram, Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Austin, Murphy, Tonge (Poleon 76), Bianchi, Sharp (Cooper 62), Antenucci (Smith 81)
Unused Subs: S Taylor, Wootton, Cook, Norris

Sent Off: Bellusci, Byram

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