Heurelho Gomes 7
Came off his line sprightly and with great enthusiasm, particularly for someone who has had the odd bang to the head this season, to dive at the feet of Leon Britton in the first half. Loves to punch, rather than catch, and did it well from a Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick before half-time. Stood no chance for the goal.
Allan Nyom 4
He’s not been the same since conceding the penalty at home to Crystal Palace. The Cameroon international has been substituted seven times since and even left out against Tottenham Hotspur. He was all over the show at the Liberty Stadium. A heavy touch conceded the corner that led to the opener, Britton nutmegged him and got him booked and then a half-clearance earned him a mouthful from Troy Deeney. Quique Sanchez Flores coached him through the entire first-half and then several players, led by Miguel Britos, talked to him at length during a break in play. Watford need another right-back option.
Nathan Ake 6
Looked horribly rusty early on in his first appearance since the red card against Tottenham Hotspur, sending one clearance into the stands in Lloyd Doyley fashion. Was given a searching examination down Swansea’s right flank and had his work cut out as Swansea created an overload down that side. Got better and more assured as the game wore on, rediscovering his timing to toe poke the ball off the foot of a Swansea attacker in the penalty area late on.
Craig Cathcart 5.5
Must have wondered whether he was coming or going after being dropped against Southampton, brought on in the second half at St Mary’s and then restored to the side here. He was not taking any chances after a couple of high-profile slip ups and sidefooted everything away first time and never once looked to overplay. Looked far more assured alongside Miguel Britos than Sebastian Prödl. Should have done more to stop the cross coming in for the winner
Miguel Britos 7.5
You could easily make a case for him to be the signing of the summer. He’s as good a defender as the club have had in recent memory. He rolled up his sleeves again on a freezing night, producing two stand-out moments at either end: an acrobatic clearance to thwart a Swansea attack and then a soaring header at the other end to land on the roof of the net. Watford need more like him right now.
Ben Watson 5.5
Didn’t look as mobile or as fluent as he has done in recent weeks. Snapped decisively into an early tackle but then undid things by failing to beat the first man with his first set-piece delivery. Produced an even poorer one in the second period, sending an effort from the right sailing out for a goal kick. In his defence he held his hands up in apology. He did, however, produce the teasing inswinging free-kick that almost saw Britos level the scoring.
Etienne Capoue 3.5
Absolutely abysmal. He gets our second lowest rating of the season – the worst was given to Britos after he was sent off at Preston, so this gives you an idea of how poorly the Frenchman played here. Was lazy in tracking back, wasteful in possession and looked like he would rather have been anywhere else than in Wales on a cold night. If Adlene Guedioura, who was left shivering on the bench, can’t get the nod to replace an underperforming Capoue at any point during this game then he must be wondering when he will play. Capoue hardly endeared himself to anyone with Watford connections when he ambled off the field laughing and joking with former Spurs’ teammates Kyle Naughton and Sigurdsson and failing to acknowledge the away fans at all.
Valon Behrami 5
If the summer signing from Hamburg thinks he should be starting every week this was not the way to show it. Seemed caught between two stools, unsure where to stick, play safe and stay on his feet or twist and break up play and really get into the faces of the Swansea midfielders, knowing everyone was watching his every move after he was sent off in the last match between these two sides. Did leave his foot in on Ki Sung Yueng and gave the South Korean a mouthful on one occasion. Shoved him a bit later on before being withdrawn for Obbi Oulare. Didn’t get anywhere near tight enough to Williams for the goal.
Jose Manuel Jurado 7
He gave it a go, which is more, much more, than can be said of others. Always wanted the ball, while others hid, and had more attempts on goal than his teammates put together. His shooting was wayward but the neat interplay, with Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Capoue, that led to the shooting opportunities was of the highest class. Those expecting him to surge to the byline or chip in with half a dozen goals have mis-read the qualities and attributes of this player. He links superbly and is being shunted out of position because the captain is playing in his favoured role. He will be seen in his best light when he has players of speed to thread through to and not just muscular attackers with their backs to goal.
Odion Ighalo 4
Starting to believe his own hype. In at least the last two matches he’s forgotten the fundamentals of his game which fired him up to third in the Premier League scoring charts and put a price tag of £25m plus on his head. He swaggered and strolled about with the air of a man who thinks he’s cracked it. Ashley Williams had him in his pocket. Watford need another striker so the Nigerian isn’t so assured of his place.
Troy Deeney 5
We think he’d benefit from, time to time, being used in his favoured No.9 role with Jose Manuel Jurado behind him. He laboured here and too much of his best work again came in Watford’s half of the field, particularly from corners. His best moment, in the final third, came when he outmanoeuvred Neil Taylor, surged to the byline and crossed for Ighalo. He’s snarling at the referees a bit too much of late, a sure sign things are not going his or Watford’s way.
Juan Carlos Paredes 5
If the Ecuadorian is the answer when Watford are 1-0 down then we are not sure what the question is.
Four minutes of action, on a freezing night, is barely enough time for the confidence shy Belgian to warm up let alone have an impact.
20 Jan 2016