Allan Nyom accepts the award of a new contract offers him no guarantee of a place in Watford’s starting XI under Walter Mazzarri.
The news last week that Nyom had signed a new four-year deal came as something of a surprise as the 28-year-old only signed a contract of exactly the same length when he joined 12 months earlier when signing from Granada. In addition, Nyom finished last season completely out of sorts having started the campaign like a train. It is unclear if the new contract was a result of a clause in the previous contract, as was the case with Ben Watson, or if the Pozzos, who dish out long-term contracts to most players, were simply protecting their investment in the player. Gabriele Angella signed a new deal around this time last year but was shipped off on loan to Queens Park Rangers by the end of the month.
“I’m so happy to extend my contract,” said Nyom who started (and remained) on the bench for the first time during pre-season on Saturday. “Personally I gave everything I had [last season], I know sometimes it wasn’t enough, but I’m happy because I played in a total of 36 games, with some good games and some not so good. When you come into a new league with new teammates and a new language, it can be difficult. I needed to adapt, but I think I did well in that and I think this year I can do better. I know the league, I speak better English, everything is better now.”
The decline in Nyom’s form was difficult to put your finger on, particularly as it came on the watch of Quique Sanchez Flores and Dean Austin, two right-backs during their playing days. Under the early days of Mazzarri’s reign, he has been played on the right-hand side of a three-man defence in the first five friendlies but was hooked at half-time against Queens Park Rangers. Another centre-half is being lined up to join before the month is out.
“We play in a new shape and we have to adapt,” he added in the interview with the club website. “We have worked hard over the last two months on this and I think it’s going to be good. It’s a new position so it’s not easy, but I have to fight to try and do well and help the team to win games.”
Watford get life under Mazzarri underway on Saturday at St Mary’s, the scene of his predecessor’s lowest point in charge. Watford were beaten 2-0 at Southampton in January. It could have been six.
“Last season we lost 2-0 [at Southampton] and we played bad, but it was last year and that’s finished,” Nyom said. “It’s a new year and a new game so it will be different. It’s going to be hard like last year, every team has good players, so it will be very tough but we are going to fight and we are ready to fight.”