Jamie Carragher, who knows a thing or two about defending, feels Watford have a big problem when defending crosses.
Soft goals from Jeff Hendrick and Michael Keane last night were a result of balls in the box from either side of the pitch from Steven Defour, one from a dead ball and one from open play. Jose Holebas was culpable for the first and Miguel Britos the second as the Hornets took the number of goals they have shipped from crosses to seven – four more than any other team in the league.
Watford are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and only four teams have shipped more than them.
“It was a worrying performance,” said Carragher on Monday Night Football. “A big worry for them is the goals they conceded from crosses; they are not all from set-pieces. When you play a system of three at the back, you are inviting more crosses but you should always have three 6ft players in the box to deal with it. When you play three at the back, you don’t expect to concede goals from crosses. I know he [Mazzarri] has done it at Napoli but you have more crosses coming into the box in the Premier League. That tonight is not unacceptable and you’d worry about Watford after a performance like that about which way it’s going to go.”
Danny Mills, another former England defender, was even more scathing about the Hornets’ overall performance.
“It was very, very poor,” said Mills on BBC 5 Live. “It was wet and windy and Watford just didn’t fancy it; that’s how it seemed. Watford’s defending was absolutely woeful. If they continue to play like that, they are going to struggle. They might be one of those teams who play well against the big teams. I think they were a bit disrespectful in thinking they can just turn up here [and get the result]. There was no attacking threat whatsoever.”