Walter Mazzarri says he has found it difficult to integrate Ben Watson and Abdoulaye Doucoure into his starting XI. His reluctance to trust the pair means both are likely to seek moves away from Vicarage Road in the winter window.
Watson was a trusted lieutenant of Quique Sanchez Flores, playing 41 times last season and earning a one-year contract extension. But he’s yet to start a league game under Mazzarri and only managed 65 minutes of action. A consummate pro, Watson has told friends he’d like a move next month in a bid for regular football.
At least Watson has made the majority of matchday squads. Doucoure has only been named him in the 18 on three occasions this season and only featured once, against Chelsea. The signing from Rennes, via a loan spell at Granada, is set to be loaned or sold to a club in France next month.
Mazzarri didn’t even consider the pair to fill the void when Valon Behrami was suspended against West Bromwich Albion and rested against Manchester City. He is believed to have doubts about their mobility in his high-energy midfield.
“These are the decisions we have to take,” said Mazzarri yesterday when we asked about the underused pair. “If I play Doucoure or Watson then I have to take someone out, like Capoue or Behrami. Also, Watson hasn’t trained much lately as he’s had physical problems. But from my perspective, they are both professional players which I respect a lot.”