The Watford Way: Attack really can be the best form of defence

Most teams are cautious when playing the teams near the top of the division. They are respectful. They get men back in numbers. Watford, on the other hand, just go for it.. And after a 3-1 win over QPR and a 4-1 win against Cardiff, it seems to be working rather well.

Nobody really expected the Hornets to make waves in this division. They have a small squad of mostly young players with an inexperienced manager and no money to spend. But halfway through the season, they are 8th, just 2 points off the play-offs with a game in hand. They have scored 42 goals, a figure only equalled by QPR.

Expectations have been exceeded because young players, such as Buckley and Sordell, have made the step up with ease. But it has also been down to Malky Mackay’s attacking mentality, which has made a supposedly average side into a difficult proposition.


The approach shows Mackay’s faith in his youthful attack. Perhaps it also reflects a lack of confidence in his defence. At any rate, it has worked because it fits the players that they have. It also fits the nature of the division. Not even the best sides in this Championship have rock-solid defences. Put them under pressure and all of them will break.

Watford’s success is a triumph for the cavalier “we’ll score more than you” approach to football. It’s fun to watch and it’s effective. Will other Championship teams be bold enough to follow suit?