I’m going with Roy Hodgson to do the business and get Watford out of trouble - and for that reason they could be a team to follow for the rest of the season.
Roy is a fantastic football man and has huge experience. He’ll know exactly what to do at Vicarage Road and can sort the team out from top to bottom.
And that’s because Roy is a man who commands huge respect. The boys will listen to him, because if they don’t, they’ll be for the high jump. He’ll take no f*cking nonsense.
Watford need that.
Ranieri, for all that he’s a nice man, was maybe too much of a pushover - and for a side threatened with relegation if they don't pull their finger out, now is the time to get tough.
Claudio might also just be best with a team pushing for titles. He proved his worth with a good spell at Chelsea and then, famously, with Leicester - but Watford wasn’t a right fit.
The thing is Watford have something.
I saw that with my own eyes in the stands when they beat Man United earlier this season. Alright, Ole was on his last legs and all that, but it was still an annihilation of a top-flight team.
That’s got to give Hornets fans real hope they can get out of this under Roy. They’re my boyhood club and I want them to go on a right run now, so come on boys now’s your chance. Not this week, of course.
A winter break of sorts means most Premier League players are now either sunning themselves, visiting families of getting involved in charitable work. A good few are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
But hopefully the Watford lads are around. I reckon Roy’s called them in and has got to work right away, getting them organised for a real push from hereon in.
Roy will get them back up the table, mark my words, and that could make things really interesting because I think their relegation rivals Norwich are doing well now, too.
I’ve always liked Dean Smith and he was probably unlucky at Villa. Some said he came back too soon for the Norwich job and, for a few weeks, that looked the case. Not now.
They’re on a roll themselves and Dean is probably gutted we’ve got this time off now. They’re at home against Crystal Palace next week and that’s a winnable game for the Canaries.
So if Norwich and Watford escape the drop, who goes down?
I’m not going to make a call there, but Burnley fans will be worried as it stands, even though they’ve got games in hand. And unless Newcastle some big names in the transfer window they, too, might be in trouble. Everton also need a real lift.
I still reckon Leeds will be okay, but Brentford have definitely tripped up in recent weeks and could get sucked in to the mire at the bottom.
I’m giving Palace the benefit of the doubt because Patrick Vieira was a top appointment for the Eagles - and they were desperately unlucky against Liverpool before the break.
So it’s all to play for amongst the teams at the bottom, which will make the rest of the season interesting - unlike at the top. Give City the title now, I say!
Well done to last week’s winners on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour - Thomas Pieters and Hudson Swafford respectively.
Pieters carried off the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, while Swafford won his second American Express title at La Quinta, California. Our fancies were knocking around the top but couldn’t quite seal the deal.
This week’s tournaments have early starts with the DP World Tour still in the UAE for the Dubai Desert Classic, while stateside it’s the Farmers Insurance Open.
Keep in touch with what’s going on and catch all the best bets with our golf experts here at Easyodds.
Good luck to them - and good luck to you.
See you next week.
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