Watford’s star midfielder Will Hughes has found himself playing on the left side of the pitch the past few matches. Following a draw to Millwall and a defeat against Queens Park Rangers, Xisco Munoz declared a tactical change was inevitable.
Will Hughes Misplacement Admitted By Xisco
What Xisco Munoz Said About Will Hughes
In a recent press conference, ahead of Watford’s clash with Coventry City, head coach Xisco said to the Watford Observer: “I think Will [Hughes] has more potential in the middle, but sometimes, for one reason or another, we decided to put him there [the left side of the midfield]. I know Will gives more for the team in the middle but sometimes you need him in one side or another side. I know and I’m sure he can give better.”
Under Xisco, Hughes has played three successive matches away from the middle of the pitch. In the 4-4-2 formation, Hughes was the wide-left player in the midfield four. His misplacement was further affected by the lack of instruction he received. The Spaniard prefers playing through the wings for attacking play. As a 4-4-2 does not explicitly call for wingers, Hughes frequently found himself in an awkward position – especially for someone who rarely plays out wide.
In the 2018/19 season, he played as a right midfielder. The reason it was effective, however, is Hughes truly was instructed to be a midfielder at all times – not a winger.
So, Xisco’s coming to terms with the fact that the former Derby County man, a natural central midfielder, does indeed belong in the centre of the pitch, will come as a relief to many Watford fans.
Tactical Switch Coming for Watford
“We need to work. We need to change different things, we need to change different tactics. You will see what we’ll have,” said Xisco.
Even when Hughes returns to his natural position, the Hornets have plenty of options on the left of the attack. Ken Sema has impressed with his strong runs down the byline and ability to pick out the open man. Philip Zinckernagel, who can play on either wing as well as centrally, recently joined Watford following earning the title of the sixth most creative player in Europe.
Whether Xisco elects to deploy a 4-4-2 with players in more natural positions or a more likely complete change in formation remains to be seen.
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