Why Jose Holebas will play a crucial role for Watford this season
Watford have made an inspirational start to their Premier League campaign under Javi Gracia. The Hornets have won all 4 of their games and are only one of three teams to do so. Given that the other two teams are Liverpool and Chelsea, Watford have defied all odds to get to where they are right now.
Under Javi Gracia, the Hornets have been playing an advanced brand of attacking football. The likes of Roberto Pereyra, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney and Andre Gray have all thrived in this philosophy.
Gracia’s system has also seen left-back Jose Holebas flourish in the 4 games. The Greek international has already picked up 1 goal and 4 assists this season. Holebas turned provider for a trailing Watford side against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, before whipping in another sublime delivery for Craig Cathcart to win the game. (Stats Courtesy – Whoscored)
He has very much become a peripheral member of this squad. Although deployed as a left-back, Holebas’s positioning on the field often displayed his versatility as a footballer. The Greek defender is playing as a left-winger at times.
Gracia has deployed a 4-2-2-2 formation in his opening four games and Holebas has been the prime benefactor to it. The 34-year-old has been given the license and freedom to surge up and down the left flank.
He brings a new dimension to this Watford side with his set-piece prowess. Both of Holebas’ assists against Tottenham Hotspur were set-pieces. His dead-ball ability is immaculate and there’s a good whip on the ball.
It seems as though the Greek international is hitting a purple patch at the age of 34. His urgency and willingness to maraud down the wings have dragged the opposition defenders out of their positions.
He is also a very diligent defender. The 34-year-old is not the one to shy away from a challenge, diving and lunging into everything that comes at him. If Holebas feels a scent of the ball, he has the determination to commit to it.
As Watford return to take on Manchester United when they return to action, Javi Gracia will be hoping for another strong performance from Jose Holebas. The Red Devils have looked defensively fragile in the opening few weeks and this would be the perfect opportunity for the Greek international to capitalise on the situation.