Quite a few insults, massive and small, come accompanied by relegation. There’s a ache in watching what’s by definition a depressing season whereas the relegation is in progress. There’s the embarrassment of the very fact itself as soon as you have secured relegation, and full acknowledgment that you simply sucked a lot ass that the league you referred to as house kicks you out, sending you again down a notch to the place the play is impenetrable, the place you belong. There may be the unhappiness that accompanies the exodus of a essentially few good and worthwhile gamers on your workforce, who, after their celebrations of previous objectives to kiss the badge apart, waste no second in exposing the superficiality of their “deep attachment” to the membership by striving to get their fingers on the shuffle. Then there’s the rebuilding, once you attempt to feign pleasure and optimism as your membership begins tailoring its roster with new gamers that your earlier workforce within the high division would have made you snicker or overtly cry on the prospect of signing.
Watford, who have been knocked out of the Premier League two months in the past after a nightmare yr, are actually in that last part. In the present day, the membership introduced the signing of Barcelona striker Ray Manaj. Wait a secondIt’s possible you’ll end up considering, This man got here from Barcelona? Would not that imply it is good? How have I not heard of it earlier than? The reply to all these questions will be present in the truth that Manaj will be extra precisely described as coming from Barcelona B, the reserve workforce of the primary membership at the moment enjoying within the Spanish third division.
Manaj joined Barcelona in January of 2020 to provide Workforce B some objectives in hopes of profitable promotion to the Second Division. The primary half of his profession at Barcelona B was unremarkable, though he put in a strong efficiency in his second season, scoring 12 objectives in 21 matches within the third division. The sturdy ending touches and exhausting work proven by the Albanian striker on the finish of this 2020-21 season, mixed with a poor first-team and a dearth of choices within the striker, meant that Manaj had some sprinting for Barcelona in pre-season final summer time.
Good reviews from then-coach Ronald Koeman and 4 objectives in pre-season friendlies at Barcelona satisfied Serie A Spezia to take an opportunity on the striker with a season-long mortgage. Manag was match for Spezia, scoring 5 objectives in 30 league video games (solely 19 was the beginning) and serving to the workforce of their profitable struggle in opposition to relegation with a sixteenth place end. Spezia couldn’t pay the €2.7 million for the acquisition choice listed within the mortgage phrases, so Manaj’s possession rights have been returned to Barcelona. Now Manaj is transferring to Watford, and is being offered for an undisclosed however certainly pittance payment. So he will be the ‘Barcelona striker’, however he is not precisely Lionel Messi.
Not that any of that has prevented Watford from doing their greatest to get as a lot power as doable from signing their potential new striker. Golf equipment Promoting From The Deal is stuffed with refined and considerably misleading anecdotes that trump Minaj’s lineage. For lightness:
- He is a signed participant from Barcelona! (As defined above, he’s each “from Barcelona” and isn’t).
- He brings with him “numerous expertise from Italy and Spain”! (This “large amount of expertise” consists of a mixed six seasons within the second and third divisions of Italy and Spain, and earlier than his mortgage interval to Spezia, he all participated in 16 video games and two objectives throughout two seasons within the first division.)
- A few of that have’ embody[es] Serie A the place he participated nearly 50 instances with groups reminiscent of Inter Milan, Spezia and Pescara”! (That is nearly 30 video games with Spezia, 12 once more for the relegated workforce Pescara after scoring 18 factors all yr, and solely 4 video games with Inter , the place he spent one season as a youngster. Say “likes” when placing Spezia and Pescara collectively Inter dots Milan?)
- At Inter, he was “educated by present Italy coach Roberto Mancini” (once more, for one season), and as soon as “remarkably scored[ed] In a penalty shootout in opposition to Juventus within the Coppa Italia”! (Inter misplaced that match).
However Watford’s in-house PR workforce is not the one one making an attempt to work themselves into one thing like pleasure over the prospect of coping with their No9 shirt for the 25-year-old who has scored double-digit objectives precisely as soon as in his profession, when he did so two years in the past. At Segunda División B. A notable YouTube compilation maker has taken up the obtainable tape and produced this three-minute synthesizer titled “REY MANAJ CRAZY SKILLS AND GOALS 2022 (Welcome to watford fc)”, which options not a single “loopy” ability or purpose:
None of that is meant to discredit Manaj as a participant. He positively has expertise – he was by no means signed by Inter as a youngster by chance. He can do many alternative issues nicely, he is very cell, he runs his legs working with the workforce out and in of possession, and for those who arrange the probabilities, he can drop them. His full season in Barcelona B was actually spectacular, and there have been some Barcelona followers who wished him to get an opportunity with the primary workforce final season as a substitute of loaned Luc de Jong. At 25, Manaj ought to have simply entered his heyday, and it would not be a shock to see him remodel right into a top-tier participant with full credibility. To say the least, Minaj’s present degree seems to be fully an identical to Watford’s, and it’s totally conceivable that this union will show fruitful.
Nonetheless, it’s considerably amusing to see Watford – a membership that solely two years in the past was wanting on its method to changing into a kind of reliably mid-table, quietly good, and really rich within the Premier League – making Marlin a gill out. . It is a membership that has lately employed the likes of Richarlison, Etienne Capoue, Gerard Deulofeu, Abdoulaye Doukuri and Pervis Estopinian – none of those gamers will look removed from their place in a Champions League match, most of whom will actually play within the Champions League subsequent season. Except Richarlison, Watford misplaced all of those gamers after the membership’s final relegation in 2020. Likewise, among the many gamers on the ultimate season’s roster, the Hornets have already misplaced or more likely to quickly lose Joshua King, Cucho Hernandez, Emmanuel Dennis, and Ismael Sarr.
Maybe Manag will assist get Watford again into the Premier League quickly, at which level the membership can as soon as once more dump their proprietor’s cash and appeal to the sorts of gamers followers can legitimately tease. Till then, Hornets followers might be pressured to observe gamers like Dennis and Sar go, watch gamers like Manaj are available in, endure this last, and sting reminders of how dangerous a relegation feels, earlier than feelings sink deep sufficient to grow to be a brand new participant. Regular.