Martin Taylor expresses sympathy for Sean Dyche but has been impressed with Gianfranco Zola
Watford defender Martin Taylor believes former Hornets boss Sean Dyche “couldn’t have done any more” during his time as manager but stated his dismissal is “the way football works”.
Dyche’s sole season in charge at Vicarage Road was an undoubted success as he led the club to their highest finish for four seasons.
However, following the takeover by the Pozzo family, it was announced that Dyche had been sacked, with former Chelsea man Gianfranco Zola installed as head coach.
Dyche was part of the coaching staff when Taylor joined the club and he is adamant his former manager will find work soon.
“I’m obviously really disappointed for him, he did fantastically last year in his first year in the job,” said Taylor. “He couldn’t have done any more really. So from his point of view I’m sure he will be absolutely gutted.
“But he knows the way the football world works and I’m sure he will be back in a job soon enough when things change elsewhere.
“I’m sure he will have a great CV and glowing references from everyone who has worked with him. So that will be good moving on.
“But like I said, there is disappointment for Sean but as a player you have to move on with the new regime when they come in.”
As players, Zola and Dyche were complete opposites. The Italian was a skilful forward capable of the unexpected, while the former Hornets man was an uncompromising centre-half. But what is Zola like as a coach?
Taylor replied: “The lads have taken to him really well. He seems like a really nice guy and is very approachable. So I suppose that is always a good thing for a manager.
“He definitely has his own style and he is a legend so he brings that aura around as well.
“The lads have got a lot of respect for him in that sense, but they can also see he has good ideas and he gets them across well.”
In the Hornets’ first pre-season clash of the season, Gianfranco Zola’s side played a somewhat unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation.
While Taylor acknowledges that the system is a little “alien” to the side, he believes the squad will be able to easily adapt to the switch.
“So far we have only had a few sessions on the system but people know the style that the gaffer wants to play,” he explained.
“People have seen his teams before and seen the way Italian teams play – it’s similar to how Swansea played in the Championship.
“We have played against those systems so we know what they entail. We haven’t played them ourselves in a game but the players have got the ability to change to that shape and system.
“So transferring it into games is a little bit alien to us but we are working hard on it.”
He continued: “Every manager brings his own style to things – some of it is similar and some of it is different. In the first week we have been working on fitness with Matt Springham quite a lot which we would’ve been doing anyway.
“But training is different [under Zola] and you work on different things. The tempo is a little bit different sometimes but at the end of the day, the lads come in, work hard, and they are very receptive and take a lot away from training.”
Taylor saw one of his central defensive partners, Adrian Mariappa , leave the Hornets this week after agreeing a deal with newly-promoted Reading.
The 25-year-old made 247 appearances for Watford since making his debut for the club back in 2005.
As a player with top-flight experience, Taylor understood that it was a move Mariappa had to take.
He said: “You can’t turn down the opportunity he has to play in the Premier League. He has been fantastic ever since I have been at the club. In the two-and-a-half years I have been here he has been the most consistent player by a mile.”
He continued: “He has got a lot of ability and I’m looking forward to seeing how he settles in at Reading, I hope he does really well.
“But he has left a lot of friends here because he is a really popular lad and I’m sure a lot of them will keep in touch with him and wish him well.”
Mariappa is just another example of a player who has made the step from Watford’s Academy, to first-team regular and then onto the Premier League. Taylor’s centre-back partner on Tuesday night was Tommie Hoban, who put in a mature display against Boreham Wood.
Former Birmingham City man Taylor admits he has been impressed with Hoban’s development but joked he hopes his club-mate doesn’t take his place in the team.
Taylor said: “Tommie has been fantastic. When he came in a couple of seasons ago [in May 2011] he came on and impressed everyone.
“He is very calm on the ball, very level-headed and has great pace. He has a lot of good attributes.
“I keep telling him to wait a couple of years and don’t be knocking me out of the team. But he is doing great and is a great prospect.”
He added: “I’ll try to work with him as much as possible alongside the coaches because I think he has a lot to give.”