On-loan from Manchester United, midfielder James Garner was phenomenal in a 3-1 Watford win against Blackburn Rovers.
Garner played full 90 minutes for the Hornets. He completed 18 passes with a 95% success rate, 2 key passes and created one big chance. His tricky little feet also helped Watford gain five fouls. Defensively, he was astute too. Playing as a defensive-minded midfielder with Chalobah and Cleverly, Garner’s game-reading ability was top-notch. He made three interceptions which helped Watford create opportunities on the counter.
Garner also played a key role in the first two goals scored by Joao Pedro and Tom Cleverly. Garner was progressing into the final third with the ball and spotted Kiko Feminia making an overlapping run in the right flank. He set him up with a through ball and Feminia launched a ground cross that helped Pedro put the ball behind the goalkeeper.
In the second goal, Garner launched a penetrative long ball from the half-line to Ismaila Sarr which caught out Ayala and Lenihan. Sarr controlled the ball well but Blackburn’s goalkeeper Kaminski denied his efforts. Cleverly saw an opportunity and headed the loose ball to make it 2-0.
Garner was a constant threat and even tried to get himself on a score-sheet with a volley from Sema’s cross but it was wide.
Garner is a highly touted prospect from United’s heralded academy. United made the right decision to send him to the Championship to get some experience.
Watford have secured four wins from the first six – and Garner has played four full 90 minutes. It is interesting to see if Garner can continue his brilliant run of performances and help Watford achieve a promotion back to the Premier League.
All stats from SofaScore.