After eight years away, Watford secured their return to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Brighton. It capped an incredible season for the club. The question now is whether or not they will be able to succeed where they have previously failed and go on and establish themselves in the top flight. Following Middlesbrough's 4-3 defeat to Fulham and Norwich's 1-1 draw with Rotherham United, Watford now know it is between them and Bournemouth to see who clinches the Championship title this season before the two clubs, and the winner of the play-offs, begin to prepare for life in the Premier League.
Having four different managers throughout a single season is usually a sign of a disastrous campaign, but that hasn't been the case at Vicarage Road this year. By the time Slavisa Jokanovic took the reins in October, three other managers had come and gone. Giuseppe Sannino, Oscar Garcia and Billy McKinlay all failed to stay in the job for an extended period for different reasons, but it looks as though Watford owner Raffaele Riva made the right call by hiring Jokanovic. After such a turbulent start to the season, the Serbian has brought a level of calmness to the club and managed to guide a squad which boasts relatively little Championship experience into the Premier League.
While the race for the title is still very much on, with the Hornets 2/7 with bet365 at the time of writing, the club will already be looking at the current squad and making decisions on which players they need to keep and which areas of the squad need strengthening. The current Watford squad looks a lot different than the one that last made it to the Premier League. There is a real belief among the club's fans that those foreign players brought in to the club by the owners will be able to handle playing in English football's top tier. There might be a number of new faces set to join the club in the summer, but Watford fans will feel confident they have a strong enough spine throughout their team to make a success of their first season back in the big time.
At the back, the much-maligned Heurelho Gomes has been sensational for Watford between the sticks this season, and the former Spurs shot-stopper could be a massive player for the Hornets in the next campaign. In defence, Craig Cathcart has been a revelation at Vicarage Road since his move from Blackpool and the centre-back's experience will be key to Watford's survival hopes next season. Daniel Tozer has been the real star of the Watford midfield this year and it looks as though the Hungary international will make his loan deal from Parma permanent in the summer. But while there have been standout performers all over this Watford side, there is little doubt the talisman of this team this season has been club captain Troy Deeney. After a prolific few seasons in the Championship, Deeney will finally now have the chance to test himself in the Premier League, possibly even putting himself in contention for an England call-up.