Watford manager Walter Mazzarri has confirmed that Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo has being dropped from the starting line-up for now after becoming a casualty of the Italian manager’s new formation as they beat champions Leicester City 2:1 last Saturday.
Mazzarri looks keen to continue with his new 3-4-3 system and has advised the 27-year-old Super Eagles star to keep working hard to take whatever chances are open to him in the coming weeks.
It represents a massive change of fortune for Ighalo, whose 17 goals for Watford last season, helped secure their top-flight status. His performances drew interest from various clubs around the world, and the former Granada marksman himself confirmed earlier this year that he turned down a staggering 37.5m pounds offer from big-spending Shanghai SIPG of China to stay at Watford.
This season he has managed just one league goal – two in all competitions, but Mazzarri has refused to blame him for the fate of the team.
There is no message, Mazzarri replied when asked about Ighalo’s status.
What I do is watch my team during training, I study the next opponent and then make my decision on what is the best thing considering all these factors.
Ighalo has been professional and accepted the decision. When he played, even when he didn’t score, he played as well as the whole team has done.
When we lost and we played badly, he played badly with the whole team, there is no difference.
I tell him he has to be ready when his moment comes.