Life can change rapidly in the Premier League, and nobody knows that better than Watford right now.
The end of last season saw them reach the FA Cup final, in which Manchester City beat them, and finish 11th in the Premier League, their highest ranking in the Premier League era.
Things were looking rosy and, in Javi Gracia, it appeared they had a manager who could bring the good times back to Vicarage Road.
Five games into the season and it’s been all change. Watford sit bottom of the Premier League without a win and Gracia has been dismissed.
It’s been a tumultuous time and one that defender Christian Kabasele was at a complete loss to explain when he sat down to discuss the situation with Voetbal Nieuws before Sunday’s draw with Arsenal.
“It’s so strange how everything can change so quickly,” he said.
“A year ago we won four times in a row and (this season we’ve) not (won) once during the first four games.
“It’s difficult to explain, but there is enough quality in the core, and it will work better, I am sure.”
Watford didn’t waste any time in replacing Gracia, announcing shortly after his departure that Quique Sánchez Flores would be returning to the club in his place.
It’s the Spaniard’s second stint at Vicarage Road, having led the Hornets during the 2015/16 campaign, in which they finished 13th and reached an FA Cup semi-final.
The change in manager represents a new start for everyone Kabasele has warned his teammates they will need to prove themselves to the new man in charge.
“It was a strange situation to see the trainer leave so early.”
“That doesn’t change much for me, because I always try to do my best on the field and convince the coach.
“I didn’t start the first three games, but I started the last game (against Newcastle). [Kabasele also started against Arsenal]
“Now there is again a new beginning under the new coach, even though he was our manager a few years ago already and he knows a number of players. However, everyone will have to prove themselves.”
The focus for Watford is to now get points on the board as quickly as possible, with them currently bottom of the table and two points from safety.
Having gone three games without a win, they’ve picked up points in their last two, with a battling performance against Arsenal on Sunday earning plenty of praise.
With 33 games of the season remaining there’s plenty of time for this year to be a successful one, but Kabasele has insisted the first focus is avoiding relegation.
“We certainly don’t want to finish lower than eleventh place this season, the entire club also wants to do more and even better,” he added.
“The goal is to become a stable team in the top ten and to compete for European places within a few years.
“At the moment we want to be safe as quickly as possible, but if you had asked me at the start of the season what the ambition of the team would be, I would have said we would end up in the top seven or top eight.
“Now we have to start winning quickly and afterwards we can see and possibly adjust our goal. As we’re in last place, we now need to focus on avoiding relegation.”