The Nigeria international was in inspiring form as he bagged a brace of assists in his second appearance of the season to help Watford convincingly overcome the challenge of Coventry City in the Carabao Cup. It was a most welcome win for a club languishing at the root of the English Premier League without a win or a point to their name.
It’s ironic that, after Javi Garcia made as many as eight changes to the squad that delivered an error-ridden performance at the weekend en route to losing at home to West Ham, the second string team less favoured by the manager put up a display solid enough to earn points in the league.
Success is one of those players who had not seen much action this season until the game against Coventry City. Injury hampered his pre-season preparation and he was not in top shape when the league commenced.
His chance couldn’t come early enough and against the Sky Blues, the former Granada player played like one possessed: closing down opponents, looking to get on the ball and showing the willingness to take on City’s defenders.
Just minutes after the half-hour mark his industry yielded the final pass which new signing Senegal international Ismaila Sarr converted to give the home side the lead their display just about deserved. A few minutes after the restart Javi Garcia’s men extended their lead with Isaac Success instrumental to setting up Daryl Janmaat for Watford.
It’s fair that all the applause for such a fine outing from a side struggling to score goals will be aimed at the men who got the goals on the night – Venezuelan Adalberto Penaranda got the third goal – but the Nigerian striker can be assured that his manager has taken notice of his decent output. The challenge for Success, however, is in maintaining such numbers.
Attackers are often judged by the impact they make in a game with regards to goals scored or assists supplied, something the former Malaga loanee has never really excelled in since his Golden Eaglets days.
Then as a talented teen, the Benin-born striker was the main star as the national team made it all the way to the final of the U-17 Africa Championships only to lose on penalties to the Ivory Coast. Success got 7 goals in just 7 matches at that tourney when a certain Kelechi Iheanacho managed just 5 strikes.
That same team, later in the year, went on to win the U-17 FIFA World Cup but Isaac got injured after the tournament’s second game. His sojourn in Granada and Malaga has not really been that productive with his combined three-year stay at the two clubs yielding only 7 goals. Last term, Success only managed a single strike in 23 league appearances.
That kind of output will not cut him that many appearances this season. Javi Garcia has reinforced his strike force by bringing in Ismaila Sarr from Rennes, Danny Welbeck on a free transfer and the fleet-footed Venezuelan Adalberto Penaranda. With a team that already has Troy Deeney, Gerard Deulofeu, Andre Gray and Stefano Okaka, every single opportunity offered needs to be grabbed with both hands.
Success will also do well to adapt his game, improve his finishing skills and be ready to do a job for the team, down the wings or elsewhere, when called on.
On the international scene, the 23-year-old has lost his place in the Super Eagles squad and he’s not even under consideration for a call up given the amount of attacking options Rohr have at his disposal.
However, the former Granada striker can catch the attention of the German tactician again by churning out good performances for Watford.
The Hornets sit at the bottom of the premier league table with no wins in three matches and that could cause Javi Garcia to make some changes to the team by chopping out some of his underperforming stars.
Fringe players like Success are likely to be given the chance to improve the team’s form and it is important for him to grab the opportunity anytime it comes.
It’s going to be a challenging 2019/20 season for every single forward on Watford’s payroll but how far Isaac Success flies or drowns will be determined by how he’s able to maximize the limited chances that will come his way.