Previously v Manchester City
To their credit, Watford’s supporters stuck around to applaud their team during the lap of honour after the final whistle. “You give us a bit of shit from time to time,” Deeney said. “But we deserve it.”
Mazzarri has often cited injuries as the reason for his team’s indifferent performances and the situation was so bad here that he was forced to select two goalkeepers among the substitutes. But there was no excuse for continuing his perverse insistence on beginning with club captain and leader Troy Deeney on the bench. That left his team short of heart and spirit and it showed.
As for Watford, this was their sixth straight defeat since they secured 40 points and it was too much for some parts of the home support, who baited their departing manager. When referee Jon Moss called Mazzarri over for a chat about his conduct, the home fans chanted for their manager to be dismissed. When the fifth goal went in it got even nastier, with Mazzarri invited to “f— off”, and “get out of our club”.
Our leader, in a final peevish move by his manager, was on the bench (and it’s arguable that in the admittedly ring-rusty Ben Watson, another to have been discarded cheaply by Mazzarri, we had another wise head underemployed). And, of course, we named two goalkeepers… much as we all love Rene Gilmartin this was no tribute to a departing hero (notably, no fawning 26th minute intro/outro for Rene who isn’t nearly a vain enough peacock to have suggested one) but a pathetically self-indulgent sulky statement by the outgoing coach. “Look what I’m left with”. A Charlie Rowan, a Carl Stewart or an Ogo Obi could have filled that space and garnered Mazzarri more sympathy and options.
Mazzarri surprised everyone by naming two goalkeepers on the bench, something which I have never ever seen done before. It was as baffling as it was disrespectful to those young players trying to break into the first team.