Month: January 2019

30th January 2019- Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur 2 Watford 1

Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
29,164

Highlights: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Watford

Gallery: Tottenham Hotspur v Watford

Cathcart: “We’re Disappointed, But It’s A Good Sign”

Gracia: “A Big Chance Missed”

Match Report: Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Watford

Watford lose 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur after taking a first half lead

Watford see advantage slip as Tottenham Hotspur claim late win

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford: Javi Gracia rues not adding to points tally

Watford’s players rated from their 2-1 defeat at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur

Ben Foster thinks Watford deserved more after disappointing defeat at Tottenham Hotspur

Javi Gracia has said Watford striker Isaac Success should ‘behave better’ after ball boy incident at Wembley

Such is the media obsession with the ‘big six’ that the following four reports barely contain a mention of us.

Watford were a little more than 10 minutes away from their first league double over Tottenham.

Late goals from Heung-Min Son and Fernando Llorente rescued a tough week for Tottenham with a 2-1 comeback win over Watford. Watford took advantage of a Spurs side looking jaded after exiting both domestic cup competitions in the space of four days when Craig Cathcart bundled home from a corner (37).

Watford substitute Isaac Success missed a good chance to secure all three points against the run of play, but Tottenham turned the game on its head in the final 10 minutes.

As Javi Gracia said, his side “missed a very good chance to get points against a very good team” and while the visitors were second best in terms of possession and territory, they arguably deserved a draw given the togetherness they showed throughout. Instead they remain ninth having lost for the first time in 2019.

26th January 2019- FA Cup Fourth Round, Newcastle United 0 Watford 2

Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
34,604
Goal 1
Goal 2

FA Cup Report: Newcastle United 0-2 Watford

Gracia: “I Believe In All My Players”

Success: “It Was A Big Fight”

FA Cup Highlights: Newcastle United 0-2 Watford

Gray: “Everyone Is Ready And We Showed That”

Gallery: Newcastle United v Watford

Affleck’s Angle: Britos Empire

RELIVE:Watford progress to FA Cup fifth round with win away at Newcastle United

Watford through to the FA Cup fifth round with victory over Newcastle United

Javi Gracia wants Watford to progress in the FA Cup after beating Newcastle United

Performances rated as Watford defeat Newcastle United in the FA Cup

Andre Gray says Europe is a real possibility after win over Newcastle United

Watford head coach Javi Gracia happy for all his players after FA Cup victory over Newcastle United

Andre Gray and Isaac Success were on target as Watford edged past Newcastle to reach the FA Cup fifth round.

As he had done in the previous round, Watford boss Javi Gracia made 11 changes for the trip to St James’ Park but saw his understudies outplay Rafael Benitez’s reshuffled side, whose record of not having made it past the fourth round since 2006 remains painfully intact.

Watford at least had the wherewithal to find a couple of decent passes after the interval, which led to the decisive goals. From the first, delivered by the clever left foot of Will Hughes, Andre Gray rattled in a low shot just past the hour. From the second, supplied by the lively Domingos Quina, Isaac Success tapped in at the far post as the clock ticked on to 90 minutes.

“We had control,” said head coach Javier Garcia. “We have played Newcastle twice before this season and not managed to win, but this was a really good performance.”

As we sat down with our drinks for the post-match analysis, the most astute observation was that it appeared that two moments of quality from a different match had been inserted into a dreadful game.

I’m trying desperately hard not get carried away. There’s a long way to go but I can’t help but feel that maybe, just maybe, this could be our year…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018%E2%80%9319_FA_Cup

19th January 2019- Premier League, Watford 0 Burnley 0

Match Report: Watford 0-0 Burnley

Foster: “It Was A Scrappy Game”

Gracia: “There Are Positives But We Can Play Better”

Highlights: Watford 0-0 Burnley

Mariappa: “It’s Important To Come Away With Something”

Affleck’s Angle: The Run-Around

Gallery: Watford v Burnley

Watford continue their unbeaten run in 2019 with 0-0 draw against Burnley

Adrian Mariappa has hopes of playing in Europe with Watford

Watford vs Burnley: Javi Gracia disappointed with Hornets’ attacking play

RATINGS: Who shone in Watford’s goalless draw against Burnley

A selection of images from Watford’s draw with Burnley

Chris Wood saw an injury-time goal controversially ruled out for offside as Watford and Burnley failed to conjure a winner in a disappointing goalless draw at Vicarage Road.

Both teams had chances to score and the home side could have taken the lead as early as the second minute but Heaton denied Gerard Deulofeu with his right foot after the forward went through on goal. Heaton was called into action once more on the stroke of half-time when he dived to his right to parry Troy Deeney’s crisp side-footed effort to safety.

Indeed, the result had as much to do with wayward finishing as the excellent performances from both goalkeepers, Tom Heaton and Ben Foster.

Sean Dyche, back on his old stamping ground where he spent three seasons as a player before cutting his teeth in management on the day home supporters honoured the memory of Graham Taylor, could afford a smile at the final whistle despite seeing Chris Wood’s goal ruled out for offside in added time.

The highlight of the day was the GT stuff, quite obviously. Two years on the club provides all attendees with a drinks voucher, then orchestrates another tremendous scarf display as the players enter the arena. This might have been more effective still but for the unwanted, unneeded and sadly non-negotiable twaddle that is the Premier League anthem as the players solemnly shake hands. It could have been so much more than a stunning visual spectacle. But it is a stunning visual spectacle. There are scarves aloft in the away end too – Claret and Blue stands out a little less than Southampton’s red and white of a year ago, but it’s still a fine thing.

As the teams took the field, the crowd (including a number of Burnley fans) raised their scarves in honour of GT (the fellow next to me was given my spare so he could join in).  It really was quite a sight.  That was followed by a minute’s applause for both GT and Duncan Welbourne who passed away this week.  Chopper’s family were guests of honour of the club for the afternoon.

At half time, the family of Thomas Sawyer, a young soldier who was killed in Afghanistan 10 years ago, were on the pitch and Thomas’s father paid heartfelt tribute to his son.  Then, as the players came out for the second half, the 1881 lads unfurled the Legends banner which we held over our heads in the Rookery in the knowledge that it features both GT and Duncan Welbourne.  Both events were touching tributes and a clear sign that the club has not lost its community focus.

Tributes to GT- two years on

Javi Graci pays tribute to Watford legend Graham Taylor

12th January 2019- Premier League, Crystal Palace 1 Watford 2

Referee:
Paul Tierney
Attendance:
25,010

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1  2

Match Report: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford

Cleverley: “It Feels Like The Hard Work Has Paid Off”

Gracia: “It’s A Good Tribute For Graham”

Cathcart: “It Was A Great Comeback”

Highlights: Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford

Affleck’s Angle: Four Good Men

Relive our coverage of Watford’s victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League

Watford come from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace vs Watford: Javi Gracia praises character and ambition after victory

RATINGS: How did Watford perform in their away win at Crystal Palace?

Tom Cleverley speaks after Watford win at Crystal Palace

Five positives after Watford win at Crystal Palace

Watford defender Craig Cathcart sees the funny side of Crystal Palace own goal

A selection of images from Watford’s win at Crystal Palace

Tom Cleverley’s superb second-half volley helped Watford come from behind to beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

A huge scramble in the Watford area saw the ball turned home by Craig Cathcart’s thigh (38) to put Crystal Palace ahead, with goal-line technology confirming it had gone over the line. But the defender redeemed himself in the 67th minute as he nodded home the Watford equaliser before a wonderful volley from Tom Cleverley (74) completed the comeback and handed the visitors the victory.

The narratives off the pitch seemed rather more interesting than those on it. Watford’s Troy Deeney was charged for comments about the referee David Coote following his team’s recent game at Bournemouth. Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey is also under investigation by the FA after making what appeared to be a Nazi gesture during a meal with team-mates following the club’s FA Cup victory over Cardiff last weekend.

Watford have now won 16 points away from Vicarage Road, which is a greater haul than they managed on the road last season.

It’s tempting to say that we would have lost this last season.  In fact we DID lose this last season.  And the season before.  And coulda, shoulda this time too.  But there’s more to us now…  good enough that our bad days aren’t that bad, good enough that when we flame on we’re irresistible, plenty enough to blow Palace, albeit a blunt, stunted Palace, right out of the sky.

Back home watching Match of the Day I notice, during the interview with Javi Gracia, that he is wearing a Graham Taylor matchday badge on his jacket.  I must admit that made me cry.  Javi has been a joy since he arrived at Vicarage Road.  His football is enjoyable and his conduct is exemplary.  I think that GT would have loved him and, from me, there can be no higher praise.

6th January 2019- FA Cup Third Round, Woking 0 Watford 2

Referee:
Graham Scott
Attendance:
5,717

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:  1  2

FA Cup Report: Woking 0-2 Watford

FA Cup Reaction: Gracia, Deeney & Hughes

Hughes: “We Applied Ourselves Really Well”

Wilmot: “We Want To Go As Far As Possible”

FA Cup Highlights: Woking 0-2 Watford

Relive our coverage as Hornets secure FA Cup success at non-league Woking

Watford into FA Cup fourth round after win at Woking

Troy Deeney pleased by Watford’s professionalism in Woking win

Javi Gracia thinks Watford can beat anyone with right attitude after Woking win

Our player ratings from Watford vs Woking in the FA Cup

A selection of images from Watford’s FA Cup win at Woking

Tom Cleverley reflects on injury return after Watford beat Woking in the FA Cup

Watford reached the fourth round of the FA Cup with a routine victory at National League side Woking.

Watford took the lead in the 13th minute through Hughes during a first half in which the Hornets dominated possession. The second half contained few goalscoring chances for either team, but Watford substitute Deeney wrapped up a comfortable victory for the Premier League side with a simple tap-in (75).

Yet it was still a day to feel the glow of FA Cup romance. The competition is too predictable; it has had its day? Do not say that to Alan Dowson, the old-school Woking manager, whose north-east tones remain loud and proud. He talked of his thrill at seeing Kingfield sold out, of his young players coming up against established professionals (even if Javi Gracia made 11 changes to his Watford team) and of the uplift that the tie has brought to this corner of England.

Javi Gracia, Watford’s former Villarreal and Malaga manager, has certainly also never received a post-match gift from an opposing manager quite like it. A bumper bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. “He took it and he gave me one of his sangria,” said Dowson, who was born in Gateshead. “I thought he was a bit tight. The Newcastle Brown was bigger.”

There were 110 places separating the top flight and National League South side before kick off, but this was Watford and we all knew that the ability to ‘do a Watford’ was very much possible.

The first action of the second half was the rather thrilling sight of the lino on the opposite side falling backwards over the hoardings.  It is dreadfully childish, but you can’t help but laugh when the officials come a cropper. 

2nd January 2019- Premier League, AFC Bournemouth 3 Watford 3

The date shown on the programme is incorrect
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
10,261

Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1  2  3

Match Report: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Deeney: “It’s Nice To Score”

Gracia: “Scoring Three Away, You Have To Win”

Mariappa: “We’ll Take The Point And Move On”

Highlights: AFC Bournemouth 3-3 Watford

Affleck’s Angle: The Siege Of Troy

Gallery: AFC Bournemouth v Watford

Watford score three but still have to settle for a point against Bournemouth

Watford and Bournemouth share six goals in New Year opener

Watford head coach Javi Gracia pleased with Ben Foster after Bournemouth draw

AFC Bournemouth vs Watford: Javi Gracia admits he’s ‘never see a first half like that’

Watford player ratings: How we scored the Hornets at AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth vs Watford: Troy Deeney claims Dan Gosling tried ‘to do’ Tom Cleverley

Adrian Mariappa becomes 25th player to make 300 Watford appearances

Watford captain Troy Deeney said “Sunday League” defending contributed to his side’s astonishing 3-3 draw at Bournemouth, with all six goals arriving in a frenetic first half. “It was an end-to-end game that could have been 6-6,” said Deeney, who scored two of his side’s goals.

Troy Deeney’s two goals gave Watford a commanding lead (14 & 27) before Bournemouth responded in quickfire fashion with goals from Nathan Ake (34) and Callum Wilson (37). Seconds later, Ken Sema put Watford back in front again with a fine half-volley (38) before Ryan Fraser levelled the game with a composed finish (40) in an action-packed first half.

Though bad tempered, the second half settled into a more predictable pattern. 

Deeney accused Dan Gosling of trying “to do Tom Cleverley” and also claimed the referee “bottled it on a few occasions”.

At half time, a number of supporters from each team were invited on to the pitch for a “beer goggles” penalty shoot-out.  I couldn’t help but wonder if the defenders had been wearing these goggles for the last 15 minutes of the half.