Monthly Archives: May 2022

22nd May 2022- Premier League, Chelsea 2 Watford 1

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 32,089

BBC Sport: Kai Havertz converted a low cross from Kenedy – who was making his first Premier League start for the club since May 2017 – to give the hosts the lead early in the first half. Gosling’s header from Adam Masina’s delivery appeared to have earned Watford a share of the spoils, but Barkley scored with virtually the last moment of action to deny Roy Hodgson’s team.

Sky Sports: It looked like being a familiar tale for Chelsea, who came into the game on the back of just one home win in their last five league visits to Stamford Bridge, but Barkley was on hand to ensure the Blues ended the season on a winning note when his header from James’ cross squirmed past Daniel Bachmann in the Watford goal (90).

Fran’s Watford Blog: The players came over to applaud the travelling fans and were greeted with cheers, which was gratifying.  It had been a decent showing, the players had put a shift in, and, after the late equaliser, we felt as if we deserved a point from the game, so went home relatively happy.

15th May 2022- Premier League, Watford 1 Leicester City 5

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 20,257

BBC Sport: Jamie Vardy scored twice as Leicester thrashed already relegated Watford to consign them to a seventh defeat in eight Premier League games.

Sky Sports: With incoming Watford head coach Rob Edwards in attendance, the already relegated Hornets made the perfect start as Joao Pedro (6) capitalised on some poor Leicester defending to open the scoring.

The Guardian: Watford’s latest defeat equals the overall top-flight record of 15 home reverses in a season and leaves the 39-year-old Edwards in little doubt about the summer overhaul required. Barnes made it 3-1 approximately 17 seconds into the second half, much to Hodgson’s frustration. “It’s the antithesis of what we were hoping for,” said Hodgson, who was without a host of first-team players because of injury and will depart Hertfordshire without winning on home soil.

BHappy: There are few of the consolations of previous bad relegations;  in 2000 and 2007 we had teams punching above their weight who ran out of luck.  1988 was awful, but the bitterest pills had been the previous summer and a rebuild was already suggested.  1996 was miserable, but offset by a tragically magnificent late charge and the promise of what was to come. This season has been charmless and shambolic.  The challenge of being promoted out of a pandemic shouldn’t be discounted… we were always up against it, a newly promoted Watford (rather than a Villa or a Newcastle) is always going to be running uphill.  But a challenge can be steep and the response utterly miserable.  The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The players did a lap of honour in front of the few that were left in the ground.  It was a very muted affair compared to the usual end of season parade. On this occasion the players, very sensibly, kept their children out of the spotlight.  There were cheers for Ben Foster on what would be his last appearance in a Watford shirt at Vicarage Road..

11th May 2022- Premier League, Watford 0 Everton 0 (and Rob Edwards is appointed our new Head Coach)

Before the game it was announced that Rob Edwards, who had just secured promotion to League One with Forest Green Rovers would become our new Head Coach at the end of the season.

BBC Sport: Rob Edwards: Watford appoint former Forest Green boss as manager from 2022-23

Sky Sports: Forest Green chairman Dale Vince accused Watford of “doubling down on deceit” after Edwards left the club earlier on Wednesday; Watford say Edwards “had a contractual provision allowing him to leave Forest Green Rovers at any time to discuss employment opportunities at other clubs”

The Guardian: Edwards is to take over from Roy Hodgson, who will leave at the end of this season. The selection of the 39-year-old former Wales defender marks a significant change in the type of appointment typically made by Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family. He becomes the club’s ninth permanent manager in five years.

Attendance: 20,653

BBC Sport: Watford ended a club record run of 11 successive home defeats and Everton moved a point closer to Premier League safety after a dismal game at Vicarage Road.

Sky Sports: Chances were at a premium with Ben Foster’s fine save to deny Richarlison in the second period the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock – but Leeds’ 3-0 home defeat to Chelsea edges Everton further away from the danger zone.

The Guardian: After a turgid first half, the most likely source of a goal seemed to come from Watford’s João Pedro, who, like Richarlison, joined the club from Fluminense but has yet to make quite the same impact. Pickford was off his line quickly to beat the lively Brazilian forward to a long through ball a few minutes after the restart. Richarlison then called Ben Foster into serious action for the first time when his goalbound shot deflected off Christian Kabasele.

BHappy: There’s a stoicism about our play.  Not much more than stoicism, admittedly, but let’s be realistic… we’ve been falling quickly and any kind of foothold, anything to stay the momentum is welcome. On WhatsApp, my co-editor asks why the League Cup first round is being played in May – and there’s something of that annual landmark’s curiosity about the return to view of some fringe players.  Former Evertonian Dan Gosling – whose ability to time runs into the box must surely owe something to having spent two years playing with Tim Cahill – does an inconspicuously disciplined job… scrapping, scraping, getting a foot in.  For someone who’s not played all season he’s straight back on his game.  So too is Jeremy Ngakia, who is bold and assertive while Samuel Kalu is far more convincing than during his most recent cameo at Molineux.  The world doesn’t collapse.  We’re doing OK. It is, however, a monumentally terrible game.  Quite epically banal stuff, the 1970s supermarket own brand corn flakes of Premier League football. If you’re here for entertainment you’re going to be sorely disappointed

Fran’s Watford Blog: At this point the 1881 had started singing, “We’ve got the ball/We’ve lost the ball”, the latter being a bit on the negative side for me until they followed it up with “We’ll win it back” and, suddenly, everyone joined in and there was a really fun atmosphere.  This song went on for about 15-20 minutes.  The visitors continued to attack as Gordon tried a shot from distance, but it was an easy catch for Foster.  Then a cross from Richarlison bounced off Kalu and into the air, coming down into Foster’s arms.  Gordon won a free kick, which he took himself, but his effort was straight at Foster.  Lampard made a second substitution replacing Delph with Allan.  Doucouré really should have done better after receiving a pass from Iwobi in a dangerous position, but he hit a very soft shot straight at Foster.  I must say that it was the first time that I noticed he was playing.  Hodgson made his first change bringing Cathcart on for Kalu, who was exhausted.  The visitors threatened yet again as Mykolenko got himself into space, but his shot was straight at Foster.  The next Watford change involved a surprise appearance by Etebo, “back from injury”, who came on in place of Kayembe.  In time added on, the Hornets won a corner which was taken by Sema whose delivery was met by the head of Kabasele, but Pickford was equal to it.  Kabasele was then in action at the other end blocking a cross from Gordon.  That was the last action of note, so the game ended goalless. 

7th May 2022- Premier League, Crystal Palace 1 Watford 0

This defeat confirmed our relegation back to the Championship after just one season. In the week before the game was played Roy Hodgson confirmed that he would be retiring from football management at the end of the season, however in March 2023 he was once again appointed as Crystal Palace manager.

Attendance: 24,622

BBC Sport: Watford have been relegated from the Premier League after Wilfried Zaha’s first-half penalty secured a deserved victory for Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Sky Sports: Despite plenty of pre-match pleasantries, it was an unhappy return for Roy Hodgson to Selhurst Park – back at the club for the first time since his departure as manager last summer – with his side’s return to the Championship confirmed on Saturday afternoon.

The Guardian: Not for the first time this season, their downfall was self-induced. Kamara misjudged his jump in an attempt to clear Eze’s cross to the back post and Olise’s header struck the Ivory Coast defender’s outstretched arm. Kamara claimed that he had been pushed but despite replays showing there had been slight contact, referee Graham Scott was vindicated after the incident was checked by VAR and Zaha made no mistake from the spot.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The game went from bad to worse as Kamara knocked Olise over and was dismissed for a second yellow card.  Hodgson decided that the defence was more important than the attack as he reacted to the sending off by bringing Masina on for Dennis.  It was immediately obvious that not all among the travelling faithful agreed with him.  Palace also made a substitution bringing Mitchell on for Guehi.  Hodgson’s final change saw Troost-Ekong replacing Samir to loud boos from the away end.  Palace had a decent chance when Eze went on a threatening run, but Cathcart did well to block his cross.  At the other end, a Sema shot was blocked for a corner from which Femenía’s delivery was met by the head of Cathcart whose effort flew over the bar.  Viera’s final substitution saw Mateta on in place of Zaha.  The home side had a great chance to increase their lead when the substitute met an Olise free kick with a header that needed a decent save from Foster to keep it out, Mateta got his head on the rebound, but his effort was wide of the target.  A rare bright moment for the Hornets came as Sema released King who crossed for Sarr but he failed to connect.  The home side had one final chance to increase their lead when Schlupp went on a run before unleashing a shot that was stopped by Foster.  Soon after, the final whistle went, and Watford’s relegation was confirmed. 

After the game Roy Hodgson was criticised by a number of Watford fans for failing to acknowledge the away support whilst taking the applause of the home fans upon his return to Selhurst Park. TV cameras also caught him smiling moments after the game ended when our relegation was confirmed.

SportsBible: Watford Fans Annoyed After Roy Hodgson Applauds Crystal Palace Fans

Watford Observer: Hodgson explains reason for not acknowledging Hornets fans after relegation