Monthly Archives: October 2023

28th October 2023- Championship, Watford 2 Millwall 2

Official site: Match Dashboard

BBC: Mileta Rajovic scored a 92nd-minute equaliser for Watford as they fought back to seal a Championship draw against managerless Millwall.

Sky: The burly Danish forward nodded in an Imran Louza cross to cancel out a late Wes Harding header and keep both sides entrenched in mid-table.

Watford Observer: RECAP: Watford 2 Millwall 2

Frustration as Hornets salvage point with late equaliser

BHappy: On the hour, the now customary triple sub (and as an aside, I still fancy that the disciplined rotating of legs in the midfield in particular has contributed to, touching wood, a very favourable injury record this season).  On came Rajović, Louza and Martins…  and almost immediately we lost our footing.  Millwall, perhaps, contributed to this… taking advantage of a third of our outfield players having been swapped to up their own energy and force us backwards with their own best spell as our new guys got up to speed with a game that had been verging on volatile from the start.

Fran’s Watford Blog: It was another improved performance.  The tedium of a few weeks ago has been replaced by a team with much more attacking intent, although some of the defensive frailties remain.  The run of unbeaten games may only have stretched to three before Saturday, but it has brought with it an increasing confidence that manifests itself in more attacking play.  The return of Sema has certainly added something as he is never afraid to try to beat a player and he makes things happen.  I was also pleased that Asprilla put in a good showing after starting, proving that he isn’t just an impact sub.  The triple substitution was maybe not Ismaël’s best decision as the three who were replaced had all been playing well.  But it was inattentiveness at set pieces which let us down again.

24th October 2023- Championship, Swansea City 0 Watford 1

A digital only programme was produced for the fixture which can be seen here.

Official site: Match dashboard

BBC: Ken Sema’s thumping late strike earned Watford a second successive win as they edged a drab encounter at Swansea City.

Sky: Kristian Pedersen thought he had put the Swans ahead after 72 minutes when he headed Grimes’ corner beyond Daniel Bachmann, but the effort was ruled out.

Watford Observer: RECAP: Swansea 0 Watford 1

King Ken’s screamer secures first win since before King Charles’ Coronation

Ismael delighted for the fans, and full of praise for his players

Winning goalscorer says he’s ready to go

‘This time we needed to give a kick in the backside’ – Ismael on Dele-Bashiru

Hoedt admits it’s been a tough few months

Fran’s Watford Blog: You could see how much it meant to the players.  I was surprised to see Koné run over to the away fans where he celebrated like a mad man.  The rest of the players took a while to complete their pleasantries with the officials and the opposition.  When they finally gathered as a group in front of us, King Ken was pushed forward to ensure that he got the plaudits.  There was no doubt that the crowd were sending him love and he was beaming and bowing down to us.

21st October 2023- Championship, Watford 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Official site: Match Dashboard

BBC: Watford substitute Yaser Asprilla snatched a late winner to deny Danny Rohl a point in his first game as Sheffield Wednesday boss.

Sky: He picked the ball on the right flank from Ismael Kone and was able to work his way towards edge of the area where he fired his shot past the diving Cameron Dawson.

Watford Observer RECAP: Watford 1 Sheffield Wednesday 0

Asprilla strike ends Watford’s winless run

Given the context, Ismael was pleased with the victory

BHappy: There were no hooks in this game; nothing but inertia, a sense of perhaps misplaced obligation and the persistent rain keeping most in their seats and nobody but nobody was desperate for more.  The conclusion, however, was more than adequate.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The post-match consensus was that it had been a poor game between two sides low on confidence.  In the first half the Hornets had appeared afraid to attack.  A frustrated shout from one of my neighbours of “Bachmann is open” when the ball was being played about the midfield summed it up.  But the introduction of Koné, Sema and Chakvetadze led to a more positive approach and more willingness to run at the defence.  The goal came from an audacious move by Asprilla, which was great to see.  Hopefully Sema will be fit to start on Tuesday as he makes a tremendous difference.  The others have to show that they can affect the game for ninety minutes rather than being impact substitutes.

From the Rookery End: As Watford took on Sheffield Wednesday in The Vic, Jon, Mike and DCW flew over to Stockholm to take in Hammarby Women v Linköping Women and the big Stockholm derby Djurgarden v Hammerby. We know things aren’t great for Watford fans but this wasn’t avoidance tactics – it was a birthday celebration.

7th October 2023- Championship, Cardiff City 1 Watford 1

Official site: Match Dashboard

BBC: Mark McGuinness put the hosts in front with an emphatic close-range finish in the first half.

Sky: The Cardiff goalkeeper’s clumsy control of a harmless pass from centre-half Mark McGuinness gifted a 54th-minute equaliser to Hornets striker Vakoun Bayo.

Watford Observer: RECAP: Cardiff 1 Watford 1

A point, some improvement but still so much needs to be better

Ismael: We should have won the game

Fran’s Watford Blog: Most leaving the ground seemed quite happy with the performance.  While the first half had been woeful, the second half was much better.  The players were closing the opposition down and making things difficult for them, which we haven’t seen for a while.  The attacking effort was also better than of late although they were still far too shot shy.  There were a couple of occasions (Bayo and Asprilla come to mind) when a shot seemed a better option than the pass that they ended up failing to make.  Livermore had a solid game and Kayembe looked more solid as the game went on.  Louza impressed me on his appearance from the bench showing some decent touches which have been all too rare in the past few weeks.  It was not a great performance, but there was a spirit there and it was good to see the team come back from a goal down and they were the most likely winners of the game.  It was certainly good to break the losing streak before the international break.

From the Rookery End After three matches where Watford came away empty handed, it was a contented if not a little frustrated bunch of Watford fans that left Cardiff on Saturday.

4th October 2023- Championship, Sunderland 2 Watford 0

Official site: Match dashboard

BBC: Sunderland continued their fine form in the Championship as they inflicted a third straight defeat on Watford, a day after boss Valerien Ismael signed a contract extension.

Sky: Watford’s miserable night got worse with three minutes remaining when substitute Ryan Andrews was given a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Jack Clarke on halfway.

Watford Observer: RECAP: Sunderland 2 Watford 0

Everyone may be on the same page – but currently it’s grim reading

Ismael locked players in to get answers – and he wasn’t accepting excuses

Not all players acknowledging fans at Sunderland is ‘unacceptable’ says Ismael

Fran’s Watford Blog: There were loud boos from the travelling Hornets and some in the crowd got rather animated as they expressed their displeasure, so much so that the stewards got involved.  It was another frustrating loss.  Based on possession and chances it had been an even game, but the Hornets were undone by poor defending and being wasteful with their chances.  There was an argument that we were unlucky to go behind in the first half as we had been on top and should have had a penalty just before they scored the first.  But you can’t defend like that and expect to get something out of the game, and we never looked like getting back into it once the second goal went in.  I do worry about Ismaël’s insistence on the players playing out from the back as they are clearly not comfortable doing so.  Hoedt, in particular, looks to be in a complete panic while looking for a pass.  That doesn’t help anybody’s confidence.