Category: April

30th April 2018- Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur 2 Watford 0

watford_cover_full

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 18.27.26

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 18.28.49

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford: Dele Alli and Harry Kane condemn Hornets to Premier League defeat

Dele Alli and Harry Kane on target as Watford lose at Tottenham Hotspur

Watford: Javi Gracia laments missed chances after Tottenham Hotspur defeat

Adrian Mariappa: Watford must take positives from attacking display against Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur vs Watford ratings: Will Hughes on song but Orestis Karnezis struggles at Wembley

Adrian Mariappa: Watford defender proud to skipper Hornets at Wembley

skyHarry Kane scored in Tottenham’s routine 2-0 win over Watford to reopen their five-point cushion over Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish.

BBC SportSpurs capitalised on an error from Hornets goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis as Christian Eriksen set up Alli and the England midfielder scored from 12 yards out.  Kane doubled Spurs’ lead early in the second half from Kieran Trippier’s pull-back and Jan Vertonghen later headed against the post.

TelegraphKieran Trippier’s cross should have been easy for Karnezis, but the Watford keeper spilt the ball, Christian Eriksen toed it into the path of Alli, who produced a composed finish.

guardianThe game was played in a subdued atmosphere, with plenty of empty seats dotted around the ground, and Spurs were often there for the taking. There was a slight air of edginess about their play and Pochettino frowned at his team’s tentativeness in the final third, especially when Kane spurned a decent shooting opportunity with an awkward piece of control in the 12th minute. Watford sensed an opportunity to exploit that unease, showing inventiveness on the break, and Spurs’ defenders were relieved to see Hugo Lloris deny Andre Gray in the 25th minute.

The Hornets NestIt’s always a special occasion to watch Watford play at Wembley.  It’s just nice to see us lose to someone other than Crystal Palace there for a change.

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 19.51.03

Screen Shot 2018-05-04 at 19.51.52

21st April 2018- Premier League, Watford 0 Crystal Palace 0

DbPTXRIW0AACzd8

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 18.37.35

Screen Shot 2018-04-24 at 18.39.04

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Crystal Palace: Nothing to separate sides in evenly contested Premier League match

Watford and Crystal Palace battle out entertaining goalless draw

Javi Gracia praises Watford’s attitude following Crystal Palace draw

GALLERY: A selection of images from Watford’s draw with Crystal Palace

Watford vs Crystal Palace ratings: Stefano Okaka and Christian Kabasele on song

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha hits back after Watford diving controversy

Christian Kabasele: Watford defender hopeful Javi Gracia will remain at club

Wilfried Zaha: Watford’s Christian Kabasele defends Crystal Palace man after diving accusations

skyWilfried Zaha saw two penalty claims turned down as Watford and Crystal Palace edged towards Premier League safety after playing out an eventful 0-0 on Saturday.

BBC SportZaha was cautioned by referee Chris Kavanagh after going down inside the Watford penalty area following a challenge by Adrian Mariappa.

TelegraphLast season, Watford mascot Harry the Hornet mocked Zaha by diving in  front of him at the end of a league match at Vicarage Road.

guardianWatford’s traditional poor springtime form meant they had gone five matches without a victory, conceding 15 goals in the process, so the decision to pair the Italy international Stefano Okaka in attack with Troy Deeney was a brave one with the former chairman Elton John, watching on from the stands. Yet it almost paid off as early as the fourth minute when Deeney found space on the right and his cross was headed against the crossbar by Okaka.

BHappy imageKey in the first half exchanges and throughout was the redoubtable partnership of the newly returned Christian Kabasele and the slightly less newly returned but much missed Craig Cathcart.

FranIt had been a thoroughly entertaining half of football.  Watford were a completely different team from last week, playing positively and battling for everything.  We had managed 11 shots on goal, but without really testing Hennessey.  The Watford fans were also putting in a good performance, loud and proud in support of their team, which was essential as Palace usually bring a very noisy crowd with them.

The Hornets NestWhilst we go another game without a win, we did at least see a bit of fight and spirit and a much better performance than recent weeks. With safety all but confirmed that’s all we ask for during the run-in and we got that during this game.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 16.40.02.png

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 16.41.16

 

14th April 2018- Premier League, Huddersfield Town 1 Watford 0

Davra_SW0AA9XdT

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 21.24.37

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 21.30.09

Watford Observer

RELIVE: Huddersfield Town v Watford: Last-minute Tom Ince winner condemns Hornets to latest late defeat

Tom Ince’s 90th-minute winner condemns Watford to Huddersfield Town defeat

Watford’s Javi Gracia believes his players deserve better after Huddersfield Town defeat

Watford player ratings: Craig Cathcart the pick in late Huddersfield Town defeat

Watford: Javi Gracia has no doubt about Craig Cathcart’s ‘level’

Craig Cathcart: Watford defender pleased to start despite Huddersfield Town loss

skyTom Ince scored a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Huddersfield beat Watford 1-0 to move seven points clear of the relegation zone.

BBC SportWatford keeper Orestis Karnezis had been a virtual spectator before the goal, and his side perhaps deserved a point that would have eased any lingering fears the 12th-placed Hornets have of being dragged back into trouble.

guardian Theoretically Javi Gracia’s men are not out of the relegation woods themselves but they started here as if convinced they were already safe in practical terms. A ridiculous five-minute spell from Roberto Pereyra summed up most of the first half. In the 27th minute he took their first corner and hit it straight out of play. Ninety seconds later he did exactly the same thing. And soon after that he was booked for diving.

TelegraphIt was the second time in three matches that Watford have lost points to goals in stoppage time, having conceded an equaliser against Bournemouth in time added. 

BHappy imageHuddersfield doesn’t look like Watford, feel like Watford, smell like Watford. For one thing it’s tentatively and occasionally gloriously sunny as we arrive, which is something that Watford hasn’t been on matchday for a while. For another it’s, like, hilly and that. Daughter 1 blinks away her sleepiness as we emerge from the car… “is this really Yorkshire?”, as if we were in Narnia or Magrathea.

FranIt was another very frustrating afternoon for Watford fans.  Our team had certainly been better in the second half, but it was hard to argue that we deserved anything out of the game.  Huddersfield seemed to want it more, even if they did have only the one shot on target.

The Hornets NestWatford were toothless, pathetic even. We had four shots the entire game and just two on target. The lone striker isn’t working anymore. Deeney can win aerial duels but then he has no one running onto his knockdowns. When he doesn’t win aerial duels however we have no back up, to have three strikers we haven’t been able to score consistently all season or in some cases be given the chance is incredibly frustrating.

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 22.01.05Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 22.02.14

7th April 2018- Premier League, Watford 1 Burnley 2

DaHF0TTX0AYm8phScreen Shot 2018-04-13 at 19.00.52

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 19.03.06

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Burnley: Quickfire double turns Premier League clash on its head

Sam Vokes substitution pivotal as Watford beaten by Burnley

Sean Dyche reflects on Burnley’s win over Watford

Watford boss disappointed by defensive shortcomings after Burnley defeat

Watford player ratings: Roberto Pereyra on song as defenders come up short in Burnley loss

GALLERY: A selection of images from Watford’s defeat to Burnley

Watford vs Burnley: Lack of concentration cost Hornets in loss, says Adrian Mariappa

skySam Vokes’ goal 22 seconds after coming on inspired Burnley to a 2-1 turnaround win at Watford.

BBC SportWatford, who had gone ahead just after the hour mark through Roberto Pereyra, drop a place to 12th despite dominating possession and creating more clear-cut scoring opportunities at Vicarage Road.

guardian“We dominated the game, we had more shots on target but it wasn’t enough,” said Javi Gracia. “We should have killed the game.”

TelegraphIt meant Dyche could enjoy victory against the club where he started his coaching career before they questionably let him slip.

FranAs at all Premier League grounds, there was a minute’s applause for Ray Wilkins, whose passing at the ridiculously young age of 61 hit me rather hard.  His time at Vicarage Road was not one that is remembered fondly by Watford fans, but when I met him at the kit sponsors do, I found him to be a lovely man (unlike Vialli).  It was pleasing that the applause in his memory started well before it was instructed.

The Hornets NestOnto Huddersfield next week then and you’ll all be pleased to know that it isn’t classed as the North West, so there’s the slim chance we might win.

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 19.20.07

Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 19.21.25

22nd April 2017- Premier League, Hull City 2 Watford 0

Previously v Hull City

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 11.13.03.png

Watford Observer

Relive – Hornets beaten by 10-man Tigers

Ten-man Hull boost survival hopes as Hornets crash to defeat

Mazzarri angered by missed chances in Hull defeat

RATINGS: Deeney and co struggle in Hull defeat

BBC Sport Ten-man Hull City claimed a gutsy victory against Watford to ensure they remain outside the relegation zone and in control of their Premier League destiny.

sky Goals from Lazar Markovic and Sam Clucas further boosted Hull’s Premier League survival hopes in a superb 2-0 win over a flat Watford side at the KCOM on Saturday.

TelegraphDown to ten men early on, against a mid-table side, this was the day when Marco Silva’s stunning home run as Hull City manager could have crumbled. Instead, it became arguably the most impressive of all victories at this ground since the Portuguese started master-minding their fight against relegation. 

guardian When Oumar Niasse was controversially sent off with well over an hour remaining, Marco Silva’s impeccable home record seemed in severe jeopardy.  By way of exacerbating the woes of the Hull manager Robert Madley’s debatable interpretation of Niasse’s challenge on M’Baye Niang looked the sort of decision on which relegations can hinge and tens of millions of pounds be forfeited.

Independent Lazar Markovic and Sam Clucas struck second-half goals as 10-man Hull kept their Premier League survival hopes alive with a gutsy 2-0 home win against Watford.

BHappy image Ten days ago we went on a road trip.  Only 100 miles or so, so not a vast distance, but the drive from Addis Ababa to Ziway is not to be undertaken lightly.

FranI had a very cultural week all in all, with plays by Tom Stoppard, Tennessee Williams and Shakespeare followed by a cracking evening spent with the Saw Doctors.  I just had to hope that my visit to the city of culture finished the week in style.

The Hornets Nest  I’ve only been to Hull once in my life, back in October 2011. I was in my first year of university, and decided to waste my student loan on the trip up North, to watch a struggling Watford take on a promotion-chasing Hull in the early days of Dyche’s reign.

 

English Premier League Table »
Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough
Hull City 2-0 Watford
Swansea City 2-0 Stoke City
West Ham United 0-0 Everton

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 11.26.45.png

15th April 2017- Premier League, Watford 1 Swansea City 0

Previously v Swansea City/TownC9Sh2beWAAAZZ32.jpg

WFC.NET image Clips of Jon Marks’ commentary

Goal 1

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 16.18.36.png

Watford Observer

Relive – Etienne Capoue’s strike the difference as Hornets sink Swans

Hornets reach 40 points with Swans success

Mazzarri not admitting Watford are safe yet

RATINGS: Defence on song in Swans win

Prodl eyes top 10 finish

BBC Sport Swansea defender Alfie Mawson made a costly error as his side were beaten by Watford at Vicarage Road to remain two points adrift of Premier League safety.

sky Swansea’s slide towards relegation continued on Saturday as Etienne Capoue’s first-half goal sealed a narrow 1-0 win for Watford in an error-strewn encounter at Vicarage Road.

guardian Paul Clement believes the visit of Stoke next Saturday is a must-win game for his Swansea side as they remain embroiled in the battle for Premier League survival.

TelegraphSwansea’s new manager seems to have lost his bounce. It is more than a month since Paul Clement last tasted victory and Swansea, with this defeat at Watford, have now lost their last six outings away from home.

Independent Swansea City’s relegation worries are deepening after an Alfie Mawson mistake handed Watford’s Etienne Capoue the winner at Vicarage Road and left Paul Clement’s side win no wins in six games and still sitting in the bottom three of the Premier League.

BHappy image I’ll just come right out with it. I’ve been seeing someone else.

FranDue to the lack of an Easter programme in the Premier League, we only had one game this weekend, so I felt oddly cheated but determined to make the most of the one that we had. 

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-15-22-53 There is no apostrophe after the final ‘S’ in ‘Visitors’.

Why should this make me so frustrated? Well, my blog name contains an apostrophe and it makes me so annoyed when people forget it, because it’s simply not right.

English Premier League Table »
Crystal Palace 2-2 Leicester City
Everton 3-1 Burnley
Southampton 0-3 Manchester City
Stoke City 3-1 Hull City
Sunderland 2-2 West Ham United
Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Bournemouth
Watford 1-0 Swansea City

Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 16.37.18.png

8th April 2017- Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur 4 Watford 0

Previously v Tottenham Hotspur

Screen Shot 2017-04-08 at 20.38.08

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Spurs v Watford: 11 first-half minutes prove the difference as Hornets battered

Watford well beaten by four-goal Spurs

Spurs’ third goal ‘cut our legs completely’

Mariappa was ‘one of the best today’

BBC Sport  Tottenham kept up the pressure on leaders Chelsea with an impressive home victory over Watford, their sixth consecutive Premier League win.  Watford had started brightly, but Dele Alli’s sumptuous strike – curled into the top corner after Son Heung-min’s pass – signalled their quick decline.

sky Tottenham kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea as they swept past Watford 4-0 at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

guardian The traditional, daring swagger is intact and, with Harry Kane returning too, Tottenham can keep believing. They may be only on the edge of crazy, of greatness, but their tenacious presence just off the shoulder of Chelsea is still sufficient to keep the title race captivating.  Perhaps the seven-point gap will not be bridged after all, with only seven games remaining – but this expected victory over Watford was their sixth successive win in the Premier League and the seventh in eight games.

TelegraphThank God for Tottenham Hotspur. While Jose Mourinho talks up Manchester United’s unbeaten run to nowhere, Arsene Wenger bores us with his Arsenal contract saga, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool remain unpredictable and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola confuses everybody, at least Spurs are doing everything in their power to make the Premier League title race interesting.

Independent Tottenham kept the pressure on league leaders Chelsea with a thrilling dispatch of London rivals Watford on Saturday afternoon at White Hart Lane, firing four past a side that struggled to match the quality and intensity of Mauricio Pochettino’s men.

FranThe lunchtime kick-off meant an earlier than usual departure for a London game.  I had arranged to meet my niece at Euston and decided to get an earlier train to give me time for a leisurely breakfast at Café Rouge (and very good it was too).  When Amelia arrived, we got the tube to Seven Sisters before taking a walk in the sunshine up Tottenham High Road to the stadium.  As we arrived at the security cordon outside the ground, there was a woman in front of us with a couple of children who had “Daddy 6” on the back of their shirts.  How lovely to see Mariappa’s young family back in Watford kit.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-15-22-53 In hindsight 4-0 was probably a little bit harsh. 

Watford actually played pretty well up until the first goal and were competitive against a very good Spurs side.

However after the first goal went in Spurs’ quality shone almost as bright as the afternoon sun.

They were excellent and deserved their three points.

We’re at not at their level and so there’s no point dwelling on this defeat any longer.

Whatever.

4th April 2017- Premier League, Watford 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Previously v West Bromwich Albion

C8gH6tPXgAADeYA.jpg

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22 Clips of Jon Marks’ Commentary
Goal 1    Goal 2

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 17.18.57.png

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-44

Relive Hornets’ fine victory over West Brom under the lights

Hornets down Baggies in memorable fashion

Mazzarri hails ‘best performance of the season’

Player ratings: How did the Hornets fare against the Baggies?

imgres A resurgent Watford survived for half an hour with 10 men as they beat West Brom to earn back-to-back Premier League victories.

sky M’Baye Niang scored one and set up another to help 10-man Watford beat West Brom 2-0 on Tuesday and take another step towards Premier League survival.

guardian Two moments of attacking brilliance from M’Baye Niang lit up this fractious and ill-tempered game, the Milan loanee scoring one goal and creating another in spectacular style while around him boots, and indeed bookings, were flying about wildly. His 20-yard curler in the 13th minute set Watford on their way to a win that pushes them up to ninth and all but confirms their top-flight place for another season, even if Miguel Britos’s sending off with 25 minutes to play meant the game became more a struggle than a celebration.

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 18.22.31 The day began with Walter Mazzarri being told by the Watford hierarchy that his job could quite possibly be under threat if he did not begin to make more of an effort to speak English to supporters and journalists. It ended with the club reflecting on a second successive victory, sitting in the top-half of the Premier League table. 

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 21.41.15Walter Mazzarri is nothing if not passionate, and the Watford manager was torn between pride and rage after seeing his side effectively guarantee Premier League survival after a battling win over West Bromwich Albion.

BHappy image When I’m not working, sleeping, chasing children or watching football I enjoy am-dram.  A week or two ago, in a restaurant before a show, I tried to argue to some football-sceptic acting friends that football could be thoroughly dramatic, exciting, inspiring, as much so as anything that takes place on a stage.  It was a tumbleweed moment;  I don’t think I convinced any that weren’t already sold.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-13-20A month into a new job, I don’t have many regular meetings but one that I do have is on Tuesday from 5 to 6pm.  As the meeting came to a close, I was itching to get away.  When the request was made for any questions, the response of one of my colleagues that she had one immediately took her off my Christmas card list.  As soon as I was able, I made a rapid exit and was at Euston in time for the 18:30.  With a brief stop to check in to my hotel, I made a beeline for the ground.  As I reached the Rookery, it was lovely to see Gifton Noel-Williams outside chatting to someone.  After entering through the turnstiles, I found that the concourse was deserted.  In the stand, my family were in their seats but there were not many others there.  Then I heard Tim on the tannoy announce that it was 25 minutes to kick-off.  No wonder the place was so empty, I was ridiculously early … and I was going to have to watch this game sober, not a prospect I was relishing.  My early arrival did mean that I got to see the warm-up.  The notice on the big screen warning spectators to look out for balls flying into the crowd didn’t prevent a guy in the front of the stand being hit by an errant shot from Capoue.  The Frenchman leaped into the stand in order to apologise.  This had quite an effect on my niece, who is a big fan and came over all unnecessary, “I wish he’d hit me.”  Another off-pitch distraction came by way of my sister’s niece, who is studying for a degree in football broadcasting.  She had enquired about opportunities to gain experience at Watford and had been invited to shadow the media team for this game.  She was thrilled, but I think her aunt(s) were even more excited than she was.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-15-22-53 Well, just how do you sum up the events of last night? Not easily, that’s for sure, but I’ll try my best.  My heart rate has finally slowed down after an excruciatingly tense night under the lights of Vicarage Road.  We must have all come close to cardiac arrest at some stage during the final 20 minutes, but I’ll get to that later.

English Premier League Table »
Burnley 1-0 Stoke City
Leicester City 2-0 Sunderland
Manchester United 1-1 Everton
Watford 2-0 West Bromwich Albion

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 18.34.24.png

1st April 2017- Premier League- Watford 1 Sunderland 0

Previously v Sunderland

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 21.57.11.png

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22 Clips of Jon Marks commentary

Goal 1

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 11.40.11.png

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-44

Relive Watford’s vital victory over rock-bottom Black Cats

Britos secures big Watford win

Mazzarri calls on players to replicate Sunderland display and secure survival

Player ratings: How did the Hornets fair against Sunderland?

imgres Miguel Britos’ second-half header ended Watford’s four-game winless run, giving them victory over Sunderland and leaving David Moyes’ side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.

sky A first club goal from Miguel Britos gave Watford a 1-0 win against Sunderland, meaning David Moyes’ side are now seven points off Premier League safety.

guardian David Moyes remained phlegmatic after this match, insisting another escape from the drop remains possible. Walter Mazzarri, for his part, insisted his team had never been part of a relegation scrap. But the truth was visible on the pitch at the final whistle as Watford players erupted in jubilation and Sunderland players fell to their knees.

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 21.41.15A week ago, Jermain Defoe was making a goalscoring return for England but it was back to business as usual yesterday with Sunderland, who are looking increasingly doomed after failing to score for the fifth successive game.

BHappy image The thing about losing a rubbish game before an international break is that you have two weeks of fidgeting before getting back to it.  A period in which you can afford, or pretend, to forget about bloody football for a bit for, what, half an hour or so?  Before focusing intently on the forthcoming game.  For two weeks.  Minus the five minutes or so for which internationals distracted you.

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-19-13-20 Just before the half hour, Niang went on a wonderful forward run but, after doing all the hard work his shot was straight at a defender.  As the play returned to the other end of the pitch, he just ambled around.  I wondered whether he had an injury, but it soon became clear that he just needed a sit down after his exertions.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-15-22-53 It was refreshing to see us play some good football and get a deserved win, refreshing to know we can still grind out a victory, refreshing to know that there’s now no international football until June.

English Premier League Table »
Burnley 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea 1-2 Crystal Palace
Hull City 2-1 West Ham United
Leicester City 2-0 Stoke City
Liverpool 3-1 Everton
Manchester United 0-0 West Bromwich Albion
Southampton 0-0 Bournemouth
Watford 1-0 Sunderland

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 11.52.36.png