Category: August

10th August 2019- Premier League, Watford 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 3

Referee: Craig Pawson
Attendance: 20,245

Match Report: Watford 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion

Gracia: “A Good Wake-Up Call”

Cathcart: “They Were Clinical & We Weren’t”

Highlights: Watford 0-3 Brighton

Affleck’s Angle: Wake-Up Call

Watford beaten comfortably by Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day of the 2019/20 season

Poor Watford slump to Brighton & Hove Albion defeat

No excuses from Javi Gracia following Watford’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion

Watford players rated after sloppy defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion

A selection of images from Watford’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion

Craig Cathcart labels Watford’s defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion as a wake up call

New Brighton manager Graham Potter said his side’s winning start to the Premier League season was a “dream” as the Seagulls put three past a stunned Watford.

Watford – well below their usual standards – had no answers as Potter’s second-half substitutes Florin Andone (65) and new signing Neal Maupay (77) netted in what was a very comfortable opening day success.

If Brighton were not flawless, then Watford barely got anything right. They could not blame the swirling winds, which if anything should have played greater havoc with Brighton’s possession-based approach. After a brisk start they became maddeningly imprecise and it was no shock when they fell behind.

Watford manager Javi Gracia said: “Maybe it was a good wake-up call for the rest of the season because we have time to improve. We are disappointed today but I prefer to wait and trust that we can do better in the second game. We have time to analyse and improve. They played much better than us. And when we realised we had to play better, it was too late.”​

The ground, as is becoming traditional, looks ever smarter after a summer’s work – seats in the Rookery/SEJ corner now, and big screens mounted high on the roof of the stand at each end of the pitch.  New signings Sarr and “England international” Welbeck are presented to the crowd and hysterically received, the former making his way slowly across the pitch without breaking his applause to the stands.  There are new montages on the screens, and then Z-Cars chimes in back in it’s traditional place and the cheer as the teams enter is peppered with grins and high fives and a particularly guttural roar.  Fair play to the club for being honest and brave enough to reverse a bad decision.

The final whistle went to boos from the Watford faithful and, while the Brighton players spent some time celebrating with their fans, the Watford players disappeared pretty quickly.  But, fair play to Deeney, he did his usual lap of the pitch to applaud the fans in each stand and, despite the anger and disappointment in the crowd, he was warmly applauded for it.

3rd August 2019- The Graham Taylor Matchday, Watford 2 Real Sociedad 1

Pre-Season Report: Watford 2-1 Real Sociedad

Gracia: “Good Results Are Important For Confidence”

Relive our coverage as Watford beat Real Sociedad on Graham Taylor Matchday

Andre Gray scores twice as Watford beat Real Sociedad

Javi Gracia seeking Watford improvements after Real Sociedad friendly win

Once inside the ground, we headed for our usual spot in the Rookery (if not our usual seats).  The first notable difference was the big screens which have been added to the Vicarage Road and Rookery Stands.  They look very good and should be visible from all areas of the ground.  Hopes that Z-cars would be reinstated were cruelly dashed as the players took the field to “I’m Still Standing” and, as has happened at all games since the change, the pulse failed to quicken.  I remain baffled at this decision which has no apparent benefit but has been a detriment to the matchday experience for many. Before the game, Rita Taylor and her grandson, Jake, were on the pitch for the minute’s applause for GT.  They were then introduced to the players as GT’s favourite song, Buddy Holly’s Raining in my Heart, was played over the tannoy.  I must admit to having tears in my eyes at this point.

29th August 2018- League Cup Second Round, Reading 0 Watford 2

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Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 20.38.01Referee:Andy Davies    Attendance:9,265

Watford FC Official SiteMatch Report: Reading 0-2 Watford

Gracia: “Tonight We Have Good News”

Success: “The Atmosphere In The Dressing Room Is Incredible”

Wilmot: “It Was A Good Performance All-Round”

Highlights: Reading 0-2 Watford

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals:  1   2

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Reading vs Watford: Isaac Success and Domingos Quina send Hornets through in Carabao Cup

Isaac Success and Domingos Quina goals send Watford to Carabao Cup victory over Reading

Watford’s Javi Gracia praises Nathaniel Chalobah and Stefano Okaka after Carabao Cup win over Reading

Reading vs Watford ratings: Domingos Quina and Ben Wilmot impress in Carabao Cup win

Isaac Success: Watford forward pleased with Carabao Cup contribution

Domingos Quina: Debut strike leaves Watford youngster hungry for more

BBC SportDomingos Quina scored a stunning goal on his Watford debut help them progress to the Carabao Cup third round at the expense of Championship side Reading.

skyWatford – fourth in the Premier League after winning their opening three games – made 11 changes from the side that defeated Crystal Palace 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

BHappy imageThere are certain prerequisites when it comes to the early stages of the Rumbelows Cup.  Some of these are met in sunny Berkshire tonight…  a half-empty stadium (albeit a respectable enough 2500 make the short journey from Hertfordshire), much-changed starting line-ups (eleven changes for the Golden Boys in the green away kit’s first outing).  Check, check.

FranTeam news was that Gracia had made 11 changes with debuts for Navarro, Masina, Wilmot and Quina and the return of Chalobah, so the starting line-up was Gomes; Navarro, Mariappa, Prödl, Masina; Femenía, Chalobah, Wilmot, Quina, Sema; Success.  I have to say that looked like a pretty decent team.  Reading had also made 8 changes, but the main Watford connection with the opposition was in the dug out in the person of Sir Nigel Gibbs.

The Hornets NestWatford’s record in this competition is infamous. In the past ten seasons we’ve been knocked out by lower league opposition a total of eight times. So it’s no wonder I was surprised when Watford won comfortably away at Reading on Wednesday evening.

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26th August 2018- Premier League, Watford 2 Crystal Palace 1

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Referee:Anthony Taylor   Attendance:20,014

Watford FC Official Site
Match Report: Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace

Foster: “A Huge Win”

Gracia: “Something Special, Something Amazing”

Kabasele: “You Need That Little Bit Of Luck”

Highlights: Watford 2-1 Crystal Palace

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22 clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1   2

Watford Observer

RELIVE – Watford vs Crystal Palace: Perfect Premier League start continues for Hornets

Watford make it nine points from nine with battling Crystal Palace win

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson reflects on Watford defeat

Watford: Javi Gracia says it’s ‘special’ to get three consecutive Premier League wins

PICTURES: A selection of images from Watford’s historic win over Crystal Palace

Ben Foster: Javi Gracia’s style key to Watford’s flying Premier League start

Player ratings: Watford’s Christian Kabasele on song as Hornets down Crystal Palace

Watford: Javi Gracia pleased with Roberto Pereyra’s all-round contribution

Watford’s Christian Kabasele highlights importance of team spirit as winning run goes on

BBC SportThe Hornets maintained their perfect start in the Premier League to move behind Liverpool and level with Chelsea at the top of the table on goal difference.

skyWilfried Zaha struck 12 minutes from time at Vicarage Road to raise hopes of a visiting fightback but the hosts held on as Roberto Pereyra’s 53rd-minute strike and Jose Holebas’s freak second (71) proved enough.

TelegraphGraham Taylor never managed three straight wins at the start of a first division season, a run that carried Gracia’s team to second place ahead of Chelsea’s game against Newcastle United and pegs Watford above champions Manchester City for the week. They might not have played any of the title contenders yet, but amongst those for whom survival is the first thought – Brighton, Burnley and now Crystal Palace – Watford have been ruthless.

guardianThis snarl of a game was deep into stoppage time when Luka Milivojevic swung over one last hopeful corner kick and, with the majority in the arena anxiously holding their breath, Joel Ward leapt unchallenged into the six-yard box only to head wide of the post. The locals’ outpouring of relief at the miss was almost as deafening as the raucous delight which greeted the final whistle moments later.

FranThe build-up to this game was all about Harry Hornet who, in answer to a question from a journalist, had been branded a ‘disgrace’ by Roy Hodgson for an incident two years ago that I doubt Hodgson had actually ever seen, when Harry collapsed behind Zaha while the post-match handshakes were happening.  Sticking up for your player is all well and good but Roy lost all credibility when he claimed, with a straight face, that Zaha didn’t dive.  Sorry, Roy he gets booked for it, which was what provoked Harry’s action.  You couldn’t help but feel that Roy’s words would come back to haunt him.

BHappy imageIt feels more like March than August bank holiday weekend.  Palace have brought the traditional Croydon microclimate with them and it dampens our quick start before it gets going.  Only the hissing, spitting hot fat of this fixture burns on unperturbed, and it hadn’t needed Roy Hodgson ambling into a Harry-shaped animal trap in the visitors’ pre-match press conference to ignite it.  Our encounters have a bad-tempered, even spiteful undercurrent all of their own.

The Hornets NestIt only took four minutes for the game’s first talking point to occur. As Capoue tripped Zaha in the middle of the pitch, the referee awarded the midfielder a yellow card. At the time and due to where I was sitting I thought this decision was harsh. Replays show however that Capoue may have been lucky to stay on the pitch, after a potentially dangerous challenge.

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19th August 2018- Premier League, Burnley 1 Watford 3

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Referee:Paul Tierney  Attendance:18,822

Watford FC Official Site

Match Report: Burnley 1-3 Watford

Gracia: “It’s Only The Beginning”

Hughes: “It’s A Lot Harder Than It Looks!”

Highlights: Burnley 1-3 Watford

Deeney: “You Can See The Togetherness”

FPL Review: Gameweek 2

Away Days: Burnley

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1  2  3

Watford Observer

RELIVE: Watford score three high-quality goals to beat Burnley

Watford: Andre Gray, Troy Deeney and Will Hughes secure Burnley win

Frustrated Burnley boss Sean Dyche believes Watford’s Will Hughes should have been sent off

Watford: Javi Gracia delighted to get off away mark at Burnley

PICTURES: Watford score three fine goals to beat Burnley

Watford: Javi Gracia keeping his feet on the floor

RATINGS: Troy Deeney gets top mark as Watford beat Burnley

Watford’s Will Hughes targeting more goals after scoring against Burnley

Watford’s Troy Deeney has got the ‘buzz’ back after Burnley goal

BBC SportAndre Gray struck on his return to Burnley as Watford scored an away goal for the first time since January to continue their winning start to the Premier League season.

skyAll the goals came at the start of each half, with Andre Gray netting inside three minutes before James Tarkowski’s header levelled things up three minutes later.

TelegraphWatford took advantage of ­leggy-looking hosts, who alarmingly ran out of steam in what was their sixth competitive game in 25 days at the outset of the campaign, thanks to their ongoing attempts to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League.

guardianGracia paid tribute to his strikers. “When you score three times it makes it easier to manage the game,” he said. “I know it is not easy to get points here, but I can only be pleased at the start we have made.” Gracia had not even seen an away goal since becoming Watford manager but he had to wait only three minutes for his side to nose in front, Andre Gray scoring against his old club after pushing the ball out to Troy Deeney on the right and moving up to meet the return with a sweetly struck right-foot volley.

FranAs I was on a flight to the US last Saturday for work, I missed the Brighton game, so I was really looking forward to my season starting properly.  But, as Watford hadn’t scored away from home since January 2nd and we never get anything at Burnley, my expectations were pretty low prior to kick-off.

The Hornets NestThe End Of The North West Curse

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