Category Archives: December

28th December 2021- Premier League, Watford 1 West Ham United 4

Attendance: 20,073

BBC Sport: The Hammers had gone into the game with just one win in seven games – a run that had seen them seemingly slip out of contention for the Champions League places. It looked like the slump was going to continue when Emmanuel Dennis knocked the ball past Craig Dawson in the fourth minute before firing a superb strike into the top corner.

Sky Sports: Less than two and a half minutes after they had led, Watford were behind. Michail Antonio’s run to the byline gave him time to look up and find Benrahma, who went one better from his earlier effort and beat Daniel Bachmann courtesy of a kind nick off Adam Masina (29).

BHappy: We held the lead for 23 minutes, none of them comfortable.  West Ham gained in belief as they kept coming at us; our supine midfield didn’t lay a punch on theirs and the lack of defensive shape was such that the most perfunctory of attacks caused yellow shirts to scatter like marbles.  Much play continued to be focused down West Ham’s left, either because of the threat posed by Benrahma – who provided the nearest thing to an equaliser before there was one, smacking a shot off the top of the bar – or because of a perceived vulnerability in Kiko or both.  There’s got to be dollops of mitigation ladled in here by the way, since however horrific we don’t know who and how much and in what way individuals were affected by viruses;  given the absence of Ngakia from the bench, the drop in Kiko’s level from the kick-off and the Spaniard’s withdrawal five minutes before the interval, it’s difficult to suppose anything other than a case of “well I’ll give it a go, boss”.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The one positive that we could come up with was the thought that, if Sissoko had equalised, it would have been a very different match.  But Fabianski pulled off a great save and the Watford defence made it far too easy for the Hammers.  There were a lot of misplaced passes and Sierralta was clearly very rusty. 

10th December 2021- Premier League, Brentford 2 Watford 1

WFC.net Jon Marks goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 16,861

BBC Sport: Brentford scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to come from behind and deny Watford victory. Bryan Mbeumo slotted in a stoppage-time penalty to make it 2-1, minutes after captain Pontus Jansson had equalised with a header at the back post.

Sky Sports: The Hornets took a first-half lead as they made the most of the absence of two of the Bees’ first-choice back three, with Dennis left unmarked to nod home Tom Cleverley’s corner just before the half-hour mark, with the hosts out of sorts with a number of their key players unavailable.

BHappy: That our defending is appalling is accepted, but this is only true sometimes.  Sometimes is often enough of course, but there would have been stuff to admire here if only we’d gotten away with it.  Bodies in the way.  Questions asked. Decisions forced, that sort of thing.

Fran’s Watford Blog: The home side continued to threaten and a shot from Onyeka was deflected wide.  The resultant corner was headed clear by King.  But the home side were level a minute later from another corner, the delivery from Forss was headed home by Jansson.  There was a VAR review for possible offside, but the goal stood so we had to endure the obnoxious tannoy announcer celebrating the goal for a second time.  The irritation at letting in a late goal was compounded by the knowledge that it had been coming, we only had ourselves to blame.  The home side had a chance to take the lead when a shot from Janelt was deflected over the bar.  The Watford goal was in danger from the corner, but João Pedro was on hand to clear off the line.  The fourth official indicated that there was 5 minutes of added time.  This started with another booking for the home side as Onyeka was penalised after pulling Kucka to the ground.  Ranieri made a final change bringing Tufan on for Dennis.  But the points were lost when Troost-Ekong made a stupid tackle on Ghoddos giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.  Mbeumo sent Bachmann the wrong way, the home side were ahead in stoppage time and we had to listen to the loudmouth on the tannoy again.  That was the last action of the game, so the Hornets fell to a disappointing defeat on their first visit to the Brentford Community Stadium.

4th December 2021- Premier League, Watford 1 Manchester City 3

WFC.net Jon Marks’ goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 20,673

BBC Sport: The hosts were repeatedly ripped apart by City’s movement, passing and creativity and only a number of saves from goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann kept the score down to one goal in the first 30 minutes.

Sky Sports: Half-time sub Cucho Hernandez did pull one back for Watford (74), following up his own shot against the far post, and Josh King pinged his low cross just wide moments later but City regained control to see out the final stages and make it five Premier League wins on the spin.

BHappy: A blow-by-blow account is slightly redundant.  There were few defining incidents in the game – arguably only the goals that bookended the scoring and in between a lot of stuff during which time City converted twice and were denied on many other occasions.  These outcomes of these incidents could have been interchanged perfectly plausibly.

Fran’s Watford Blog: So, we fell to our second defeat in a week but, after the recent regular batterings by City, a 3-1 scoreline felt rather positive, especially after having conceded within the first 5 minutes.  This week we have played two of the top three teams in the division, we have lost to them both, but I came out of it feeling rather positive.  We were unlucky not to get a point against Chelsea.  That was not the case against City, who really should have scored more but, after being behind at half time, Ranieri brought on a couple of substitutes and adopted a more attacking formation and we fought back in the second half and actually scored a goal.  I thoroughly enjoyed Cucho’s performance, he battled and was so positive.  It has to be said that if Sissoko could shoot we may have got something out of this game.  But, unlike earlier in the season, I am enjoying watching the football again, even in defeat.

1st December 2021- Premier League, Watford 1 Chelsea 2

WFC.Net goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 20,388

BBC Sport: The under-par Blues needed a goal from substitute Hakim Ziyech to edge out their hosts after Hornets forward Emmanuel Dennis had cancelled out Mason Mount’s opener.

Sky Sports: Play was halted for half an hour early in the first half for a medical emergency in the stands, with officials being alerted to the situation by players.

Watford said: “Our thoughts are with the fan – who had a cardiac arrest but has now been stabilised – and all those affected. Thank you to the medical staff, players and fans for their quick response.”

BHappy: For twelve minutes until the interruption, we blew the European Champions away.  Adrenaline fuelled, hyper-aggressive, this was a high press and then some.  Every suggestion of composed Chelsea position was stamped on with glee and to joyous, noisy enthusiasm from the stands.  Tom Cleverley, who was to calm down later on, was absolutely in his element… somehow the first man into every challenge all over the pitch.  His bullishness on the right flank saw him able to pull back from the touchline for João Pedro to slip a shot at Mendy, who was going to have a busy evening.  Quite where the young Brazilian ends up is still up for debate, but in his more withdrawn role we’ve lost his poachers instincts.  Minutes later Kiko swung a cross in from deeper on the right and again João Pedro’s there, forcing Azpilicueta, who like Alonso on the opposite side was also going to be a busy boy, to deflect towards his own goal where Mendy was alert to push the ball wide.

Fran’s Watford Blog: Towards the end of the half, Troy Deeney was spotted at the corner between the Rookery and the GT stand.  He had been in the Hornet Shop before the game signing copies of his book.  His appearance was greeted with cheers and his chants rang out.  He was interviewed pitch-side by Tim Coombs and it was absolutely lovely.  He repeatedly thanked the fans and told us he loved us.  Talked very happily of his memories, referring back to the fact that we had a three-sided ground when he arrived.  He paid tribute to the 1881 for the displays that they have put on.  He described himself as old, fat and happy.  But the kicker was when he was asked whether he was happy being back at his boyhood club.  “Yes, but that is not home, this is home.”  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.  He then had a kick about with his mates who were warming up for the second half and we all cheered him off.

26th December 2020- Championship, Watford 1 Norwich City 0

BBC Sport: Ismaila Sarr got new Watford head coach Xisco Munoz off to the perfect start with a winning goal that ended Championship leaders Norwich City’s five-game winning run.

Sky Sports: Just a few minutes before the break, Watford took advantage. Ken Sema darted to the left-hand byline and pulled the ball back across the face of goal to the far post, where Sarr timed his run to perfection, sneaked past Jacob Sorensen and tucked the opener past stranded Norwich goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

Official site: City pressed but never had that golden chance and Foster wasn’t overly-extended in the Watford goal.

BHappy: Xisco Muñoz hits the right notes straight away, even if he does come across a bit Joey Tribbiani.  Positive, energetic. likeable.  Watford supporters should long since be immune to What Other People Think, in particular that sort of guffawing sub-pub bore nonsense churned out by Chris Sutton on 5 Live.  There are concerns in his lack of managerial experience of course, but then the likes of Boothroyd and Rodgers came in with comparable experience and both did alright for themselves with us and elsewhere, in different ways.  It’s unlikely that the Pozzos picked his name out of a hat after all.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/55373502