Category: January

23rd January 2020- FA Cup Third Round Replay, Tranmere Rovers 2 Watford 1 (After Extra Time)

The game was postponed from 14th January.

Referee: Tony Harrington
Attendance: 10,039
1-1

Match Report: Tranmere Rovers 2-1 Watford (AET)

Watford lose FA Cup replay against Tranmere Rovers

Nigel Pearson said his Watford youngsters were introduced to ‘men’s football’ at Tranmere Rovers

Watford players rated after slipping out of FA Cup at Tranmere Rovers

Kaylen Hinds was proud to score on his Watford debut against Tranmere Rovers

Callum Whelan says Watford’s younger players can learn from Tranmere Rovers FA Cup defeat

Paul Mullin’ extra-time header set up an FA Cup clash with Man Utd for Tranmere after a 2-1 win over Watford at Prenton Park.

In a game rescheduled from earlier in the month because of a waterlogged pitch, Rovers capitalised on a hugely under-strength Hornets and best navigated a dire, sand-covered Prenton Park surface to finally settle the tie in extra time.

Pearson has made it clear Premier League survival is Watford’s priority and underlined that by making 11 changes from the side that lost at Aston Villa in midweek.

Nigel Pearson, to his credit, was gracious in defeat and blamed neither the poor playing surface nor his changes for the early exit, although the Watford manager was pointed in his criticism of some of the club’s young players who failed to seize their chance to impress. “Some of our young players thought they could just turn up in the first half,” he said. “You have to earn the right to play. It was a bit of a reality check for some. Welcome to the man’s game.”

In the cold light of day, while it had been a disappointing performance from the youngsters, it was not unexpected.  They had started brightly enough and there had been a few decent moments, but the Tranmere team were too strong for them and, ultimately, appeared to want it more.  Of the youngsters, Hinds did well when he came on and deserved his goal.  Spencer-Adams has looked promising in both games and Whelan had a decent second half.  Of the first-team players, Kabasele put in a decent shift, Holebas had a couple of very decent chances but looked unhappy to be there and Gray was mostly anonymous, which was very sad to see.

After two defeats midweek, there was no Watford game on the weekend. so Jon and Mike gathered to discuss two disappointing results, how the squad, in particular the young hornets who played against Tranmere. 

https://www.11v11.com/competitions/fa-cup/2020/matches/

21st January 2020- Premier League, Aston Villa 2 Watford 1

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Attendance: 40,867
1-0

Match Report: Aston Villa 2-1 Watford

Watford throw away lead to lose at Aston Villa

Late Tyrone Mings goal sees Watford defeated at Aston Villa

Nigel Pearson thinks Watford did not deserve to lose at Aston Villa

Watford players rated after defeat to Aston Villa

Ben Foster thinks Watford were naive in their defeat to Aston Villa

A 95th-minute winner off the boot of Tyrone Mings gave Aston Villa a priceless 2-1 victory over Watford to leapfrog their opponents and claw themselves out of the relegation zone.

Troy Deeney had put the Hornets in front when he powerfully headed home from five yards out after Gerard Deulofeu’s cross from the right. Deeney almost grabbed a second but was denied by an excellent reaction stop from home goalkeeper Reina.

There was further frustration for Watford when Mings, who had been booked in the first half, escaped a second caution despite appearing to handle the ball and prevent a counter-attack. Pearson admitted afterwards his players were convinced Mings should have been dismissed.

Watford are now second bottom, in the relegation zone on goal difference, but Pearson kept defeat in perspective. “I think we’re a bit unlucky but that’s life and we’ll deal with it,” he said. “It’s easy to reflect on performances when things go your way, we’ve been a bit unlucky.

Bobby is in for Sarr, the mythical João Pedro makes a Premier League bench for the first time.  The opening spell is stodgy… Watford don’t commit forward, look almost tentative attacking. The absence of Sarr will be painfully evident throughout… if the quality of delivery has sometimes let him down, his pace, directness and aggression is about more than the end product.

We left the ground feeling very disappointed and had to walk through a crowd of exuberant Villa fans chanting, “Deeney what’s the score?”  On that note, it was lovely to see Villa fans on social media after the game singing the praises of Troy for stopping to have his photo taken with them.  A true pantomime villain who loves the back and forth with the fans.

https://www.soccerbase.com/matches/results.sd?date=2020-01-21
https://www.11v11.com/league-tables/premier-league/21-january-2020/

18th January 2020- Premier League, Watford 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0

Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
21,366

Match Report: Watford 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Watford continue push for survival with point against Tottenham Hotspur

Watford and Tottenham Hotspur share spoils in Premier League draw

Nigel Pearson says Watford deserve ‘incredible credit’ for performance in Tottenham Hotspur draw

Watford players rated following Tottenham Hotspur stalemate

Craig Dawson praised Watford’s team spirit after Tottenham Hotspur point

Ignacio Pussetto’s goal-line clearance denied Tottenham a last-minute winner at Watford by just 10.04mm in a goalless draw at Vicarage Road.

Troy Deeney saw his spot-kick saved, but the Hornets extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to seven matches.

The truth was that Spurs started well, without causing Ben Foster any real moments of concern. By the half- hour, however, Watford were on top and during the first 15 minutes of the second half should have taken the lead. Their penalty came in the 69th minute, the result of incessant pressure that culminated in Jan Vertonghen desperately blocking a shot from Gerard Deulofeu with his arm. Deeney stepped up to take it, but his shot was soft and too close to Paolo Gazzaniga’s right hand. It was Deeney’s third miss in his past six Premier League penalties.

As it happened

In the minutes added on at the end of the game, the Watford substitute Ignacio Pussetto, an Argentine winger making his debut for the club, cleared one off the line that Erik Lamela had managed to steer past Ben Foster. The goal decision system later revealed that it was the breadth of an orange peel away from being the winner, which meant that Watford could also consider one point a good return.

It’s not a great penalty, very savable if the keeper goes the right way…  harsh to blame Troy really who more than pulls his weight throughout, but I’d always prefer he missed by absolutely spanking it if he’s going to miss at all.  Call me childish, but there’s great satisfaction in seeing the ball hit as hard as he did at Wembley.

From behind the goal it didn’t look to have crossed the line and the referee waved his ‘watch’ at the protesting Spurs players to indicate that they had not scored.  That was the last action of the game.  It had been a decent goalless draw.  The visitors had started the game strongly with the Hornets sitting very deep, but Watford came back into it and had a couple of decent chances.  Both defences played pretty well, and the forwards from both sides were very wasteful.

No goals? No problem! Jon, Jas, Jordi and Mike run the rule over another decent Watford performance as the recovery under Nigel Pearson continues. As well as looking forward to what could be one of the busiest Watford weeks of football, the boys try and choose their most improved Pearson era performer. It’s another From the Rookery End podcast!

12th January 2020- Premier League, AFC Bournemouth 0 Watford 3

Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 10,384
1-0
2-0
3-0

Match Report: Bournemouth 0-3 Watford

Watford beat fellow relegation candidates Bournemouth away

Watford beat Bournemouth to climb out of the relegation zone

Nigel Pearson said Watford did what they needed to beat Bournemouth

Watford players rated after beating Bournemouth

Nigel Pearson felt Graham Taylor would have been proud of Watford’s win at Bournemouth

Images from Watford’s victory at Bournemouth to move out of the relegation zone

Nigel Pearson says Watford’s win at Bournemouth is “not a season-changing result” despite climbing out of the bottom three for the first time this season.

Pearson praises ‘exceptional’ Watford work rate

Abdoulaye Doucoure (42) gave Watford a first-half lead as they capitalised on an error from goalkeeper Mark Travers, before captain Troy Deeney (65) doubled the lead midway through the second half. Roberto Pereyra (90+2) wrapped up the three points for Pearson’s resurgent Hornets, who climb to 17th after their third consecutive league victory.

Graham Taylor, the greatest manager in Watford history, died on Jan 12 2017. There could have been no better way to mark the third anniversary of the great man’s passing than for the club he built to secure the victory which took them out of the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season. And for the travelling supporters, there was no question who they deem responsible for the upward momentum newly infecting their favourites.  “We’ve got super Nigel Pearson,” they sang throughout this win. And no wonder. The third manager at Vicarage Road this season has now delivered 13 points in six games since being appointed. From looking already marooned, under him Watford are destined for mid table. 

“We talked very early on about the fact that we would have to have a substantial run at some point,” Pearson said. “We are having a good run at the moment but I am not naive enough to think these things carry on indefinitely without working at it. We probably need to win another six games, maybe more – it depends how it pans out this year – but we have certainly put ourselves in a better position than we were a few weeks ago.”

As it happened

There was much excitement after the game as phones were proffered displaying the table showing Watford out of the relegation zone for the first time this season.  Nobody in the away end wanted to head for the exits as we stayed to cheer our heroes.  The Nigel Pearson chant had had a good airing, but there was always time for another chorus as well as chants for Deeney, Doucouré and anyone else who attracted our attention.  Then lovely Nate Chalobah came over and pumped his fists at the crowd and was greeted with a cheer.  A repeat fist pump elicited the same reaction.  He headed away from us and the crowd responded with ‘oooooooohhhh’, he turned around and pumped his fist and was rewarded with another cheer.  This was repeated another couple of times before he reached Pearson in the centre of the field and the two of them pumped their fists in unison.  I know that this loses a lot in the telling but it was a gorgeous moment and I had a tear in my eye at the togetherness.

On a sunny Sunday by the the sea, Watford emphatically beat the Cherries and are now in 17th and out of the relegation zone.

4th January 2020- FA Cup Third Round, Watford 3 Tranmere Rovers 3

Referee: Graham Scott
Attendance: 14,373
1-0
2-0
3-0

Match Report: Watford 3-3 Tranmere Rovers

Relive our coverage of Watford’s FA Cup clash with Tranmere Rovers

Watford lose three-goal interval lead against Tranmere Rovers in FA Cup

Nigel Pearson stresses Premier League priority for Watford after Tranmere Rovers FA Cup draw

Watford players rated against Tranmere Rovers in FA Cup third round

Nathaniel Chalobah urges Watford to take second Tranmere Rovers chance

Tom Dele-Bashiru blames concentration for Watford’s FA Cup draw with Tranmere Rovers

Watford successfully appeal Roberto Pereyra’s Tranmere Rovers FA Cup red card

Nigel Pearson said the FA Cup is “not a priority” as a much-changed Watford threw away a three-goal lead against Tranmere in Saturday’s third-round tie.

At half-time Watford were cruising to victory but had this match gone on any longer they would surely have lost. A full-pelt comeback from Tranmere Rovers saw the League One strugglers overturn a three-goal deficit against Premier League opponents to secure a replay at Prenton Park. As Rovers manager Micky Mellon put it: “You can see the quality of these teams, but if you get the momentum it doesn’t matter how good they are, it’s difficult to get it back.”

To compound the hosts’ misery, their two most “senior” players on the day, Chalobah and Pereyra will miss next weekend’s crunch league clash at Bournemouth. Chalobah picked up an injury and was withdrawn at half-time. Petulant Pereyra earned a ridiculous and stupid red card for lashing out at Kieron Morris a minute from time.

Thought number one is to ponder why Watford away is such a big pull for the support of a side struggling at the foot of League One, big respect in any case.  Thought number two is to ponder that most of those in the away end, even those over the age of 30, are probably completely oblivious of the significance afforded to what, to them, was probably a mundane away defeat here in 1999.  My god.  Thought number three is to wonder how many of our matchday squad weren’t even born in April 1999.  Answer:  eight.  Eight!  With Sarr and Callum Whelan babes in arms.  Thought number four is to Stop Thinking.

We had been coasting at half time and Rovers had been poor.  But the loss of Chalobah and then Quina changed the game and the whole of the second half seemed to be played with Watford on the back foot.  I briefly thought that it looked like one of those games that Liverpool used to play in the 80s when they would play for a draw in the first leg of a league cup game before battering the opposition in the second leg.  But those games were controlled 0-0 draws.  This game was quite baffling.  It has to be said that it was an opportunity for those who were on the fringes to show Pearson what they can do.  Sadly, I don’t think that Success or Gray did anything that would convince him to include them against Bournemouth.  However, Chalobah had another good outing, Dele-Bashiru looked excellent and João Pedro put in a decent showing.  The fitness problems of the fringe players was a cause for concern and they may find themselves with some extra routines in training.

The 3rd Round of the FA Cup is a magical day and when the hornets took on League 1 struggling Tranmere the game gave us pretty much everything. With a whole heap of changes, Jon, Jason, Colin and Mike discuss the players who took the opportunity put in front of them and those that, disappointingly, didn’t. Plus Jon has another FA Cup based game for you to play along with.

https://www.soccerbase.com/matches/results.sd?date=2020-01-04