Category: Quique Sanchez Flores

15th May 2016- Premier League, Watford 2 Sunderland 2

Quique Sanchez Flores final programme notes.

Referee: Kevin Friend 
Attendance: 21,012 
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2-2

MATCH REPORT: Watford 2-2 Sunderland

Quique Sanchez Flores says the memory of Watford fans will “be in my head forever” after bringing down the curtain on his year at the Vicarage Road helm with an emotional lap of the pitch following today’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland. The Hornets head coach, whose departure was confirmed on Friday, was joined by his family as he waved goodbye to the fans, who sang his song loudly after watching their side finish their first season back in the Premier League 13th in the table.

The Spaniard has taken the club to 13th and Premier League safety since his appointment at the end of last season’s promotion-winning campaign, not to mention a Wembley appearance in the FA Cup semi-finals.

‘Sensitive’ Flores sad to leave Watford

Both sides struggled to fashion clear-cut openings in the early stages with Watford’s Almen Abdi going closest with a low shot from the edge of the box that flew inches wide.

Sunderland proved much more clinical, scoring from their first significant opportunity. Prödl’s slip on the halfway line allowed Dame N’Doye to run unhindered down the left before passing inside to Jeremain Lens, whose drive was well saved. The ball was immediately worked back to Lens and this time his low centre was turned into a now totally exposed goal by Jack Rodwell.

“I feel my job is absolutely complete,” Flores said. “We hit the target we had to keep the team in this category and the way we did it was amazing. 

Several Watford players putting in performances that captured their seasons like a highlights reel… Paredes thundering down the flank before dropping a cross into Pickford’s arms, Jurado prompting gasps with his adroit, clever footwork without generating an awful lot (although in fairness his boldness did at least yield a shot or two on target and draw a penalty), Guedioura surging enthusiastically past opponents before losing control, or clumping a volley into the Rookery. Seb Prödl’s goal was just great, exactly the sort of goal that a centre-back built like a brick outhouse ought to be scoring. And young Sunderland sub Honeyman one minute being bullied off the ball in a grossly unfair confrontation with Troy, the next hacking the ball into the stand in terror in the mistaken expectation that his adversary was closing in…

Flores made a trademark substitution at half time bringing Paredes on for Cathcart.  The Hornets equalized three minutes into the half as a corner from Guedioura was headed home by Prödl.  A cracking strike just in front of us, which cheered us up no end.  Sadly the good mood in the home stands was short lived as Deeney was flattened following a corner, play was waved on and the counter attack finished with Watmore finding Lens who finished past Gomes to restore the lead for the visitors.  Watford came close to getting an equaliser soon after as Aké unleashed a shot that had to be tipped to safety by Pickford.  From the corner Britos headed just over the bar.  Then Jurado found himself in space but his shot was awful.  The Spaniard turned provider as he cut the ball back to Guedioura who shot over.  There was another scare for the Hornets as a free-kick was headed home by N’Doye but, again, it was disallowed for offside.  Watford’s fortunes improved when Paredes crossed for Deeney, he headed the ball back to Jurado who was sandwiched between two defenders and the referee pointed to the spot.  Having learned my lesson at West Ham, I put my camera away as Deeney stepped up and was delighted to see him send Pickford the wrong way as he buried the ball to the keeper’s left.

As the game wore on the atmosphere inside the ground began to grow. Watford fans were keen to show Flores their thanks, his name ringing around all four sides. Watford finished the stronger. The Hornets however couldn’t get the win on Quique’s last game.

More games from 15th May at https://oldwatford.com/tag/may15

24th April 2016- FA Cup Semi Final, Crystal Palace 2 Watford 1 (at Wembley Stadium)

Referee:
Craig Pawson
Attendance:
79,110

1-1

FA CUP SEMI-FINAL MATCH REPORT

LIVE FROM WEMBLEY: Watford beaten by Crystal Palace in FA Cup semi-final

Watford suffer FA Cup semi-final agony after Crystal Palace defeat at Wembley

IN PICTURES: Watford V Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace will play Manchester United in a repeat of the 1990 FA Cup final after beating Watford 2-1 in Sunday’s semi-final at Wembley. Yannick Bolasie headed Palace into an early lead but Troy Deeney levelled the match on 55 minutes. But with the game on a knife edge, Connor Wickham popped up with the winning goal on 61 minutes to send Palace to their first FA Cup showpiece since losing out to United in a replay following a memorable 3-3 draw.

Watford had knocked out holders Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in the quarter-finals yet this was one hurdle too many for Quique Sanchez Flores’ side.

Watford scored from one of only two shots on target during the game and, after a sequence of just three wins from 17 league matches, this was a display that will do little for manager Quique Sanchez Flores’s chances of keeping his job.

Yet, for all that Adlène Guedioura smeared a stoppage-time volley just wide and Joel Ward almost inadvertently converted Allan Nyom’s dangerous centre, Flores’s team were rather disjointed throughout and handicapped further by a knee injury sustained by Étienne Capoue which could yet prove serious.

Sometimes these reports are enjoyable to write. Winning helps, of course, but it’s not a perfect correlation… there are interesting defeats too, defeats that don’t quite feel like being slapped in the face. This isn’t one of those times. This is the sort of occasion when you kinda suspect that everyone wants to forget it as much as you do.

One of the most important football matches of your entire life is about to end. You spend its last ten minutes trying to work out how best to get back to civilisation. You wish it away and it meekly obeys.

Generally I try to take positives from games, but it is hard on an afternoon like this.  I can take a defeat if we have given our all and were beaten by a better team, but I came away from Wembley thinking that, given the talent in our squad, we should have done better.  If you had told me in August that we would retain our status in the Premier League and reach the FA Cup semi-final, I would have been thrilled.  But that defeat will hurt for some time.

I’m not angry, I’m not sad. I’ve spent the last 24 hours following our defeat feeling morose, listening to Einaudi in the hope the tears will eventually come and I’ll feel alright. What I do feel however is let down. Which is not something I ever want to say. If we gave our all, if we left everything out on that pitch and still lost, then fine, we can leave with our heads held high. But we didn’t, we were slow and unadventurous.

20th February 2016- FA Cup Fifth Round, Watford 1 Leeds United 0

Referee:
Michael Oliver
Attendance:
18,336

Watford reached the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 after Scott Wootton’s own goal gifted them victory against Leeds.

It took Quique Sanchez Flores’ side until the 54th minute to break down their Championship opponents on Saturday, when Wootton turned Ben Watson’s cross into his own net.

It was fitting that an error-strewn cup tie should be decided by an awful own goal from Leeds defender Scott Wootton, who volleyed a harmless cross from Ben Watson into his own net shortly after half-time.

Watford had made six changes and, with their top scorer, Odion Ighalo, on the bench, their only real opportunities early on came from corners. Troy Deeney, starting behind Nordin Amrabat, headed wide in the second minute before the Uruguayan defender Miguel Britos did the same from Watson’s corner when he was given time in the Leeds penalty area. Other than those half-chances and a deflected shot from Étienne Capoue, Marco Silvestri went untested.

There’s a distinct lack of Cup fever at Vicarage Road for this one, it has to be said, where the more gormless of Watford’s support betray their long-standing desire to be Premier League wankers by trotting out the “One-nil on your big day out” chant, and gurning “who?” at Leeds subs, including Alex Mowatt who anyone paying any level of attention will have heard of.  That trick was moronic when Birmingham City were doing it to us 15 years ago, it’s now both moronic and old.

I’ve been staring at my laptop for a couple of hours now. Part of me wondering how to start this post, part of me distracted by Football League Tonight and Forestieri getting sent off and Lloyd Doyley giving away a penalty on his Rotherham debut. 

More games from 20th February at https://oldwatford.com/tag/feb20

3rd February 2016- Premier League, Watford 0 Chelsea 0

MATCH REPORT: Watford FC 0-0 Chelsea FC

Heurelho Gomes’s superb one-handed save from Costa’s header denied Chelsea victory late on. The draw moves Chelsea up to 13th on 29 points, while Watford are four points and four places better off.

After the interval, Holebas hit the side-netting from the left angle after a fine one-two with Capoue, moments after Troy Deeney had driven the ball a couple of yards wide of Courtois’ post.

In previous failed campaigns, these games have been like cup ties in which we might pull off a giant-killing, something to take with us back downstairs. Here, the announcement of the Chelsea teamsheet – him, him, him, him, him, him, him, him, him, him and him, with the other ones on the bench – might’ve led you to expect similar, whatever the league table might say. But none of that: as the game settled down into a pattern, it was our pattern, our style, that increasingly held sway.

More games from 3rd February at https://oldwatford.com/tag/feb3

5th December 2015- Premier League, Watford 2 Norwich City 0

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Watford FC Official SiteHighlights | Watford 2-0 Norwich

BBC SportTroy Deeney and Odion Ighalo both scored as Watford earned a deserved win over struggling Norwich.

skyDeeney stepped up to finish past Declan Rudd after Alexander Tettey had fouled Ighalo in the area.  And Ighalo netted his ninth goal of the season in second-half stoppage time after combining well with Deeney.

 

guardian“I love my strikers and I love the team we have,” their manager said after seeing his side move up to ninth. “We have passion, we have ambition and we have soul. I have an amazing feeling with these players and they are loving the Premier League.

BHappy imageHaving arrived in the Premier League as a team playing reasonably open football on a sensible budget with a fashionable young manager, Norwich have every right to feel a bit peeved that everyone’s fawning over Bournemouth. It’s like they’ve turned up at a fancy dress party as Olaf from Frozen, only to find that someone else had that idea first and had a mum with a fancy sewing machine; they’re now in the bathroom desperately attempting to improvise an abominable snowman costume instead.

The Hornets NestI’ll leave you with this.  Six years ago we were hours way from administration. Now after the first weekend in December we sit in the top half of the Premier League.

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More games from 5th December at https://oldwatford.com/tag/dec5

31st October 2015- Premier League, Watford 2 West Ham United 0

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Referee:Keith Stroud
Attendance:20,598
screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-23-36-22 clips of Jon Marks BBC 3CR commentary   Goals: 1   2

BBC SportWatford secured their second win in a row with victory over West Ham as Odion Ighalo continued his goalscoring form.

skyThe hosts were worthy winners and although Ighalo’s first goal owed a debt of gratitude to a critical touch from Hammers defender Aaron Cresswell, his second was an excellent strike which ended the game as a contest early in the second half.

guardian West Ham, the scourge of the nation’s most revered sides, proved themselves once again the punchbags of the newly promoted as they fell to a first away defeat of the season against a team who were better than them in the first half and, after Slaven Bilic made two substitutions at the interval, even more superior in the second.

BHappy imageToday, everything changed.  Up to now we have been gently easing ourselves into the icy water, acclimatising.  Quietly settling into our surroundings.  Not today.  Today we took a great ruddy running leap at it, and landed two-footed with a massive splash.  West Ham were underneath us, and sunk without trace.

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More games from 31st October at https://oldwatford.com/tag/oct31

12th September 2015- Premier League, Watford 1 Swansea City 0

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

BBC SportOdion Ighalo’s second-half strike earned 10-man Watford their first Premier League victory of the season at the expense of in-form Swansea.

SKY imageThe Nigeria striker, who signed a new five-year deal last week, volleyed home Troy Deeney’s header across the box from a long goal-kick forward on 59 minutes – his second of the campaign.

TelegraphValon Behrami then made life more difficult for Watford than necessary, sent off for a stamp on the surprisingly anonymous André Ayew, but while Swansea struggled to mount a coherent reply, Watford not only adapted to the loss of a player but found enough extra energy to break away three times to come close to a second goal.

BHappy imageMost of all, this didn’t feel like a smash and grab win that a plucky underdog might hope to snaffle a handful of times a season.  Yes, we dropped deep in the dying minutes but there was no desperation, no lack of composure.  We took on a side that has beaten Manchester United, drawn at Chelsea, gotten everyone cooing.  And beat them.  No knocking that.

The Hornets NestSwansea are an excellent side who have started the season very well. But despite our league position and our failure to score in our last three league games, we had been playing good football and had only lost to Man City previously whilst not conceding any goals at home.

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