From the Rookery End: After another poor Premier League showing at Elland Road, Watford have parted company with their Head Coach Xisco Muñoz. Jon, Mike and DCW got together to discuss the departure, work out why it happened and try to get a handle on what needs to come next.
WFC.Net Jon Mark’s Goal Commentary: 1
Sky Sports: Vicarage Road then erupted with one minute to go when King fired home from close range but referee Jarred Gillett – the first overseas official to referee a Premier League game – was instructed to disallow the goal by VAR for offside.
BHappy: If there’s anything more enjoyable than scratching and fighting and shithousing your way to an away win it’s depriving an opponent of doing so. The few seconds between Joshua King tucking away the loose ball after João Pedro’s tidy lay-off had set up Sissoko to drive at Darlow were a wonderful thing but it wasn’t to be. Referee Gillett rubbed salt into the wound unnecessarily by getting his handpointing all wrong and invoking a second abortive goal celebration, but VAR confirmed that Newcastle’s offside trap was in better working order than ours had been and King had stepped beyond it.
BBC Sport: Bruno Lage’s side had lost their opening three games 1-0 and after 69 shots without scoring, it took Francisco Sierralta heading into his own net from Marcal’s cross to give Wolves the advantage.
Sky Sports: With seven minutes to go they turned that into a second goal. Semedo’s low ball across the six-yard box simply needed tapping home at the back post, where Marcal somehow turned it onto the woodwork and away, before Hwang found some greater accuracy to beat William Troost-Ekong’s despairing challenge from close range.
BHappy: The head coach, at least, has built a rapid connection with supporters – a ready smile and a promotion don’t hurt of course – but his request for a barrage of noise to fuel an early assault on the visitors never looks remotely like coming to pass as Wolves dominate possession for the opening ten or fifteen minutes. Jeremy Ngakia is one of two new faces in the starting eleven… I’ve never quite decided in my head whether he’s destined for great things or somewhat less great things, and the same conflicting evidence is on show here. In the opening minutes Traoré, ostensibly the greatest threat (Jiménez, a shadow of his former self, is regaining fitness and confidence), twice loses Ngakia on the Wolves left before slipping a simple pass to a team-mate presumably deemed to boast more reliable end product. It’s all very sensible but rather underwhelming, like hiring a michelin-starred chef to pour you some corn flakes.
From the Rookery End: Watford’s 2-0 home loss against Wolves was a game with a negative result but, by talking it through, Jon, Mike, Jason and Colin, try to see the nuggets the season can be built upon.
WFC.NET Jon Marks goal commentary: 1
BBC Sport: Watford, who only had one shot in the first half, improved after the break with Troost-Ekong and Hernandez both having chances before the latter found space down the left swing, cut back and curled over a delightful cross for Fletcher, who joined the club on a free transfer after leaving Middlesbrough this summer, to poke home.
Official site: Supporters enjoyed the first fixture under the lights of the new campaign, and although there wasn’t much action to speak of until the finish, a positive atmosphere buzzed around Vicarage Road throughout.
BHappy: I’d resigned myself to penalties, I suspect I wasn’t the only one… gazing across the pitch and wondering who might be up for a spot kick when suddenly one of those breaks connected, like a misfiring engine that suddenly, unexpectedly, clicks into gear. Rose fed Cucho on the left, the Colombian cut a tremendous cross through to the far post where Fletcher was hurtling in to tuck the ball home. The vigour of the celebration testified to the popularity of the goalscorer in the dressing room – whatever his future involvement there are worse ways to debut than scoring a late winner against Palace.
From the Rookery End: As Watford defeat Crystal Palace in the League Cup, Jon, Mike and DCW look at the player who impressed and who might be staking a claim for a starting spot in the Premier League.
At half time NHS staff who worked at Watford General Hospital during the pandemic did a lap of honour around the pitch and were applauded by both sets of supporters.
Sky Sports: After bouncing straight back up to the Premier League, Watford were full of life in the first half, taking the lead through debutant Emmanuel Dennis’ low effort (10), before Ismaila Sarr’s deflected shot off Tyrone Mings put them 2-0 up before the break (42).
BHappy: By half time, the sun is properly out. Which is how opening day should be, of course. There are 200 hospital staff circuiting the pitch to a prolonged standing ovation from all four sides of the ground. “Song for Guy” plays as the faces of those lost over the pandemic by both club and hospital appear on the screen. There is a deluge of specks in eyes, odd for a still afternoon.
From the Rookery End: First impressions last and what an impression the debutants for Watford made against Aston Villa. Jason, Mike and Jon are back for a 12th season of podcasting about Watford and they gathered on Sunday to discuss the incredible win, the stand out goals and how a bunch of Watford fans beliefs can change in a matter of…. minutes.
BHappy: It doesn’t feel much like the last day of the season. It doesn’t feel much like anything really, enjoyed as it is from this season’s detached vantage point in the study, window slightly ajar, snacks and drinks in place, match on the big screen, other stuff on the smaller screen. WhatsApp is accessible but carefully hidden and muted to guard against unwanted telegraphs of what’s about to happen from folk with faster streams than mine, we’ve all gotten better at this with experience.