Category Archives: Xisco Munoz

3rd October 2021- Xisco Munoz is sacked.

https://www.watfordfc.com/news/club-statement-xisco-munoz

Sky Sports: Watford have sacked head coach Xisco Munoz after less than 10 months in charge, with the club 14th in the Premier League.

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.

25th September 2021- Premier League, Watford 1 Newcastle United 1

WFC.Net Jon Mark’s Goal Commentary: 1

Watford

Newcastle United

BBC Sport: Sean Longstaff gave Newcastle the lead, but Ismaila Sarr levelled for the improved hosts after the break.

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.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/58606474

11th September 2021- Premier League, Watford 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2

Attendance: 20,019

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.

24th August 2021- League Cup Second Round, Watford 1 Crystal Palace 0

WFC.NET Jon Marks goal commentary: 1

Attendance: 9,011

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021%E2%80%9322_EFL_Cup

14th August 2021- Premier League, Watford 3 Aston Villa 2

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.

WFC Net Jon Marks goal commentary: 1 2 3

BBC Sport: Watford marked their Premier League return with a thrilling opening-day victory over Aston Villa at Vicarage Road.

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).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/58124896

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.

8th May 2021- Championship, Watford 2 Swansea City 0

BBC Sport: Andre Gray instinctively turned in Ken Sema’s cross to put Watford ahead before Isaac Success added a second late on with a fabulous strike.

Sky Sports: Troy Deeney entered proceedings for goalscorer Gray with 18 minutes left in what could be both players’ last appearances for Watford, with their respective futures uncertain.

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.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56953433
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020%E2%80%9321_EFL_Championship

From the Rookery End: Watford signed off the 2020/21 campaign with another clean sheet and another home win, beating Play-Off bound Swansea 2-0.

24th April 2021- Championship, Watford 1 Millwall 0

The game where we clinched promotion back to the Premier League after just one season away.

BBC Sport: Ismaila Sarr’s composed 11th-minute penalty, after the Senegal winger was brought down in the box by Billy Mitchell, proved enough for the Hornets.

Sky Sports: Brentford’s win at Bournemouth earlier in the day meant that only three points would be good enough for Xisco Munoz’s Hornets to be promoted alongside Norwich, who came down with them last season.

BHappy: I sink into the sofa, close my eyes for a moment, smile…and wonder what to do. On the pitch, there are hugs, grins, a few tears being wiped away. A party getting started. In the stands, there are empty seats. At home, there’s dinner to be cooked, washing up to be done, life to get on with. It’s an odd way to end an odd season, and it feels as if the meaning of it all will filter through over time, a slow dawning.

From the Rookery End: You may have heard; the ‘Orns are going up! After Watford secured promotion with a hard-earned win against Millwall, Jon, Jason and Mike took a deep breath and try to do a monumental achievement justice.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56781828

17th April 2021- Championship, Luton Town 1 Watford 0

BBC Sport: James Collins came off the bench to score a penalty with his first touch as mid-table Luton Town earned a deserved derby victory over promotion-chasing Watford.

Sky Sports: Hughes sliced wide for the Hornets, who were then reduced to 10 men with two minutes remaining, full-back Kiko Femenia sent off for his second booking after pushing Kazenga LuaLua over as he chased a ball forward.

BHappy: The other thing about derby games is that they matter so much more when your team is terrible.  In the past Watford and Luton’s fortunes often rose and fell together and at times it very much felt as if all there was to play for was avoiding relegation and this.  This Luton incarnation isn’t terrible – they’re in pretty much exactly the League position you’d have predicted based on their solid but limited showing at the Vic at the start of the season.  Nonetheless, the Hornets have rather more to play for as it stands;  Luton’s survival was confirmed mathematically by this win, but effectively a done deal some time ago.  Knocking us off our perch a very much more tantalising objective for them than not being knocked off would be for us.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56698955

9th April 2021- Championship, Watford 2 Reading 0

BBC Sport: Two goals from Ismaila Sarr saw second-placed Watford take another step towards promotion back to the Premier League with a win over Reading at Vicarage Road.

Sky Sports: Watford took the lead when Kiko Femenia, Nathaniel Chalobah and Sarr linked up brilliantly, with the latter cutting the ball from his right onto his left and then curling a powerful effort and, less than two minutes later, they had a second.

BHappy: For the second, within two minutes, Chalobah robs Gibson, perhaps yet to get his head back into the game, and Philip Zinckernagel plays the pass. In both cases, they’re situations we weren’t even interested in, let alone involved in, under previous managers; we were too busy getting our shape, tucking in, locking up. They come with risk, as we’ll see, but so much reward.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56611869

5th April 2021- Championship, Middlesbrough 1 Watford 1

BBC Sport: Yannick Bolasie’s late equaliser gave Middlesbrough’s fading Championship play-off hopes a boost as Neil Warnock’s side held in-form Watford at the Riverside.

Sky Sports: Watford edged ahead in dramatic circumstances. Boro goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli first produced an impressive save to deny Ken Sema, but Marc Bola’s clearance fell kindly for Zinckernagel, who took control, though there were suspicions of handball as he did so.

BHappy: Xisco has spoken guardedly about securing a play-off place before we worry about anything else. William Troost-Ekong’s stock rose still further with his weekend Extra Time interview over the weekend.  Troy Deeney has made the journey to Middlesbrough to sit in an empty stadium in the cold (and, you know, in Middlesbrough) to “ensure that standards don’t drop”.  As the teams come out and Francisco Sierralta’s approach to the freezing sunshine that is cold enough to put condensation on your breath whilst watching in the warmth of your own home is to douse himself in water; you kind of feel that there’s not much wrong in terms of attitude.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/56560222