30th December 2022- Championship, Swansea City 4 Watford 0

Digital programme only. https://www.swanseacity.com/swansea-city-v-watford-2022-23-programme
Attendance: 17,339

BBC Sport: Swansea City ended their eight-game winless streak in style as Joel Piroe struck twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Watford.

Sky Sports: Joel Piroe recorded a brace as Swansea opened the scoring in a game for the first time since October 23 with a 4-0 Championship victory over fifth-placed Watford to complete the double over the Hornets.

Fran’s Watford Blog: Prior to kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Pelé and for former Swansea player Neil Robinson.  The applause started as soon as the tannoy announcer started talking about Pelé and was lengthy and heartfelt.  What a sad loss he is for the world of football.

26th December 2022- Championship, Watford 0 Millwall 2

Attendance: 20,204

BBC Sport: Andreas Voglsammer scored his first goal in English football to set Millwall on the road to a vital victory over Watford in their fight for a Championship play-off place.

Sky Sports: The home side were reduced to 10 men in the 38th minute when Hassane Kamara was sent off but they were comprehensively outplayed on their own turf.

BHappy: The first half was a one-sided farce.  Daniel Bachmann, for all that he almost gave an opening goal away with a sloppy clearance before redeeming himself by throwing himself across goal to block Bradshaw’s resultant shot, kept us in the game with a number of brave stops, none better than a reaction save to deny Voglsammer after yet another Cooper knock-down.  By that stage however we were already a goal down after a rare Cathcart error contributed to Bradshaw setting up Voglsammer to stroke past Bachmann.  “That had been coming”, said everyone in the stadium.

Fran’s Watford Blog: There was then a long break in play after João Pedro was fouled by Saville and seemed to slip as he went down.  After treatment on the field, he limped off the pitch and was sat on the sideline while his ankle was strapped up.  In the meantime, the Hornets won a corner, the delivery from Sema was met by Ngakia whose header was straight at Long in the Millwall goal.  While João Pedro was being treated, Asprilla had stripped and was ready to come on, but the Brazilian returned to the field even though he was limping heavily.  It didn’t look like there was any chance that he could run it off, so it was no surprise when he went down again.  He was clearly distraught as he left the pitch to be replaced by Asprilla.  Losing our best player was pretty upsetting, but Christmas was properly ruined soon after when Kamara chased a ball in the Millwall box and collided with the goalkeeper.  An altercation with McNamara followed, Kamara lashed out and the referee showed a straight red.  It was an utterly stupid thing to do and there was no sympathetic applause as he left the pitch, instead he received a smattering of boos. 

17th December 2022- Championship, Huddersfield Town 0 Watford 2

WFC.Net Jon Marks’ Goal Commentary: 1  2

Attendance: 18,434

BBC Sport: Joao Pedro scored a second-half double as Watford beat bottom side Huddersfield Town to move up to fourth in the Championship.

Sky Sports: Watford should have taken the lead late in the first half but Pedro somehow failed to find the target from close range. Pedro made up for his earlier miss as he scored from eight yards early in the second half and a late second from a corner with four minutes remaining sealed three points for his side.

BHappy: The half-time whistle signals two-and-a-half games’ worth without a goal but there’s little grumbling in the away end, none of the red-faced hysteria that characterised away trips earlier in the season.  Perhaps the malcontents have stayed at home.  But equally, it’s clearly coming.

11th December 2022- Championship, Watford 0 Hull City 0

I’ve not checked the stats, but I’m pretty sure this is the first competitive game we’ve been involved in where three substitutes who came on were themselves substituted during the game.

Attendance: 18,846

BBC Sport: Watford and Hull City played out a dour goalless draw, as the home side missed the chance to move up to third in the Championship.

Sky Sports: Attempts on goal were sporadic, with Hull’s Jacob Greaves sending a header from a corner well wide and Christian Kabasele sliding in to block Tyler Smith’s shot from the right of the Watford box.

BHappy: The first half is utterly joyless.  It’s insanely cold for one thing…  I think I remember being colder for that 2-1 defeat to Manchester United when Troy scored at both ends but this is still ridiculous, particularly since I am now versus then seven years closer to having to recognise that I’m approaching middle age, and have dressed accordingly.   The atmosphere is non-existent, and nobody in the stadium objects… there’s a tacit recognition of the circumstances.  The home ends are painfully sparse until kick-off, when all those sensibly huddling in the concourses for the illusion of warmth scuttle out into the stands.  The game starts and briefly there’s the relief of stuff getting back into the groove… I’ve not half missed it because, you know.  It almost doesn’t matter what happens, it’s just football.

3rd December 2022- Friendly, Arsenal 2 Watford 4 (played at Arsenal’s training ground in London Colney)

Behind closed doors

Official site: Goals in either half from Keinan Davis helped to secure a 4-2 win for Watford over Arsenal at the Gunners’ training ground in London Colney in a competitive friendly test.

Watford Observer: It was a game in which both side made numerous substitutions: Joao Pedro was the only player to play the full 90 minutes for the Hornets, while the Gunners changed all 10 outfield players at half-time.