29th August 2020- Friendly, Watford 1 Scunthorpe United 0

This was very much in the pre-pandemic style of a ‘behind closed doors’ game as no details of our team were given either on the official site or twitter.

A Watford XI defeated Scunthorpe United at Vicarage Road this afternoon, thanks to a first-half goal from summer signing Jeremy Ngakia.

Scunthorpe United FC: Report: Watford 1-0 Iron

Cox reacts to Watford warm-up game

Photos: Watford (a)

15th August 2020- Vladimir Ivic appointed Head Coach

Vladimir Ivić is the new Head Coach of Watford, the club is delighted to confirm. A two-time league winner as manager of Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, in both 2018/19 and 2019/20, Ivić also led PAOK to Greek Cup glory in 2016/17.

BBC Sport Vladimir Ivic: Watford confirm appointment of new head coach

Things are starting to happen at WD18, so naturally there is a new From the Rookery End podcast! With the arrival of Vladimir Ivić seemingly imminent, Mike and Jon spoke to a couple of experts on his career. Middle Eastern football expert Ben Jacobs and Israel based journalist Raphael Gellar joined the boys to provide fascinating insight into Ivić, his philosophy, career, methods and perhaps most importantly of all, to confirm whether or not Watford fans should be excited by the appointment!

26th July 2020- Premier League, Arsenal 3 Watford 2

OS Watford FCMatch Preview

Watford ObserverWatford fans still have ‘hope’ to survive in Premier League

Graham Stack wants Watford fans to feel proud of Arsenal performance

Etienne Capoue could be back from injury for Watford’s trip to Arsenal

John Barnes feels stars need to align for Watford to beat Arsenal tomorrow

What needs to happen for Watford to avoid relegation

Kiko Femenia wants Watford to be confident and to hurt Arsenal

Hayden Mullins thanks Watford fans for ‘much appreciated’ support

BBC SportPremier League final day: Champions League and relegation battles set to dominate

skyWho is staying up in the Premier League: Aston Villa, Watford or Bournemouth?

What is left to play for on the final day of the Premier League season?

guardianWatford can evoke spirit of Tevez to beat drop, says Hayden Mullins

Paying attendance:0
Referee: Mike Dean
First half
Second half
Deeney 43 (pen), 1-3
Welbeck 66, 2-3

OS Watford FC Post Match

Just like they had done with a 11-game winless start to the season, the Hornets left it all too late. They waited too long to produce their best performance since the restart and they were relegated by a point. One measly point. How terrifyingly small the margins can be at this punishing level.

To Watford Fans: From Gino Pozzo & Scott Duxbury

Watford relegated from Premier League with defeat at Arsenal

Defeat at Arsenal sends Watford out of the Premier League

Watford are relegated to Championship – what went wrong

The games that defined relegated Watford’s season

Troy Deeney: Watford skipper unsure about future

Watford captain Troy Deeney calls reporter ‘cheeky b******’

Hayden Mullins claims Watford just did not do enough after relegation

Watford players rated after they are relegated at Arsenal

Watford have a list of issues to address after relegation

Watford have the chance to rebuild and change their culture

Heurelho Gomes thinks Watford supporters deserved better

Managerless Watford were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal to victory. The Hornets, who dropped into the bottom three for the first time since 28 February in midweek, started the day level on points with 17th spot knowing a positive result could keep them up.

Hayden Mullins’ side looked dead and buried at 3-0 down but they deservedly pulled a goal back courtesy of Troy Deeney’s penalty shortly before the break, then reduced the deficit to one goal when former Arsenal man Danny Welbeck slotted home from Ismaila Sarr’s cross (66).

Minute by minute

Some of Watford’s players sank to their knees; others made for the tunnel without a moment’s delay. The whistle had just blown on their five years in the Premier League and nobody could say that, when the occasion demanded them to hurl the kitchen sink at Arsenal, they went down without a fight. This was a performance full of the crispness, urgency and aggression that have hallmarked their best work over the last half-decade but it came too late, as did the fightback that almost completely overhauled a three-goal deficit on the day. Had Emiliano Martínez not brilliantly saved Danny Welbeck’s backheel 16 minutes from time, shortly after his former teammate had tapped in to put Watford within two goals of safety, there is every chance they could have completed a comeback for the ages.

It’s been a while since we had something like this, a final day with relegation still in the balance.  We have a habit of doing relegation properly when we do it at all and our greatest escapes (1991, 1994) haven’t gone to the final day.  Only 1996 bears comparison and then… not really.  Then we were on thunderous form, trying to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.  Here, the reverse was true.  Then there was a massive sense of anticlimax as the first 20,000+ home crowd since relegation sat sullenly as results elsewhere relegated us anyway and Chelsea loanee Muzzy Izzet propelled Leicester into the play offs and towards promotion.  Here?  Here we gave ourselves a huge mountain to climb, did a reasonable job of climbing it anyway and then didn’t, leaving us in the ignominious position of finishing behind Bournemouth for good measure. In 1996 we dared to believe, propelled by GT’s explosive mini-series (nestled between his two epic screen plays).  In 2020 we had all but given up before kick-off.

Watford were relegated from the Premier League. A hearty performance at the Emirates, but one that came too late. Jon, Mike, Jordi and DCW discuss how they feel after the final whistle of what is, for a little while at least, the last Watford game in the promised land.

21st July 2020- Premier League, Watford 0 Manchester City 4

A programme was advertised as being for sale on the club’s official website a week before the game took place (most clubs continued to produce programmes during the period whilst football was being played behind closed doors because of Covid-19).

However after the sacking of Nigel Pearson this quickly disappeared and two days after the game fans who had ordered a copy were emailed to say that they’d been refunded and their order cancelled.

It must be the first time in over 100 years that Watford did not make a programme available for a competitive fixture. Very few seemed to have survived the cull that presumably took place in the 50 or so hours between Pearson’s sacking and the fixture taking place. Below is the front cover which I found posted on Facebook but I don’t have a copy and have yet find any being sold on eBay.

OS Watford FCMatch Preview

Watford ObserverPep Guardiola claims Nigel Pearson did an incredible job at Watford

Hayden Mullins calls on his Watford squad to remain professional following Nigel Pearson sacking

Referee: Michael Oliver
Paying Attendance:0
First half
Second half

OS Watford FC Post Match

So, after more twists and turns than a water chute at an Orlando waterpark, this 38-game, 11-month season will go right down to the wire next Sunday.

Watford ObserverWatford lose to Manchester City in search for Premier League safety

BBC SportSterling took the game away from the home side before half-time, firing in a rising shot to open the scoring before doubling the advantage by following up his own saved penalty – awarded for a foul on him by Will Hughes.

Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster admitted his side’s confidence is “crazy low” after a 4-0 defeat by Manchester City plunged them into the relegation zone.

sky Phil Foden grabbed City’s third in the 63rd minute to better his goal tally of seven from last season before Aymeric Laporte headed in a simple fourth as Watford capitulated (66).

guardian Minute by minute

Mullins had set up to contain and the pre-match feeling was that even a narrow defeat might not be the worst result if goal difference was to be a factor in Watford’s bid for survival. Mullins and his players did not even get that. This was as one-sided a game as could be imagined, the gulf in class and, as significantly, belief yawning wide. Sterling got his second when he followed up to score after Ben Foster had brilliantly kept out his penalty and the second half was an ordeal for everybody that holds Watford dear.

“I don’t think we helped ourselves,” said Foster, the only Watford player to emerge with credit. “I don’t think we did enough to do anything but what the result suggested. The confidence is so crazy – crazy low. I don’t know why it should be but you get into a state of trying to minimise as much damage as you can and it’s a dangerous way to do things. They’re Man City. They’re very, very good.”

TelegraphIn fact Watford playing City at any time has been traumatic of late with this result meaning the aggregate score from their last three meetings alone – including last season’s FA Cup Final – is 18-0 (6-0, 8-0, 4-0) while scrolling even further back it increases to 39-3. That is simply extraordinary as is the truth that it could have been far worse without an outstanding display from goalkeeper Ben Foster who did not hold back afterwards with his criticism.

BHappy imageBut that Pearson did well to drag us up by our bootlaces and that Pearson is not the right person to be in charge of this club longer term are not mutually exclusive.  I’ve got some sympathy with the view that, if Pearson was going at the end of the season anyway, given the awfulness of much of our football and of West Ham in particular and if he’s been stupid enough to mouth off to his boss, perhaps this wasn’t quite the crass stupidity that kneejerk assessments have painted it.

19th July 2020- Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare leave the club

https://www.watfordfc.com/news/club/club-statement-nigel-pearson

Nigel Pearson has been sacked as Watford head coach with just two games of the Premier League season remaining. The Hornets hierarchy have acted following Friday’s 3-1 defeat at West Ham United which left the club three points above the relegation zone going into the final week of the season.

Watford sack Nigel Pearson and Craig Shakespeare – recap

Watford have confirmed the sacking of Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson thanks fans for support after Watford sack head coach

Watford taking a big gamble with Nigel Pearson sacking

BBC Sport Watford sack Nigel Pearson with club just above relegation zone

Nigel Pearson: Former Watford boss ‘overwhelmed’ by support messages

sky Nigel Pearson sacked after ‘frank exchange’ with Watford owner Gino Pozzo

guardianNigel Pearson sacked by Watford with two games of season remaining

While the Pozzo family have perhaps turned the club into a laughing stock, they have also turned it into one for whom relegation from the top flight is considered failure

TelegraphWatford have taken the extraordinary decision of sacking Nigel Pearson with just two games remaining of the Premier League season after he had a disagreement with club owner Gino Pozzo.

Without Nigel Pearson, Watford might have been dead and buried by now – we’ll soon know if dismissal was right call

Nigel Pearson regrets not finishing the job he started at Watford

FTRE imageAfter another seismic day at WD18, from the Rookery End is back, as we try to untangle the events that lead to Nigel Pearson departing Watford FC late on Sunday night. Jon and Mike are joined by David Cameron Walker and The Athletic’s Watford correspondent Adam Leventhal, who discuss what has happened and perhaps more importantly, what has to happen next.