17th August 2019- Premier League, Everton 1 Watford 0

Referee: Lee Mason
Attendance: 39,066

Capoue: “We Need To Be Clinical”

Match Report: Everton 1-0 Watford

Gracia: “I Believed Until The End”

Highlights: Everton 1-0 Watford

Welbeck: “I Got A Great Reception”

Watford lose poor match against Everton in first away game of the season

Early Bernard goal enough gives Everton victory over Watford

Everton vs Watford: Javi Gracia felt a ‘good performance’ deserved more

Watford players rated after another winless trip to Everton

Watford head coach Javi Gracia: ‘I don’t know when it’s a penalty or not’

Gerard Deulofeu feels Watford deserved something from their game against Everton

A selection of images from Watford’s defeat at Everton

Watford boss Javi Gracia pleased for Danny Welbeck after striker’s return to action

Bernard’s first Premier League goal of the season helped Everton edge a 1-0 win over Watford in a tight contest at Goodison Park. The Brazilian’s deflected strike into the bottom corner in the first half (10) proved the difference in the swirling conditions on Merseyside, but the visitors came close when Craig Dawson’s header hit the woodwork midway through the first half. Richarlison squandered two great chances to score for Everton. Despite Watford’s sporadic efforts to equalise, including Troy Deeney’s strike which forced a brilliant save from Jordan Pickford, the hosts held on for their first win of the season.

The Hornets are on a poor run having won just one of their last eight league matches, and have yet to score in this campaign.

Moise Kean, a late substitute, missed two chances to secure victory for Everton, but Watford were the stronger unit throughout the second half. Keane and Mina proved immovable obstacles and the visitors, despite showing a vast improvement on last week’s performance against Brighton, departed empty handed once again.

Deulofeu impressed most for Watford, albeit – rather like the whole team – the threat sometimes exceeds the end product. When Deulofeu sent Troy Deeney through on 57 minutes it forced Pickford into a brave save to keep the score level.

It should be clear to all who indulge in such things that the First Home Game Of The Season and The First Away Game Of The Season are distinctly special things. The First Game Of The Season has a lustre of its own, of course, but above and beyond that there’s something special about returning to the Vic and something equally special about hitting the road again.

Everton had placed flags at each seat in the home stands which were to be waved as the players emerged from the tunnel.  It has to be said that they were not a patch on the flags at Vicarage Road.  Maybe we were unlucky with our positioning, but we were surrounded by some of the worst of our fan base and started the game with our ears being assaulted by an abusive song aimed at Silva.  Now I have no love at all for the man, but he won’t give a damn what we think about him (that was obvious when he left), neither will the Everton fans, so chanting abuse at him is totally futile and detracts from supporting our own team.

10th August 2019- Premier League, Watford 0 Brighton & Hove Albion 3

Referee: Craig Pawson
Attendance: 20,245

Match Report: Watford 0-3 Brighton & Hove Albion

Gracia: “A Good Wake-Up Call”

Cathcart: “They Were Clinical & We Weren’t”

Highlights: Watford 0-3 Brighton

Affleck’s Angle: Wake-Up Call

Watford beaten comfortably by Brighton and Hove Albion on the opening day of the 2019/20 season

Poor Watford slump to Brighton & Hove Albion defeat

No excuses from Javi Gracia following Watford’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion

Watford players rated after sloppy defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion

A selection of images from Watford’s defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion

Craig Cathcart labels Watford’s defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion as a wake up call

New Brighton manager Graham Potter said his side’s winning start to the Premier League season was a “dream” as the Seagulls put three past a stunned Watford.

Watford – well below their usual standards – had no answers as Potter’s second-half substitutes Florin Andone (65) and new signing Neal Maupay (77) netted in what was a very comfortable opening day success.

If Brighton were not flawless, then Watford barely got anything right. They could not blame the swirling winds, which if anything should have played greater havoc with Brighton’s possession-based approach. After a brisk start they became maddeningly imprecise and it was no shock when they fell behind.

Watford manager Javi Gracia said: “Maybe it was a good wake-up call for the rest of the season because we have time to improve. We are disappointed today but I prefer to wait and trust that we can do better in the second game. We have time to analyse and improve. They played much better than us. And when we realised we had to play better, it was too late.”​

The ground, as is becoming traditional, looks ever smarter after a summer’s work – seats in the Rookery/SEJ corner now, and big screens mounted high on the roof of the stand at each end of the pitch.  New signings Sarr and “England international” Welbeck are presented to the crowd and hysterically received, the former making his way slowly across the pitch without breaking his applause to the stands.  There are new montages on the screens, and then Z-Cars chimes in back in it’s traditional place and the cheer as the teams enter is peppered with grins and high fives and a particularly guttural roar.  Fair play to the club for being honest and brave enough to reverse a bad decision.

The final whistle went to boos from the Watford faithful and, while the Brighton players spent some time celebrating with their fans, the Watford players disappeared pretty quickly.  But, fair play to Deeney, he did his usual lap of the pitch to applaud the fans in each stand and, despite the anger and disappointment in the crowd, he was warmly applauded for it.

3rd August 2019- The Graham Taylor Matchday, Watford 2 Real Sociedad 1

Pre-Season Report: Watford 2-1 Real Sociedad

Gracia: “Good Results Are Important For Confidence”

Relive our coverage as Watford beat Real Sociedad on Graham Taylor Matchday

Andre Gray scores twice as Watford beat Real Sociedad

Javi Gracia seeking Watford improvements after Real Sociedad friendly win

Once inside the ground, we headed for our usual spot in the Rookery (if not our usual seats).  The first notable difference was the big screens which have been added to the Vicarage Road and Rookery Stands.  They look very good and should be visible from all areas of the ground.  Hopes that Z-cars would be reinstated were cruelly dashed as the players took the field to “I’m Still Standing” and, as has happened at all games since the change, the pulse failed to quicken.  I remain baffled at this decision which has no apparent benefit but has been a detriment to the matchday experience for many. Before the game, Rita Taylor and her grandson, Jake, were on the pitch for the minute’s applause for GT.  They were then introduced to the players as GT’s favourite song, Buddy Holly’s Raining in my Heart, was played over the tannoy.  I must admit to having tears in my eyes at this point.