Manchester United Vs Watford Fc - 23/02/2020

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Steve Leo Beleck, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    Well, it was fun while it lasted. Five seasons in the Premier League isn't a bad effort and there were some amazing highlights but all good things come to an end. For most teams outside the Big 6, you're only one poor transfer window away from relegation, so we've been lucky to stay where we are after years of not investing in our defence. But sooner or later our luck was going to run out and it appears now is that time.

    Speaking of luck, it's completely deserted Nigel Pearson. When he arrived it felt like he could do no wrong. There was an air of invincibility about the team and we went from dead and buried to looking like certainties to stay up. But... it all changed in the moment that Deeney shuffled up against Spurs and hit the exact penalty that kids everywhere are coached not to - easy height, not in the corner, not hit hard. That kick ended a period where we were all over Spurs, had them pegged in and we looked like the team with aspirations of the top six. We haven't played well since. The significance of this moment was probably lost at the time, as it was another good performance and we were all still thinking we'd carry on charging up the table. But here we are three games later, having taken just one point from those games, two of which were against direct relegation rivals, having been ahead in every game.

    But it's not just the results that matter, it's the manner of them. Pearson was walking on water when he came in, we looked like a team that could challenge for Europe. The collective belief amongst players, fans and staff was that we'd got back in touch with the pack and it wouldn't be long before we accelerated away from them and stayed up quite comfortably. But that's been shattered by a succession of injury time goals, poor defending and a team that has simply been unable to match the intensity of relegation rivals.

    And although Pearson remains a good manager, he's no longer looking like a lucky manager, which can be just as important. His substitutions have started to have as deleterious effect on games, trying to be positive but just leaving us more exposed. In fairness to him, the attacking cupboard is bare. When he turns around in his shiny Watford gilet, who can he call on to turn the momentum back in our favour? An out of form striker that can't even control a football, a crocked ex England international who hasn't started a run of games for about three years, or a non-goalscoring Baileys-loving centre forward who somehow gets worse every season. Brilliant.

    It won't be Pearson's fault if we go down, that lies firmly at the feet of Pozzo, Duxbury and Giraldi, in particular because of their ludicrous decision to reappoint Quique, but that provides scant comfort at the moment. He's not going to complain in public but you don't need to be a body language genius to work out that he's not chuffed to bits with our failure to strengthen the defence. Pearson earned some of his luck, throwing Sarr straight in (when Quique would've held him back for another few months then deployed him out of position) and forging a bond with Deeney that led to one of his ever rarer spells of good form but that penalty miss and the injury to Sarr have sunk us. We are so predictable without the latter's pace in the team, he was literally the one player we couldn't afford to lose for a key run of games.

    Anyway, this is supposed to be the match preview so probably should write something about the opposition. If we are falling somewhat short of our expectations, then Manchester United are the masters of underachievement. We might bemoan our lack of investment but look at the money they've wasted on bang average players. Their owners just do whatever's necessary to keep the commercial juggernaut rolling but have no concept of how to build a squad to challenge for titles. They splashed out £75 million on Harry Maguire simply because that's what Liverpool spent on Van Dijk. One team got the world's best centre back, the other got an error prone boxhead.

    They also hired a totally inept manager as it looked good commercially to have a returning hero. Be under no illusion, he's probably the worst manager in the whole league, a completely vanilla character who can't believe that he's somehow landed one of world football's top jobs. The only reason they're not fighting relegation is down to some of the quality individuals they still have within the squad - as a team they're entirely dysfunctional and directionless.

    Onto the game itself. Nothing has been more obvious in the history of mankind than Odion Ighalo scoring against us on his Old Trafford debut. The player that cried when he left Watford will scoop his way past a bemused Cathcart and then scuff the ball into the net before running off to the corner to fall to his knees and point to the sky, and the whole stadium will belt out his stolen song. Some idiots will get upset that he celebrated scoring against us because the modern culture is to demand an embarrassed reaction, shooing team mates away. This will of course completely overlook the fact that we forced him into a move to China that he had no interest in, making him leave behind his young family.

    We will do exactly what we've done at Old Trafford pretty much every season since we've been promoted - play well, miss a couple of big chances and then lose to a pretty dreadful United team who were there for the taking. We'll then lose to Liverpool too and people will be saying that we only need to get five/six/seven points more than our direct rivals to stay up, ignoring the dwindling number of games left and a squad devoid of any confidence.

    Anyway, here's to hoping that we put in a sterling performance that renders this whole preview a classic example of "knicker wetting" but I won't hold my breath.

    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
  2. Chumlax

    Chumlax Reservist

    What a sad story, I had no idea. Is there a gofundme or something we can donate to to try and help alleviate his suffering a bit?
  3. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Ighalo to get the winner ?
  4. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    Can we get Dennis Booth and Luther back for this?
  5. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    We will lose, next...............oh and we’ll lose that one as well.
  6. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    I imagine so. Hopefully are still within 3 or 4 points of safety but this could be a killer.
  7. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Our only hope is other clubs do it for us as we are unable to help ourselves.

    This is our only hope, that West Ham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Villa and even Palace continue their respective bad runs of form. If that happens we have a chance, but 36 points is unlikely to keep us up. I just can’t see us getting anything more than that I’m afraid.
    Jumbolina likes this.
  8. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Probably right - we've actually played quite well at Old Trafford in the past but lost by the odd goal or two missing chances whilst for example Rashford nicks a goal.

    As I say no doubt Iggy will score and the new chap from Portugal too!
  9. Crezzy95

    Crezzy95 Academy Graduate

    Going to this one. Praying Sarr is back fit otherwise we have no chance at all.
  10. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! First Year Pro

    Obviously United aren't what they were, they were feckin awful when they rocked up at the Vic, but it's annoying that Sarr's been out for some really winnable games, yet he comes back for some more difficult ones. Anyway, it doesn't really really change things in some ways, our chickens are coming home to roost, focusing so hard on that signing spread us so thin elsewhere, we were always gonna be ****** without him.

    Anyway, we'll clearly win this 2-0 and get us believing we can stay up again. It's the hope that kills you!
  11. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    My thought entirely, Sarr will be back for the games we don't really need him for. Just our luck and is symptomatic of how our season has gone. We've been bad, but we've had a bucket load of rotten luck too. Injuries at crucial times, bad VAR calls at crucial moments in games, etc.

    I wouldn't necessarily rule out getting something at Old Trafford. They are very flaky this season, but we have to go into this game thinking lose, but pleasantly surprised if it's not. Could be a major boost to how everyone sees this season for sure if we do what Burnley did and go there and win. Until Watford do something like this, then it stays in the realm of fantasy for me, but I'm hoping for miracles.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  12. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    We will beat this shower in their own back yard.
  13. We hate 48

    We hate 48 Reservist

    United play Chelsea on the Monday and Bruges on the Thursday before us on the Sunday
  14. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Pearson's at the wheel..

    Tell me how bad is it beginning to feel...

    We signed Pussetto, and.... and

    And we cannot win any bloody games

    Il take a point here, then at the Vic run over to Klopp and mock his evil grin. Doesnt matter what team we put out, 45 mins later its over.
  15. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    We'll win this. Law of averages.
  16. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    The end is nigh people.

    What is the point even talking about football when humanity is going to end before the season is over.

    I hate life ( but secretly love it, because without I wouldnt have anything to moan about)
  17. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Reservist

    The penalty miss should be considered well down the list of reasons for our drop in form (if listed at all). A home point against Spurs is always a good result whatever the circumstances and we still played well and pushed for the win after the miss and didn’t lose our heads unlike during the first 15 minutes of the second half against Everton, when the result could have easily been decided long before they actually scored.

    While missing Sarr isn’t the only reason for our struggles (add to that a side that has gone from attacking with determination to sitting back on narrow leads and inexplicably falling apart when conceding a goal), ask yourself what set of circumstances would yield more points in the last three games: scoring that penalty and missing Sarr, or missing the penalty and Sarr remaining in the side?

    Anyway, yesterday’s result wasn’t a disaster from a mathematical if maybe not psychological point of view - a point gained on Palace, Bournemouth (another side who can’t reliably defend leads) and West Ham (who would have been odds on to lose today). Villa may lose next week against a Spurs who have picked up a bit, and Brighton are kept in it (one win in 11 and no wins in four consecutive six pointers can’t be much of a confidence booster). We looked more solid defending set-pieces and seeing the game out in injury time, and didn’t totally lose it after conceding (crumbs of comfort I know - now the simple matter of managing the game and conceding in open play!). I’m not really confident going into this game and the next even if Sarr’s fit for Utd, but our players may surprise us and get 2-3 points in these games (no way will it be more) which should keep us in touch.
  18. foxywfc

    foxywfc Reservist

    I’m hoping we will relax a bit in this game, away from home with nothing expected and our superstars making the most of the old Trafford shop window.

    My only worry is ighalo, it’s bound to ******* happen ain’t it.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. StuBoy

    StuBoy Forum Cad and Bounder

    Last visit to the theatre of dreams for a while I suspect this is.
  20. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard First Team

    Fingers crossed United smash us to pieces, let's drain that final bit of confidence and hope we have left and start preparing for the Championship.

    Man Utd 0-4 Watford
  21. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    I'd be more confident if we hadn't beaten them in December. Watford does not do the double over Man Utd.

    3-0 home win for me.
  22. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Thanks, Yoda!
    Sort of OK and StuBoy like this.
  23. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Reservist

    Man Utd play two tricky away games in the week they play us, Chelsea and Club Bruges, but they're the kind of games this team are up for and often win. Let's hope they win both and after the energy expended in them, playing us will be an after the Lord Mayor's show for them and we will use the fifteen day break to our advantage.
    The Voice of Reason likes this.
  24. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard First Team

    Don't our lot have to be at the circus during that period?
  25. ITK platypus

    ITK platypus Reservist

    I feel like we will get something from this. They don't have any strikers except Ighalo and a teenager. We got rid of Ighalo cos he couldn't cut it in the Premier League after his chop got figured out. Cathcart will have him in his pocket for 90 minutes.

    Having said that I feel we will get a point where we throw away chances to get all 3 so still come away feeling disappointed.


    Man Utd 3-3 Watford
    Martial (5), Mata (43), De Gea (90+7); Deulofeu (52, 88, 90+1, sent off 90+2), Deeney (miss pen 90+8)
  26. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    I'm depressed now. We can't even win a fantasy game.
    ITK platypus likes this.
  27. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    The worst part was that De Gea handled the ball for their equaliser. It was reviewed by VAR and he clearly punches the ball in the back of the net but VAR came back with, Bollox to it, it's only Watford
  28. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Ludicrous prediction. We don't get penalties mate. Refs hate us.
  29. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    I'm bizarrely optimistic about this one. We've often raised our game against the big sides this season and Man Utd are rather unimpressive at the moment. They're certainly not the Man Utd of old.

    I fancy us to pull a bit of shock off.
  30. simpleMASH

    simpleMASH Reservist

    Man Utd aren’t great; it wasn’t long ago we beat them remember.

    Having said that we’ve been awful for weeks. This result will show how far our form has fallen since our Christmas-high.
  31. cyaninternetdog

    cyaninternetdog Forum Hippie

    It will be like Arsenal away under Mazza.
  32. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Now we're on the winter break, it has a strange similarity as to when Pearson came to the club. The players are off, they're going to have a much needed break, not so much for physical recovery, although that's much needed, but more for the mental rest. Believe it or not, players do feel the strain of a relegation battle and they need to switch off and rest before the final 12 match onslaught.

    I say it's a strange similarity because Pearson's first two games after taking charge were United and Liverpool, albeit in reverse order.

    Now you could look at it and think any advantage of a two week rest will quickly evaporate once we lose the first two games of the final run-in, and that could well be true of course, but we didn't lose those two games last time. We played extremely well at Liverpool then beat United. Something along those lines would be very handy indeed this time around too.

    We'll have most of our injured players back. Sarr, Cleverley, Welbeck, Hughes and Kiko. Ok, a couple are back already but they've been missing for a while now and Sarr, Hughes and Kiko were instrumental figures in our good run of form. Janmaat will still not be fit enough initially I suspect but he's back now and training on the grass with the players at last.

    With more players to choose from, a two week break and a couple of motivational games to play, this could be a springboard for Watford to go on and get those vital 5 wins, starting with our most important win of the season at Old Trafford.
    SkylaRose likes this.
  33. With A Smile

    With A Smile First Team

    Ighalo should be placed in quarantine until after the game. Quite irresponsible to risk 4000 Watford supporters. No issue with Sarr though

    We'll win this. Chalobah, Kiko and Sarr will be back, Pereyra will pick up a mystery illness and miss out. Wellback and Cleverley will make the bench stronger. Pedro makes an appearance and looks out of his depth.

    1-3 to the horns
  34. BigRossLittleRoss

    BigRossLittleRoss Squad Player

    You think Utd will get relegated this season ?
    Spoad and Leighton Buzzer like this.
  35. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    While I think there is no doubt the mental aspect has to be playing into things, the more I look at the patterns the more I think Pearson nailed it: lack of appropriate conditioning is the issue.

    We're tired earlier than the teams we're playing and that's giving them a chance to come back late in the game and win. At elite level a small performance delta can make a lot of difference.

    The 2 week break might give us a chance to rectify that a bit and maintain physical competitiveness into the last 30 mins+ of games. Another small run along the lines of Pearson's entry to the club and we'll be safe.
    Jumbolina likes this.

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