Watford FC 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers - 01/01/2020

Discussion in 'Match Day' started by Smudger, Dec 29, 2019.


What will the result be

Poll closed Dec 31, 2019.
  1. Watford by three goals or more

    7 vote(s)
  2. Watford by two goals

    3 vote(s)
  3. Watford by one goal

    23 vote(s)
  4. Score draw

    20 vote(s)
  5. No score draw

    0 vote(s)
  6. Wolverhampton by one goal

    8 vote(s)
  7. Wolverhampton by two goals

    8 vote(s)
  8. Wolverhampton by three goals or more

    0 vote(s)
  1. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member


    Watford FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Vicarage Road : 1500 GMT KO


    Sunday April the seventh. A match that will last long in the memory of those that were there to witness one of the finest FA Cup semi-finals on record. However since then the participants in that clash have had markedly differing fortunes.

    It's as if the energy expended both emotionally &d physically drained the players and removed their focus. This culminated in the mauling in the final and a run of form seeing us hit rock bottom. A poor pre-season as evidenced in the friendlies with the defence all at sea, incredibly poor fitness levels and an ever growing injury list forcing constant reshuffles in formation and in the backline.

    Undoubtedly the soft management of Gracia and ineptitude of Flores has not helped either. More by luck we have happened upon a coaching staff led by a no nonsense manager whose greatest asset is the ability to get the most out of his players and an excellent tactician in Shakespeare while Mullins who stepped in, in the interregnum of Flores dismissal showed they great ability and empathy with the players.

    After a dismal autumn now is the winter of discontent made glorious summer by this son of Nottingham. Some fortune is also required as any manager will also tell you. At the back Foster is in imperious form. Kabasele although ruffled by bigger centre forwards has stepped up and forged a solid pairing with Cathcart.

    Kiko at left back has been revelatory making vital interceptions, tackles and providing teasing crosses and with Delofeu shutting teams down on the left flank. Hughes dropped in alongside Capoue to break up play and dictate play from deep has been superb. It reflects on Pearson that despite their troubled relationship at Derby County he has shown faith in him and vice versa.

    Capoue now brims with confidence and tricks, shielding the defence, passing like Platini from deep and even breaking forward with effect. Despite detractors Deeney is the focal point in bringing in others and I am sure Nigel sees in him his general on the field. And further fortune is the emergence of Sarr. Surely one of the most valuable players in the squad and not just in terms of his transfer value.

    Football fans tend not to be the most patient people and I hope those jumping all over him writing the youngster off have enough humility to realize their foolishness. A kid coming to a country without family, unable to speak English & hit by injury issues and no pre-season. And played out of position by Gracia and Flores who decided on him as a centre forward. Sarr has plenty to work on in finishing, decision making & crossing but the raw talent is there in abundance. He will learn and in the last few games one can see gradual improvements. And that commodity of pace unsettles the opposition.

    Ismaila Sarr: Star ascendant


    He is a great out ball for relieving pressure, holds their fullback/wingback in a defensive role and importantly gets beyond the last man and to the byeline. No team likes to defend running to their own goal. For much of the season both fullbacks and indeed Delofeu and Sarr have barely made it this far but in the last four games including that at Anfield these players have managed to do this consistently and created chances as a result.

    The team is now not just a disparate collection of players it is a unit. The workrate is vastly improved. Something which fans will appreciate and something which was sorely lacking in many matches. Teams that are less talented but work hard will always beat teams with more talent but lack of effort usually by winning the midfield battle. This team now competes for each ball, players throw themselves into blocks, hunt in packs and press far higher than before which has created opportunities as in the first goal against Aston Villa or stifled the heart of the opposition ie Grealish yesterday, Henderson at Anfield and made Manchester United look like a rabble. Seeing the likes of Sarr and Delofeu racing back to cover their respective full backs was a joy to behold against Manchester United for instance.

    Confidence is something intangible at times. But so crucial in top level sport. After months of despondency the black mood is lifting from the players and fans alike.Players are not shirking from their duties, they look more willing to take on players and try things that they would not have had the desire to do so earlier in the season for fear of making another mistake.

    Of course although the Great Escape is being mentioned we are miles away from it. We need to treat every match as a Cup final and every player work consistently hard. There are still plenty of things to work on still. The lack of threat at set pieces, the finishing from everyone (woeful threat/efforts from Capoue and Doucoure all season despite getting into more advanced positions recently) and the injury list. Fingers crossed that Hughes and Cathcart picked up just minor knocks. Chalobah despite his assist for Deulofeu at Bramhall Lane and his effort in his cameo yesterday looks done and that is so sad to see.

    I would field this side with Masina in for Mariappa and assuming Hughes and Cathcart are unavailable.


    We definitely need reinforcements in the window. A Foulquier replacement preferably Buta. Another central midfielder. Someone like Drinkwater who Nigel coaxed to England caps and was a central cog in Leicester's title winning side. Currently bench warming at Burnley. Pussetto is another. A player to supplement Sarr. Not as pacy but pretty rapid nonetheless with a bag of tricks and who likes getting into the box. His decision making has also improved but again a bench warmer at Udinese despite an excellent season last year. And of course Pedro.

    What about Wolves ? They will be coming off from a high having beaten the reigning champions at Molineux & their trip to Anfield to the champions elect is about to start. Despite a poor start to the season they have worked themselves into a position challenging for a Europa League place and shrugged off the attentions of Arsenal trying to recruit Nuno Espirito Santo. Their current EL campaign was a relative breeze in the group stages finishing behind Braga and earning themselves a round of 32 tie against Espanyol.

    Goals have been shared around at Molineux and their spirit is in evidence by the number of times they have come back to win games or draw level from behind. They have also been a very settled team in recent weeks with the surprise move of Leandro Dendoncker to one of three centre backs on the right hand side and a standard 3-4-3.


    Big summer signings Neto and Cutrone have rarely featured ,usually from the bench. At home Wolves dominate possession and press higher but on the road are still a countering team & as such will expect us to come onto them. They rely on Moutinho to shield the defence , Neves to dictate play to the flanks to release Doherty & Otto and create overloads for Traore/Jota and plenty of crosses for Jimenez. They are very pacy on the counter with Traore showing glimpses now why he was once highly regarded at La Masia building consistency into his game and better decision making instead of running into blind allies. He will need to be watched like a hawk and the supply line to him cut off. They have been very effective as a result of the quick transitioning game on the road.

    Adama Traore: His best season to date


    It is imperative we make a quick start & not let them settle into the game. Disrupt them in their own half, attack the spaces in behind Saiss & Dendoncker with Gerard and Sarr getting Doucoure and Caps in and around the box. Energy and work rate has to be maintained. It may be difficult given the workload but Wolverhampton's players will be under the same strain and having had a day less to recover. The fans will also need once more to get behind the team and be the thirteenth man. We're all in this together and a race that may well run into the very last week of the season to avoid the drop.

    Who knows come this time next year where we will be. Hopefully it in the PL & resurgent under the tutelage of Pearson and minus Giraldi. All it remains for me is to wish every fellow Hornet wherever you are around the globe the warmest felicitations for 2020. Take care of yourselves and your families and may you all have the best of health and wealth. Spare a thought for those that have passed in the last year associated with the club in whatever capacity.

    Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
    - Benjamin Franklin.

    Felix sit annus novus.
  2. SkylaRose

    SkylaRose Reservist

    Smudger that was amazing. Loads of information and a great read. Reeks of loads of research and you can tell the patience and industry it must of taken to write that. Well done - it's one of the best so far I've read this season, and very much up to date and on point.

    This is going to be a very hard game. I said it in a previous thread - but to me, this is going to be as tough as Liverpool was. Wolves are much better than Man Utd are too, they work hard, run fast and under Nuno have a fantastic coach who makes them play for every ball and chase down every lost cause. Seeing Cathcart and Hughes go off yesterday was a blow, but we won't know till nearer the game if either, both or neither will take part. I think Preyera in the middle is a good choice - spray some balls out to Sarr and Delafoo and try to get behind them.

    Deeney will more than likely head the forward line again and after listening to him alongside Gavin Mahon and Emma Saunders on Added Time, he knows this is a tough game. I would easily take a draw from this one, then follow it up with wins over Tranmere and Muff. We are not going to win every home game under Pearson we know that. If we show fight and keep up our high intensity, we are more than capable of getting something out of it. Although not beyond us to win it - it's a really hard game. But I am sure Pearson will not allow the players to drop their style despite tough opposition.

    Watford 2 Wolves 2
  3. I Blame Bassett

    I Blame Bassett Squad Player

    On New Year's Day in 199? we played Wolves at Molineux.
    I had a player playing in the u16 Nationals at Telford and she did't have a game that day so I trotted off to the game.
    I stood in the WW end and the only thing I recall is the incessant "C'mon Bully" from the crowd.
    It was 0-0.
    Nice preview Smudger.
    BW Horn likes this.
  4. davisp2

    davisp2 Reservist

    I think I would take a draw. Wolves have been very impressive this season, and have a shot of a top 4 finish
  5. Leighton Buzzer

    Leighton Buzzer Reservist

    Wouldn't I just lurrve to see us wallop them dingles.
  6. Leighton Buzzer

    Leighton Buzzer Reservist

    Excellent preview, and that was without mention of Zoos, pet shops, motor bikes, or traffic lights.
  7. I'd take a draw but I'm coming down to see a win!!! ;)

    During the cup semi it actually pleased me when Traore was brought on and I said to my mates that he was pretty useless and we should win now he was on - amazing speed but literally no end product. He proceeded to confirm what I thought and did nothing at all to impact the game. The lad is a different kettle of fish now and seems immense so far this season and a key player for them.

    I noticed in this Liverpool game where he came on as a sub that he reverted to type a bit. Maybe coming on as a sub makes him struggle to get to the speed of the game. So hopefully he'll be a sub vs us, but if not cutting him out of the game is huge, whoever that falls to.

    The rest of their team seem pretty comparable to us so feels like one of those "first goal is crucial" type of games.

    8-0 Watford!
  8. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Hard game. Draw probably not bad to keep momentum and feel good factor going.
  9. a19tgg

    a19tgg Reservist

    Would be over the moon with a draw. They’re a great team, they are always at it and ultimately they are better than us all over the pitch. They’re obviously mindful of burning out with the two big games they’ve just played and want to leave something in the tank for us, because they rested a couple of key players from the start today including traore.
  10. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Beat Wolves we stay up. Lose we are down.

    Simple as. End of.

    Also, I hate Wolves and their moany bearded coach and their stupid hug in a circle celebrations whenever they score a goal.
    foxywfc, DaveWFC, wfcmoog and 2 others like this.
  11. Decent team and they will give us a tough test but lets not get carried away, people are talking about them like they are one of the all conquering Barcelona sides. They're 8th.
    Chumlax, Davidmsawyer and Sahorn like this.
  12. LondonOrn

    LondonOrn Reservist

    I'd be happy with a point but at the same time I'd be disappointed we didn't go for a win, and I trust Nigel won't instill that kind of mentality like Flores would've.

    Their strength clearly lies in attack (the only games they've failed to score being Leicester away on the opening day and Liverpool just now who are beating everyone) and being hard to beat, but apart from the games against City they've only beaten bottom five teams and surprisingly, have only kept four clean sheets against our six. But I don't know if this is as good as they'll get, or they've yet to move up a gear or two - if the latter, hopefully it'll be after playing us!

    Scoring the first goal won't necessarily be crucial, but one thing that's vital is we keep it tight all over the pitch, as even in our recent revival we've been guilty at times of poor-decision making and over-thinking up front (Sheff Utd was a prime example) leaving us dispossessed of the ball and vulnerable to the counter. Obviously Wolves even without a man advantage will be a different proposition to Villa, but one thing that particularly impressed me in that game was the way following Mapps' sending-off we were able to revert to a four-man defence while still making the most of our attacking options up front, Sarr, Deulofeu and even Deeney and not let Villa exploit the extra space in midfield. With that level of application and hopefully Hughes back, we should be able to cope well with Wolves on the counter and hit back with this renewed creativity and now capability of scoring goals from open play not from opposition mistakes.
    Happy bunny and SkylaRose like this.
  13. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    Man for man we are superior. Traore is a poor mans Sarr, Jiminez a poor mans Deeney, Neves a poor version of Capoue. If we continue the form shown last 3, we'll stroll it.
    Supertommymooney likes this.
  14. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Been on the sauce?
    CleyHorn likes this.
  15. Hornet4ever

    Hornet4ever WFC Forums Last Man Standing Winner 2018/2019

    I think they'll score 2 so we'll have to score 3 again. Simple as that. This Wolves team does not sit back much, so it's attack or be attacked. I expect to see an exciting game.

    I hope Del gets an overdue early goal to set the pace. Even the second coming of Gray given the history. I would love Gray to go on another scoring run like last season & prove his doubters wrong. He must be chomping at the bit to get some decent game time under the new regime & Nigel might see that & unleash him at the right time.
  16. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    No, Wolves are over rated.
  17. RS2

    RS2 Academy Graduate

    Need to get Sarr and Deulofeu in behind their wing backs. I'd take a point though, they're a good team.
  18. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Mmm. In their last 3 games they have beaten Citeh, and run Liverpool very close. Admittedly they beat Norwich too.

    Not at all sure why you think our form over those 3 games is obviously superior to theirs.

    I’d be very happy with a draw.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2019
    Supertommymooney likes this.
  19. PotGuy

    PotGuy Forum Fetishist

    Wolves are the real deal, but they will be more tired than we are and we have a bit of momentum. A win isn't out of the question, and we need to be playing for 3 points every week
  20. Mollyboo

    Mollyboo First Year Pro

    Offhand I can't think of a single argument I've ever read finishing with 'end of' that has had any merit.
  21. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Win this and the Bournemouth match then we'll have enough to ensure we'll stay up from there on in. 22 points from 22 games would be a strong platform to compete from for the final 16 games without these MUST WIN games.

    The season could turn into a normal one, where we're looking up instead of dreading the drop.

    Wolves are a good side though, and like us, they were unlucky to lose at Liverpool today. We shouldn't sell ourselves short though. We are a different beast now and will be a tough test for them also.

    A difficult game but one we could win and we must look to do just that.
    You're totally correct. There are no statements of any merit that finish with that. End of.
  22. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    Thanks @Smudger - I’ll ready it properly tomorrow as I’m a bit tipsy now and won’t take it in.

    loved for the picture of Sarr. Off the pitch he is a bit like Andy Murray with no emotion, but on it you can see he cares and wants the win. He is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Plus he takes the pressure off Delf being the only possibly outlet for us.
  23. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    Yep. It’s yet another must win game ;)

    How many of those have we had this season!
  24. I think it was an ironic 'end of'.
  25. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    Agree with most of the sentiment on this thread. It will be my first game of the season in person so I’m hoping for a good game.

    Clearly Wolves are a good team, a great team actually this season. But they do draw a lot. A draw for us would be a great result and keep us on track. Pearson will go for the win of course. And if we fall short we are still more likely to get the draw than if we QSF it.

    it was shame Jimenez and Traore we’re rested fora large part of the game tonight, but we have an extra day to prepare.

    we don’t need to be scared of them, and the players won’t be. They are 1 point behind Man Utd so I’d not get the feeling they will be unbeatable.

    Yes they are rightly the favourites, but with our uptick in form I’d be disappointed with less than a draw, and hope we push (without being too reckless) for the win.
  26. Relegation Certs

    Relegation Certs Squad Player

    We will ***in snot them. 4 nil us
  27. 'Should of'.
    Bwood_Horn likes this.
  28. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard First Team

    Looking forward to this one, we'll absolutely tear Wolves a new one, anything less than a 4-0 win will be a terrible day at the office for the mighty Hornets. Let's make them cry again like we did at Wembley, hopefully we stick Delefou's goal on repeat on the big screen for a solid hour before kick off.

    Deeney hatrick incoming.
  29. Davidmsawyer

    Davidmsawyer Statto Statto Statto

    Ha, ha. That reminds me of a vey drunk Wolves fan (c50 years old) that was crying like a baby against a lamp post as we made our way home. I hasten to add even Wolves fans gave him a wide bearth.
    Cassetti's Beard and SkylaRose like this.
  30. Markoa$

    Markoa$ Reservist

    This will be a very tough game. They rested players against Liverpool to play us. This just goes to show how scared they are of an absolute thrashing from us. They have shown us a lot of respect in resting players. This is their FA Cup Final and they mean business.

    Obviously we should win very comfortably against such lower opposition, however they always tend to get up for the big games. So I fully expect them to be at their pluckiest. To beat watford is a huge scalp for a small team like Wolves.

    It should be a comfortable day at the office and we can easily win, but I think it will end in a draw. Which will be disappointing, but wolves will be ecstatic with a point against a massive Premier League club like Watford.

    Heart says Watford 4-2 Wolves
    Head says 2-2
    SkylaRose and PotGuy like this.
  31. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Yes, that always goes well when we show a glory moment against our rivals on the big screen before kick off.
  32. Hornpete

    Hornpete Squad Player

    I think harry the hornet recreating the goal with his size 35 feet would be grand entertainment.
    Supertommymooney and Moose like this.
  33. Mollyboo

    Mollyboo First Year Pro

    I feel sorry for Wolves as they've had probably the most hectic and challenging Christmas fixtures of any PL side, plus they have to live in Wolverhampton.

    Wednesbury is as grim as it gets.

    A hard fought 2-0 to Watford.
    Happy bunny and SkylaRose like this.
  34. ITK platypus

    ITK platypus Reservist

    Wolves are better than Villa, therefore it will be harder to beat them.


    Watford 2-0 Wolves
    Deeney (sent off 23), Capoue (sent off 38), Sarr (90+2, 90+4)

    Mumbles of discontent at full time but we will take the points and go again.
  35. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Having seen how well they played vs MC and LPool I'm not too confident for this one. They are in great form. Hopefully the 2 tough games will have taken something out of them and they will have had one day less to recover.
    Must win game.

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