Six Points Per Manager Equals

Watford are averaging six points per manager this year.  Normally that sounds bad… but this year it puts us top!

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Like the good old glory days of Iveco!

 

Look at Mo Johnstone!  He looks 15!  My claim to fame is adding him to the Watford wikipedia page.
Recognize Wilf, Nigel, Johnny B, Sherwood, Kenny, but some of these players have faded to the land of memories past.

Thank god the short shorts era came to an end.

Week of October 18, 2014 – Premier League Picks

It has been a while since the last pick – something to do with International fixtures and qualification for a tournament still 2 years off.    Some interesting results – Northern Ireland 2-0 winners over Greece was a surprise despite how poor Greece have been in recent years; Germany earning a hard earned draw against the Republic of Ireland perhaps was a big tournament hang-over.  But perhaps the big shock of the period was Joe Hart winning man of the match against San Marino ? Or LVG proving how valuable he is through absence as Iceland scored a 2-0 victory over the orange people.

 

18-October 2014  
Manchester City4-1Tottenham Hotspurts
Newcastle United 2-1Leicester City
Southampton 2-0Sunderland
Everton 2-0Aston Villa
Crystal Palace0-3Chelsea
Burnley1-1West Ham
Arsenal3-1Hull City

If the premier league operated on a multi-year multi-legged system then Spurs would be heading into leg 3 needing to play catch up to the tune of 11 goals (I think – I lost count because I had shoes on).  I do think Spurs will get better despite reading that Pochettino hasn’t turned things around yet .  I’m not sure what ESPN’s Adrian Melville is thinking but given that he originally called him Pochetinetto, I don’t think it matters.

Won’t be as easy this week as Man City are going to rest YaYa and we know he more or less picks up the team and carries them to a title with occasional help from Kompany, Silva, and Aguero.  Without his heavy lifting they will find it hard to score 5 goals but they will manage 4.   A clean sheet will be broken by Adebayor who will run down the other to his adoring Spurs fans despite there still being a 3 goal deficit.

Newcastle fans are waiting for their first win.  Alan Pardew is waiting for his first redundancy check.  It won’t happen as Newcastle once again come to the rescue of their manager in dire straits.  Papiss Cisse will add to his tally – maybe he’s back on track?

I thought Southampton were good and then they fail to get a result against the Spuds?  But then Sunderland are boring and will try and bore us all to tears with another draw.  I’m sure that Sunderland are a mandatory score draw pools pick but this week the Saints will rise to the occasion and score a couple of quick goals and sit back and laugh at the effort of a team who needs to, but doesn’t know how to score try and score.  Bit like this guy.

Score? Who me?

Everton are about a teens worth of places this year where they were last year and people are starting to doubt the tactical brain of Roberto Martinez.  Perhaps the bar was set too high this year for Everton but they are currently limboing well under the half-way table.   Time to pick it up, time to keep possession, time to realize that Lukaku is a beast who just needs to be fed the ball the way David Moyes to get his team to play the ball… knock it into the box, put it in the net.  Besides, Villa were my pick to go down, time for them to prove me right by not showing up again.

Chelsea area a team I hate.  Diego Costa is a player I despise (he’s good on a team I hate).  The game will be a bland 0-0 a the half.  After 70 minutes Jim Beglin (or whoever is commentating) will utter the words – “Chelsea, have shut down and look like they are settling for a point”… then Diego will score a quick goal, setup another for Hazard, and then Crystal Palace will just decide to kick out at someone in the box and give a penalty.

West Ham have changed for the better due to the classy management of Sam Allardyce… or just because they’ve played some better games. Meanwhile, Burnley have a grand total of 2 points which puts them in danger of being early relegation favorites.  Those 2 points include a last minute draw against Leicester so it’s not looking good.  But Burnley will not go down without a fight and will play like Alan Pardew’s job is on the line.

Not sure who’s playing for Arsenal (Ozil is out, Ramsay is out) but I do know who they are playing and they’re a team I have over-estimated for a couple of years.   So, at home? I have to go with the Arse,  I wouldn’t want to play with the Arse at home? Would you?

19-October 2014  
QPR1-0Liverpool
Stoke City 2-2Swansea City

Livi wants me to pick QPR because he thinks that I can remotely influence the results through the massive anti-Liverpool bias of this blog.  I can’t do that but I can pick a draw because once again Sturridge is out and it’s hard to see where goals are coming from.  I don’t see QPR scoring so it seems only a scoreless draw will do.   If Rodgers can figure out how to play with Balotelli, thinkgs may be different but it’s not clear that will get worked out.  Balotelli is working hard but lacks the clever movement that a team trying to pass the ball into a net needs.. if he moves over to the slow lane and lets Sterling pass him on the inside they may sneak a goal.

Stoke are a decent team but I want to underrate them.   Swansea are an average team but I want to pretend they still play the football that Laudrup instituted.  Technically, Stoke are favorites to win but I like Swansea to hang on and steal an away point.   Why?  Because I think that Mark Hughes has been safe far too long – I prefer him when he’s like Alan Pardew – fighting for his job, underachieving (or overachieving if you believe he shouldn’t have a job in the Premier League).

20-October 2014  
West Bromwich2-2*Manchester United

The fans from London are starting to chant and support their team and the trip to Birmingham is half of their normal journey so they should be energized and ready to be singing when they’re winning.  Manchester United are kind of like a boy who wets his bed (can’t keep clean sheets) but it’s hard to pick against them when they have a lot of class moving forward.  For the more artsy-fartsy of you, I was going to say that Manchester United were like multiple Saatchi exhibits of Traci Emins work (I apologize for this).

Bed (No clean sheets to be found here)

 

 

Watford’s Newer Manager

Seems like only weeks ago we were welcoming our new manager – Oscar.   Well here we are again.

Billy McKinley

Welcome! To the third manager in a month?

Your Mission Impossible, should you choose to accept it, is to not finish lower than the league position in which you took over.

Good Luck.

Watford Position

Watford v Bournemouth

Deeney is out.  Forestieri is back.  Probably a fair trade of fitness.

I think Deeney has a hamstring injury – either that or he is pregnant and due a few baby goals.

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Should be a win this week… keeping the faith! and our manager out of the hospital!

 

Thinking of setting up a site for Watford videos… keep ’em peeled.

 

Watford’s New Manager

In a bizarre beginning of the season, Watford’s old manager quit after taking the team as far as he could (that was 2 wins, apparently) !

So bring on the Continental replacement Oscar Garcia!

Oscar-Garc-a-009.jpg

Turns out that a single game, a 1-0 loss to Charlton, was enough to send him to the hospital with chest pains.  Are we that bad?

In all seriousness, get well soon, we kind of like having someone steering the wandering ship.

 

Euro Championship

So the European Championship started and I didn’t make any predictions but the one I did make privately came true… Internationals just make me miss the EPL.

This did go semi-viral and make me laugh though.

Poor Woy being shown up by Arsene!

 

 

Almunia Set to Retire

I admit it – I liked Almunia.

Now he’s finally retiring after a discovery that he had a dodgy ticker.

Thanks for the Penalty Save against Leicester !

 

Almunia
Almunia Prays for a Better Defense

Transfer Ratings

Last week was a miserable failure for making picks as I didn’t go with the instinct or the gut. I knew Man City would be a let down – I said it. I knew Man U would struggle against Burnley – I said it. I said that I underrate Villa and overrate Hull.

Those are excuses for a poor showing.

Well guess what? Now I have a better excuse – after this transfer day deadline, I have no idea who signed with who.

Is Cleverly at Everton or Villa? Loan or sale?

What about Borini? He’s at Liverpool? I thought he started at Sunderland on loan from Liverpool?

Falcao is at Arsenal? Chelsea? What -Manchester United you say? That explains the loan – keep it inside the Financial Fair Play numbers.

So who won and who lost?

Best Signing

Ben Arfa – Hull getting a skilled player from Newcastle with something to prove.  I expect this to be a successful pairing of player and club.

Best Risky Signing

Mario Balotelli – No denying his talent.  Go big or go home.  Literally.  if he doesn’t pan out send him home.

Best I Didn’t See That Coming Signing

Danny Welbeck – I don’t and haven’t really rated Danny in a long time.  When I first saw him I thought it was terrible that Man United were bringing through great talent (Cleverly made me realize it wasn’t always the case) because I saw a youngster who was fast, big, powerful, and a force and someone who would make the Reds better.   Over the years he just never got better.   Arsenal without Giroud needed a forward – and truth be told, with all the flair and guile they have, I think they just need a target man.  He is no RVP, he is no Henry, but I remember when Ian Wright used to bang them in for fun.. maybe Danny, given the starting position will make a difference.  He’s a better option than Podolski.

I expect him to be a positive impact and keep a healthy Giroud out of the starting team (he was already not starting).  I expect him to bang in 20 goals this year.

Worst Signing

It’s going to be one of Daley Blind (I played for over-achieving boring boring Holland and LVG likes me), Falcao (who like Supergrass is In It for the Money), or Di Maria.  It’s not that they are all bad players, far from it, it just seems that they’re trying to convince us that Manchester United is relevant by spending big and looking relevant.  To be relevant you win on the pitch.    Should have picked up a ore solid foundation at the back.

Best Under The Cover Of Night Signing

Benjamin Sambouli – Tottenham let in 3 against Liverpool this past week and it’s nice of me not to remind them how many they let in against the Reds last year.  The manager knows his stuff and clearly he favours the high-press and would have looked specifically for a player to fit the system (unlike some other managers).

Best Signing That Didn’t Happen

Sami Khedira – recovering from a knee injury, recovering from a World Cup injury and now a torn thigh.  Seems the man was born to be hurt!

Promotion on the Horizon for Udinese B?

Impressive start to the campaign for Watford (4W 0D 1L). This all looks good and it looks like we’re ready to get rolled over in the premier league but as everyone in St Albans knows, the season always starts better than it ends with the Hornet Moose.

Four wins in the Championship! But within them is a 3-0 loss to a top contender in Norwich and a disappointing Milk Cup (aka Capital One Cup aka Coca Cola Cup aka Littlewoods Cup…) to a third tier Doncaster. But this year could be different as the dreaded draw column has a 0! Under normal rules Watford carve out enough draws to be considered a for a degree in cabinetry (homonym joke for the win!).

Go on you Hornet Moose! Prove me wrong – make it a good season, wire-to-wire.