Arsenal v Watford September 15, 2019
The beginnings of the club can be traced back to 1881, when Watford Rovers was formed by Henry Grover and a group of fellow teenagers who had been given permission by the Earl of Essex to kick a football around in Cassiobury Park. Friendly matches began in 1882, with various sites in the town being used for matches. The first competitive game was an FA Cup tie against Swindon Town in 1886. In 1890 West Herts Club and Ground was set up in Cassio Road (where it remains to this day) and Watford Rovers moved in as the football section, changing name to West Herts in 1893.
Watford joined the Football League in 1920. The club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where it remains.
One of the most successful periods for the club was when they were managed by ex England manager Graham Taylor who took charge of Watford in 1977. He led the club to promotion to the Third Division in 1978, the Second Division in 1979, and the First Division for the first time in Watford’s history in 1982. After a second-placed finish in the First Division in 1983, Watford competed in European competition for the first time in 1983–84, as well as reaching the 1984 FA Cup final.
Taylor left the club at the end of 1986–87. Under the six subsequent permanent managers Watford slid from 9th in the top tier in 1987, to 13th in the third tier in 1997. Taylor returned as manager for the start of the 1997–98 season. He led the club to consecutive promotions, but could not prevent relegation from the Premier League in 1999–2000. Since Taylor’s retirement in 2001, Watford has had sixteen different managers.
Watford is owned by the Pozzo family, which also owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and previously Granada CF in Spain. Sir Elton John, who owned Watford during both of Graham Taylor’s successful periods as manager, served alongside Taylor as the club’s joint Honorary Life President until 2008, only to later resume the role he shared alongside Graham Taylor until Taylor’s death. Sir Elton John’s seven year old son Zachary signed up for the academy team at Watford Football Club in 2018.
On 21 January 2018, Javi Gracia was appointed as Head Coach following Marco Silva’s departure. Gracia has been met with widespread praise after a successful 2018–19 Premier League campaign which saw Watford finish with their highest points tally ever in English Premier League football. However after a disappointing start to the 2019–20 season, Javi Gracia was sacked and replaced by previous manager Quique Sánchez Flores.
During the Division 1 era Watford had our number and dominated us:-
|Arsenal v Watford – Div 1 Away Games|
But the Premier League era has seen a 100% reversal of our fortunes:-
|Arsenal v Watford – EPL Away Games|
Strangely there has not been a drawn league game between the two clubs and Sunday may become the day for one team to take the lead in games between each other – which club will it be? My choice is for Arsenal to continue their Premier League dominance over Watford.
The 2019/20 version of Arsenal is still in the development stages but after four games we find ourselves tied for 4th (we are 5th on goal difference) and only one game out of 2nd place.
My team selection would look like this:-
Subs – Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Willock, Nelson, Guendouzi, Lacazette.