Watford vs Aston Villa 2016
In all honesty, Saturday’s game is a fixture that has little purpose for either side.
Sure, Sanchez Flores’ Watford lost at Wembley last weekend, and apparently Flores is fighting for his future, but a match against Villa might remind them that things aren’t so bad after all.
Flores has worked wonders at Watford. Some Villa observers cite too many new players as a reason for this season’s struggles, but that doesn’t seem to have affected the Spaniard’s campaign too much.
Meanwhile, we have a caretaker manager who seems to actively dislike his job, as well as players who are doing their best to put off any prospective buyers of the club via social media.
A win wouldn’t hurt, if only to end the season with some degree of positivity…
Sanchez Flores on Villa
“We need to respect their players a lot. I am sad for their players because they are being relegated and they didn’t expect at the start of the season to be in this position.
“I admire Aston Villa a lot because in the past when I was watching the Premier League from a distance they were one of the historic teams, so it’s a pity they are being relegated.
“We knew perfectly at the start of the season that the squad and the potential of their team was very high.
“They have amazing players but they are in a bad moment, and that’s why I repeat that we are not playing against a bad team.”
Black on Watford
“It’s a very, very difficult game. I have watched them several times and they have a lot of good footballers in their team.
“They have a potent strike force and they are a well organised team. They are well-drilled by an exceptionally good coach.
“Any manager in my book who can keep a team as comfortable as they have in the division – after they have been promoted – deserves a lot of plaudits.
“I don’t know what’s happening there on a day to day basis or a game to game basis. But certainly as an external looking in, he’s done exceptionally well.”
Black on the Villa gig
“I’ve got to be honest – I don’t think there’s been a lot of enjoyment.
“I don’t want it to sound like I’m looking for sympathy because I’m not but there’s a lot of negativity around, especially over the last seven or eight weeks and that has made it hard.
“This is not a normal job in football, you’re not working with normal football elements here.
“But the elements are what they are and I’m caretaker manager so I will do what I can to make sure it remains professional and hopefully get a result Saturday.”
Villa could equal a club record of 11 successive defeats
16 September 2006 Watford 0 Aston Villa 0
Ashley Young starred for Watford the last time Villa visited Vicarage Road.
Watford – Last five matches at home: D 3, L 2
Villa – Last five matches away: L 5
One to Watch
Troy Deeney – The striker scored at Wembley this weekend and also bagged a goal at Villa Park earlier this season.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
With Villa swamped by what Paul Lambert once referred to as a “negative book”, it’s no surprise that another loss will see us equal our club record of 11 successive defeats (set in 1963).
Watford will fancy themselves to become the eighth club to do the double over Villa this season and history is on their side, too – they’ve lost just one of their previous eight league matches against Villa at Vicarage Road.
It certainly seems like misfortune will strike Villa yet again. Even the stats heed an ominous warning. After Ighalo and Deeney, Watford’s third top scorer is ‘own goals’ in the Premier League this season. Of course, one of those came at the expense of Alan Hutton, and one can’t help but feel that peculiar goalscorer may add to its tally this weekend.
For reasons that will probably baffle most football fans, Quique Sanchez Flores could be on his way out of Watford at the end of this season, but he’ll have the perfect opportunity to get the fans back on side this Saturday.
His Watford side have played five games against the bottom four clubs so far this season and won them all.
“I’ve got to be honest – I don’t think there’s been a lot of enjoyment” – Eric black
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag (for the optimistic)
Struggling for positives this season? Look no further. Despite our dreadful campaign, it’s mathematically impossible for us to match the record number of defeats set in a Premier League season. While we’re currently on a whopping 25 league defeats, Derby, Sunderland and Ipswich all suffered 29 defeats in the Premier League era.
We could be going head-to-head with all three of those teams in the SkyBet Championship next season, but the focus is on the last few Premier League games for now. Will footballing fate let Villa record another Premier League win and potentially impress any watching, unemployed managers?
Certainly, some of the stats hint at the impossible dream. Villa have kept a clean sheet in four of our last five league encounters against the Hornets, and Watford have suffered from poor form of late.
While they won eight of their first 17 Premier League matches, they’ve won just three of their last 17.
With the disappointing Wembley defeat playing on their minds, it’s feasible that Villa could spring a surprise on Saturday.
Many people out there don’t like their jobs, but very few of them announce it in press conferences. Hopefully Eric Black can rally against the bad vibes in B6 and mastermind an unlikely three points for the travelling Villa faithful.