What is your Twitter handle?
Who do you support?
Why do you support them?
Started supporting the Hornets in the 2006-07 season, returning to the Premier League for the first time since 1999-2000. While they lasted a single season, I was drawn to them, thanks in part to a co-worker who was a big Nottingham Forest supporter. We didn’t have much access to televised games, so I could only relive the excitement of watching (and playing), thanks in part to FIFA on Xbox.
How often do you get to attend matches?
Unfortunately, living in Northern California I have never had the chance to visit Vicarage Road. If I ever get the chance to cross the pond to the UK, rest assured Vicarage Road will be a destination on my itinerary.
Who is your favourite ever player?
Ben Foster. Even though he was only on loan for 2005/06 and 2006/07 from Manchester City, he was the stalwart who helped get Watford promoted, earning the Player of the Season Award. At the time, manager Aidy Boothroyd proclaimed “he’s better than current Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar” claiming he could be “the best goalkeeper in the world.” Unfortunately, upon return to Manchester United, he underwent knee surgery and never did materialize as the top stopper for the Red Devils. There is a rumor he could return to Watford this season.
What win in your lifetime means the most to you?
On May 12, 2013 Watford hosted Leicester City in the semi-finals of the Championship play-offs. The last two minutes were some of the most exciting football I had ever experienced. It started with Manuel Almunia making the initial save on an Anthony Knockaert penalty, as well as the follow up shot. The ball was quickly distributed down the right flank to Fernando Forestieri, taking it the length of the pitch before crossing to Jonathan Hogg, who headed it down to an onrushing Troy Deeney at the top of the box, before he drilled it past Kasper Schmeichel, to give the Hornets a 3-1 win (agg 3-2) to move on to the finals and Wembley.
Which goal meant the most?
Troy Deeney scoring the injury time winner against Leicester City to send us to the finals has meant the most. It was a big goal in a highly unlikely situation, but the captain delivered
Which team would you most like to beat this season?
Always a great feeling to defeat the reigning Premier League Champions, but that will be a very tough call this season for Watford. Obviously, not many teams are on the level of Manchester City, but the football game can provide some strange moments. We lost 6-0 at Vicarage Road and 3-1 in reverse fixture. The Hornets will have their work cut out for them against the Sky Blues.
Are you happy with your manager?
Honestly, I was more happy with Marco Silva, especially with all the work he had done with Hull City, the previous year. It appeared our 2017/18 season was looking up in the early stages, sitting in 4th place after eight game weeks. Unfortunately a 4-2 loss the following week, after being 2-1 up away to Chelsea started a slow, downward spiral. This culminated with his firing, after Everton rumors started to swirl. Unfortunately, the Pozzo family isn’t known for keeping players or managers around very long. There have been nine different managers during the Pozzo era since 2012/13, which tells me ownership isn’t serious about building this team to something other than a mid-table team, at best. I don’t feel Javi Gracia is the man for the job, just 4 wins in 13 weeks when he took over. We will see what his first full transfer window brings ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Are you happy with your Board/Chairman?
Not really pleased with Gino Pozzo since coming onboard at Watford. The Italian, along with his father have interest in a few teams; Grenada CF in La Liga and Udinese in Serie A. The club is run like a business, which means we won’t start players or heavy investment in players is needed to move Watford to the next level. There is already rumor and speculation that Richarlison and possibly Abdoulaye Doucouré will be on the way out for substantial fees. That said, they did sign Gerard Deulofeu this season, from Barcalona for €13 million. As long as the Pozzo’s maintain control, we will continue to be an average mid-table club.
Where do you realistically think your club will finish this season?
Barring another November/December collapse, I believe Watford could finish in 11th place this season. However, we are still without a consistent goal scorer. While I’ve supported Troy Deeney the past few seasons, we need to see more consistency. The addition of Deulofeu on the right wing, with Richarlison on the left and Doucouré in the middle, allow some excellent distribution, but without that goal scorer, these goal chances will go begging.
What opposition player do you secretly admire?
I admire what the Brazilian, Willian brings to Chelsea. He’s got pace, great ball control skills and is quite deadly on set piece responsibility. Place him on almost any other team in England and he starts all 38-games. He is what I would like to see Richarlison become, playing wide with the speed and skill the youngster has, he’s got the potential to become a star in England (maybe not with Watford).
Is there a youngster at the club who could become a regular in the side this season?
Dion Pereria is a midfielder (winger) who has shown good promise. The 19 year old features as a regular on the under-23 squad, but it’s doubtful we will see him on the senior team in the upcoming season. He’s got quick feet and is easily one of the most talented on the squad. He could do with a loan spell, but remains on the under-23s.
Who do you think will be your club’s top FPL points scorer this season?
With any luck, Richarlison can stay healthy and in form for the duration of the season. He was virtually unstoppable for the first 13 weeks, as teams appeared unable to stop him. Unfortunately, fatigue got the best of him and he went on to be very unproductive before being dropped to the bench by Javi Gracia. He could be a top 20 midfielder in the EPL.
Can you tell us about your FPL history?
I boast a 35-year history of participating in fantasy (NFL) football, starting in 1983. However, none of that translated over to FPL, as I got my start in the 2013/14 season. Not sure I really knew what I was doing and didn’t use any supporting sites to help my decisions. Two years later, the 2015/16 season saw my best finish of 75k on 2170 points. It’s this rank/total I continue to use as a gauge when I look for goals. Last year, much like the previous year, I hit a nasty spell and rode a sea of red for much of middle part of the season. By the time I turned my season around, it was too late, but stringing together 10-12 green arrows is a good feeling.
What would be a successful FPL finish for you this season?
Obviously winning the whole shebang would be amazing, but not sure how realistic that is. I would like to achieve a consistency that saw me inside the top 10k, but that would require a steak of luck and probably more knowledge of the game and better use of long term strategy. This is really an easy game, right? Score the most points you can. Yet, it seems that becomes very challenging task at times.
What formation do you generally favour for FPL?
Last season, the 3-5-2 (9 times) formation was preferred over the 3-4-3 (8 times). Surprisingly, the 5-2-3 and 4-4-2 formations averaged a higher weekly point total than a 3-4-3 by nearly 3 PPW. Went for the unconventional 5-2-3 to start last FPL season, which was successful to a point, but flexibility is the key, depending on what players are in form.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned playing FPL?
Patience. Last year was the first using Twitter and it was evident that the “group think” took over sometimes and I found myself being talked out of a certain player. With the amount of research going into the decision-making process, having patience and staying with personnel I want should help me achieve a high overall score and ranking.
When did you use your chips last season and was it successful?
After activating my first WC for Gameweek 5, I found myself using the Free Hit Chip in Gameweek 9. While there was no precedent for its use, this was a week in which the big clubs were playing some minnows. Unfortunately the chip resulted in just 36 points (season low). Not using it would have given me 40 points.
Another WC played in Gameweek 23, unable to hold it for the late DGWs. The Triple Captain Chip was on Mohamed Salah in Gameweek 34, home to Bournemouth, finishing with a goal and CS, just 24 points. I activated my Bench Boost the final week of the season, which saw me pick up just 8 points.
Anything else we should know about you?
I am part of the #FPLBeerClub and as such I have been providing my #30SecondBeerReview clips on Twitter since the group came together. You can find all those reviews, as well as many of my articles on 6thgoal.com. As part of the FPL community, I am the Watford correspondent for 90maat.com. Last season was the first in contributed articles to Fantasy Football Geek, as well as a #30SecondReview, a player differential to the lads at FPL Academica.