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Javi Gracia bizarre reaction as an entire Watford reserve team stroll into fifth round “Newcastle always play well”

4 years ago

Javi Gracia made 11 changes for the third round FA Cup match against Woking, Watford winning 2-0.

For the fourth round at St James Park, Javi Gracia once again left his entire first eleven off the pitch, yet the 2-0 victory couldn’t have been easier.

Despite that, the Watford’s boss reaction after the game was that ‘Newcastle always play well. It is always a very demanding game and today was no different.’

Surely the only reason for putting this out there is to make his team’s win look all the better.

The truth is, Newcastle were abysmal and offered zero threat to the opposition goal.

I say zero and that is a minimal exaggeration, due to actually having one effort on target. However, even more than the Schar solo effort against Cardiff, this one was a madcap run from Manquillo where he simply charged across the pitch diagonally, never really having the ball completely under control, eventually lifting it over the keeper, only for a defender to clear the danger.

Maybe we had the wrong Spaniard up front, as certainly Manquillo couldn’t have done any worse than Joselu, or Kenedy, or Murphy, or Hayden…

Watford stroll into the FA Cup fifth round and stand seventh in the Premier League.

Their front pair yesterday cost £32m and both of them scored, whilst Rafa Benitez relies solely on £2m loan striker Salomon Rondon who he felt he had to protect on Saturday, as the alternative was on show yesterday in the shape of the absolutely hopeless Joselu, whilst Mike Ashley has refused to allow and players to be bought this month, despite Newcastle being deep in a relegation fight.

As Mike Ashley said though, how can you expect to compete financially with sovereign states…such as Watford and Bournemouth.

Javi Gracia:

“Newcastle always play well.

“It is always a very demanding game and today was no different.

“They chose different players and maybe they are thinking about the next game as well.

“We have played twice against Newcastle this season and we didn’t win.

“In one game I think we deserved more, but today I think it was more close and we had control I think, but you never know what will happen at the end of the game.

“We worked well.

“We dominated a part of the game and in that moment we score the goals, it was a good performance for us.

“I am very pleased for all of them, sometimes it’s not easy for me to explain how important are all my players.

“When I say I believe in all my squad, it’s because I believe in all my squad.

“In games like today it’s important to show all of them are working really well.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Watford 2

Goals: Gray 61, Success 90

Possession was Watford 53% Newcastle 47%

Total shots were  Watford 7 Newcastle 5

Shots on target were Watford 3 Newcastle 1

Corners were  Watford 2 Newcastle 5

Referee: David Coote

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Manquillo, Fernandez (Schar 81), Lascelles, Clark, Ritchie (Atsu 73), Hayden, Longstaff, Kenedy, Murphy (Perez 72), Joselu

Unused Subs:

Dubravka,Yedlin, Lejeune, Rondon

Crowd: 34,604 (Watford 1,350)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to the FA Cup exit go HERE)

(Rafa Benitez spoke after the game, unhappy and demoralised – Read HERE)

(Opinion – Kenedy should never be allowed to play for Newcastle again after that – Read HERE)


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