Watford gained promotion to the Premier League on the weekend after they beat Brighton and Middlesborough lost to Fulham. Needing a victory and other results to go their way, Watford began Saturday just one point ahead of Bournemouth and Middlesborough, but goals from Troy Deeney and Matej Vydra gave The Hornets their promotion-clinching victory. As you can see in the video, it meant a lot to the Watford players as they received the news that other favourable results meant Watford has secured automatic promotion to the Premier League.
As a newly-promoted side, it is likely that some fans of the Premier League and from abroad will not know too much about Watford FC. After all, the last time they were in the Premier League was in 2007, a year in which their then-manager Aidy Boothroyd sold Ashley Young, who he considered the best player outside of the Top Four at the time, to Aston Villa for £8 million. So, to shed a little light on the Premier League’s first newcomer for next year, here are a few things that you should know about Watford FC.
Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic
A former Chelsea and Yugoslavia midfielder, Slavisa Jokanovic was appointed as manager in October, after the three previous managers failed to impress in the first few months of the season. Nicknamed ‘The Joker’ by Chelsea fans following his two year stint at the club as a player, the Serbian is anything but as a manager, as he helped Watford navigate their way up the table after a shaky start to the season under the previous managers. At 46, he’s a relatively young manager, and definitely one to look out for in the future.
Key Player: Troy Deeney
Probably most known for his unbelievable dramatic late goal for Watford against Leicester to send them through to the 2013 Championship Playoff Finals, Troy Deeney is Watford’s captain and go-to striker. He has racked up 21 league goals this season, and his most significant came at the weekend at the Amex Stadium to sink Brighton and secure promotion. The dynamic frontman is a crucial player for The Hornets, and they will need to keep on to him if they want to stay up next year. Here’s the Troy Deeney playoff winner…we couldn’t resist.
Can Watford survive relegation next season?
It has been nearly 10 years since Watford last appeared in the Premier League. Aidy Boothroyd guided them to promotion in 2005-06, but they only lasted one season in the top flight before heading back down to the Championship. If they are to avoid a repeat of this, Watford will need to recruit some experience and quality players, as well as hold on to their current key players and staff. Jokanovic’s successes have seen him named as a target for the Sunderland job, who hang dangerously in 18th place in the Premier League, and losing him would be a blow to the players and fans who hold him in such high regard.
Whatever happens next year, Watford fans will be happy that they’re back in the big league and fighting against the footballing elite once more. Congratulations!