2012–13 Watford F.C. season

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Watford
2012–13 season
Chairman Raffaele Riva
Head coach Gianfranco Zola
Stadium Vicarage Road
Football League Championship 3rd (77 points)
FA Cup 3rd Round
(eliminated by Manchester City)
League Cup Second Round
(eliminated by Bradford City)
Home colours
Away colours

Watford Football Club is a football club from Watford, Hertfordshire, England. The club played in the 2012–13 Football League Championship for the sixth consecutive season since relegation from the Premier League in 2006–07.[1] The club also competed in the FA Cup and the Football League Cup.

Despite guiding the club to an 11th-placed finish in 2009-10, the club's 3rd highest points tally for 9 years, manager Sean Dyche was dismissed and replaced by Gianfranco Zola following the club's takeover by Udinese and Granada owner Giampaolo Pozzo. The club captain was central midfielder John Eustace,[2] although due to injury, Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was captain for the majority of the season. During the summer transfer window, the club sold two key first team players; academy graduate Adrian Mariappa and goalkeeper Scott Loach. To replace them, Watford brought in two experienced players in Manuel Almunia and Fitz Hall. All other incoming transfers were loan players, mainly from Udinese and Granada. Zola later revealed that the club only loaned the players due to the short time scale between the completion of the take over and the transfer deadline day.[3]

Watford had a relatively poor start to the season, losing 7 of their first 13 games, including a heavy 5-1 loss to Derby County F.C.. In the subsequent months however, Watford began to win more matches and started to climb the table, rising to hold the 6th position by the end of 2012. Towards the end of the season, Watford were in contention for an automatic promotion spot together with Hull. On a dramatic final day of the regular season, Hull failed to guarantee their automatic promotion by only drawing to league champions Cardiff, however Watford were unable to capitalise against Leeds and finished the season in 3rd place, entering the play-offs. Over two games, Watford beat Leicester City on aggregate in a dramatic semi-final which saw them face Crystal Palace in the play-off final at Wembley where Crystal Palace won and sealed promotion to the Premier League.

Background[edit]

Sean Dyche replaced Malky Mackay as Watford manager at the end of the 2010–11 season. Following the departures of Mackay, Danny Graham, Will Buckley and Don Cowie, Watford were tipped for relegation in 2011–12 by some bookmakers and media organisations.[4][5] However, Watford finished the season in 11th place with 64 points;[6] Watford's third highest points tally since the departure of Graham Taylor as manager in 2001.[7] At the end of the season, it was confirmed that Rene Gilmartin, Michael Bryan, Josh Walker, Chez Isaac and Tom James would be released – their contracts expired at the end of the 2011–12 season.[8] Former manager Graham Taylor stepped down as chairman shortly before UEFA Euro 2012, indicating that he felt the timing was right and that he was keen to pursue other interests.[9]

Takeover[edit]

In June 2012, Laurence Bassini indicated that he was looking to sell the club. Amid reports that the club's bondholders had called in the debt due to an act of default, Bassini stressed that the decision to sell was his alone, motivated by a wish to spend more time with his family.[10] A company owned by Giampaolo Pozzo and his family completed the takeover of Watford on 29 June 2012.[11] The management structure of the club changed significantly in the following weeks, with Rafaelle Riva appointed chairman. Former West Ham United chief executive Scott Duxbury and technical director Gianluca Nani took up similar roles with Watford, while ex-West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola replaced Sean Dyche.[12][13] The club also stated an intention to make use of the Pozzo family's scouting network, which identifies players for Udinese in Serie A and Granada in La Liga.[14]

Pre Season[edit]

Watford did not make any signings prior to the start of their pre-season campaign, but their first two games against local featured triallists Daniel Pudil and Almen Abdi. In both matches – away to Boreham Wood and Wealdstone – Watford changed all eleven players at half time. Both games finished as 1–1 draws.[15][16] The team's first win of pre-season came in a visit to Irish side Cork City,[17] and was followed by an 8–0 win in a match against Barnet at Watford's training ground in London Colney.[18]

Watford's only pre-season game at Vicarage Road was a testimonial match for defender Lloyd Doyley, who started his professional career at the club in 2001. Before the start of the game, Doyley entered the pitch to a guard of honour, and when he was substituted with 15 minutes remaining he was given a standing ovation by supporters. However, a goal from Tottenham's Jermain Defoe gave the visitors a 1–0 victory.[19] Watford finished their pre-season schedule with a 3–0 win at Gillingham, with two goals from Matěj Vydra and one from Piero Mingoia.[20]

Championship[edit]

Championship Play-offs[edit]

Football League Cup[edit]

The Football League Championship season started later than usual, due to the Olympic games being held in London. Thus, Watford's first competitive game was in the League Cup, at home to League Two side Wycombe Wanderers. The game saw few chances, and was goalless after 90 minutes. Substitute Chris Iwelumo scored the winner for Watford in extra time, assisted by debutant Matěj Vydra.[25] In the next round, Watford again hosted League Two opposition in the form of eventual cup runners up Bradford City. After a goalless first half, Ikechi Anya put Watford into the lead in the 71st minute, on his first start for the club. However, Bradford scored two late goals to win the match 2–1. Both of Bradford's goals were scored shortly after direct free kicks.[26]

FA Cup[edit]

Premier League and Championship clubs enter the FA Cup at the third round stage, where they are joined by the 20 winners from the second round for a total of 64 teams. The draw took place on 2 December 2012. Watford were drawn away to 2011 winners and eventual finalists Manchester City where Manchester City won thanks to goals from Tevez, Barry and Lopes.

League Table[edit]

# Team Pld W D L F A GD Pts
C Cardiff City 46 25 12 9 72 45 +27 87
P Hull City 46 24 7 15 61 52 +9 79
3 Watford 46 23 8 15 85 58 +27 77
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 19 18 9 69 43 +26 75
P Crystal Palace 46 19 15 12 73 62 +11 72
6 Leicester City 46 19 11 16 71 48 +23 68
7 Bolton Wanderers 46 18 14 14 69 61 +8 68
8 Nottingham Forest 46 17 16 13 63 59 +4 67
9 Charlton Athletic 46 17 14 15 65 59 +6 65
10 Derby County 46 16 13 17 65 62 +3 61
11 Burnley 46 16 13 17 62 60 +2 61
12 Birmingham City 46 15 16 15 63 69 −6 61
13 Leeds United 46 17 10 19 57 66 −9 61
14 Ipswich Town 46 16 12 18 48 61 −13 60
15 Blackpool 46 14 17 15 62 63 −1 59
16 Middlesbrough 46 18 5 23 61 70 −9 59
17 Blackburn Rovers 46 14 16 16 55 62 −7 58
18 Sheffield Wednesday 46 16 10 20 53 61 −8 58
19 Huddersfield Town 46 15 13 18 53 73 −20 58
20 Millwall 46 15 11 20 51 62 −11 56
21 Barnsley 46 14 13 19 56 70 −14 55
R Peterborough United 46 15 9 22 66 75 −9 54
R Wolverhampton Wanderers 46 14 9 23 55 69 −14 51
R Bristol City 46 11 8 27 59 84 −25 41
Promotion to Premier League
Qualification to Championship playoffs
Relegation to League One
Last updated: 13:56, 4 May 2013 (UTC)


Summary[edit]

Round 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46
Ground A H H A A H H A A H H A A H H A H A A H H A H A H A H A A H H A A H A H H A H A H A A H A H
Result W L W L L L D W W L W L L W D W W D W W L D W W L W W W L W D W W W D W L L D W D L L W W L
Position 4 13 5 12 17 20 20 18 11 14 13 15 16 15 16 12 10 11 8 6 6 7 6 6 6 6 6 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Last updated: 4 May 2013.
Source: BBC Sport
Ground: A = Away; H = Home. Result: D = Draw; L = Loss; W = Win; P = Postponed.

Players[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Statistics correct as of game played 22 May 2013.[27]

2012–13 Watford player details[b]
No. Pos Name P G P G P G P G Age Joined club Yth Notes
Championship FA Cup League Cup Total Discipline
1 GK Almunia, ManuelManuel Almunia 39 0 0 0 1 0 40 0 3 0 36 2012 No
2 DF Hodson, LeeLee Hodson 1+1 0 0 0 1+1 0 2+2 0 0 0 21 2009 Yes
3 DF Dickinson, CarlCarl Dickinson 2+2 0 0 0 2 0 4+2 0 1 0 26 2011 No
4 MF Eustace, JohnJohn Eustace 2+3 0 1 0 1 0 4+3 0 2 0 33 2008 No
5 DF Taylor, MartinMartin Taylor 3 1 0 0 2 0 5 1 1 0 33 2010 No
5 DF Neuton 7+1 0 0+1 0 1 0 7+2 0 3 0 23 2012 No dagger
6 DF Hall, FitzFitz Hall 19+2 1 0 0 0 0 19 1 4 0 32 2012 No
7 MF Yeates, MarkMark Yeates 17+8 3 0 0 1 0 18+8 3 4 0 28 2011 No
8 MF Hogg, JonathanJonathan Hogg 27+7 0 0 0 2 0 35 0 4 0 24 2011 No
9 FW Deeney, TroyTroy Deeney 28+7 16 1 0 1 0 33 14 6 0 24 2010 No
10 FW Iwelumo, ChrisChris Iwelumo 4+3 0 0 0 0+1 1 8 1 0 0 34 2011 No
11 MF Forsyth, CraigCraig Forsyth 1+1 0 0 0 1+1 0 2 0 0 0 24 2011 No
12 DF Doyley, LloydLloyd Doyley 23+6 1 1 0 1 0 28 1 2 0 30 2001 Yes
13 FW Beleck, Steve LeoSteve Leo Beleck 0+5 0 0 0 1 0 6 0 1 0 20 2012 No dagger
14 MF Jenkins, RossRoss Jenkins 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 22 2008 Yes
15 MF McGinn, StephenStephen McGinn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 2010 No
16 MF Murray, SeanSean Murray 8+6 1 0 0 0+1 0 15 1 0 0 19 2010 Yes
17 DF Bennett, DaleDale Bennett 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 23 2008 Yes
17 DF Briggs, MatthewMatthew Briggs 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 22 2013 No dagger
18 DF Pudil, DanielDaniel Pudil 30+2 1 1 0 0 0 32 1 9 1 27 2012 No dagger
19 MF Buaben, PrincePrince Buaben 0+1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 2011 No
20 FW Vydra, MatějMatěj Vydra 25+11 20 1 0 1+1 0 36 20 2 1 21 2012 No dagger
21 MF Anya, IkechiIkechi Anya 13+7 3 0 0 1 1 18 4 0 0 25 2012 No dagger
22 MF Abdi, AlmenAlmen Abdi 32+1 10 0 0 1+1 0 32 10 5 0 26 2012 No dagger
23 MF Mingoia, PieroPiero Mingoia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 2010 Yes
24 FW Whichelow, MatthewMatthew Whichelow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 21 2010 Yes
25 FW Garner, JoeJoe Garner 2 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 25 2011 No
26 MF Assombalonga, BrittBritt Assombalonga 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 2011 Yes
27 FW Massey, GavinGavin Massey 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 2010 Yes
27 DF Cassetti, MarcoMarco Cassetti 32+2 0 1 0 0 0 32 0 8 0 35 2012 No dagger
28 FW Smith, ConnorConnor Smith 2+5 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 1 0 20 2011 Yes
29 DF Thompson, AdamAdam Thompson 0+3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 20 2010 Yes
30 GK Bond, JonathanJonathan Bond 6+1 0 1 0 1 0 7 0 0 0 20 2010 Yes
31 DF Hoban, TommieTommie Hoban 19 2 0 0 0 0 19 2 0 0 19 2011 Yes
32 DF Tumwa, AaronAaron Tumwa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 2012 Yes
33 DF Nosworthy, NyronNyron Nosworthy 18+1 0 1 0 1 0 21 0 2 0 32 2011 No
34 GK Bonham, JackJack Bonham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 2010 Yes
35 MF Hamilton-Forbes, StephanStephan Hamilton-Forbes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 19 2012 Yes
36 FW Geijo, AlexandreAlexandre Geijo 7+10 2 0 0 0 0 16 2 0 0 31 2012 No dagger
37 MF Bia, Geoffrey MujangiGeoffrey Mujangi Bia 0+3 0 0+1 0 1 0 5 0 1 0 23 2012 No dagger
38 MF Battocchio, CristianCristian Battocchio 14+6 2 0+1 0 0 0 18 2 0 0 21 2012 No dagger
39 DF Chalobah, NathanielNathaniel Chalobah 29+4 4 1 0 0 0 31 4 5 1 18 2012 No dagger
40 DF Ekstrand, JoelJoel Ekstrand 24+3 1 1 0 0 0 25 1 4 0 24 2012 No dagger
41 FW Forestieri, FernandoFernando Forestieri 16+8 7 1 0 0 0 23 5 6 1 23 2012 No -
42 DF Fanchone, Jean-AlainJean-Alain Fanchone 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 24 2012 No dagger

Transfers[edit]

Unless a country is specified, all clubs play in the English football league system.

In[edit]

The transfer window opened on 1 July,[28] but Watford did not make any signings in the early part of pre-season, amid reports that the club was under a transfer embargo due to an administrative error.[29] The club confirmed seven signings at the end of July, five of which were season long loans from other clubs owned by the Pozzo family. The permanent transfers were goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and centre back Fitz Hall, following the departures of Scott Loach and Adrian Mariappa in their respective positions.[30]

Date Player From Fee
30 July 2012 Manuel Almunia Arsenal Free[30]
30 July 2012 Fitz Hall Queens Park Rangers Free[30]
14 January 2013 Fernando Forestieri Udinese Unknown[31]

Out[edit]

A young man wearing a yellow top and black shorts, standing on a grass field. On his forearm, he is wearing an armband; the word "Captain" is visible.
Adrian Mariappa joined Reading before the start of the season.[32]

At the end of the 2011–12 season, the club announced that five players would be released at the end of their contracts.[33] The summer transfer window opened on 1 July, and two high profile departures followed during pre-season. 2011–12 Player of the Season Adrian Mariappa joined newly promoted Premier League side Reading on 17 July.[32] Two days later, Scott Loach – the team's most-used goalkeeper from the previous season – transferred to Ipswich Town, the club he supported as a child.[34] The club's final sale of the summer was Martin Taylor to Sheffield Wednesday. Taylor extended his contract shortly before Sean Dyche's departure from the club, and captained the team during his final two games under Gianfranco Zola, but was allowed to leave on the final day of the transfer window.[35]

Date Player To Fee
3 May 2012 Rene Gilmartin Plymouth Argyle Free (End of Contract)[33]
3 May 2012 Michael Bryan Free Agent Free (End of Contract)[33]
3 May 2012 Tom James Nuneaton Borough[36] Free (End of Contract)[33]
3 May 2012 Chez Isaac Borehamwood Free (End of Contract)[33]
3 May 2012 Josh Walker Scunthorpe United Free (End of Contract)[33]
17 July 2012 Adrian Mariappa Reading Undisclosed[32]
19 July 2012 Scott Loach Ipswich Town Undisclosed[34]
31 July 2012 David Mirfin Scunthorpe United [c] Mutual termination
21 August 2012 Gavin Massey Colchester United Free[38]
31 August 2012 Martin Taylor Sheffield Wednesday Undisclosed[39]
8 January 2013 Joe Garner Preston North End Mutual Termination[40]
24 January 2013 Dale Bennett Forest Green Rovers Undisclosed[41]
4 February 2013 Matthew Whichelow Free Agent Mutual Termination[42]

Loans[edit]

In[edit]

Watford signed 14 players on season-long loans in the summer transfer window. 12 players joined from clubs also owned by the Pozzo family; 10 from Udinese and 2 from Granada. Watford also signed Nathaniel Chalobah and Geoffrey Mujangi Bia from Chelsea and Standard Liège respectively. Jean-Alain Fanchone returned to Udinese in January, while Fernando Forestieri also signed a permanent contract with Watford that month. The club added a 15th loan player in March, with Matthew Briggs joining from Fulham until the end of the season.

Start Player Parent club End
30 July 2012 Almen Abdi Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[30]
30 July 2012 Ikechi Anya Granada (Spain) Season Long Loan[30]
30 July 2012 Steve Leo Beleck Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[30]
30 July 2012 Daniel Pudil Granada (Spain) Season Long Loan[30]
30 July 2012 Matěj Vydra Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[30]
9 August 2012 Alexandre Geijo Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[43]
23 August 2012 Marco Cassetti Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[44]
24 August 2012 Geoffrey Mujangi Bia Standard Liège (Belgium) Season Long Loan[45]
31 August 2012 Cristian Battocchio Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[46]
31 August 2012 Nathaniel Chalobah Chelsea Season Long Loan[47]
31 August 2012 Joel Ekstrand Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[46]
31 August 2012 Jean-Alain Fanchone Udinese (Italy) 15 January 2013[46][48]
31 August 2012 Fernando Forestieri Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[46]
31 August 2012 Neuton Udinese (Italy) Season Long Loan[46]
1 March 2013 Matthew Briggs Fulham End of season[49]

Out[edit]

Start Player To Level End
2011-08-17 17 August 2012 Assombalonga, Britt Britt Assombalonga Southend United 4 League Two 2011-09-17 17 September 2012[50]
2011-08-31 30 August 2012 Thompson, Adam Adam Thompson Wycombe Wanderers 4 League Two 2011-09-30 30 September 2012[51]
2011-08-31 31 August 2012 Bennett, Dale Dale Bennett A.F.C. Wimbledon 4 League Two 2011-09-30 30 September 2012[52]
2012-09-17 17 September 2012 Whichelow, Matthew Matthew Whichelow Accrington Stanley 4 League Two 2012-12-18 18 December 2012[53]
2012-09-17 17 September 2012 Mingoia, Piero Piero Mingoia Accrington Stanley 4 League Two 2012-12-18 17 October 2012[53]
2012-11-22 18 September 2012 Garner, Joe Joe Garner Carlisle United 3 League One 2012-11-19 20 November 2012[54]
2012-09-21 21 September 2012 Jenkins, Ross Ross Jenkins Plymouth Argyle 4 League Two 2012-09-21 21 September 2012[55]
2012-10-19 19 October 2012 Forsyth, Craig Craig Forsyth Bradford City 4 League Two 2012-12-22 22 December 2012[56]
2012-10-22 22 October 2012 Dickinson, Carl Carl Dickinson Portsmouth 3 League One 2012-11-19 19 November 2012[57]
2012-11-03 3 November 2012 Hamilton-Forbes, Stephan Stephan Hamilton-Forbes Havant & Waterlooville 6 Conference South 2012-12-01 1 December 2012[58]
2012-11-17 17 November 2012 Tumwa, Aaron Aaron Tumwa Wealdstone 7 Isthmian League 2012-12-22 22 December 2012[59]
2012-11-17 17 November 2012 Bevans, Matt Matt Bevans Chesham United 8 Southern Football League 2012-12-17 17 December 2012[59]
2012-11-22 22 November 2012 Bennett, Dale Dale Bennett Yeovil Town 3 League One 2012-11-22 22 November 2012[60]
2013-01-04 23 November 2012 Iwelumo, Chris Chris Iwelumo Notts County 3 League One 2013-04-27 4 January 2013[61]
2013-01-04 4 January 2013 Thompson, Adam Adam Thompson Barnet 4 League Two 2013-01-14 14 January 2013[62]
2013-01-04 4 January 2013 Beleck, Steve Leo Steve Leo Beleck Stevenage 3 League One 2013-06-01 End of Season[63]
2013-01-04 4 January 2013 McGinn, Stephen Stephen McGinn Shrewsbury Town 3 League One 2013-04-27 27 April 2013[64]
2013-01-31 31 January 2013 Iwelumo, Chris Chris Iwelumo Oldham Athletic 3 League One 2013-06-01 End of Season[65]
2013-01-31 31 January 2013 Mingoia, Piero Piero Mingoia Boreham Wood 6 Conference South 2013-06-01 End of Season[66]

Reserves and academy[edit]

Watford's academy intake in 2012-13 consisted of 20 scholars:

In addition, defender Matt Bevans had his scholarship from the previous year extended by a number of months after an injury kept him out for most of the previous season.[67] In July 2011, Mensah signed a contract that saw him turn professional on his 17th birthday, later signing an extended contract in January 2013.[68][69] In June 2013 O'Nien signed a one-year professional deal with the club, while Connolly, Wilmore, Eaton and English were released. Westlake was offered an extension to his scholarship of six months after missing a large period of the season through injury.[70]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ For players who came through the club's youth system the date used refers to when they signed a professional contract, unless they appeared in a first-team match-day squad prior to that, in which case that date is used.
  2. ^ All players who have been issued a 2012–13 squad number are listed
  3. ^ Mirfin was released by Watford on a mutual termination, but immediately joined Scunthorpe United.[37]

References[edit]

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