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 By Mike Parkin

Watford fail to sparkle as fans honour the memory of Graham Taylor

Watford were held goalless by Middlesbrough despite a few telling chances from Etienne Capoue and Troy Deeney.
Watford were held goalless by Middlesbrough despite a few telling chances from Etienne Capoue and Troy Deeney.

The football was almost incidental on a day that saw an emotional Vicarage Road pay tribute to the late Graham Taylor.

In truth, the on-pitch offering was a far cry from the heartfelt intensity in the stands, and the entertainment fell short of what the occasion deserved.

Positives

A clean sheet is a rarity for Watford, so there was comfort to be gained from not conceding. Abdoulaye Doucoure continues to improve in midfield and, while the Hornets were profligate, they had more meaningful sights...

 By Mike Parkin

Graham Taylor left an unmistakable and valuable legacy at Watford

Shaka Hislop reflects back on the late Graham Taylor, who he feels opened the door for Caribbean footballers.

Graham Taylor's achievements as Watford manager were nothing short of extraordinary. It's a measure of the man that his staggering list of managerial accomplishments comes nowhere near to telling the whole story.

Taylor arrived at Vicarage Road in 1977 and promptly set about changing Watford Football Club forever. He masterminded three promotions in just five seasons, taking the Hornets from Division Four to the top flight for the first time in their history. They finished runners up in their...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester United's showdown with Liverpool at Old Trafford

Alexis Nunes and Paul Mariner go toe-to-toe at predicting week 21's fixtures in the Premier League.
Liverpool legend Ian Rush fears the influence of Jose Mourinho when the Merseysiders face Manchester United.

Manchester meets Merseyside this weekend, headlined by Manchester United vs. Liverpool.

Prior to Sunday's huge clash at Old Trafford, Manchester City travel to Everton looking to keep the heat on leaders Chelsea, who will be hoping to bounce back after a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham ended their winning run.

Antonio Conte's side travel to champions Leicester on Saturday evening. Elsewhere, Arsenal are at Swansea and there's a big game at the bottom as Sam Allardyce takes Crystal Palace to former club...

 By Mike Parkin

Watford defence crumbles to leave Mazzarri under pressure

Watford slumped to another defeat as Walter Mazzarri's men went down 2-0 at Stoke.

Watford turned in a vastly improved performance after their New Year's horror show against Tottenham, but conceded two wholly avoidable goals in Tuesday's 2-0 defeat at Stoke.

Positives

This was a spirited performance for the most part and despite conceding early in the second half, Watford continued to push. This was a patched up side with a whole host of players missing through injury and others playing out of position. They deserve some credit for turning in a vaguely competitive display.

Negatives

It...

 By Mike Parkin

Watford hopeless all over the pitch in deservedly heavy defeat vs. Spurs

ESPN FC's Paul Mariner praises Mauricio Pochettino's decision-making paired with Tottenham's convincing attack.
Paul Mariner gives a tactical analysis of Harry Kane's first half brace that set the pace for Spurs vs. Watford.

This was a chastening experience for an injury ravaged Watford side, who will be grateful that Tottenham chose to conserve energy instead of striving to deliver an even more lop-sided scoreline than the eventual 4-1 win. The visitors would swat the hapless Hornets aside without ever needing to get out of second gear.

Positives

A debut substitute appearance from academy graduate Brandon Mason was cause for some cheer but the fact that Spurs only scored four goals, when double that figure was...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Kane and Alli torment Watford to maintain Tottenham's surge

It was a happy new year for Tottenham as they swept Watford aside.

WATFORD, England -- Three quick thoughts from Watford 1-4 Tottenham in the Premier League

WatfordWatford
Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur
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1. Spurs warm up for Chelsea with fine win

If 2016 was a year that promised plenty for Tottenham but ended up disappointing as the collapse of title hopes was succeeded by an embarrassing exit from the Champions League, then 2017 has begun on a wave of high optimism. A crushing 4-1 win at Watford on New Year's Day pushed Spurs into third place ahead of Arsenal's match with Crystal Palace and both Pep Guardiola's...