The Watford View – Part 2
BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark took time out of his busy schedule to talk to TEB this week, in fact, he was answering our questions while playing music live on air! Here is what he told us about his avid support of the Hornets and thoughts ahead of the FA Cup clash this weekend.
Q. First things first, why Watford?
Hahaha! I love how you worded this first question, can tell this is gonna be a fun chat!
Watford are my local team but actually from a very young age I found myself supporting Manchester United. My parents were not really into football, however, I loved it so when I went to my first Watford game aged about 6 or 7 that was an incredible experience. Since then I have been a proud Watford fan, and have had my happiest (and some of my saddest) moments being part of this incredible club.
Q. Who is your favourite player to have pulled on a Watford shirt.
This is hard to narrow down to just one but Lloyd Doyley and Paul Robinson are probably a couple of legends that I was a huge fan of. Robinson was exactly the type of defender I hoped I might be one day, while Doyley was part of the fabric of the club for many of my early years of being a fan.
There has been quite a few, especially around the Championship Play Offs, but given that we are playing Palace in the FA Cup this weekend, it has reminded me of a game that I will never forget – Watford versus Burnley in the 2003 quarter finals. The Watford team featured a young Sean Dyche. I was in the Rookery when Stephen Glass scored a free-kick that saw us through and I remember celebrating so hard I lost my watch! It was just an incredible cup run at the time and me and my mates loved it.
Q. How has the season been for the Hornets?
It has been a great season so far. We have been guilty of starting strong but finishing the season badly from this position before so it has been great to see us really going at it in both the league and the cup.
Q. With a number of managers coming and going at Vicarage Road, is it a relief to finally find some stability in Javi Gracia? Why has he been different to the others?
I think the main thing is he is doing the right job at the right time. Whilst the head coach/manager position has changed regularly, it feels like Javi has got the team in the right place as the rest of the club falls in line. The club management and owners deserve a lot of credit for turning Vicarage Road into a great stadium. I would argue the improvements off the pitch have been even greater than those on them. It really feels like Watford are on the up and up, so perhaps the changes in management do not really tell the true story of the consistency of the club as a whole to improve.
Q. What does the FA Cup mean to Watford fans and is this tie seen as a bit of a revenge mission for Watford considering the semi final a couple of seasons ago?
I will be honest, you guys are a constant speed-bump it feels. I always get a bit nervous when we play you as we should be beating you!! Fighting talk I know, but in all seriousness, that semi final was so so disappointing. Your fans were incredible and it just did not feel like our team gave it everything. On balance you probably deserved to win so without going all Kevin Keegan, “I’d love it if we beat ’em …” this time.
Q. Your prediction?
I really do not want to jinx it but we have got a very strong and committed team now. IF we are at out best, I think we will just edge it. I hope so anyway!
If you have not already listened in, you can hear Chris on the excellent ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, the new series is out on March 20th.