Norwich City A-Z: When Delia helped turn Vicarage Road into a sea of yellow

PUBLISHED: 17:06 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 05 July 2019

Promoted City get the party started at Watford in 2004 Picture: Archant

Promoted City get the party started at Watford in 2004 Picture: Archant

Eastern Daily Press © 2004

Norwich City celebrated one of their best days against Watford – and one of their worst. Chris Lakey takes a look back

Champagne time for Darren Huckerby at Vicarage Road in 2004 Picture: ArchantChampagne time for Darren Huckerby at Vicarage Road in 2004 Picture: Archant

April 24, 2004

Watford 1 City 2

Everyone loves a Norwich City party - and it was Watford who hosted this one, on a sunny day at Vicarage Road.

City had clinched promotion in midweek, without playing, courtesy of Crystal Palace's win over Sunderland.

Alex Tettey made it 3-0 in August, 2014 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdAlex Tettey made it 3-0 in August, 2014 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

More than 5,000 City fans headed to Hertfordshire, with Delia Smith sitting in the away end, while another 6,000 watched a beam-back at Carrow Road.

Damien Francis put City ahead after 29 minutes and Leon McKenzie added a second three minutes into the second half. Dominic Blizzard pulled one back for Watford, but City weren't to be denied and the full-time whistle was greeted by the biggest yellow and green party outside of Norfolk.

Ten days later City clinched the title, despite a 1-0 loss at Sunderland.

Manager Nigel Worthington said: "Those fans probably don't realise how important they are. With them, we can get to more points next season than people think."

Dieumerci Mbokani scored a double in a Premier League goodbye in May, 2016  Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdDieumerci Mbokani scored a double in a Premier League goodbye in May, 2016 Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

And to think the party really got started at Ipswich five months earlier...

May 11, 2016

City 4 Watford 2

Phil Mulryne cracks home a delicious free-kick in August, 2002 Picture: ArchantPhil Mulryne cracks home a delicious free-kick in August, 2002 Picture: Archant

The Canaries waved goodbye to the Premier League with their first winning four-goal haul (they scored four in a 5-4 home defeat by Liverpool) of the season.

It ended a run of four successive defeats, but it was good bye, Premier League, hello Championship, as Sunderland's 3-0 win over Everton left the Canaries four points from safety with just one game left.

Dieumerci Mbokani was the star, scoring twice, his first a tap-in three minutes after Nathan Redmond's 15th-minute equaliser after Troy Deeney had put the visitors ahead. Craig Cathcart put into his own net to make it 3-1. Odion Ighalo pulled a goal back, but Mbokani added a fourth. It was all too little, too late and the traditional home finale was flat.

Norwich boss Alex Neil said: "The story for us is that, as a club, we have dropped short for a variety of reasons. We have made vital errors in games at crucial times and the recruitment has not been as good to strengthen the squad. I am here to do a job, the club will be bigger than me and I am not fearing for my job."

August 16, 2014

City 3 Watford 0

It was a season which started with Neil Adams at the helm, but ended with Alex Neil in charge... and promotion wrapped up.

This was the first home game and things looked good after City had lost their opener at Wolves.

The cause was helped by the dismissal of Joel Ekstrand after just two minutes, the Swede catching Nathan Redmond with his arm as the pair chased a ball over the top. Redmond's nose was bloodied while Ekstrund saw red of a different kind.

It took City half an hour to capitalise, Bradley Johnson clipping the ball over keeper Heurelho Gomes. Lewis Grabban scored his first City goal, following his move from Bournemouth, on 59 minutes, with Alex Tettey wrapping it up two minutes later.

"I was very pleased with how we applied ourselves. Of course the sending off is a massive turning point," said Adams after his first win as City boss.

August 31 2002

City 4 Watford 0

If anyone expected a hangover following the play-off final defeat to Birmingham, they looked to have been disappointed. By the time Watford came to Carrow Road, City had won three and drawn two games, conceding just twice and scoring nine times. This was another four-goal haul, and although Watford finished the game with nine men City were in control.

Paul McVeigh set the ball rolling on 29 minutes with Iwan Roberts adding second early in the second half. It was the big man's 82nd City goal and came after a five-match barren run. "I was desperate to score," he said. "I've been happy with my form but strikers always like to be scoring, so I was pleased to see that one go in."

Paul Robinson hacked down sub David Nielsen on 65 minutes and saw red, opening the door for a Phil Mulryne special, the Northern Irishman taking the resulting free-kick and curling the ball into the net from 20 yards.

Dominic Foley was shown a second yellow with 10 minutes left, but City were streets ahead and Mulryne teed up Nielsen for a fourth which rather reflected their dominance.


Javi Gracia

The 49-year-old spent all his playing days in his native Spain, most notably for Real Valladolid, Real Sociedad and Villareal.

His coaching career began at Villareal in 2004, with their youth team, before he moved on to a number of lower Spanish league sides as well as a year in Greece. Had spells in charge of Almeria, Osasuna, Malaga and Ruben Kazam in the Russia Premier League before, in January, 2018, joining Watford following the dismissal of Marco Silva.

Last season

Watford will be reasonably pleased with finishing 11th, in their fourth consecutive season in the top flight. However, given they spent much of it chasing seventh spot, there will perhaps be a tinge of disappointment.

It all sort of unravelled at the end when the Hornets lost three and drew one of their final four games.

However, those with glass half full should look to the points total of 50 - their best in the Premier League era and a nine-point/three places improvement on the previous season.

Watford also managed to reach the FA Cup final - which might have accounted for that late loss of concentration in the league - but were well and truly put to the sword by champions Manchester City, who won 6-0.

New season

Keep Gerard Deulofeu firing and there's always a chance - it was his introduction in the FA Cup semi-final against Wolves which turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 extra-time win.

Watford will perhaps regard last season as hugely significant: it was Gracia's first full season in charge and he changed the perception of his team. Watford are not whipping boys: they're a tough, exciting unit who have the heart of lions. Troy Deeney's comment about Arsenal having no 'cojones' suggests the player feel the same.

Deeney is integral to Watford, but a few more additions will be needed if Watford are going to push on. They've already added experienced West Brom defender Craig Dawson - and that could be a real bargain.


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NW Draws WW

League 38 29 27

League Cup 3 0 0

FA Cup 1 0 0

Total 42 29 27

Last 10 league games



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Norwich 4 Watford 2

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Watford 2 Norwich 0



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Watford 0 Norwich 3

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Norwich 3 Watford 0



Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Watford 2 Norwich 2


Friday, August 6, 2010

Norwich 2 Watford 3



Monday, April 13, 2009

Norwich 2 Watford 0

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Watford 2 Norwich 1



Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Watford 1 Norwich 1

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Norwich 1 Watford 3

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