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Speaking with the Enemy: what’s in store at Watford?

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We reached out to Watford fan Michael Moruzzi to get the inside track on the Hornets ahead of United’s trip to Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Southampton v Watford - Barclays Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Football writer and Watford fan Michael Moruzzi has kindly answered our questions about the Hornets (including "Why are you called the Hornets?") ahead of Manchester United’s trip to Vicarage Road on Sunday.

tBB: New season, new manager. What was your take on Quique Sanchez Flores dismissal? Harsh or warranted?

MM: Definitely harsh, but it’s pointless being sentimenal about Watford managers and players under Gino Pozzo’s ownership. Flores did better than anyone realistically expected him to, but the decline in the second half of the season was hard to ignore. And when Pozzo decides he’s seen enough he doesn’t wait long enough to have second thoughts. You had your chance, Flores. NEXT!

tBB: And so far, early days though it is, how do Walter Mazzarri's Watford differ from his predecessor's?

MM: He looks like Alec Baldwin, which is good. And he smokes, which is also good. It also looks like we’re going to see more goals at both ends. Clean sheets are a thing of the past, but our midfielders have actually started scoring.

tBB: So far this season you've played two theoretically big teams at home, Chelsea and Arsenal, and lost on both occasions. How did you approach the games? Were they close?

MM: Against Chelsea we started very well and deserved to be in front. Chelsea only really dominated the last 20 minutes, but that was enough for them to score twice and win the game. Diego Costa should have been sent off before he scored the winner, but that’s been true in pretty much all of Chelsea’s games so far this season. Arsenal were far too quick for us in the opening 45 minutes and the game was over by half-time. That said, we did at least keep going, scored one, and put their goal under a bit of pressure.

tBB: We're assuming you quite enjoyed last weekend's four-goal comeback. How much of that can be put down to West Ham being really a weird side, and how much to Watford playing well?

MM: West Ham definitely played their part, but Watford kept attacking them and had come close to scoring before West Ham went 2-0 up. It was a very important win for Watford, not just because it was our first of the season, but also because we came from behind to win. I think we only did that once last year, and that was against Aston Villa who had already been relegated -– the football equivalent of beating up a corpse. Beating West Ham was definitely better.

tBB: Onto the players. Who has started the season nicely?

MM: Etienne Capoue has become the most lethal goal scoring midfielder in the Premier League, and let’s be honest, no-one saw that coming. His shooting last season was public safety risk to specators in any part of the stadium, but now he can’t stop finding the corner. And Roberto Pereyra is already looking the business.

tBB: And who's been looking a bit dodgy?

MM: Well, until they both scored last weekend, last season’s dynamic duo of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo had both had very quiet starts, and Deeney hadn’t exactly looked ‘match fit’. Hopefully they’ve shaken off whatever slump they were in, as they are still absolutely vital to the team’s chances of success.

tBB: Who's your hidden gem, the player that doesn't get enough love from the wider world?

MM: Our young forward Isaac Success doesn’t just have a great name, he could be the Pozzo’s next big find. Still very early days and he’s just back from injury so isn’t starting yet. But he’s quick, skillful and strong, which is a decent combination in the Premier League.

tBB: Which of United's players are you most worried about on Friday?

MM: Marcus Rashford if he starts. Fast, talented and full of confidence. Best left on the bench I reckon.

tBB: And which of United's players have you always secretly suspected to be hugely overrated?

MM: Daley Blind is not very good. I used to think he was good, but I was wrong. He is not good.

tBB: Wayne Rooney might be back on Sunday. Does that prospect make you happy or sad?

MM: I hope he delivers another midfield masterclass.

tBB: What's the score going to be?

MM: 2-1 to United.

tBB: And finally, why are you known as The Hornets when your badge has a moose on it?

MM: Graham Taylor’s spirit animal.

If you’d like to give Michael a follow on Twitter, his handle is @Regista_Michael