Javi Gracia has certainly had a mixed few matches since taking over at Watford.
First came a disappointing defeat to Southampton in the FA Cup, then a goalless draw against Stoke City, and then a brilliant 4-1 victory over Chelsea.
Still settling into English football, Gracia has been speaking to Spanish newspaper AS about his move to the Premier League and experiences at Watford so far.
Despite the loss to Southampton being a blow, Gracia believes it could actually work out well for Watford: “We’ve started well, yes. In the first game, we lost in the FA Cup, but then we drew away against a direct rival like Stoke and then we beat Chelsea. The elimination in the cup can turn out well so as not to burden us with games, as for example a weekend that we will not play.”
Watford’s victory over Chelsea has obviously received coverage in the Spanish media, and AS wanted to know if Gracia has received any calls from Barcelona asking for advice, with the two teams meeting in the Champions League soon: “I’ve received some calls (laughs). But a team like Barça doesn’t need to be taught, they know perfectly. In addition, they will be different matches because they are different competitions. It is true that now Chelsea is not good, but you see their line-up it’s of a very high level, from the goal with Courtois to the front with Hazard.”
On the difference between English football and what he’s more used to in Spain, Gracia explained: “I still have to learn many things, but you can see immediately the importance and the demand of a championship like the English. I still have to adapt in things like the language and that will also make me enjoy all this more. But there is no doubt that it is a great championship.
“There is more strength and aspects like the physical side matter a lot. In certain moments of the matches, certain contacts are allowed, perhaps not in Spain. Also the players are of a style very adapted to the idea of playing in England. For example, it has happened to us with the squad, and on that line we’ve reinforced ourselves with Deulofeu.”
The Spanish newspaper also asked about Elton John, with the star’s connection to Watford well known worldwide: “The history of the club is surrounded by people like him who were linked at some point. It is a curiosity. It’s clear that there is a lot of history behind this football club.”