Despite being an injury concern, Javi Gracia decided to start Gerard Deulofeu in the final game of the Premier League season.
After a seventh-place finish slipped out of Watford’s grasp, the final game was a dead rubber. All the Hornets had to play for was a top-half finish.
And with an FA Cup final against Manchester City coming up next weekend, the game against West Ham had little significance in comparison.
But Gracia still chose to field a semi-fit Deulofeu. The Spaniard got on the scoresheet and caused the Hammers some problems but Watford ultimately lost 4-1.
And Deulofeu had to come off in the second half with the visitors leading 2-1. Andre Gray replaced the 25-year-old with Gracia adding that this was precautionary.
Nonetheless, Watford fans were astounded by the decision to start Deulofeu. With the biggest game in recent memory coming up, surely Deulofeu needed to be wrapped in cotton wool.
Gracia risked Deulofeu against West Ham and it remains to be seen whether that selection decision backfired. Here are some tweets from Watford fans discussing Deulofeu’s inclusion.
Unbelievable that Javi has risked him if he wasn’t right before the game!!! No idea why we even bothered playing Capoue, Doucoure, Deulofeu, Pererya, Holebas or Femenia! Should’ve wrapped them in cotton wool for next week!
— Nick (@ngwfc1881) May 12, 2019
Then why chance it? I know injuries are part of the game and sometimes if you try to rest players too much it can make it worse, but surely if he’s not 100% just save him for the final? Same as Capoue who had a problem earlier after Wolves.
— Duncan Radband (@DuncanR_95) May 12, 2019
You’re having a laugh if there’s even a small chance that he might be out for next week, give him whatever special juices obbi oulare was talking about.
— Jamie (@Jostrich97) May 12, 2019
Hope you’ll be fit Gerry 🙏🏻🐝
— Tony (@_VicarageRoad_) May 12, 2019
🙏🏻 please be ok for the final
— Jimmy Hornet (@jimmyhornets) May 12, 2019
Injured. Knowing our luck he’ll be out for the final as well.
— Andy Clarke (@Corky_MKHornet) May 12, 2019