First Team 23/11/2017

Zeegelaar | “Welcome To English Football”

It has been a tough start to life in England for Marvin Zeegelaar.

Since joining from Sporting Lisbon on deadline day the wing-back was yet to feature for the Hornets before starting Sunday’s victory over West Ham. And things didn’t start particularly well - less than 20 seconds into his debut the 27-year-old's face suffered the full force of Andy Carroll's elbow. 

After some lengthy treatment on the pitch Marvin was able to shake it off and continue, sporting the classic tissue paper up the nose look for the remaining 89 minutes, and the Dutchman confessed after the game he was feeling a bit worse for wear, despite the added joking from his teammates in the dressing room.

“It doesn’t feel very nice, it was the first 20 seconds,” he laughed.

“All the guys were telling me 'welcome to the English football' and 'welcome to the Premier League' so it was a good introduction.”

Zeegelaar signed a four-year contract with Watford back in August after spending the previous three seasons playing in Portugal.

A product of Ajax’s famous youth academy he started his career at the Amsterdam Arena and also boasts a somewhat surprising loan spell at Blackpool in 2013 on his far-ranging CV. However, after his first taste of Premier League football, Zeegelaar is only too keen to continue where he left off.

“It was nice to play, I haven’t played in a long time so it was good to be on the pitch again and play and of course with a win it’s even better.

“I hope I can continue playing more games and for that I have to train everyday very hard because the competition is difficult.”

It was an impressive debut from Zeegelaar against a West Ham side boasting talent such as Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic and the aforementioned Carroll.

Despite Will Hughes’ early goal, it took some impressive saves from Heurelho Gomes to keep Watford ahead before Richarlison sealed it midway through the second half to cap off a good display from the Hornets. Despite dominating for large spells in the game Zeegelaar admitted it still wasn’t the easiest of afternoons for the hosts.

“For me personally it was difficult, they were pushing a lot in the second half and the end of the first half especially but we did well as a team, we defended well and we also attacked well,” he said.

The victory pushed Watford up to eighth place in the Premier League and even with a tough run of fixtures ahead that includes trips to Newcaslte and Burnley and home clashes against Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, Zeegelaar says his team can continue to build on the bright start they have made this season and that they remain confident.

“We’re always confident, the next few games we’re going to try and build on what we have and let’s hope we can go on another good run.”


Watch | The Hornets Show 

There's plenty to get your teeth into this month on The Hornets Show. 

Adrian Mariappa discusses Sunday's much needed West Ham win, while former Golden Boy Derek Payne reviews the match from a tactical point of view. 

We profile the Hornets' impressive wing-man Kiko Femenia and take a look at Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust's Enterprise Project. 

Plus, we talk to Jacob Culshaw, whose WD18 YouTube Channel is gaining popularity in Watford fan circles.

Watch free above - no sign-up required. 

The Hornets Show is filmed, produced and edited by students from Bucks New University.