Watford v Posh, 20 October, 3pm: Gianfranco Zola was a high-class, technically-brilliant, entertaining footballer.
But he’s yet to earn similar plaudits in his early days as a manager.
The former Chelsea and Parma striker had a less than impressive spell in charge in the Premier League at West Ham and he’s not exactly set Watford on fire in the Championship.
But he has the Hornets set up to play attractive football and he’s confident they will soon reach the top half of the table.
Zola said: “We are committed to playing attractive football and we will not change that.
“Winning 1-0 is not in our DNA although I wish it was sometimes as sometimes our attacking attitude has backfired on us.
“We are still a new team though so we will get better as th season progresses.
“There have been times this season when I have been very excited watching us play.
“At the moment it lasts for about 30 minutes, but we are getting there.”
Troy story has worked out well for Deeney
Striker Troy Deeney has returned to the Watford first-team squad after serving a 10-month jail sentence for affray.
The 24 year-old has scored twice in four appearances since winning his first-team place back.
He finished last season by scoring in the final four games of the campaign, including once in a 2-2 draw with Posh at London Road.
Deeney is a rarity at Vicarage Road. He’s an Englishman who hasn’t been affected by the job lot of Italians brought over to the Championship by the club’s new owners.
Ten players from Italian club Udinese were delivered to Watford on loan in the summer along with a couple from Spanish club Granada and Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia from Arsenal.
The best of the Udinese imports has been Cech striker Matej Vyrda who has bagged four goals for his new club.but is suspended tomorrow after picking up a red card in the last Watford match.
There are more familiar faces still knocking around the club like combative midfielder John Eustace, former Stoke defender Carl Dickenson and powerful centre-forward Chris Iwelumo who has Scottish international caps to his name.
Iwelumo has changed clubs 14 times in his 16-year career, but he has not scored since the opening day of the current competitive season when his goal dumped League Two strugglers Wycombe out of the Capital One Cup.
Almunia is 35 now and spent nine seasons with Arsene Wenger at Arsenal where he became qualified to play for England.
He played almost 200 times for the Gunners.
The day King Ken was upstaged by big Tony
Posh have a winning record in Football League matches at Vicarage Road.
In 14 visits Posh have won seven times and lost just five. Most of the successful trips took place when both teams were battling in the lower divisions.
Two goals from Marvin Sordell and another from Mark Yeates sealed a 3-2 win for the home side in this fixture last season. Lee Frecklington and Emile Sinclair netted for Posh as all five goals arrived in the first half.
That win avenged a shock 1-0 Posh win under the managament of Jim Gannon in the 2009-10 season. Liam Dickinson’s spectacular strike secured the first Posh away win of the season which arrived on March 13!
Posh transferred their Wembley hero King Ken Charlery to Watford in October 1992 and he played against his old chums three weeks later.
But Charlery, although he managed to score, was upstaged by his Posh replacement Tony Philliskirk who netted twice in a 2-1 away win.
Watford won promotion from the old Third Division under the expert management of Graham Taylor in the 1978-79 season, but they lost their first home game of that season to Posh as two Alan Slough goals clinched a 2-1 win.
Watford had Luther Blissett and Ross Jenkins in their side that day, but they also had the last laugh as they celebrated back-to-back promotions, while Posh were condemned to relegation.