Watford are the Premier League's very own United Nations

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QSF - It doesn’t quite flow off the tongue like the AVB of Andre Villas-Boas or the LVG of Louis van Gaal, but Watford’s Quique Sanchez Flores is certainly fluent when it comes to talking football.

And he needs to be, having one of the most diverse dressing rooms in the Premier League, boasting players from 22 different countries.

Last summer, Flores was announced as Watford's fifth manager in less than twelve months. Bookmakers had them as odds-on favourites to go down, but the Spaniard has impressively guided the Hornets to safety in a season that has included a 3-0 home victory over Liverpool, and a creditable 2-2 draw away to Chelsea.


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With 37 points after 27 games, Watford went into last week's match with Manchester United just three points off the all-important 40-point mark and had enough chances to win at Old Trafford for the first time since 1978.

They approached the game with the confidence of being able to get a result and narrowly losing 1-0 to a free-kick by Juan Mata is a testament to their achievements this year. Their next fixture was arguably even tougher, facing the league leaders Leicester at home.

Once again, another valiant performance was not enough as a piece of Riyad Mahrez magic secured the points for the Foxes but despite their recent setbacks, it is still considered just a matter of time before the Hornets get the three points needed to guarantee Premier League safety.

Good players are hard to find and the Hertfordshire club do not shop on QVC, but they do look for quality, value and convenience. Flores has spent over £20 million on Leicester-style bargain-basement players with ten of his recruits last summer arriving from France, Greece, Holland, Austria, Lithuania, Switzerland and Spain, to form football's very own united nations.

Flores is embracing the cultural challenge, saying: “'The most important thing is the atmosphere we can create in the dressing room in terms of they have a good relationship with each other.”

Whether any of those new players turn out to be hidden gems remains to be seen, and it may be too much to hope that Watford can follow in Leicester’s footsteps and mount a second-season surge towards the title.

But stranger things have happened.

Heurelho Gomes
Premier League
Valon Behrami
Troy Deeney

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