Heurelho Gomes should starting preparing his acceptance speech for the player of the season award at the club’s end of season bash. For a side who look like staying up comfortably, Watford don’t half rely on their keeper a lot. He pulled off another masterclass here to keep his 11th clean sheet of the season.
The Brazilian made three brilliant second-half stops, and the one to deny Harry Arter was described by Rene Gilmartin on the radio as “world class”. Quique Sanchez Flores had David De Gea in goal during his finest moment as a coach, the Europa League cup win with Atletico Madrid. Gomes is fast becoming just as integral to Watford’s survival bid as De Gea was that season in what will be another big tick on Sanchez Flores’ coaching CV.
Sanchez Flores talked afterwards as if the goalkeeper’s performance was nothing new, that this is the standard he expects from his No.1.
“Heurelho repeat the same today as he has done for the rest of the season,” said Sanchez Flores. “We are really happy with him. We create a good system around him but he looks really well, always. He saves two or three good chances. The goalkeeper of Bournemouth played well too.”
Artur Boruc did play well, erasing the memory of the howler between the two sides at the Vitality Stadium but Gomes was busier and better.
“Gomes had a hell of a game,” said Alan McInally on Gillette Soccer Saturday. “Eddie Howe thought Arter’s shot was in, you should see his face, but for Gomes to save that was fantastic.”
Eddie Howe must be sick of the sight of Gomes. He denied Glenn Murray from the spot in October and prevented his side from claiming all three points this afternoon.
“I think you have to credit Watford’s goalkeeper who made a number of great saves,” said Howe speaking to BBC Radio Solent. “He has done it to us twice this season and I think that’s four points he has won his team this season so full credit to him for that. He did it last season as well, he seem to have those hands that find more length as the shots go higher. The goals from Arter and Max Gradel I thought were in but he has managed to claw both away, and he has to be credited for that. I think we were in the right places, but he had a great game and that’s how it was on the day. He has done it several times this season in other games as well.”
Added Troy Deeney on Hornets Player: “He’s a bit like a fine wine, he just gets better with age, we appreciate him.”