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26th Dec 2016

Watford’s mascot mocking Wilfried Zaha’s dive caps off football’s backwards year

How do you even begin to explain this?

Tom Victor

Nothing makes sense in football any more.

Leicester City spent 2016 lifting the Premier League title and topping their Champions League group.

Monaco, who scored 57 goals in Ligue 1 in the whole of last season, already have 56 from their first 19 games with Falcao hitting double-figures after netting five times in two Premier League campaigns.

Legia Warsaw scored seven goals in back-to-back Champions League games against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, and got just one point.

Wales reached the semi-finals of a major tournament. Seriously, Wales.

Wales v Belgium - Quarter Final: UEFA Euro 2016
Yup, that really happened (photo credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

But it’s not that nothing should surprise us. Rather, it just takes more to shock football fans these days.

Watford’s mascot, Harry the Hornet, is not like the others.

We’re not suggesting he’s an actual anthropomorphic insect rather than a man in a suit, but let’s just say he does things differently.

Last season he joined Odion Ighalo in celebrating the Nigerian striker’s goal against Liverpool.

And he has also broken out the dance moves (Harry, not Ighalo).

Watford were hosting Crystal Palace in the Premier League’s early Boxing Day kick-off, drawing 1-1 at Vicarage Road.

Palace took a first-half lead through Yohan Cabaye before Watford keeper Heurelho Gomes conceded and then saved a penalty.

Troy Deeney levelled things up after the break with a penalty of his own, and a third appeal for a spot-kick came when Wilfried Zaha went down late on, but the visiting winger was carded for a perceived dive.

In normal circumstances, that would be that. But normal circumstances don’t include Harry the Hornet.

The mascot is understood to have dived in front of Zaha as the former Manchester United man went over to thank the Palace fans.

While we’re desperately hoping that footage eventually emerges, for now we’ll have to make do with the account of Daily Mail journalist Sam Cunningham.

And Sam Allardyce, in his first game as Palace manager, was none too happy.

A former England manager calling a man in a hornet suit ‘out of order’. That ought to teach us for ever calling Premier League football predictable.