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Brynjar Gunnarsson
Position: Midfielder
From: Nottingham Forest - free transfer - August 2004
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: Hyde's replacement


When it was announced that Micah Hyde would leave at the end of the season due to receiving a huge contract offer, Watford fans were left thinking that no-one could fill the void after Hyde had made the holding midfielder role his own during seven years at the club. With the help of our very own Ice-man, Heidar Helguson and his compatriot, Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen, Watford secured the services of Brynjar Gunnarsson. The twenty-eight year old midfield general has previously had spells with fellow Second Division sides Stoke and Nottingham Forest and has experience at both club and international level. Prior to signing for Watford, most fans will know him from being sent off in the FA's summer tournament between Iceland, Japan and England before Euro 2004, for a rash challenge. However, Gunnarsson has so much more to offer Watford.

He is the perfect partner for Gavin Mahon, in that his height complements Mahon's lack of it superbly. They have developed an immediate understanding and look to be a force to be reckoned with in the forthcoming season. Gunnarsson will also bring with him a willingness to get stuck in, to do the hard graft and to not be afraid to put himself about. He has already demonstrated this willingness, albeit in somewhat unfortunate circumstances, as he launched himself into a header against QPR, only to bulldoze Captain Sean Dyche to the floor in order to reach the ball. His long strides, reminiscent of Arsenal's Patrick Vieira, give a graceful feel to his play, as he strides with the ball through the midfield, leaving the defence in his wake.

Having Heidar Helguson in the team will help Gunnarsson no end, as they already know each other from international duty with Iceland, and they are sure to be able to link-up well to provide a potent attacking threat as Watford look to return to the Premiership.

All in all, Gunnarsson is everything Watford could have wished for in a replacement for Hyde, and more. Attacking flair and defensive capability, not to mention a cracking long shot, mean that Gunnarsson will be one to remember for this season.

Dan Porter
Last updated: August 2004