Striker Michel was signed in the summer of 1998 from Turkish side Samsunspor. He scored some crucial goals including the goal against Birmingham City in the 1999 play-off semi-final. After a loan spell at Huddersfield, he joined Queens Park Rangers in 2000.
Now back in Belgium, he spoke to Watford Legends in 2010.
How did you become a Watford player?
Graham was looking for a striker who had a bit of experience and somehow he found out about me. He made an enquiry and that led to an interview with Graham and it went well enough for me to be offered a contract which I was really pleased with.
Did you enjoy your time at the club?
It was the best time in my career. It’s a real family club and the style of football suited me. The training was great and we all got on well, we all got on with the manager and we all worked hard for each other. It was a relaxed but professional atmosphere. People accepted me straight away including the fans who sung my name soon after I joined and made it easy. It was great.
There was a story that you had a problem with the one way system in Watford?!
That was just a story; I didn’t even drive when I came to Watford! So one of the lads would usually chauffeur me and they all knew what they were doing! That story was just a joke that came from somewhere, probably from one of the lads trying to make me look silly!
What was your favourite game for Watford?
My first year was a dream, I scored in the first two games against Bradford when we won 1-0 so my goal was the winner and I also scored in a cup game just after that but then I got a groin injury which needed surgery and put me out of the team for three or four months. When I came back we needed some wins and so I got in the team and I was scoring goals again. I particularly remember scoring against Birmingham in the first leg of the play offs and it was important because we lost 1-0 at their place but won on penalties and then obviously we finished the job and got to the premiership. That Birmingham goal sticks with me, it was a good header.
I also remember the first premiership game against Wimbledon and I scored to make it 2-2 but then we conceded a stupid goal so we lost that game 3-2. My favourite goal was against Sunderland at home though. I would love to have a DVD of my goals whilst I was at Watford so I would ask if any fan has any on disc that they get in touch, I would be very grateful.
How did you find playing at Wembley?
I didn’t enjoy it that day as I was concentrating too much. We knew we would win, we all knew that. It was a big occasion and so at the time you don’t take it in. It was only in the two or three weeks afterwards that you realise what you have done and how big the crowd was. It was a special day looking back.
You went to QPR & Kilmarnock amongst others after Watford.
After Watford it was difficult because these clubs were not the same. At QPR we weren’t winning games, Huddersfield were going down and neither club was the same fun to be at. At Kilmarnock it was ok until I injured my shoulder. After I came back from that I was 33 and decided it was best to go back home to my country to finish my career in a nicer way.
What’s your day job now?
I run a real estate company. I have also opened a football agency business with a partner so I am still involved with the game. I would love to work with Watford again as we are unearthing some good young talent and I know what a good club Watford is and I know what is demanded of championship level football having played in it.
Quick Fire Round
|Favourite Ground (apart from the Vic)|
|Best Ever Player|
|Team you supported as a boy|
|Favourite Holiday Destination|
|Favourite TV Show|
|Match of the Day|
|The Shawshank Redemption|
|Desert Island Woman|