Random 1990s Footballer Tuesday: #44 Xavier Gravelaine

Posted by - November 13, 2012 - Premier League, Random 1990s

Name: Xavier Gravelaine

In his 90s prime for: Watford

Lowdown: A Frenchman who made just seven Premier League appearances during the 1999/00 season, his name may not necessarily spring to mind when discussing the glorious imports of our time.

Gravelaine was known primarily during his career for playing for a great deal of clubs, which isn’t necessarily a positive thing, but it is a genuinely impressive list. None of the below were loan deals:

Nantes
Pau FC
Saint-Seurin
Laval
Caen
PSG
Strasbourg
PSG
Guingamp
Marseille
PSG
Montpellier
PSG
Watford
Le Havre
Monaco
Caen
Ajaccio
Istres
Sion

When he arrived at Vicarage Road, his reputation was of a temperamental player that had never made more than 70 league appearances for one of his clubs. He would fall out with coaches and team mates, and then move on.

It was also clear, however, that Gravelaine had talent, as he showed at Watford with a brace against Southampton, one of them a powerful finish after beating two defenders. The negative side of his game was portrayed after a stupid red card against Sunderland left him with a three-game ban.

Playing in an advanced midfield role or as a forward, Gravelaine clearly had bags of ability, but it just seemed that he would only demonstrate it on his terms, which was a sad sight. Any player that is signed by Paris St Germain on four separate occasions and capped four times by France must have something going on?

And then he was gone, after seven games and two goals, signed on a free from PSG and bought by Le Havre just two months later. Watford made a profit, and fans were left wondering quite what they had just seen. The mecurial Frenchman, a club a year for 18 years.

Now: After retiring as a player, Gravelaine took oveer as manager of French side FC Istres. He was sacked after just over a year in the job when the club was relegated. Since then he has worked as a pundit on French television.