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Watford 1 Blackpool 1 (28/09/2007) 30/09/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from Blackpool

1- We looked ragged and scruffy.  This is a bad thing.

2- For the third home fixture running we played a side who passed the ball well and created next to nothing.  This is a good thing.

3- Jobi McAnuff came on with a rocket up his backside.  Oh for such competition in central midfield.

4- Big Doris would never have been subbed on the merit of his performance.  But Marlon needs to be The Man.  And needs a goal…

5- If we can be so far off our game against a confident side and still create a hatful of chances, we’re doing something right.


1. Red - 30/09/2007

I was disappointed by the quality of the game, too much putting the ball up in the air instead of doing what we did best in the opening games- playing it to feet. Marlon does need a goal but you can tell when things are’nt going his way-no offsides. One question, why do the opposition always out sing us? The fans that is , not the players

2. Matt Rowson - 30/09/2007

The overreliance of the ball in the air is down to two things… Blackpool closing down quickly and faltering confidence. Both result in the lazy option… the ball up to Big Doris.

As for the fans always outsinging us – they certainly did yesterday, but I had to laugh against Saints at the two Southampton fans singing “can you hear the Watford sing?” and such like as the rest of their entourage sat quietly around them.

3. Meldrew - 30/09/2007

Singing rather signing I might add. Mind you if it was about signing, I could think of several hand gestures I wanted to make at our esteemed leader when he took off Hendo rather than King.

4. Meldrew - 30/09/2007

When we were in the Premier League, Watford fans went to places like Arsenal etc and berated the home fans for their lack of signing. However the truth of the matter is when Man Utd, Chelsea et al play Watford they view us with as much disdain and apathy as we do when the likes of Blackpool roll up in town. Its not a good thing but its the way it is and always has been.

5. Holly - 30/09/2007

Stewart and Mahon, please leave the big brother house !!!

and Betty, how many coaches have we got ??????? and what difference has it made to our style of play ???????

zero return on investment !!!

6. NRC - 30/09/2007

Re ball in the air, too much head tennis in midfield methinks and not enough playing the ball out to the wings where we are blessed with players who can create the chances for King/Doris/Duke.

Re vocals, ‘sing when you’re winning’ comes to mind.

7. Mark - 30/09/2007

Not a good performance or result (at least if Smithy had scored one of those 2 sitters we would have nicked an undeserved win)

Not sure what is up with Kig and the midfield looked lightweight but then who can come in?

Lets just hope for much better against the Owls but their confidence will be high after 2 wins.

8. Adam J - 30/09/2007

Guys, all valid points. I’m not too please that we aren’t playing that well. But come on, let’s all calm down. We’re top of the league having played not that great. We have three strikers, two of which are premiership quality and one of which is banging in goals and playing well. Our midfield and defence and strong and balanced. To be honest, I’m a happy hornet. But maybe that’s just me…

9. Esp - 30/09/2007

6 – the second home game running when Aidy has got the tracksuit off of Priskin and…not used him

Matt wrote – “Both result in the lazy option… the ball up to Big Doris” – but there is absolutely NO excuse to still be thumping the long ball up to Doris when he isn’t even on the pitch

Nathan Ellington and MacAnuff are lots of things but they ain’t no ball winners in the air I’m afraid

I also think that Holly is being extremely unfair on Stewart, one poor performance does not constitute dropping or replacing him, he is the best there is in that position and he has been one of the players of the season so far. Our problems are not using our midfield and our ability to aim for the netting between the sticks.

We also haven’t yet stumbled (McClaren like) on the right combination up front yet but there is plenty of time. I’m not panicking just yet. If we get 6 points out of our next 2 matches this will make up for the QPR and Blackpool lost points

10. Esp - 30/09/2007

One more thing – in the QPR messages Kris wrote “I’d love to see us play without Gav for a couple matches to see how we fare. I don’t know who would orchestrate defense if Gav was not there, but he has been very poor lately….”

I think an obvious choice of person to orchestrate the defence in a side without our captain would be Malky Mackay which would obviously mean dropping a central defender where we arguably have enough cover already. But if that did happen (and Gav was dropped) I would like to see a fit Rinaldi or Francis in the team cos we certainly haven’t seen them at their consistent best. Just a thought

11. Kris - 01/10/2007

Ad. 5 – have we played well this season at all? Certainly not against sides with confidence. We’re top of the league – we should have confidence surely?

So far we’ve been getting results when playing badly but that luck will run out. Unless things improve we will lose our top spot Tuesday as a performance like Saturday’s will be punished by Scunny.

I want to see King, Mahon and Stewart on the bench and Ellington, Rinaldi and Jay take their places – Jay replaced by Mariappa in midfield. I have no idea what it will do to our performance but the change itself will at least show us if we have the depth we seem to have.

I know neither of the three will be benched for Scunny and the performance will most likely be another poor one. Glass half-empty – I think so.

12. Kris - 01/10/2007

And that should be Wednesday on Tuesday – Scunny is not until Saturaday… oh well.

13. Markymark - 01/10/2007

Kris: I agree with Rinaldi shout but not the others! Demerit cannot play left back even though I would love MM back in the team.After all, the guy has won promotion with 3 clubs in 3 years ast this level and he is actually younger than his mate Jackson ( waste of money!).Also, its got to be either MK & Hendo or MK & Duke as they are the best combos.I would possibly replace Smith with JM too !

14. Joe Richardson - 01/10/2007

Kris – I agree with your opening paragraph (11) – our position flatters us and is based on some late goals and other teams starting slowly. This early luck will/has run out and needs to be replaced by dominant 4-1 performances (see WBA and Leicester v us!) if we are to have any chance of auto-promotion. Our 50-goal forward duo have drawn a blank in open play so far and this needs to change (soon), and Tommy, please finish one!

Whilst I don’t want to sound overly negative, I also don’t believe in comments like “we’re top of the league without playing well, therefore we’re going to walk it!” – we all know the table means nothing at this point of the season. Our lucky last-minute goals and hard-fought 1-1 draws need to give way to strong performances, otherwise we’ll slowly be overtaken by teams winning comfortably, and scoring ‘lucky’ last minute goals which rob teams like us of a hard-fought point.

15. stephen hoffman - 01/10/2007

the fact of the matter is we should have won the game — we had the chances we didn’tn .. tommy smith missed two absolute sitters and marlon on performance wise should have been subbed …. marlon just isn’t playing well at the mo .. henderson is .. i mean the crossfield pass he did from him to stewart was class. i also think jay had his best game of the season so far and shittu looked solid and i personally thought was unlucky with the penalty he got the ball .. doyley is looking better every game ,. but i don’t know what the hell has happened with stewart . mcanuff should have come but for smith not johnson. adam johnson was the best player on the park why take him off-tommy was having an off game and could and should of been legitimately substituted the same with marlon .. another good thing we finally found some people who are good at set pieces johnson + williamson at corners + freekicks ,the corners quality was of far higher quality than it has been for sometime … i think the lesson from the game is take your chances.

16. stephen hoffman - 01/10/2007

stewart has been poor all season partly because he stalling on a new contract and partly because he aint got no competition for places since powell left

17. stephen hoffman - 01/10/2007

i wouldn’t replace smith .. smith has been good this season he just had a poor game today ..mcanuff has been inconsistent –whereas smith has scored a goal and a part from against blackpool looked good .. it’d be great if we could get adam johnson on a season’s long loan he looks class

18. Mick G - 01/10/2007

There was too much talk pre-season about being a “yo-yo club” and bouncing straight back up.
It created the expectation that we would win every game.
It ain’t gonna happen – it never does.
All we ask is that the Lads play well and give !00%.
On Saturday they did neither.
Also,it would be madness to drop Mahon – few can win the ball in 50-50s as often as he does.

19. DW - 01/10/2007

No two ways about it, we were very poor and that includes the decisions from the bench against a spirited but limited side who had played midweek. Very little movement from the central midfielders when we had the ball leaving Smith and Johnson the only danger men from deep. Stewart and Doyley have improved enormously over the last year but they are still far from comfortable on the ball, if they had the ability to accept the ball from Poom it would draw out some of the opposition, leaving the wide midfielders with only one man to beat instead of two. Very strange decision to take off Johnson but I’m loathed to criticise Boothroyd in his treatment of King who on the day was less of a threat than Henderson.

It’s early days, but am I the only one thinking that WBA got a good deal selling NE for at least £3.25M here?

20. JohnM - 01/10/2007

We didn’t look good because B’pool had 5 in midfield and we had 2 because Smith and Johnson play as wingers. In situations like last saturday Watford should have brought the wide players in, let H and MK drift out a bit to the wings and letting our now 4 man midfield to move forward and score – sounds good but hindsight is the perfect science.

21. Andy - 02/10/2007

I can only think the sub of Doris was flu fatigue or something like that. King needs his goal definitely, I think once that goes in then the rest will be history. At the moment though, all the touches and bits of skill aren’t coming off too well. MacAnuff looked busy when he came on, I think the extra competition from Johnson might have fired him up.

Sure Blackpool had limited means but there are plenty of teams in this league capable of tearing strips off. At the moment I’m glad it’s us that looks the most likely to do that, if we turn up that is…

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