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Watford 0 West Bromwich Albion 3 (04/11/2007) 04/11/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from yesterday’s game:

1- We never beat Albion anyway.  Perhaps fortunate that we spent an off day on a match that we’d tend to lose in any event.

2- We got no breaks in that first half hour… headers that could have crossed the line, goalline clearances, a key player stretchered off and a foul in the build up to the opening goal…

3- …but we need to get that glass jaw seen to.

4-  Robbo.  Sob.  Still.

5-  If I had my way, I’d lock the muppets who cheered Mahon’s substitution up in a sealed room with the individuals in my neighbourhood who saw fit to release fireworks at midnight last night and throw away the key.  Protecting the gene pool from terminal stupidity, y’see.  The horror of the evolutionary potential of this sealed room is perhaps a concern, but in reality if its inhabitants ever worked out how to procreate the offspring would at least preserve the future of radio phone-ins.  Which in turn keeps Victoria Derbyshire off the programmes that anyone ever actually listens to.


1. Mark - 04/11/2007

Lets just hope this was a blip but we were outplayed by one of our major promotion rivals which is a worry.

2. Markymark - 04/11/2007

Mariappa is no sustitute for Demerit at centre back.He’s too short and when did you ever see him make a last ditch or indeed crunching tackle.Or come to think of it win anything in the air!?Overrated do to his white boots,longish throw and good looks!

3. Peter Lee - 04/11/2007

1) I saw poliice horses in Vicarage Road before the game. We never win when that happens.
2) Just like at Leicester, every player seemed to be determined to have his worst game in a Watford Shirt. I think Stewart and Doyley succeeded.
3) A new centre half is a must in the window. Mariappa just doesn’t have the physicality for this division. Hartson will probably play on Tuesday, will we see Avinel or Malky next to Danny?
4) I never thought I would hear a football crowd singing a psalm. But I have now. Apart from their abuse of Ellington they seemed a cut above other fans we have had this year.
5) Did anyone see Billy Davies on MoTD? Sounded just like Aidy from 12 months ago.

4. Holly - 04/11/2007

WBA did there homework, they matched us physically, Henderson won little in the air, Shittu got blocked at set pieces, our game plan didn’t work.
The pitch was over watered ??? which led to Demerits injury and several players slipping over, the officials had a poor game, BUT none of this were the reasons why we lost, we were beaten by a ‘football’ team, they kept the ball, did not panic, pass, pass, pass again, we were OUTCLASSED !!!
This just highlights the fact that whilst the current team ‘should’ finish it top 2, the need for quality in the Prem is evident, and had we played a Villa, Everton, Portsmouth yesterday, we would of equally been beaten.
Lets hope Aidy has his scouts looking for ‘footballers’, ready for January or June, Mahon, O’Toole, Rinaldi, Williams etc just dont have the quality, 100% effort yes !
Also highlights the fact that with no Carlisle, we lack centre half, dont be surprised to see Malky playing again soon.

For the ‘Prem’ if we really go for ‘Quality’, then we need following :- (I am talking quality not how much effort)

Goalkeeper – Lee or Poom not Prem
Right Back – Doyley lacks quality, Marriappa more quality
Left Back – Stewart lacks quality
Demerit and Shittu OK, need good cover
Williamson and Francis OK, need 2 more quality players
Smith – Not Prem
Mcanuff – not good enuff
Johnson – need to spend £5M on him
Henderson – would have another season like last one, lacks quality
Ellington – WBA mugged us, should have been £1M tops
Priskin – potentially a Quality player, more prem than championship
King – Prem without doubt, potentially a TOP FOUR prem player

I would see the need to rebuild both full backs, entire midfield and bring in new ‘technical’ striker and sign Ben Foster. £25M easy !!!!

Let yesterday serve as a lesson as to just how far away we really are, before we roll over Norwich and Colchester

Finally, Mahon has been a great servant, his legs have gone, let him play out the last 6 months of his watford career with dignity

5. Red - 04/11/2007

The omens were all there. Albion fans on Soccer A.M., Manager of the Month and all thosr magpies flying around. Hopefully it was just a bad day at the office. Next two games we will see.
P.s. Why do we always kick the ball out from the kick-off?

6. Mark - 04/11/2007

The worry for Derby and Mr Davies is that peopel say they are worse than us (and Sunderland the season before!?)

Sadly it will always be that way…Birmingham and the Black Cats have spent a bit but are still down in the relegation mire.

7. Esp - 04/11/2007

With respect to Holly you are telling us what we already know that we lack the quality and clas of a Premiership team. This team is GOOD but not that much better than the team we achieved promotion with 2 seasons ago therefore the fact that we need decent players =in key positions and cover for players such as DeMerit and particularly Stewart are self evident and surely not lost on SAidy who is saving his pennies. he doesn’t want to panic and after Saturday I don’t think he should. There aren’t many teams better than WBA in this league.
Although people are correct in saying that Watford players collectively played poorly (I would say that the way WBA played MADE this happen which is slightly different) I do think that Doyley had a good game. My anger is at the central defence (after Demerit’s injury) and our piss poor defence who did not serve the forwards all afternoon. Two shots on target in 90 minutes tells it’s own sad story.
My final thought is that we were generally pleased for the money we got for HH, ecstatic with what we sold Ashley for but….£250,000 for Robbo!! What were we thinking at the time?
By Tuesday night at 10pm we may have forgotten this very bad day at the office thank goodness.

8. Esp - 04/11/2007

Correcting my post Merlot sentence earlier: I do think that Doyley had a good game. My anger is at the central defence (after Demerit’s injury) and our piss poor MIDFIELD who did not serve the forwards all afternoon.

9. Mike S - 04/11/2007

What a lot of utter pap is spoken about our playing style not being suited to the Prem. At times – lots of times – it was extremely suited to the Prem. We just couldn’t shoot straight. There’s this notion that we need to adopt “Strictly Come Footballing” tactics to succeed. Bollox. Whatever plan we have, we just need to execute it better.

Ask Sir Alex whether our style was suited to the Premiership when we played them last August. There was a man relieved to have sneeked (snuck?) a win.

Disagree about a lot of Holly’s assessments, but I do agree that Mariappa shows little sign of being adequate back up for the best central defensive partnership I can ever recall seeing at Watford. Hope Jay’s OK, and any cash-splashing in January should be primarily sent in that direction. Should we have let Clarke go?

10. DL - 04/11/2007

Red – to pin the oppo in their half for the first five minutes. Which we did and started fine. The goal changed the game and we were poor after that. JJ struggled for the first time this season, but West Brom are a very good team at this level, and we wnot be the last team they outplay. Let’s be honest, we’re in a great position still and should be delighted. Which brings me on to the clapping of Mahon being taken off. You know who you are. One guy to the left of me on row WW in the Rookery celebrated like Watford had scored a goal. Pillock. The kid who sits next to me starting booing Doyley after a few dodgy touches. He went pretty quiet when I asked him how that was going to help Lloyd play better?

Robbo played very well and showed why he’s the best left back outside the premiership: kept it simple, played the simple ball, no crazy tackles or errors, and showed his class by not celebrating any of the goals. Those who stayed till the end saw an emotional response from him as he left the pitch and a lovely touch as he gave his shirt, and a big kiss, to a woman in the disable section. That’s how to act with class – chavs in the Rookery: please take note.

11. Tim Turner - 04/11/2007

Jay Demerit’s next pay negotiations should be a doddle. All he has to do is show a video of the West Brom game and the board will give him whatever he asks for!

More seriously, it was interesting that in Gav’s programme notes yesterday, he made special mention of the fact that the back four had been unchanged all season, thus developing a special bond. Maybe the flip side of that is that when a change is forced upon them, they’re too set in their ways to adapt. Although it was hard to make out too much detail from the Rookery, all three West Brom goals had an air of “I thought you were going to get that?” about them.

12. Meldrew - 04/11/2007

Those who know me will be aware that I am someone who despises the attitude that one must ‘support the team no matter what and clap and cheer no matter how bad the display’ but I was saddened by the treatment of Mahon. He had a stinker yesterday but he has been part of a midfield that has taken us to the top of the division and really when I heard the mass cheers, I truly felt for the man. The whole team stunk the place out. Marlon King was as abysmal as Gavin Mahon yet he would have got a standing ovation had he been subsituted.

13. Kris - 05/11/2007

As I said in my comment on the Palarse game, Saturday’s result does not matter much. What matters is how we react to it. We need to steam roll Naaaarch and win big. I think we will!

As for DeMerit out, I think we may recall Jackson from Blackpool. This kind of situation is exactly why he was brought in. And I think he’s better than Malky who’s not played for ages and Avinel who’s played conference football. Certainly better than Mariappa. If we do not bring back Jackson I think we need to play Doyley as center back and put Mariappa out on right back.

14. Matt Rowson - 05/11/2007

Meldrew – further than that, he’s one of our longest serving players, and has already captained us to a play-off win. Therefore one of our most successful captains of all time. Breathtakingly stupid reaction.

15. Colin Wiggins - 05/11/2007

I think their dads must have been the people who used to boo Nigel Callaghan. If Matt’s sealed room idea had been put in place back then, maybe’s Sauturday’s morons would never have been born.

PS I’ve got UGLY and GRAY so far. Eighteen to go……

16. slee34 - 05/11/2007

What the heck! What is this about man! I don’t understand what you are trying to say!!!

17. Markymark - 05/11/2007

Holly: Your post was great UNTIL you mentioned that King could be top 4 prem and we copuld buy Foster for £2.5 million!
Firstly,King is not top 4 prem -please tell me which of the top 4 teams ( if you say its Chelsea,Arsenal,Man.Utd & Liverpool ) would he even get on the bench!?
Foster will never be allowed to leave Man.Utd particularly when you consider Van De Sar is mid thirties.Plus, if he did leave he would go to a bigger team than us!
My team for Norwich : Poom ( if fit ),Doyley,McKay( if fit and if JD is unfit ),Shittu,JS; McAnuff ( for extra paceaway from home on break ),Willaimson,Mahon,Johnson;King,Hendo.Subs: Lee,Duke,Mariappa (reluctantly as versatile! ),Smith,Priskin or Rinaldi

18. GraemeB - 05/11/2007

There’s not much point in speculating on how we’d get on in the Prem. We know the answer. With the exception of one loan signing — who it’s said that Middlesborough can’t wait to get back — every player in our current first choice 11 was at Watford last season. Of course Marlon’s return to fitness has made a big difference, but that’s been balanced by the loss of Foster.
It looks as if Aidy has found it difficult to strengthen the side, even with money to burn. Perhaps it’s because he won’t play the game with agents, and if that’s the case it’s highly commendable. But were the men he brought in pre-season really his first choice? it seems that Jobi and Matt have yet to prove themselves better than the players we already had, and Nathan now looks like a panic buy at the end of the transfer window — a good player, but not quite a Prem striker and certainly not worth £3.5m. Remember, he couldn’t get a start at West Brom either.
I fear that if Jay is out for long our lack of quality cover in defence will leave us badly exposed. Elsewhere we should be prepared to spend £3m – £4m on a quality holding midfield player to take over from Gavin. This should be our priority in January.

19. J Hawkins - 05/11/2007

Harefield Hornet

Crikey – looking at this and the 606 forum everyone is becoming frightfully aggitated, even to the point of swapping insults with those perennial under-achieving chaps from the Black Country! West Brom are the best football team we have played this season and if we only lose one game in the next 3 months I will be more than satisfied. Professional football is a results orientated business and we are doing OK. Lets get over ourselves.

20. Lincoln 'Orn - 05/11/2007

I’ve been looking at all the comments and must say I’m surprised that everybody seems to be overlooking the fact that Lloydy is playing very well and would be more than an able replacement for Jay at centre half with Mariappa filling in at fullback for the time being. I would agree that Mariappa may not be the finished article but he can play and had some pretty decent games against good opposition last season in the Prem. Lloydy on the other hand is an out and out defender who would definately do a job along side Shits. Are you with me or agin me?

21. Kris - 05/11/2007

It is a shame that people reacted the way they did when Mahon was subbed. He captained us for so long and has ALWAYS given 100%. He does what he can whatever skills he’s got. If people want to boo someone, boo Aidy for sticking with Gav for so long.

I admit I haven’t been impressed whenever I’ve seen Gav this season BUT – we haven’t really been spoilt for choice in the center of the park, and furthermore, I respect Aidy’s judgement in selecting Mahon over and over and over as I am sure Aidy has his reasons for doing so.

I look forward to the time when we have options (pl) in central midfield and I donøt know if Mahon will be picked then, but up until now, Aidy’s had no choice as we had no other holding mid (or any other mid really).

22. East Stand Man - 05/11/2007


Jackson is back – good call.

Soon after we lost Jay on Saturday the back line started to look shaky. Danny Shittu, who I greatly admire, seemed to lose concentration at crucial times and really should have made a better clearance for the second goal. Adrian is a good full back but does not have the phsyical presence for a centre back. Lloyd was constantly slipping all over the place as were a number of others in yellow.

The booing of Gav as he came off was in my opinion an absolute disgrace.It is times like that I am embarrased to be a Watford fan. We effectively play 4-2-4 with Johnson and Smith both on the wings. Jon-Joe-O-Toole was showing his inmaturity on Saturday which effectively left poor old Gav to cope with the WBA midfield. They outran us, they outthought us, they outplayed us,Greening controlled the game. Expect Williamson back in for Norwich.

The reason we sold Robbo for £250,000 was that we needed the money. It was either that or administration or so we were told at the time. Desperate times called for desperate measures. Kev P also still looks very very sharp.

23. GraemeB - 05/11/2007

Lincoln ‘Orn, I agree that Doyley is playing well but I don’t think he should be moved to centre half. One of the best things about his play is the link up with Tommy when he gets forward — Mariappa isn’t nearly as good. Lloyd is best at right back and should stay there, even if that means playing Malky in the centre. BTW the BBC are saying Jay will be out for five weeks. He’ll be missed.

24. Peter Lee - 05/11/2007

In the colder light of Monday I have to agree with J Hawkins and others. We have already seen the team recover from a stinker at Leicester. Just put this one behind us and get ready for Norwich and Colchester before the international break. If we only lose once every 11 games for the rest of the season we will be fine. Let’s worry about prem squads etc. in March.

25. jimbohornet - 05/11/2007

I can see Jackson starting against Hartson on Tuesday as both are equally immobile ! Aidy must do something about the midfield as we do not keep the ball well and get overrun too easily. Perhaps Rinaldi should get another game with Williamson holding ? I think we should stick with Smith and Johnson out wide as we need their service. Not yet convinced about McAnuff or Ellington but wish we still had Carlisle but the lack of regular games and his family up north put paid to that.
We’re still 5 points clear at the top and can beat the likes of Naarch and Colchester. Keep the faith !

26. Mark - 05/11/2007

“Marlon King was as abysmal as Gavin Mahon yet he would have got a standing ovation had he been subsituted”

Extacly…I just think some don’t like Mahon because he isn’t flash and does all the flicks and tricks.

27. Joe Richardson - 05/11/2007

Re: Red’s comment and us always thumping the ball into touch from a kick-off…I always thought this could have something to do with the shady world of spread betting, e.g first throw-in inside 10 seconds, some betting syndicate makes £10,000!

I think I said last time, Mahon gives 100% for effort and tenacity but is off the pace – we can’t afford to sacrifice one of our attacking players to cover him, so we’ll just have to let it be.

Given that we’re top and only lost twice I don’t think things are going too badly. Yes West Brom did a number on us, but how many points do they have from other games? We should bounce back and if we can win 3-4 out of every 5 games and lose/draw the rest we should finish in a top 4 spot come April – given our team and spending I don’t think we can really complain about that.

28. DL - 05/11/2007

If Gav hasn’t been at his best this season (and I think he’s ben just fine), do the idiots think that booing him and/or applauding his subbing will make him a better player? Will hearing his own fans react like that make him try harder or play better? It’s a disgrace – please don’t let us become one of THOSE clubs like Spurs or Wolves.

29. stephen hoffman - 06/11/2007

o toole has only played 4 games showed promise and your saying he doesn’t have quality how can you judge a youngster on 4 games .. remember ashley young didn’t start off great as for williamson he’s had a couple of bad games but generally he’s been pretty decent .. one lost game and suddenly are whole midfield is crap — talk about fickle supporting .. the problem with mahon now is he’s just lost to much pace– he was good a couple of season’s back but since the premier season the loss of pace is just to much it’s similar to steve palmer where after the premier season much as he was a great servant he just didn’t have enough pace for what was then called division one i think the same can now be said for mahon .. as for marriapa he did decently at right back last season in the premier — im not sure he can be a good centre back though due to to little height .. i think the whole team performance was poor against west brom so it’s unfair to pick on one or two players.

30. stephen hoffman - 06/11/2007

poom has proved with derby and sunderland he is premier quality .. ask derby and sunderland fans they hold him in high regard .as for stewart did you not watch any premier games last season , he was one of our best players and one of the only ones to come out with credit , like the rest of the team he had a bad game at west brom but he saved us against wolves .. i think he hasn’t been at his best this season but i think that’s more to do with the contract situation then quality he showed in the premier that he has the quality. as for doyley that his second bad game this season the other 12 he has been magnificent and i mean magnificent his forward play has improved no end and generally he is much more solid at the back then marriapa and stronger and he gets his foot stuck in at times marriapa doesn’t do this , boothroyd acknowledged this when he said doyley is our most improved player this season . what games have you been watching this season , because you ask most people they will say that doyley this season at least isn’t lacking quality . your forgetting in midfield we have williams to come back who i think when he did play looked a very skilfull player , and i think this aloi from argentina will turn into a very good find . Johnson is going to stay at middlesbrough end of , live with it ,as for mcanuff when he’s come off the bench he done pretty well ,and the games he has played he hasn’t played too badly , you cant judge players on a few games remember for the first few months tommy smith started slowly and the first couple of months not a lot of people were convinced by foster, give mcanuff a chance , now if the end of the season if he still aint in the first team you may have a point. henderson and king have been our best players this season, your forgetting an important thing for most of last season henderson didn’t have king with him that makes a big difference , you cant say if we got to the premier he would have a similar season as he did last time what are you mystic meg , no one would have thought he would still be at the club this season or indeed in the first team and top scorer since the arrival of ellington . again with ellington give the guy a chance he’s got to settle , you cant tell after a few games . as for priskin he’s overated he weren’t that great in the premier and he’s too lightweight and he’s been given a year now , i think ashikodi is a much better prospect .smith is definitely premier quality he showed that in the second half of last season by being our most consistent player . Do you enjoy trashing all of watford’s players or something . you have so little faith holly .. just remember we’ve lost 2 games in 14 .. believe me this is much better than the dross i had to watch in 1996 –1997 and i wasn’t moaning as much about it as you are moaning about 1 game now .

31. stephen hoffman - 06/11/2007

doyley im afraid did have a poor game against west brom .. just like everyone apart from i would say king who when he got the ball actually passed it. i dont think we should have let clarke carlisle go ,but i think it may have been taken out of our hands i dont think carlisle would have been happy being a backup defender he would have wanted to be in the first team , and at watford we couldn’t promise that and burnley they could.

32. Aylesbury 'Orn - 06/11/2007

Shame on those who cheered when Mahon was subbed. At the Blackpool game I sat in front of two mongs who did nothing but slate him. At one point, Mahon received a difficult ball, brought it down, sent an opposing midfielder the wrong way with a smart manoeuvre and then dropped a sublime 50 yard pass onto Tommy Smith’s feet. Did these f&%kwits applaud? Did they hell. At least have the decency to applaud when he does something good you morons!!

33. AndyC - 06/11/2007

With DeMerit going off, I thought Doyley would be moved as cover and Mariappa as right-back. I don’t think Mariappa got near Phillips all game. In general though far to static from the defence and you really can’t be giving free headers away. I’d rather lose to the Baggies as they’re touted as promotion quality. Again, maybe this result is another Leicester and a rocket up the ar5e.

The problem with Mahon is that he either has a really good game or he’s anonymous. If the opposition can, they play around him and this cuts his effectiveness of breaking down the midfield. O’toole just had a game too many after his recent good performances but I think he’ll be a great player.

I think there is a section of the current supporters who are being a little too hard on the players. I can’t believe the cheers of the substitute of Mahon, instead of thinking “OK so the plan didn’t work” they were probably thinking “get off! rubbish, what have you done for us lately!”. When Mahon is on his game he’s great, Coventry away springs to mind. He made their midfield look lightweight, especially with O’toole buzzing around.

When I did catch myself thinking on Saturday afternoon “bloody Watford, rubbish today blah blah” I simply reminded myself of where we were a little while ago, no money and looking relegation to Division 3 in the face. Puts it in perspective.

Hopefully the canaries will get the backlash…

34. Esp - 06/11/2007

Stephen Hoffman you wrote earlier “…i think the whole team performance was poor against west brom so it’s unfair to pick on one or two players..”
and then in a later post:
“….doyley im afraid did have a poor game against west brom”
mmmm, interesting, would you like to withdraw your earlioer remark 🙂
By the way I don’t think it’s unfair to pick on one or two players and as I have said earlier my assessment of the game is that Doyley did have a good game.
But that’s the joy of watching football, two fans of the same side can have just as opposing views as the referee and managers!
Time me thinks for 2 or 3 Narch players to have an off day today and that doesn’t include Dublin and Huckerby who are absent anyway

35. Neale Simmons - 06/11/2007

………….and I was beginning to think I was the only person who saw any value in Gav being in the team. Gav does a lot of work in midfield which seems to go unseen by many supporters. However he has had some inspirational moments which also seem to go unnoticed. The pass to Marlon down the right channel which led to the only goal against Hull comes to mind. It seems that the real Watford supporters know Gav’s value to the team while those who have followed us for about 18 months don’t. Lets get behind Gav and the whole team tonight and lets not have the same hysteria that followed the loss against WBA.

36. Holly - 07/11/2007


to all those who stated I was moaning, I clearly was having a reality check ! not a moan. The great thing about Footy and Life is OPINION, and all 30+ post above are all OPINION, nobodys right or wrong 🙂

To the chap that said King is not potentially a top four prem player, who could argue that King & Drogba, King & Adebayor, King & Torres, King & Tevez/Rooney does not have you licking your lips mmmmmmmm

To the other chap that states Man Utd wouldnt sell Foster for £2,5M. They paid Wrexham £1.5M, the rest only on appearances, so a £1M profit on a player on has done his ligaments, watch this space !Man Utd will be in the market for two Top keepers over next 6 months ….

Happy Days

37. stephen hoffman - 10/11/2007

no i wouldn’t like to withdraw my comment i said the whole team played poorly that includes doyley — i wasn’t picking on him , because for example marriapa and even johnson had a bad game on saturday — i just personally thought that doyley didn’t have a good game when you said he did — so i said that .. everyone has different opinions.

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