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Watford 1 Burnley 2 (27/11/2007) 27/11/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from Burnley:

1- F***ing hell.

2- And it should have been worse.  I struggle to remember a clearer cut penalty call not given than Jay Demerit’s “Royal Mail” tackle on ?McCann? in the first half.

3- I guess that’s what nine-point cushions are for.  But we need to instill some variety in our attacking play before Saturday;  it should take more to stop us playing than doubling up on our wide midfielders.

4- Thank heavens for Lloydy, one glinting coin nestled in a pile of manure.  A shame that his one sidestep towards a reckless foray forward allowed our visitors to break for the second goal.

5- Burnley boast an astonishing array of old second tier lags; thirteen of their sixteen were familiar faces at this level, and in Graham Alexander, David Unsworth, Ade Akinbiyi, Robbie Blake, Steve Jones, Alan Mahon and Gabor Kiraly Owen Coyle has a troupe that a predecessor Stan Ternent would have been proud of.



1. Meldrew - 28/11/2007

Burnley didn’t have a single player wearing those ridiculous coloured boots. A Watford side that one could so easily be proud of is now turning into a cocky outfit who think they are above playing the likes of Burnley. We are lacking humility and its unpleasant to see.

2. Ralph (Stratfordonavon'orn) - 28/11/2007

“It was an awful spectacle and an absolute shocker” Adrian Boothroyd

“No, it was much worse than that”
Ralph Buckland

3. Jamie - 28/11/2007

I have no voice this morning. I am therefore unable to express my displeasure at last night’s pathetic attempt to impersonate a table topping team.

4. Matt Rowson - 28/11/2007

Jamie – no worries mate, we got the gist of your displeasure last night. Are you Statler or Waldorf btw?

Meldrew – don’t dispute anything you suggest, but it wasn’t JUST down to cockiness. It would almost be easier to deal with if it were. Without Johnson’s wingplay and set pieces we are lamentably predictable – combine that with last night’s insipid lack of energy and we’ll have plenty more results like last night.

5. nick - 28/11/2007

I wanted to pass a note to AB last night but lacked a pen, some paper and access to the manager. It would have said “IMHO Steve Kabba is not suited to the left wing position, Sir”.

6. DL - 28/11/2007

Will shouting at the players, booing them and getting on their backs make them play better? It’s easy to be a Watford fan when we’re winning – now the players need our support more than ever. 5 points clear, and still the booing. If you want to boo, fcuk off and support Wolves or SPurs.

7. Matt Rowson - 28/11/2007

nick – I agree with you, but with McAnuff still out we’re not exactly heavy on options. For all the bleats for McNamee’s involvement in such situations (from people who’ve been half asleep for the last five years, presumably, woken up by “ooohs” from the occasional irrelevant stepover) Kabba does at least deliver effort. He doesn’t look comfortable in that position, but in terms of endeavour there wasn’t much to fault in his performance last night I didn’t think.

Surprised me that Ainsworth didn’t make the bench, though.

8. nick - 28/11/2007

my concern is that we still tried to play with 2 wingers when we only had one on the teamsheet Matt.
Is Aidy unwilling to change the team shape come what may?

9. Harefield Hornet - 28/11/2007

We’ve been rumbled. We are a one dimensional side that has seen the only spark of ingenuity go back up the M1. If we are going to play the way AB wants us to play we obviously cant afford to lose the work ethic. Without it we are finished. No-ones been brave enough to mention it yet but our two strikers didnt fancy either last night. Ellingtons arse is an expensive bench warmer – for christs sake give him 45 mins at least!

10. Markymark - 28/11/2007

Matt et all: I was right about Mariappa who didn’t even make the bench last night.How many games is AB going to play Kabba before realising he’s not good enough!MacAnuff cannnot come back quick enough but if he is still out injured for Saturday how about these options:
1.Bring in Macca who at least delivers excellent freekicks,crosses and if playing well can open up defences.Bristol City are lacking confidence at present and cannot buy a goal so its ok match for Macca!
2.Play Smith left midfield and then Williamson wide right with 2 from Francis,O’Toole,Rinaldi ( worth a recall ? ) & Mahon in the middle.Whenever,I have seen Smith switch wings hes done okay!

Come on Aidy its not rocket science!

11. Matt Rowson - 28/11/2007

Markymark, have you ever watched a football game before?

12. Jamie - 28/11/2007

Matt – I am neither Statler or Waldorf. I have to my knowledge never been associated with any salad type in fact.

That said, I wish I had a crate of rotten cabbages last night. I would have thrown one at Poom, one at Stewart, two at Williamson and a load at the manager for not tearing a big enough strip off them at HT.

I would have saved a nice juicy satsuma for Doyley though.

13. Paul Wiggins - 28/11/2007

Five points clear of third place, still not bad, no idea why some booed Ellington’s name at the start as he hasnt actually been given the chance to play, no idea why the subs were kept waiting for 10 minutes,but as people keep telling me at work this morning the wheels seem to be coming off the bus. I expect we all have our solutions – mine is Priskin shaped -but I do think that other sides know that if someone physicaly stands up to Henderson then Watford dont have other options as even when he’s taken off they still play as if he is there. However, last year lots of us longed for the Championship – this is what its like so enjoy it if you can and while you can for next season we’ll either be in the Premier league losing every week or minus Marlon mid table championship or worse.

14. Matt Rowson - 28/11/2007

Paul – fair points. I think the delay in subs was due to us actually putting Burnley under a bit of pressure for the first time. Playing devil’s advocate to an extent… but it’s not unreasonable to think – ok, we’ve stunk like hell, we’re now in the process of perhaps getting somewhere so do i disrupt this build up of momentum just yet? Obviously delaying didn’t help, but I can see the thinking.

Jamie… i think you’re the guy on the left as we look. The other guy has Dr.Dave’s chin, it’s a dead giveaway… http://kyblogger.com/images/waldorf-statler.jpg

15. Stuart - 28/11/2007

Welcome to my time machine. This season we are revisiting the 2000/2001 season. Last season I took you all on a tour of 1999/2000.

16. Ralph (Stratfordonavon'orn) - 28/11/2007

Seven Thunks (thanks Matt)
1. Adam went back to Gareth. During his loan he played 11 games scored 5 goals with 5 more assists. He was effing brilliant. We have no-one that good to replace him. Steve Kabba, Jobi Mcanuff, Damien Francis, Anthony Mcnamee, not one of them can cut it from what I’ve seen!
2. We have to stop being so damn cocky, thinking all we have to do is turn up, to win.
3. Almost every team in this division can beat anyone else, and they do.
4. We knew we were going to have a sticky patch……………….this is it.
5. The curse of “Manager of the Month” (A.B. October).
6. Roll on, the January transfer window.
7. I want a refund for last night!

17. NRC - 28/11/2007

Whoa there, calm down everyone. We were unlucky to lose McNuff just as Johnson was recalled, and unfortunate that our manager thinks that Kabba is … well a footballer actually. I’m in the Macca camp.

Still, at least it’s stopped becoming predictable eh?

18. Colin Wiggins - 28/11/2007

Blackpool, Colchester, West Brom and now Burnley…all played a tight, neat passing game and all were able to contain the lump-it-high-to-Doris strategy. To be fair, that’s pretty much the way we played against Hull, Sheff Weds and Sheff Utd, when fortune favoured us in matches that could have turned out less happily. Let’s start to worry if things stay the same and Ellington still doesn’t get some games. After all, West Brom messed up against Sheff Wed and Charlton comically capitulated to Bryan Robson’s tactical genius…no-one has found consistency yet. Not even Norwich.

19. Mike P - 28/11/2007

For Kabba read square peg round hole.

If this wasn’t apparent after the trip to oakwell, it should have been apparent by HT last night. In the absence of Jobi Mac, my solution would have been to bring Francis on for Kabba, and play Williamson out on the left.

I think Ellington probably should have come on for Henderson after an hour or so, but I got the feeling that last night’s was a game that could have seen us trhow on Wayne Rooney, Ronaldinho, Maradonna (in his prime) Pele (likewise) and Anthony McNamee and we’d still have lost…

The thing that made it so depressing for me, was that it has been comng for ages. Our home for this season has, in the main, been abject and we just don’t seem to be able to address it.

With hindsight, I think the biggest suprise for me was the lack of Ainsworth – at least on the bench. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he a more than capable left winger – hence his arrival?

Anyway, what do i know.

All the best to one and all.

20. Jimbo - 28/11/2007

Let’s start a campaign to bring Johnno back!
After all he did little to reverse Boro’s fortunes over the weekend.

21. Luke Fairweather - 28/11/2007

Dear Dr Stuart Who…please can you whisk us all back to 80-84 pretty damn sharpish. I know the rules are not to *uck with the space time continuum but what the hell, this time around we could contrive to miss ‘arry (he who must not be named), stay in the top flight and never have to suffer the indignity of Vialli.

22. Peter Lee - 28/11/2007

The thing that struck me last night was how flat the atmosphere was full stop. No-one, fans or players (including Burnley until their 2nd went in) seemed at all bothered. Even the booing seemed half-hearted at the end. Thank god November is over. I do still have a dreadful memory of 2000/1. Particularly an appalling game in December vs Huddersfield. Please god, don’t let history repeat itself!

23. JohnM - 28/11/2007

My concern was that the whole team seemed down from the start and even when AB came down after 20 minutes he wasn’t his usual effing and blinding self as we have seen in the past. After half-time, no improvement like we have sometimes seen, delay in the substitutions, everything – is something amiss? Conspiracy theories welcome.

Some positives from last night —errr—-next

A couple of runs by Smith, or was it just one, up the middle of the park which was better than up the wing and cross – a bit of variation.
Jordan not taking the corners – the wait was interminable.
Danny’s eye for goal.

Personally I am a Macca rather than a Kabba but lets see what a MacNuffa can do

24. Phil - 28/11/2007

Don’t want to knock Kabba but, unless I am wrong, he has played 3 games this season – Leicester, Barnsley and Burnley. 3 defeats, scored 4 conceded 9. Our left side seems very exposed when he plays.

25. Esp - 28/11/2007

Aidy used to say after defeats: “we can learn something from this” and it think he was imploring us to believe that the team were what he was talking about but I think it is nw time for Aidy and the coaching staff to stand up and be counted.
There seemed to be a paralysis which prevented Aidy wanting to admit anything was going wrong. It is easy for him to implore that the team didn’t stick to is game plan but I fear that Aidy is not learning from what he sees in friont of him.
What is all the note-taking for? How is it benefitting us?
We had a crowd of over 15,000 last night and thank God it wasn’t on telly, a wider audience would have made us even more of an embarrassment.
Let’s hope this is a turning point and that we can change the woeful tactcs; either that or we simply haven’t got the players who can play any their way. If that is the case I think the advertised figure of “200 Season Tickets remaining” may well go UP rather than down.
Well at least Boothroyd has admitted that he is as frustrated as we are, he has now changed his tune from “We can learn something from this defeat” to ” We were clones.. It was so unlike these players and the eam. It was a dreadful spectacle, absolutely shocking. What made it worse was that I couldn’t see it getting any better”
Well Mr Boothroyd, can I remind you it’s your JOB to make it better. Administer some First Aidy NOW before we’re outplayed again on Saturday evening..

26. Matt Rowson - 28/11/2007

Paul, last night was bollocks, but “not learning”? We’re (still) top of the table. Get a grip.

27. Dave Hart - 28/11/2007

I knew I shouldn’t have worn my contact lenses last night. We always play crap when I do. Besides, my glasses are rose tinted…

28. Wrighty - 28/11/2007

We may still be top, but let’s face it, by the time we kick off on Saturday we probably wont be. Therefore we need a performance to hold onto rather than our league position.
On a brighter note, I didn’t think we’d be top at the end of November.

29. Markymark - 28/11/2007

Yes Matt I have watched a football game before.Probably a lot more than you at my age
!What would your line up be v Bristol City then?
Do you not think that certain players deserve to be dropped after such an inept performance?
Are you Kabba’s only fan ?
Does McNamee cross better than anyone else at the club ?
Answer these please………….

30. Esp - 29/11/2007

Matt wrote: “Markymark, have you ever watched a football game before?”
That was very harsh in my view Mr Rowson, I think Marky yesterday made some very valid points.
However your critique of my post along the lines of “get a grip” are fair comment. We ARE top of the league with a reasonable cushion and thank heavens City, Athletic and Albion are just as inconsistent as us at the moment.
I cannot see any team running away with this leage a la Reading, ca you?
But my main point was that Aidy needs to learn just as much about tactics, substitutions and man management as the team do about applying changes during a match we are hell bent on losing. Confidence is key and with confidence comes consistency.
As wiser men than me have said, it’s quite a simple game really, football.
Maybe obvious points but Hey! I’ve made them, so there 🙂

31. Stuart - 29/11/2007

The worst game in 2000/2001 was the 5-0 defeat away at Fulham on Boxing Day. Standing on a freezing terrace watching Carlton Palmer ruined that Xmas for sure. I really hope this isn’t turning into another 2000/01 season, but I’ve got a bad feeling. It’s weird how the last three seasons have mirrored the seasons we had between 1998-2001.

However as Matt said we’re still top of table and 5 points ahead of Charlton in 3rd, so the season’s not over yet. I’d take 2nd place come May for sure.

P.S i can’t promise to transport us back to 1980-84 I’m afraid.

32. Stuart - 29/11/2007

P.P.S Souness for manager!!!!!

33. Matt Rowson - 29/11/2007

Sorry mark, it’s just that the annual call for McNamee has become akin to spotting Gudmundsson on the subs bench about seven years ago. i.e., you know we’re in trouble when…

McNamee is 24 now, he needs to do more than show promise. He’s been around the first team squad for 6 years… 40 starts and 60 more off the bench isn’t much to show, and of those I don’t remember many where he’s actually influenced the game rather than been a frilly decoration. Citing a painfully easy win against an appalling Gillingham side hardly strengthens his case, we don’t play dross like that every week. I remember many games where he’s not gotten involved at all.

Kabba on the left is obviously not great, and no I’m not a fan. But he did no worse than anyone else on Tuesday, and his selection is merely a reflection of lack of options (serious options). He’s also played left mid a fair bit at Sheffield United.

I’d be surprised if changes aren’t made, although that depends on who’s available, fitness levels and so forth. McAnuff, obviously. Probably Francis alongside Mahon if he’s match fit yet… much as the Francis/Mahon axis hardly shone last season I suspect it’ll be much more effective with King in front of it. Other than that would probably stick with it. Ainsworth on the bench would be nice.

What irked me about your post Mark (apart from the tiresome McNamee stuff) was the closing implication that half-baked suggestions as to how to remedy Tuesday night were “not rocket science”, i.e. Boothroyd must be daft if he doesn’t share your point of view. Thing is, he’s managing a team that’s top of the league, and you don’t bear the responsibility of looking an arse if/when your selections don’t do the business. Given that you’ve touted McNamee as the answer, I’d have to say that’s probably a good job.

34. Holly - 29/11/2007

simple fact that we have been sussed out, all managers one after the other kept stating if you let watford bully you, you lose. We also had the wonderful Johnson who could play on the ground and someone who could play ‘ technical football’ and link with King our other ‘technical footballer’.
The other teams have now awoke to the fact that if you cut the long ball supply, dont let Doris bully you, play keep ball as Watfords midfield is designed to break up play Watford have NO ANSWER. Boothroyd has been a lucky manager, but why all the technical directors, coaches, scientists etc etc …. yet the gameplan doesnt change. For along long time, the answer is in the midfield (and thats not discrediting Mahon and co but they are told to play that way), but for Fcuks sake Boothroyd, lets keep the ball, which needs ‘technical footballers’, then the wingers will see more of the ball, king will get it to feet, it’ll be easy on the eye, and we will walk this league.

Poom – Shaky
Doyley – Player of Season thus far
Shittu – great in opponents box, great in the air, dodgy defender
Demerit – Premiership
Stewart – inconsistent, given too much responsibility with free kicks etc, is he staying or going ??
Mahon – legs have gone, gives 100%, not technically good enough
Williamson – not as good as before red card (JJOT was playing well)
Kabba – no left foot, lacks confidence, playing out of position, Boothroyd bad decision
Smith – sometimes brilliant, rest average, never scores enough goals
King – Premiership
Henderson – battering ram that lacks quality, sell him end of season if we did go up
Ellington – why ???
Priskin – better in prem as more technical than physical, needs run of games to get going
Lee – technically good, however not prem
Jackson – Why ???
Marriappa – right back only
Francis – thank god hes back
Ashikodi – enthusiastic

Mcnamee, Rinaldi, Aloi, when will they get a chance ???

Carlisle – Boothroyd big mistake selling him, one that may cost promotion, a true leader

35. jimbohornet - 29/11/2007

Tuesday was awful, but I bet Bristol City won’t be relishing Saturday’s visit. Although we have shipped 10 goals in the last 4 games, City have failed to score in their last 4 so are in even worse form. I am sure we cannot collectively play as badly again. Please !! Good to see Jay and Damian back, hopefully we will have a proper winger, Mc Anuff or Ainsworth on Saturday. What about giving Rinaldi another go or O’Toole again ? I thought our midfield was woeful on Tuesday, both creatively and defensively but so many had bad games you could make 10 changes and make an improvement. December will be crucial.

36. Tim Turner - 29/11/2007

One idea no one’s touted yet is playing Marlon on the wing – after all, the best chance we created on Tuesday before Danny’s goal was Marlon’s wicked cross that Kabba headed wide. He frequently goes wide anyway, and although forcing him to track back and help the defence may not be the most obvious use for his talents, it would allow us to play Ellington without dropping either of our two high-scoring strikers.

I’m not suggesting this as a long-term solution, but it might be worth a try if McAnuff isn’t fit on Saturday.

37. Stuart - 29/11/2007

It’s time to give Priskin an extended run of games now.

38. duds - 29/11/2007

going off at a total tangent – i was chuffed to see that bristol rovers fans voted devon white as their best ever player


always had a bit of a soft spot for him when he played at the vic as he always seemed to try even if it didnt always work out

39. simmo - 30/11/2007

Duds, thanks for pointing out that article. Pleased to see John Barnes named as our best player even though we he never was “player of the season” at Watford. Now he’s not dancing on Saturday do you think we could persuade him to play on the left against Bristol City?

40. stephen hoffman - 01/12/2007

what ever happened to macca?(mcnamee) he played well in the coca -cola cup games he was given the chance in , has he fallen out with boothroyd or something . Also it is clear in the past month after a good start henderson is struggling , i would therefore have given ellington a chance against burnley ,and i would certainly play him today against bristol city — i dont see why aidy is reluctant to play ellington i mean given him 10 mins at the end of games even playing at centre midfield or left wing back after priskin has come on is hardly a vote of confidence from your manager. Also why did it take so long for aidy to change things against burnley , it was obvious from the first half performance the system wasn’t working . yet he left it to 20 mins till the end to do something and by then it was to little to late, and tbh there was no point in putting priskin on against a team like that against defenders like clarke carlisle as he has no aerial presence he should have taken mahon off start of second half put on francis , ellington for henderson , and priskin for kabba playign 3 up front putting jordan stewart up the left wing playing with 3 at the back . he should have done something at the start of the second half , anything and it was frustating that he didn’t

41. stephen hoffman - 01/12/2007

also whilst kabba didn’t play great i heard some idiots booing him the whole time , when there forgetting minus doyley the whole team played crap , so why just pick on kabba when he was playing out of position is beyond me.

42. stephen hoffman - 01/12/2007

also to be fair to kabba i thought he played quite well against barnsley . the reason we’re no good against teams who can pass well colchester, burnley , west brom etc , is because we have noone who can pass the ball properly or a creative midfield player from centre midfield , yes we have plenty of battlers in midfield who like to get stuck in and the odd who’s good at set pieces and who can score goals ,but the only good creative midfield player at the club we have is gareth williams and unfortunately he is injured . time and time again bot williamson and mahon as was illustrated against burnley go absent from the midfield battle this gives teams room to pass , and as our centre midfield aint competing put’s more pressure on defence . at the moment neither mahon or williamson is even tackling a lot in midfield mahon because whilst he has been a great servant he is now to slow ,and williamson because apart from crosses and corners im still not convinced. this is why we need someone like bangura who would at least protect the defence and turn the centre of midfield into a battle as we get our foot stuck in , we still wouldn’t have the creativity in midfield we need but it’d be a start.

also i dont think we’re being cocky , i just think a lot of the fans at the start of the season thought we were better than we actually are , lets be honest we dont have a great side and minus king we dont have any truly great players.

43. Dave Hart - 01/12/2007

Ha! My lasting impression of Devon White was him trying an overhead scissor kick on the half way line for us, only to miss it and land on his arse…The only player who has been anywhere near as entertaining as Devon since then was Jason Norville, who would beat a player but not realise he had done so!

44. stephen hoffman - 03/12/2007

.. you forget derek payne .. what a nutter

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