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Stoke City 0 Watford 0 (09/12/2007) 09/12/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from my sitting room…

1- Four points from two iffy-looking away trips on the back of stinking form ain’t bad.

2- Matt Jackson.  If you were going to play him, a front line with no pace were probably the right opposition.  Our defence looked sounder than it has for a while, mind.

3- Jobi is trying rather too hard.

4- Stephen Wright is one ugly bastard.

5- Tony Pulis.  Prods the ball away to prevent a quick throw, then objects to where it’s consequently taken from. I’m sure his mother must love him, but only after a couple of sherries.



1. Markymark - 09/12/2007

Good solid performance in poor conditions v one of the toughest teams in the division.
Pluses: Lee -surely he’ll keep his place evenwhen Poom is100% fit
Jackson – More than adequate replacement for Shittu
Demerit – excellent captains performance

minuses -Priskin -no chance to shine.Surpised he didn’t go off for Ellington.

2. Dave, Hornets Sweden - 09/12/2007

I had the same thought about Wright. In fact there were a few of the potters with extrordinarily sized ears. Delap for one.
And then you get to Parkin….

Spot on analysis from what I saw from my sofa while toddler wrangling.

Can’t believe there are folk complaining about Priskin though. He looked fine to me.

3. Jamie - 10/12/2007

I agree with point number 5 Matt – Tony Pulis is a truly horrible little man and does the game no credit with his attitude. It shouldn’t matter, but his cap also annoys me.

As for McAnuff. Oh my word, what an Xmas Turkey. On £ for £ this return this has to be Aidy’s worst buy to date. The guy has done zip since joining. For a winger his control yesterday was appalling and not once do I recall him beating his man as a winger is meant to. If not and he elects to fall into the Beckham school of wing play then for god’s sake learn how to cross with some purpose. Truly awful and I hereby proclaim he is my new boo boy. Rubbish.

4. East Stand Man - 10/12/2007

My five thoughts from the comfort of my living room

1) This was a truly forgettable performance. OK we got a draw but if Richard Lee had not made those second half saves we would have lost 2-0. We should not delude ourselves, this was poor.

2) Hats off to the 597 away fans who travelled.

3) Tony Pullis – TP – Toss Pot

4) Agree with Jamie about McAnuff. He’s gotta be better than that surely. Lightweight who is lacking confidence At least with MacNamee you always feel something might, just might, happen

5) Stoke starting eleven are big bruisers and then they bring on the Beast – jeez

5. DM - 10/12/2007

Shame that one of his “moments” came just after you upped and left from your seat yesterday Jamie. I’ll concede that he’s not producing what we want, but he’s far from being truly awful…

6. stephen hoffman - 10/12/2007

give jobi a chance for christ sake he’s played 5 or 6 games, u cant make a judgement on him until he’s played more , jamie your rushing to conclusions . you seem to be forgetting that generally yes we were solid in defence but we created hardly any chances and our whole forward line was well powder puff against stoke — smith , king and priskin had just as toothless performances as mcanuff .. jobi is a good player it’s just taking time to settle in .. patience is a virtue jamie which you obviously dont have . jamie fans like you are disgraceful . there’s a tip in the name FAN that means your meant to support the team not boo them , you’ve got opposition fans to boo watford dont you start . jamie — your support of watford fc , is hardly skin deep if your boo boy comments are to go on . you sir support is truly awful .

7. WestCountryWatford - 10/12/2007

Jamie – because booing McAnuff will help him gain his confidence and form won’t it – good idea.

8. Matt Rowson - 10/12/2007

stephen yor speling and grammer is werse.

9. Al - 10/12/2007

Interesting to note the views of whoever wrote this on Wikipedia.

“_____ has a reputation within the game for achieving solid results on small budgets …. He is sometimes criticised for using an overly negative and direct style of play…. Some refer to this approach as ‘binary football’.”

Not a million miles away from the usual discussion of Watford’s style in the media.

10. Jamie - 10/12/2007

Calm down Dustin.

I am a fan and I’ll happily pay through the teeth for another year in the Championship. I’m not too worried about proving my fandom but I did once come first two years running in the Junior Hornets Obstacle Course final. Only a true fan could so that….twice.

On a more serious, if boring note, I don’t make a habit of booing players. I usually shout and then leave muttering my annoyance into the concrete mass that is the back of the Rookery. That said, I’m quite prepared to call out McAnuff if he continues to deliver. Being a (paying) fan also gives me the right to vent but in a constructive way so I hereby announce that if his current form continues I’ll be sure to shout some of the following constructive sentiments his way:

– Try controlling the ball better so that the defender cannot tackle you.
– How about looking up before you cross?
– Take on the defender, try committing him?

I didn’t forget that we were solid yesterday. I very much embrace the idea of a clean sheet. Bonus. Thank you very much. I just didn’t bother to blog about it.

Patience is a virtue. But £1m transfers bring with them expectation I’m afraid. Johnson settled in straight away despite being younger and a long way from home so I don’t buy the new argument. Plus the majority of my frustration with Jobi stems from his performances at the start of the season when he was frankly crap.

Tell you what. I’ll boo on here and in cyberspace and pretend all is well on Saturday afternoon.

11. Adam J - 10/12/2007

I am sitting here, feeling very upset. I have just completed my first two proper essays at University but still, I’m very upset. And do you know why? Thanks to that comment above, I looked up Anthony Pullis on wikipedia. We share a birthday. Now why can’t I share my birthday with someone like Tommy Mooney. Or Doyley maybe. I reckon it would be great to have a joint party with Lloyd. We could get in a clown and everything. Maybe even a magician! But TP, what would he want? I don’t want to have a party with him now do I!

12. John F - 10/12/2007

Was unable to attend or watch so had to rely on Three Counties commentary. Interesting since the co-commentator was a journalist from the Mirror. Priskin did not have a particularly good game and Marlon looked frustrated. Point, why sling the ball in the air against the divisions two biggest centre-backs? Second point, why is the delivery from dead ball kicks so poor? Third point, the two wide mid-fielders struggled with getting good balls in and Smthy seems to be tired (he does work hard). If they start to keep the ball down then they will get used to playing that way but ball retention and passing need to be better. For the top team we seem to be rather short on confidence.
BUT- this seems to be the case with everyone else and if we can get over this patch and push on we can still win this division. If we get bogged down then we could miss promotion. This is when Aidy demonstrates just how good he is.

13. EMC - 10/12/2007

I do have a feeling you’re all expecting a lot more from Jobi than you should do. It’s not easy standing in for Adam Johnson!

14. m.scholfield - 10/12/2007

McAnuff is not awful.He at least retains possesion and can use both feet unlike lots of players at our level.
He doesnot cross badly but I will admit that his shooting so far has been poor.Also,he’s a little too right footed to be a left winger and nearly always cuts inside.
I am worried that Fulham vulture Sanchez will swoop to the vic again and nab another of our best players namely Marlon King for £3.5 million! Surely this is paper talk( albeit the Telegraph for lambs sake! ).For a start,surely he’s more than that.Secondly,if we are top in January AB will refuse to sell anybody good!

15. plbaxter - 10/12/2007

The guy next to me starting hurling abuse at Matt Jackson even before the game started. I wondered how the Jackson could have incurred this guy’s wrath by not playing. Perhaps he watches the reserves? I thought McAnuff actually started well even if it all went a bit pear shaped later- at least he seemed to be trying and was better than Smith on the day.

It was a godawful game from two sides struggling to create anything, but a good point for us. We just need to sort out the home form.

16. Sequel - 10/12/2007

From the TV replays of goal kicks it appeared that we were playing very narrow, which meant that Tommy and Jobi were rarely able to receive the ball in space and have a run at defenders.
My observations, for what they are worth:
1) Expecting McAnuff to be Adam Johnson will end in frustration;
2) Priskin is not Doris;
3) Lee is back to his pre-Foster best, and the defence looked better for it ;
4) Marlon’s trying too hard;
5) Gavin Mahon: “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got til’ it’s gone…..” (Joni Mitchell, 1970)

17. RGW - 11/12/2007

The Mirror journalist in question is a season ticket holder, despite only being able to get to about half of our games – and for half of those he’s in the press box rather than in the Rookery. It’s not all bad though – it means I sometimes get to use his season ticket and watch the game with my nephews (work it out).

I reckoned 0-0 was a satisfactory result.. Looking on the bright side, that’s 2 games unbeaten, and if the defence can build on it’s new-found solidity (no goals conceded in 122 minutes) we should have turned the corner.

18. Jamie - 11/12/2007

Sorry Mike but I have to disagree. Keeps possession? You are joking? He lost the ball several times on Sunday due to a poor first touch. In the last month we have not kept the ball nearly enough as a team so on that it is not perhaps fair to just single out Jobi.

And he does cross badly. Just how many goals has he set up this season? Remind me please. In fact how about half chances that we could blame the strikers for missing? Not many either. Johnson, although a better player I concede, contributed more in just one of his many games than Jobi has to date.

19. stephen hoffman - 11/12/2007

you still haven’t answered the question about priskin , king , and smith who played equally poorly — your not having a go at them. your picking on jobi. Jobi started well actually at the start of the season and went backwards after we got johnson on loan . Putting mcanuff up to johnson is like putting lee up to foster it’s unrealistic . one name to mention Bruce dyer – he struggled in his first season but had a good second season . Heidar Helguson struggled in his first full season in 2000-2001 but became a great servant for watford . Neil Cox struggled in 1999-2000 , and 2000-2001 before becoming a very solid central defender . Richard johnson was seen as very hit and miss if not rubbish for his first few seasons at the club before turing into a great central midfielder before injury sadly ruined his career. All these players needed patience from the fans so does Jobi . As for people calling on mcnamee the problem with mcnamee is he is too lightweight and his defending is awful . also on the chances point smith was hardly pinging them in but are you having a go ath him . to date is also an important point –get behind Jobi you’ll acheive nothing by booing him his confidence will just get worse and he’ll play poorly . i really feel it’s unfair as you have done to single out Jobi . i really dont think we played great against stoke sure we were solid in defence but are attacking play was awful .

20. Jamie - 12/12/2007


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