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Watford 2 Cardiff City 2 (26/12/2007) 27/12/2007

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from Cardiff:

1- Revealing that, for all our expressed (and much demanded) intent to change our style of play, we only looked halfway convincing going forward when we brought the bruisers back on.

2- Much as they both improved second half, McAnuff and Smith’s first half performances were so inconsequential as to make you wonder why Ainsworth’s on the bench at all, if not to be employed in such circumstances.

3- We remain painfully easy to play against at Vicarage Road, as revealed by yet another committed but mediocre side.  A bit of guile in the transfer window, whether permanent or on loan, appears essential.

4- Why was I the only one with turkey sandwiches at lunchtime on Boxing Day?

5- Doris.  Biff, bang, pow, wallop.  Hurrah. Indeed, all three subs improved things, albeit this wasn’t hard.


1. Al - 27/12/2007

I had turkey sandwiches too….did you have cranberry in yours? I did and stuffing.

2. Apperley 'Orn - 28/12/2007

Don’t do turkey sorry Matt, a nice rib of beef at Christmas, much less fuss and ten times as tasty.

It is fair to say though that we have played like turkeys this Christmas. Still, nearly safe from the drop…

3. m.scholfield - 28/12/2007

Must have been more interesting eating those than the actual “football” on show!?

4. Philder - 28/12/2007

A game to be endured rather than enjoyed, although I concur on #5. Henderson’s cameo was as magnificent as it was brutal. He would appear to care, ooh, rather a lot.

5. Esp - 29/12/2007

1- So Doris has inadvertently become Aidy’s Plan B then Matt! Thank goodness for small mercies then, at least we have a Plan B. The Great Escape, A Wonderful Life and the Wizard of Oz for the umpteenth time would have had more entertainment value than that Boxing Day empty selection box.

2- Add Doyley to that list of inconsequential performances Matt but maybe it’s a ploy to play badly now and through the transfer window to put the Shepherds Bush Mafiosa off buying him 🙂
Ainsworth?? Who’s he? I’ve never seen him play or heard of him before; rather like 90% of the Vic I would imagine.
Surely Smudger and Macanuff need to know their jobs aren’t safe, let’s have some Jose and Rafa style rotation – the squads big enough for Chrissake!

3- “.. committed but mediocre side.” Us or them Matt, correct on both counts. “A bit of guile in the transfer window, whether permanent or on loan, appears essential.” ……OR try and get the current bunch to play some football. Nah, second thoughts we’ve tried that. I don’t think Fergie and Arsene are quaking in their boots yet, do you?

4- Re: Your turkey jibe. GET STUFFED!!

5- “Biff, bang, pow, wallop.” Accurate description of our play in the 2nd half, could we push for 10 substitutions next year; we may win a game and avoid Aidy having to celebrate so ecstatically a DRAW at home against teams like Dave Jones’ similarly bereft side.

Happy New Year to you readers and BHaPPY if you’re going to the Rangers game. 2-1 my prediction and the Duke’s first goal….

6. m.scholfield - 29/12/2007

So where do Watford go from here (except down the table)?

QPR made Watford look amateurish and the second half which saw Watford as the dominant team was only because the ‘gers had the game won after 45 minutes. Aidy Boothroyd’s tactics (and that’s a generous description) were undone from the start. Watford are no surprise to any one anymore and neither is the way they play. Opposing managers must actually be worried that its all a ploy and that Watford will suddenly change things around when its thier turn to play us – unlikely given Boothroyd’s stubborn refusaul to do anything but the longball. Longball football played well can be effective. Longball football played badly – and this was played very badly, is easy to pick apart. QPR did that although not without some generous help from Watford. Stewart’s rash challenge for the penalty was stupid beyond belief. Lee’s decision to palm a ball out for a corner (which led to the 2nd goal) was bizarre and looked more like he wanted to make a save for the camera than a real attempt to divert a ball already heaed to touch. The fourth goal was wholly down to Smith’s refusal to come back and mark in a 3 man defence. Despite Boothroyd and team mates shouting instruction, Smith decided he would leave the man unmarked and wander up pitch. very strange and not at all professional.

And that is a key point. Is there some unhappy undercurrent at the club which is affecting players? £3.5m Ellington is yet to complete a whole game – subbed today in the second half when the obvious candidate was the statuesque Henderson. Stewarts consistent refusal to sign a new deal. Shittu and King sidelined for injury allegedly in the last few games but seeming fit when brought on. Gavin Mahon’s departure already announced before the seasons end despite being captain of the club.

How can 11 players consistently play so badly all at the same time? Even the normally reliable Doyley had a very very off day. It was comical when he caught the ball on the half way line thinking a freekick had been called. You could understand however why he thought that was the case – no other Watford player was actually moving when Doyley looked up pitch!!!

Aidy Boothroyd saved this club and led us to the premier league, but is he still the right man? Undying faithfulness to a system which is undone so easly – game in game out is just poor poor management. Children in the ground around us now actually ask why Watford just kick the ball in the air.

No home win since October is the form of a relegation side, not one who think they can challenge for the top. Something needs to change or else come May, even the play-offs may be out of reach.

Credit to QPR and the way they played football – the changes in their circumstances have refreshed their team. Perhaps thats a clue for Watford to follow.

7. stephen hoffman - 02/01/2008

why would you take henderson off , he was the one decent outfield player for watford in the first half , he tried he was heading it etc. Ellington by contrast was awful he couldn’t head it , he didn’t have a presence he wasn’t running(he’s slow at the mo) and he is carrying to much weight. King despite scoring against southampton to me looks disinterested i wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves in january . Our best striker at the moment is Henderson who looks genuinely interested , is a presence ,and can head it well and has got some pace , to take him off would have been ludicrous .

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