jump to navigation

Watford 2 Crystal Palace 0 (05/01/2008) 05/01/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from Palace

1- Well that was much better. It’s been a while since we’ve dominated a side at home as we did in the second half.

2- Had Danny’s rampage through at 2-0 been crowned it would have been the highlight of the season. A monstrous goodbye from the big man.

3- A wonderful bit of insight on each side with regard to McAnuff –  Palace exposing his (and Jordan’s) defensive indiscipline by doubling up attacking their right flank in the first half, McAnuff in turn taking full advantage of Matt Lawrence’s inability to tackle with his left foot repeatedly in the second. 

4- An astonishing double penalty miss by Mr.Mason.  If such decisions even themselves out, then let’s hope the balance comes when it matters – unlike here.

5- James Scowcroft and Clinton Morrison – a right couple of pantomime dames.  Is there a mouthier forward line in the division?


1. stephen hoffman - 06/01/2008

actually jordan stewart played well today and was defensively solid as was Jobi so i think the first part of your third comment was unfair . jordan hasn’t been good defensively this season but today he got it right both in defence and attack as did jobi.

2. John F - 06/01/2008

Big relief to get a home win and a reasonable home performance. However, they did come to win the game and so the in-depth defence that we meet in the league was less apparent, a more open game. We also showed a bit more guile and it was another game with players getting used to each other. Damian Francis seems to be getting into the groove having been out for so long. Small crowd but a nicer atmosphere without the boo boys. Priskin looked sharp playing in a role that allowed him to get the ball down and attack the defence. Downside, Ellington still doesn’t look quite right, maybe he just needs games? The defence will look a little thin for the next month or so unless we can recruit.

3. Matt Rowson - 06/01/2008

You’re right, Stephen, both played well and defended effectively today. However I think it’s fair to say that this hasn’t always been the case recently, and certainly McAnuff isn’t as disciplined defensively as Smith on the other flank. I just thought the emphasis in leaving two players wide right was so obvious in Palace’s early approach that it had to be a deliberate strategy. I guess I should have said “Attempted to expose…”

4. Back from Hammerau - 06/01/2008

Note to Premiership managers who came unstuck this weekend – It’s better to play your strongest side and then substitute your first-choice strikers once the games won that it is to start with a weakened line-up and discover they’re good enough.

I can’t remember the last time we had such an unstressful cup tie against a team in the same division or higher.

5. stephen hoffman - 06/01/2008

i would agree but then at the same time i feel mcanuff is more pacy than smith , whilst smith is probably better defensive- i think there just two different types of wingers i think both certainly good enough for the championship whether or not for the premiership is another matter. Sorry for jumping directly to defence to Mcanuff it’s just that until yesterday he was getting some bad stick from some watford fans and a lot of it just wasn’t merited , i think it would be fair to say though much a great player as johnson was , he wasn’t that great defensively either. As for palace tactics in the end it probably didn’t work because Jobi in the second half tore their left back apart . Here’s hoping to mariappa showing his worth in centre defence for the next few games. Also any win against warnock’s team is great – i have a deep loathing for Warnock (not that he’s a good manager he is) its just he seems to live his life moaning at referees-regardless of whether there good or not .

6. m.scholfield - 07/01/2008

Mariappa please NO! Too short for a centre back,not strong enough in the tackle and not commanding enough.
Shame Malky is not fit enough as he’s seen it and got the T shirt!
IMO: We definately need a centre back ( Linvoy Primus would be excellent! );centre midfield ball winner ( Kavanagh ? ) and of course at least 1 left back!

7. Matt Rowson - 07/01/2008

Primus is a good shout, but given that Aidy has implied that he’s more into loans any CB will surely be on this basis. Not sure if we’d get/interest Primus in a loan move. Kavanagh is decent, but hardly a ball winner.

8. DW - 07/01/2008

Jackson was ok @ Stoke and Shef wed who didn’t have pace up front but against those sides who do have quick forwards I would prefer Doyley (who has played very well @ Centre half in the past) to partner JDM and play Mariappa @ right back where his lack of physical presence is less of an issue.

For me this is a side issue, the most important factor in our quest to finish in the top two is the retention of King. Clearly if he wants to go there is nothing we can do but he gives us a quality that we could not replace. Looking forward it could be some time before we have as good a chance of being promoted because the teams being relegated from the Prem this season will have parachute payments @ 3 times our own. Therefore I will be keeping my fingers crossed that Marlon is prepared to lend his shoulder to the promotion push for another 5 months.

9. Kris - 07/01/2008

DW – I don’t think Marlon will go this window. If we fail to promote, he’ll be gone no doubt. But right now, all the clubs linked with Marlon are clubs likely to be CCC clubs next season.

You’re spot on about this being our best chance in years. The difference in failure prize between us and the next set of losers coming down is huge. Getting promoted this season will most certainly make whatever clubs make it either future premiership teams or at least mastodonts of CCC. There will be around 5-7 clubs taking the elevator up and down in the future. We have an excellent chance of being one of them.

10. East Stand Man - 07/01/2008

Here’s a funny thing. Neil Warnock was a guest on the Sky Sports Sunday morning goals-r-us programme and he came across as very personable. Bloody hell, I never thought I would write that! Mind you he thought the first DS goal was a foul and no mention of the Watford penalty appeals.

Just seen we got Wolves in the next round.Hope the missing thousands will turn up. Even the Rubbish Brothers (East Stand regulars) were missing on Saturday.

11. Holly - 07/01/2008

I thought Mcanuff was excellent 2nd half, but looked much better running through centre of park. could he play centre mid attacking or link between midfield and attack ??? For me he is not naturally left footed, so on left wing not most effective, put him right wing or centre mid

12. DW - 07/01/2008

Kris: 2 million gold stars for using “mastodon” in a sentence about moribund football clubs.

I agree that Birmingham, Derby, Wigan, Bolton & Fulham do not look that tempting a proposition but King is a proven CCC striker and those 5-7 clubs with “one season” access rights to the Prem money all need one. I suspect an offer of £5M & £30K per week to the directors and King respectively could well be enough to see him leave the Vic. There is also Middlesbrough who never seem tired of overpaying for talent at what ever level.

13. stephen hoffman - 07/01/2008

does anyone know why there was such a small crowd on saturday-made even smaller by the fact that palace filled their end.

14. JohnM - 08/01/2008

Some thoughts re the above messages and others;
– Low crowd because some season ticket holders, not having ticked the automatic ‘cup’ ticket box, feared another home defeat and decided not to go.
– Need to keep Marlon for this campaign, minimum, as he is the only one with the mercurial talent to do the unexpected. Even if Ellington and Priskin were on top form they would not be the talent Marlon is.
– We’ve still got a sense of humour. Did you see Aidy’s excagerated looks at his watch when the rookery started singing – ‘we are going to win at home’ – with a full 5 minutes left!! On the subject of Aidy did you see the amount of time he gave the 80 year old supporter recieving the signed shirt.. A good 5 to 6 minutes not the customary 30 seconds you would get from a player or any other manager – class.
– In South Africa for the two weeks before Xmas – Al Bangura story big in the local papers and when you consider that all they write about normally british football is premiership,premiership, premiership, this was quite some accolade. Suppose it’s an african story.

15. Mick G. - 08/01/2008

It was a small crowd – but,importantly,it was one prepared to get behind the team.This was a welcome change to the constant griping some of us have to endure recently from those around us.Why these people just turn up to boo,carp and make a point of leaving early beats me.We are far better off with a small, but supportive crowd.
An enjoyable afternoon!

16. stephen hoffman - 08/01/2008

why we would want kavanagh to old and to slow.

17. Adam J - 08/01/2008

stephen – your ‘to’s are missing an ‘o’ i feel.

18. NRC - 08/01/2008

Re small crowd, we almost didn’t get in using season tkt despite paying for the game in advance. Luckily we turned up early as was first real test of the technology, but even then had to queue round the block to sort it out at the Tkt Office where the system verified that we’d paid and were told this problem had hit quite a few people. Anyone else affected?

That said, enjoyment much improved by lack of moaners in East Stand, but the better football also helped!

Aidy’s watch gesture almost as good as his celebration at the end of Cardiff game! He may not be perfect, but he’s good value!

19. Pete - 08/01/2008

From a personal perspective – my son and I didn’t go on Saturday (we are Lower Rous season ticket holders) partly due to post Xmas low funds, but mostly because we are sick of the total negativity around us. Poor performances I can put up with – but booing and abusing your own players I will never understand. We had a great day at Soton (tickets had been bought when I still had money) and to be honest I would rather just go to away games at the moment and not just because we are winning.

20. m.scholfield - 08/01/2008

Stephen: Why do you think the crowd was small v Palace!?

I’ll tell you why -because we have been playing ABSLOUTLEY AWFUL at home so its a waste of £30+
Plus it was a cup match!
Obvious my dear Watson…

21. m.scholfield - 08/01/2008


22. Wolery - 09/01/2008

Pete – I feel for you, if you normally sit where we sat on Saturday. Hating our current season ticket location in the Vic Road stand, I bought tickets for myself and family in the Lower Rous (our ‘old home’) for the Palace match. We moved seats at half time, away from a couple of neanderthals and their sheep-like followers who did nothing but hurl abuse at Stewart, McAnuff, Francis and the officials for the full 45 minutes.
Spent a very pleasant second half watching an efficient win, though wondering why it is that some people come only to complain. Roll on the 4th round – might try the Rookery for that one…

23. jimbohornet - 09/01/2008

I see that Malky, Mariappa and Avinel are playing for the reserves today, with Ellington and Kabba up front ! Am I reading in too much on the absence of Rinaldi, Hoskins, Macca etc ?
What is Preston’s attack like? If they are quick, I can see us struggling with our slow centre backs.
However, as we are away, we will still win, I’m sure !
I thought Kavanagh ran the game in midfield for Wednesday – surely JJOT and Williamson could be his legs ?
Would still like to see a left back and centre back arrive this month, if only on loan.

24. Matt Rowson - 09/01/2008

jimbo, Preston will play with two of Hawley, Mellor, Gallacher and Ormerod. Ormerod’s not slow but he’s not stupid quick either, don’t know much about Hawley. It also depends who we play – Mariappa would be better against a quicker attack.

25. Holly - 09/01/2008

Rinaldi, Hoskins and Macca all out by end Jan. Hoskins for £500K, the other two will have their contracts paid up

26. stephen hoffman - 09/01/2008

the idea of a supporter is to support a team through thick and thin regardless of the performance level . If you cant handle that fine dont be a supporter we could all do without the moaning. I have been a fan of watford for the last 13 years , this is not poor performances 1996-1997 and 1995-1996 was poor performances , if you think this is poor , then i seriously feel your obviously not a fan for the long haul . We’re second in the League get behind the team , maybe just maybe part of the reason they aint done great at home is because the home support has been so pitiful . My dear watson -the Idea of a supporter is to go to all matches and not BUGGGER off as a large proportion did on saturday after a bad couple of months at home. No Because if one of williamson or O toole is going to be their legs that means we dont play francis who is a goalscorer ,and in the last couple of games has looked good . Remember Williams is coming back soon. Also the FA cup is a very good cup competition and we have a chance of maybe getting quite far again this year -after our draw at home to wolves.

27. m.scholfield - 10/01/2008

I am fed up with people talking about Williams!!
Ask any Leicester fan what they think of Williams!? He’s lazy and overrated.He is not the answer at all!
What will annoy me further is if Macca and Rinaldi go on frees!
2 of our most talented players.Rinaldi is CERTAINLY no worse than any of our other central midfielders!He has NOT been given a chance at championship level which is a crime!

28. Matt Rowson - 10/01/2008

Why do you think he hasn’t been given a chance? At a time when we’ve been struggling for midfield options? For goodness sake, he couldn’t even dominate Gillingham’s pathetic attempt at a midfield. And McNamee’s had more chances than I’ve had hot dinners and that’s a fair few.

I agree that a lot of stock is being placed in Williams, but it doesn’t seem very even handed to plead for Rinaldi to be given a chance (despite pathetic reserve outings and questionable results in the games he has played) and yet to dismiss Williams out of hand based on one encouraging outing almost a year ago.

29. DW - 10/01/2008
30. jimbohornet - 10/01/2008

Do you really think Kenny Jackett will pay £500k for Hoskins ? Perhaps we should throw in Kabba as a sweetener !!
I really don’t think Rinaldi has has many chances and was’nt in the reserve team. What about Aloi as a stop gap until Williams is fit ? We seem to be too one dimensional with the present midfield and Francis does nothing apart from score tap ins.
I would like to see Bangura holding with Aloi/Williams creating for Smudger and McAnuff/Ainsworth. We are much better all round when we are passing it from midfield.
Marlon Marlon stay with us !!

31. m.scholfield - 10/01/2008

I agree Matt about Macca.He is talented and we fans do love him but he just cannot produce it regularly.
Regarding Rinaldi,I didn’t see the Gillingham match so I am going mostly on what I saw of him in the PREM.Lets not forget,there are players out there who probably perform better for their 1st team than the reserves.Similarly, there are players ( eg Priskin ) who are probably better in the prem than the championship.
The point I’m trying to make is put Rinaldi in the 1st team for one match and lets see if he can do it.Surely,he wouldnot do any worse than any of our rather average central midfielders especially now Mahon has gone and Bangura is injured.
Note: Our reserves lost 2-1 to Orient and yet we had Duke,Kabba,MM,Parkes,Mariappa,Avinel etc,etc playing.Where were Macca and DR?

32. East Stand Man - 11/01/2008

From the little I have seen of Douglas Rinaldi I think he has got class. I remember two stunning runs from midfield last season – away to Spurs and home to Chelsea. In my opinion there must be something else going on which stops Aidy from even putting him on the bench, perhaps a suspect temperament, or possibly the work ethic is just not there. Pity really it would be cool to have a Brazilian actually playing instead of languishing in the reserves.

33. Matt Rowson - 13/01/2008

Would Rinaldi enjoy this bizarre groundswell of support were he from Basingstoke rather than Brazil, I wonder.

34. Drew - 14/01/2008

At the Watford Leisure AGM in December, Aidy said that Rinaldi and his wife had struggled to get settled in the UK. The club were trying to help them to make contacts in the Brazilian ex-pat community. It sounded like a case of his head not being right off the field. He said something similar about Ellington but in Rinaldi’s case the problem sounded more serious.

35. jimbohornet - 14/01/2008

I thought Rinaldi played well against Gillingham and scored with a great free kick, something we have not done since Ashley Young left (not counting Stewarts flukey deflection) I also thought Osborne and Hoskins played well so what do I know !!
The point is, like m.scholfield I would like to see Rinaldi at least get a start to see if he is any better than Williamson whose set pieces are usually abject. It must be depressing for him to see Mariappa or Stewart preferred to him in midfield. Who wouldn’t be de-motivated by that ? What about Aloi or is he another one we will have to wait till 2010 to see ?

36. Matt Rowson - 14/01/2008

Rinaldi did score a free kick against Gillingham, but he didn’t have a particularly good game against painfully feeble opposition. Hoskins, I agree, was terrific, and McNamee tremendous also – although we’ve been there before.

The thing is, whether YOU see whether he’s any better than your perceived weak link Williamson is neither here nor there – Aidy sees him in training every week, his reserve appearances have been largely appalling, I don’t understand what the big mystery is.

I can only remember one manager giving someone a run out to demonstrate why he hadn’t been in the team despite clamour from supporters. This was Vialli’s last away game, a win at Pompey, where James Panayi lumbered off the bench looking several stone overweight. I think it’s fair to say that Boothroyd’s seen more of Rinaldi than we have, and has judged accordingly.

Aloi… don’t know. He’s younger even than Rinaldi. As for Williamson – completely agree that we’re really missing having a get-out-of-jai-free option of someone who can put in a decent corner, but otherwise Williamson’s doing OK for me. Can’t help but think that Williamson and Stewart suffer for being the best of a pretty crap bunch when it comes to free kicks. If we had a better option, neither would get such flak.

37. Wrighty - 14/01/2008

In other news, Al Bangura has been granted a work permit

38. DrDave - 14/01/2008

Rinaldi’s completely powder-puff. If he’s the answer, it’s a bloody stupid question.

39. Esp - 15/01/2008

I can’t put this message anywhere other than in this 10 day old Palace thread unfortunately but I would like to wish BHaPPY Editor in Chief Matt Rowson a very happy birthday for tomorrow

(If you create a Birthday Greetings thread Matt you can paste it in there!)

Of course like many others I discovered BHaPPY after he and Ian had put in such sterling work on the much more time consuming BSaD and Matt of course has reminded us exactly what Broadband was invented for — footie fansites and message boards!!

I hope you have a relaxing day with the family tomorrow Matt and keep up the good work despite your advancing years 🙂


40. m.scholfield - 15/01/2008

But is he any worse than Williamson and Francis who are also POWDERPUFF! At least DR can take a decent free kick and pass the ball.Whatsyour opinion of Francis and Williamson not to mention tinker O’Toole?

41. jimbohornet - 15/01/2008

Surely Smith or even McAnuff could take a corner better than Williamson or Stewart who mainly struggle to beat the first man !
I can’t remember the last time we scored from a free kick since Johnson left. Maybe Ainsworth can hit a dead ball ?
I agree that we should trust Aidy’s judgement on who is in form but I would like to see other options on set pieces.

42. drcraddock - 16/01/2008

jimbohornet – of the 5 goals we’ve scored this year, one was a free kick and two were from corners! i’m not saying stewart and williamson (and king) are some kind of ashley young with a dead-ball, but your memory must still be suffering after new year’s eve if you can’t remember the last two weeks.

43. Wrighty - 16/01/2008

still it could be worse, I mean Kevin Keegan!!!!!!!

44. Adam - 16/01/2008

Wow, I share my birthday (it is today!) with THE Matt Rowson! Beat that anyone! Wow, learn something new everyday I guess! 😀

45. East Stand Man - 17/01/2008

I don’t share my birthday with Matt – nor have I ever met Matt but due to the wonderful BSaD website and this BHaPPY linky thingy I feel I have grown to know you so have a good BiRTHDaY

ps – Not one mention of Preston on this whole chain! We are all too darned depressed to mention it

46. GraemeB - 17/01/2008

How profoundly disappointing to lose Marlon — and what a mockery it makes of Aidy’s categoric assurance that he would stay. A few days, another million quid (which the club says we don’t need) and suddenly it’s OK to let him go. And this at a time when our promotion campaign is stuttering and we need our big players to turn it round.
King did not have to go. His contract had years to run. As for Collins John, he has scored three times in his last 40 odd appearances for Fulham and will simply add one more name to a bloated legion of WFC strikers that aren’t quite good enough (DH excepted). What this says to me is the the club simply lacks ambition. We will never have a better chance of getting back into the Prem and we’re going to blow it. Simple as that.
If King was so anxious to go, he could have been told to wait until the end of the season. Considering that the club resurrected his career and supported him through a long injury (plus antics off the field) it’s the very least he could have done.
If this decision turns out to have been forced on Aidy from board level it’s even worse and perhaps it will eventually lead to Aidy’s departure too. All speculation of course, but you can’t help thinking that when big money is flying around and those associated with a top player have a chance to line their pockets, the interests of the team go out the window. Shame on them.

47. Snorebens - 17/01/2008

Up the football league we go,
When we get promotion, this is what we’ll sing,

Er, we’ve got no chance, we’ve got no chance, of promo-tion.

48. simon w - 17/01/2008

up the football league we go
when we get promotion
this is what we’ll sing
we sold marlon
we sold marlon
we sold marlon king

49. Mick G. - 17/01/2008

Anyone know anything about Collins John?

50. Esp - 18/01/2008

Matt Rowson’s birthday will forever now be associated with the departure of Marlon King in 2008 and (possibly) the evaporation of our Premier (not Ship) dreams for this season

Life’s a bitch sometimes Matt eh? I hope to be proved totally wrong of course

Still it gives me, Wrighty and other BHaPPY subscribers something to chat about at the City ‘Orns gathering at the Barcelona Tapas Bar in a fortnight’s time 🙂

51. Esp - 18/01/2008

Would be good to see a King thread but I guess our editor is knee deep in nappies to create one

My question:

Were the board correct, after Fulham came calling, to sell our prized asset at £5 million as keeping a player who was denied this chance of one final pay day would have meant keeping an unhappy player and selling NOW instead of waiting to the end of the season (with the possibility of missing out on promotion) would have meant a much reduced fee


Were we absolutely crazy to sell our top striker who realistically was our main hope (with his excellent partnership with Darius) of a guaranteed promotion place despite our rocky form of ther past few weeks. This being evidence that Aidy has not got the gravitas or guile to handle wantaway players, spouting empty rhetoric at every turn and the fact that we “don’t need the money” and “don’t need to sell” is complete bullshit and treats the fans with utter contempt?

Which view do you take? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of fence sitting according to our fan sites today!!

52. Mike P - 18/01/2008

I think he was always going to go. The few interviews I’ve seen with Marlion indicate that as soon as the bids came in – he wanted to go.

Once we get to that stage, there is only going to be one outcome. An unhappy striker is not a god striker, so in effect we had to let him go.

The price tag is about all we could have expected considering his age, his dodgy knee, and the lenght of time left on hios contract. The only galling thing is that 25% of it goes to Forest, so we will actually only see £3.75 million – just over what we paid for Nathan Ellington.

The arrival of Collins John just rubs salt into the wound – at least with MK one I thought we would be ion with a chance of a settled striking pairing again, but no. we get lumbered with someone who CLEARLY has no desire to play for Watford, and what’s worse, can’t hit a cows ar£e with a banjo! I think the presence of Collins John, not the sale of Marlon King, is the more saddening outcome.

53. Wrighty - 18/01/2008

where’s the Barcelona Tapas Bar?

In Barcelona my favourite Tapas Bar is Bar Celta, it’s bloody great

54. billyo - 18/01/2008

What’s everyone’s problem with Collins John? It seems to me to be a zero risk gamble. He either gets himself together and is an asset to the team, in which case we pick him up for a pittance at the end of the season. Aidy’s signings may have been patchy, but this is typical of his style – take a risk, see if he can turn a career around – it paid off with King, who, his critics should remember, came in on exactly the same terms.

Or, he turns out to be a big fat lump and languishes in the reserves till the end of the season, when we give him back to Flam and then he’ll go to Wolves on a free. Either way we lose nothing.

Aidy has had his hand forced in this saga, and we should be thankful that there are still 13 days of January left. Give the guy a break, he was never going to say “Yep, Marlon’s on his way” after the Preston game. The teary-eyed nostalgic amongst us should realise no manager in history has ever been this blunt, let along a Watford manager.

Besides with King’s ability to create something out of nothing, we’ve been very tempted to lump it up to him in recent months. You wanted to play football rather than win ugly, with a lot more of Tamas Priskin to come, you’ll surely get your wish.

55. Esp - 18/01/2008

I agree with Mike’s assessment of the marlon situation; a “wantaway” striker has to go and at £5 million it constitutes good business for a relatively ageing injury prone Championship quality striker

However I disagree about Collins John

Rather than concentrate on his refusal to come to us last season (although none of us know the details of the negotiations (if any) he had at the time) I would prefer to concentrate on his chanve of resurrecting a career that seems to have stalled (echoes of darius and Marlon??) and one of Aidy’s strengths (cynics would say his only one) which is to bestow confidence on players of his type

I believe we only have him on loan at the moment with an option to buy therefore it seems a good move for him and, more importantly, a potentially good move for us

I urge you Mike (and others) not to write him off just yet unless you have witnessed every game he has played in the last 12 months for Fulham because it was not too long ago certain fans were saying “What the f*** are we doing signing Henderson and King”

Their lasting legacy to Watford of course was getting us promoted, totally against most fans’ expectations in Aidy’s first full season in charge 🙂

56. john - 18/01/2008

too much football on tv is creating too many armchair experts and raising our expectations to too high a level.
Not only do we watch our own team week in week out but we are bombarded with action from the best players in Europe on an almost daily basis. Of course our performances dont look good by comparison.
Last season when we were in amongst them we were patently not good enough and despite the likelihood of promotion earlier in the season I could only see a Derbyesque scenario unfolding for us next season.
I think it would have been too big an ask for us to have got back up in one season with a team capable of staying the distance in the Premier League so I will not be overly disappointed to remain in the Championship.
What is more disappointing is that little or no progress has been made in developing our playing style.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: