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Watford 1 Charlton Athletic 1 (19/01/2008) 20/01/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from Charlton

1- Well that was quite good fun really.  Wouldn’t have been fun in the Premiership… we’d have been two down and game over at half time.

2- Kelly Youga has looked like the worst left back in the history of creation in two games against us this season (see also Scunny (A)).  Smudger gave him a hard time – would have been fun to have Ainsworth coming off the bench though.

3- Al Bangura, cult status henceforth assured.  But his impact on our options shouldn’t be overlooked – the ability to put Al in front of the defence allowing the rest of the midfield to charge forward is a powerful one.

4- Callum Davenport looked the part, even if you can see how (like Danny S) he might be exposed at the highest level.  Hope his injury isn’t as bad as it appears (no thanks to the contribution of the charming Bougherra)

5- Encouragingly adroit movement and finish from the Duke.  Vicarage Road may well benefit from the unusual patience the crowd has offered.



1. John F - 20/01/2008

Much more encouraging in many respects although we still look vulnerable to players that run at us. Bangura as a potential holding midfielder certainly seems attractive. The conditions were awful and both sides did quite well under the circumstances. Davenport looked the part but its just our luck that he gets injured straight away. Best wishes to the lad. I hope he isn’t badly hurt and it isn’t a broken neck or anything like that. How is it that officials never seem to see an assault on one of our players. Will the FA take retrospective action??? I thought Doyley looked more comfortable in central defence than young Adrian, or even Lloyd at full back. He really has to work at not being panic stricken when the ball arrives at his feet. Did King’s absence result in one or two people working harder?

2. Peter - 20/01/2008

My first game since Plymouth – thought Davenport looked very comfortable alongside Jay. When Williams is fit, a mid 3 of him, Francis and Bangura could be interesting, Smithy and McNuff our wide. Would Aidy go for a 3 5 2? Jay Shittu Davenport?

3. Mike S - 20/01/2008

Agree about Bangura – I have visions that a central midfield of Bangura and Williams could be a thing of beauty. Admittedly, having seen very little of Williams, this is 95% based on images of craft and guile coupled with grit and determination that are the creation of my own imagination, but still… Bangura and anyone would be all right by me.

4. Mark - 20/01/2008

Bangura was much better than Francis/Williamson!

At least Ellington scored which should give him more confidence and a run in the team.

They did have better chances but a draw was fair.

5. Peter Lee - 20/01/2008

Great to see the Duke score, but was it just me or did the whole stadium hold its collective breath when Hendo put Duke in?

6. Meldrew - 20/01/2008

‘Quite good fun’ ? – Matt, how you can consider that turgid dross ‘fun’ beggars belief. I didn’t go yesterday because at the moment I find watching Watford as appealing as a bout of diahorrea. I have missed 7 games in succession and that hasn’t happened since the age of 13. Quite frankly, I find watching Francis and Williamson on combined wages of c25k a week absolutely stomach turning. One could find a midfielder out of the Blue Square Premier with as much quality as Williamson.

7. Tops - 20/01/2008

I think that was a definite improvement on recent weeks. It hardly helps that we are essentially playing with ten men, such is Damien Francis’ ability to watch the game go on around him, but we looked slightly less panicked on the ball throughout.

I couldn’t agree more Matt: I think the crowd’s reaction to Ellington’s goal genuinely touched him judging by his celebration at the time and his post match comments. He couldn’t have picked a better time to score – and let’s hope he’s now up for being the main man in the run-in.

8. Sequel - 20/01/2008

5 Positives:
1) We didn’t lose a home league game
2) The Duke broke his duck
3) The boo boys, for the most part, stayed quiet (the only time I heard the Main Stand fog-horn was when The Stamper was subbed)
4) Our wide men looked dangerous
5) Al’s back!

5 Not-so-positives:
1) Sod it, I don’t feel un-positive today; I’ve just seen Al Bangoura playing football again, and I shall remember his beaming smile long after I’ve forgotten the Charlton game. As Maggie Thatcher once said: “Rejoice!”

9. Matt Rowson - 20/01/2008

Sequel, wrt your third positive, see response 6 further up this thread…

10. tim wells - 20/01/2008

1 A bit scrappy without king l;acked cutting edge, nice to see ellington get off mark hope this triggers upsurge in form, we need the duke to deliver now if we are going to stay in with a promotion shout.

11. Fran - 20/01/2008

Sequel, your last comment sums it up for me. I cheered his every touch.

The Rookery was pleasingly positive during the game, which I found greatly entertaining, but I heard a lot of moaning on the way out of the ground.

12. Sequel - 20/01/2008

I think that alot of people are judging on expectation rather than performance. Let’s be realistic; We’re not Arsenal, we’re a collection decent 2nd division players/1st division wannabes. We’re a little bit better than most teams in this division, but that doesn’t give us (the fans) the right to expect us to stroll to promotion, and yet, with a bit more encouragement it yet turn out to be a cakewalk.
Crikey, why am I so optimistic today? I’ve got to go to work at 8.00 tonight!

13. Aylesbury 'Orn - 20/01/2008

My first game since West Brom at home, part-timer that I am. Enjoyed it – particularly seeing Smith and Macanuff running at defenders and it was good to see Ellington break his duck.
But we do look vulnerable in the middle of the pitch and I think that Bangura will be given a run in the side before too long.
Atmosphere was also pretty good with no audible negativity.

14. Mick G. - 20/01/2008

This was a much better game – one played in atrocious conditions.I thought everyone in the team had his moment and that Darius and Tommy were immense throughout. How many times – especially in the first half – did Tommy skin the full-back??.And Darius made Duke’s goal.It was a long time coming,but hopefully it will give him much needed confidence.I
It was great not to have to suffer the Boo Boys this time.So, Meldrew please stay away for another seven games.Does that take us to the end of the season??

15. stephen hoffman - 20/01/2008

the name meldrew seems right for you , always looking on the bad side of life -the point of a fan is to support through thick and thin not piss off when the footy aint quite to your liking.

16. Wrighty - 20/01/2008

”Sequel, wrt your third positive, see response 6 further up this thread…”

This made me laugh so much I spat wine on the keyboard!!

17. stephen hoffman - 20/01/2008

i think are attack was good but our defence panicked a bit when davenport left — doyley i feel is a better right back then centre back – due to height problems – whilst richard lee was partly at fault for the goal -generally his form this season has been faultless and even foster made mistakes -ambrose should have never been allowed to shoot we backed off . on the plus side after a poor start of the season for mcanuff he;’s really got into his stride and some of the runs he did yesterday was sublime , and then you got tommy who had an excellent game today who was unlucky not to score .

18. Holly - 20/01/2008

I thought it was a far more positive performance, we did try to play in spells, in which the conditions were probably suited to hoofball.

mcanuff looks frightening running through the middle with the ball, enables him to use his right foot as he is right footed, could we adopt a system seeing him playing behind front two ?

We looked shaky after Davenport had been assualted, neither Marrippa or Williamson looked at ease at right back.

Duke had a good game, and as the game wore on he was making the effort to read Hendo’s flick ons etc, maybe King going may take pressure off him ….

Win, Lose or Draw, I can stomach any result when the team have given their best and the manager has set them to try and play the beautiful game (blended with a tad of the other for good measure)

19. m.scholfield - 20/01/2008

Williamson earns £7k a week.Are you telling me that Francis earns £18k a week!!?? No,no,no if its true I may lose the will to live!They are both pretty cr*p aren’t they,thats why I’m so happy Al is back.So Al and who ? Kavanagh whos supposed to be signing tommorrow according to some fan on another site.
Oh, and Davenport is ok and fit for Saturday ,again according to some ( other ) fan on another blog/site thingy.
Hope both are true!

20. Esp - 21/01/2008

I think if you went to Saturday’s game tempered by john’s comments (see 18/2 comment re: our previous match against Palace) you could not have come out of the game disappointed

I wasn’t expecting 3 points against Charlton having low expectations despite the Addicks recent form being as bad as ours and I also felt that we would have been adversely affected by Marlon’s departure

I was therefore not disappointed by Stewart, Francis and Williamson who continued to be the players that we love to hate

I thought Richard Lee had a good game despite being about 50% responsible for the goal (along with his defensive partners); I thought that McAnuff is still not up to his role but growing slowly into it but the most significant thing for me was the positivity and confidence that this non defeat at home will bring to the camp

I like Peter’s 3-5-2 formation, or more probably 3-1-4-2 as that seems to be where we all want Al to play

Finally I was thrilled skinny for Nathan and a few more minutes on the pitch will see Al turn back into the Bang Bang we all know and love (Fulham; hands off!!)

Bring on the Wolves with us in this state of mind and let’s live that Wembley dream 🙂

21. NRC - 21/01/2008

Smudger’s a joy to watch at the moment – spot on about Youga Matt. Wish the Duke would get involved a bit more in the mix though – too much standing back and waiting for the ball rather than going to get it, is this just confidence?

22. Adam - 21/01/2008

Because of Uni I have missed a lot of games this season however from that matches i have managed to go to it seems as if we back off strikers (and even midfielders) far too easily. we GIVE them time to pick their shot and shoot. i dont know if this is a tactic to let them shoot from afar but, at the moment, it isnt working. i was at the cardiff game when whittingham scored a long range goal and again this weekend. maybe someone who is lucky enough to go to more games than me can bring a bit more light to the subject…?

23. stephen hoffman - 21/01/2008

davenport loan is up unfortunately the injury will keep him out for more than a month , it’s a shame because i thought he looked good he was already injured before bougherra stamped on him , but still to stamp on a player whilst he’s on the ground is disgusting , surely they’ve got to use the tv evidence to give him a restrospective red card.

24. David, Aylesbury - 21/01/2008

Yes, this was much, much better than the previous few home games. I thought most people played ok, even Stewart (with the exception of one dreadful free kick) played well above his normal standards. Tommy Smith was his usual hard working self and Darius was just outstanding – he won everything in the air and laid Ellington’s goal pretty much on a plate for him.

The bad news is that Davenport HAS fractured a bone in his neck and the loan is now terminated. A real shame as he could have done really well for us. Maybe we can still sign him permanently in the summer.

And how great to have Al back and show even in that 10 minutes exactly what it is that we’ve been missing. He should be the holding midfielder with the others (Williamson, Francis, O’Toole) fighting out for the more attacking role.

25. JohnM - 21/01/2008

– Much more encouraging performance in horrible conditions.

– Pity about Davenport as we need cover there even when Danny is back and, call me cynical, how long before Jay’I love this club’ agitates for a move or is sold by ‘over my dead body’ Simpson.

– Obviously Francis is being given a run in the team but he could be the one to go – see stream above. Looked ordinary and I was surprised he didn’t go when O’Toole came on.

– Good to see Bang Bang back.

26. Mark - 21/01/2008

Just get some more creative central midfielders who will pass and run into the area and I think we will improve.

27. Jamie - 22/01/2008

In the spirit of Baker & Kelly (I was listening to an age old podcast of theirs last night) here is the Watford starting X1 from Charlton where their squad number relates to the top 250 rated horror movies on IMDb

Lee (16) – Jungfrukällan
Doyley (12) – The Thing
DeMerit (6) – Jaws
Davenport (5) – Diaboliques, Les
Stewart (3) – The Shining
Smith (21) – The Innocents
Williamson (14) – Grindhouse
Francis (7) – Faust – Eine deutsche Volkssage
McAnuff (11) – Frankenstein
Henderson (10) – Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens
Ellington (18) – Rope

I have to say that poor old Lloyd Doyley’s is my favourite!

28. Essex hornet - 23/01/2008

Whats going on!!!
Is KING going or not?????

29. Nick B - 24/01/2008

If Youga is the worst left back in the history of creation, where exactly does that place Jordan Stewart?

30. Matt Rowson - 27/01/2008

No need to ask who your hobby horse is Nick. Jordan needs some competition and has been playing poorly recently, but a bit of proportion please…

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