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Charlton Athletic 2 Watford 2 (6/2/2008) 17/02/2008

Posted by Ian Grant in Match reports.
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That thing what Matt usually does:

1. It’s all about the first goal. After a refreshing, revitalising couple of weeks, it’s disappointing to fall back into bad habits. For all that our first half play was positive and energetic, we neglected some of the basics; it doesn’t matter how well you’ve played if you’re two-nil down at half-time.

2. News just in: It’s not all about the first goal. The comeback was complete within a minute of it becoming a vague possibility…and, from there on, all a thoroughly entertaining game lacked was a conclusive finish.

3. The midfield options suddenly look rather attractive. After a shaky return to the first team, Al Bangura looks increasingly capable of living up to his billing: busy and assertive and aggressive, an ideal partner for John Eustace in these kind of fixtures…

4. …And for all that John-Joe O’Toole  still has to learn as a midfielder, it’s very much to be hoped that none of it detracts from his ability to ghost into the heart of the penalty area at convenient moments. He’s already scored more than Tamas Priskin.

5. Lee Cook with a sensible haircut. It doesn’t seem quite right. He’ll be tracking back and tackling next….

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Comments»

1. tim wells - 17/02/2008

Didnt see match, coming back from 2 down is encouraging, showing we have a dogged spirit which is definately gonna be needed if we are to achieve promotion. 2 SHITTU amazing the guy has scored more than many strikers this year 3 A point at a place like charlton is not to be sneezed at especially away/and also comiing from behind is always a bonus,the later the goal the greater the feeling youve stolen something but getting 2 back wont happen everyday so savour it.you never forget games like that. 4 O’TOOLE young player of the season? 5 a trip up from ramsgate on sat for me and ny sons, hoping for a big win but having seen preston on tv vs pompey i dont think they will be a pushover lets hope for a win and some goals , cheers everyone have a good week be lucky

2. stephen hoffman - 17/02/2008

this game proved the old addage true , Football is a game of two halves . As for Danny – he said he wanted to have 10 goals , do own goals count?. was it just me , or were the 10 year old kids on the right hand side to the away stand , thoroughly annoying in their attempts at abusing the watford fans

3. Adam F - 17/02/2008

Re:Tim Wells

Point4. O’Toole for young player of the season: By. A. Country. Mile. I was thinking Rich Lee for a second. Then it dawned on me that he’s not young anymore! How time flies by.

4. Tim Turner - 17/02/2008

Re point 5: I couldn’t bring myself to join in the virulent barracking of Lee Cook – there was a bloke behind me who made himself hoarse yelling ‘Judas tw*t!’ at every possible opportunity (and the missing letter isn’t an ‘i’).

For one thing, I was too busy having palpitations every time he got the ball – he still looks very useful going forward, for all his other limitations. For another, he left Watford because he had the opportunity to play for the team he’d supported as a boy, and I don’t begrudge him that, for all that the circumstances of his departure were rather messy.

Oh, and those who joined in the ‘Short greedy b*stard’ chant obviously hadn’t read the article in the programme in which it was revealed that, although he stood to gain £250,000 when QPR sold him to Fulham (10% of the transfer fee), he let QPR have it because they needed it more than him. (This was before the takeover, obviously.) How many footballers have done something like that?

5. NickB - 17/02/2008

Welcome back ig, been a long time; nice to see the 5 thunks aren’t too pithy, in other words a bit fleshier than Matt’s. Good result; nice to see Pards losing his rag over nothing in particular: he must have been desperate for 3 points; apparently they gave away the second cos they were erroneosly worried that the first wasn’t legitimate – what?
Is anyone else ever so slightly fed uo with the ‘we werev outmuscled by the gargantuan Watford’ bit? Even the late lamented Robbo tried it when we played a side of midgets at Bramall Lane.
We’ll mullah Preston

6. NRC - 18/02/2008

Loved Aidy’s half time huddle – some of the things he says and does may come across as corny, but let’s face it, he gets it right more often than he doesn’t! When they were out there I thought this is either going to be a stroke of genius or he’ll end up with egg on his face – I think we know which it became. Also, the guy’s practically rebuilt a team as the season’s gone on with us barely dropping out of the top two, impressive or what?

What fun we had!

7. Kris - 18/02/2008

I agree with Nick re. having your penmanship back IG. Not taking anything away from Matt but rather than thunks you seem to have made it 5 editorials from Charlton.

Also let me second the thought of TimT – Cook is no judas. He went to play for the club he’s loved since childhood. I’d have done the same.

Finally – we’ve now had 4 results in a row with a twist. Revenge v. Wolves, Home record break v. Ipswich, 10 men victory v. Leicester and now a 2 goal comeback away to Charlton. If our team spirit isn’t soaring I don’t know how we’ll get to the premiership.

We now have Preston – who kicked themselves out of the cup yesterday and will be down and knackered. It’ll be tough but we will win.

8. Ian Grant - 18/02/2008

Very kind, chaps. And there was me, thinking I’d managed to be uncharacteristically pithy…!

9. DM - 18/02/2008

I’m with Tim Turner on Lee Cook. I also struggled to join in with the Danny Shittu songs. Great eqauliser, but defensively it was far more Titus Bramble than Sol Campbell from Big Dan, and I’m not just talking about the own goal. Interesting selection poser ahead for the manager once DeMerit is fit…

10. Matt Rowson - 18/02/2008

Much as it pains me to go to such great lengths to make a point that could be made in, let’s be honest, far fewer words I’ve always to a greater or lesser extent been more than somewhat in favour of rather fewer well-chosen properly considered words in preference to unnecessary embellishment.

11. Adam F - 18/02/2008

I think everyone needs a kit-kat

12. Fran - 18/02/2008

Lee Cook is a Judas. Yes, he went to his boyhood love, but only after he’d lied to Ray Lew about signing a new contract. By the time he fecked off, we had no chance of getting in a replacement. He kicked us when we were down, hence I will join in any abuse of him (something I reserve for very few ex-Horns, the evil Tim Sherwood being another). It has also been demonstrated that he completely bottles it when put under that pressure, so two birds killed with one stone.

Saturday was ultimately very enjoyable, although if the two halves had been reversed, I doubt I would have thought the same.

13. Adam F - 18/02/2008

Where is Nigel Gibbs?

Sorry a bit random, but I was just thinking?

14. Dave Jackson - 18/02/2008

Can’t really blame Cook for his behaviour at Watford. He made several match winning contributions only to end up as sub for the next game. I think he was sub 22 times in one season. I remember, for example, turning up at Portman Rd (the Bowditch game) after one fantastic performance, and there he was, on the bench. enough to piss anyone off.

15. Peter Lee - 18/02/2008

Surely Shittu must be absolutely cream crackered by now. Whilst no great fan of rotation etc. I would suggest that Aidy give him a break vs PNE and puts Jay back in (tho’ I would give the armband to Eustace). Having said that a backline of MS, AM, LB and JdM is hardly land of the giants but surely PNE will be utterly deflated.

As regards Tim Sherwood I have always hated him since his studs opened a cut in my knee in a Marshalswick vs Beaumont U-12’s derby in 1980!

16. Mark - 18/02/2008

Gibbsy is at Reading I think.

Good comeback and we were unlucky not to take all 3 points in the end.

17. Fran - 18/02/2008

Adam F,

Gibbsy is on the coaching staff at Reading.

18. Colin Wiggins - 18/02/2008

And Roger Joslyn?
For those of the Missing Years vintage, did anyone else notice on Sunday’s Championship highlights, during the Ipswich/Blackpool match, a shot of Charlie Woods sitting with the Ipswich staff ?

19. Greg - 18/02/2008

Anyone else think Shittu had a shocker?

20. Apperley 'Orn - 18/02/2008

Why do people keep saying how knackered DS must be? I thought his schedule in the Cup of Nations was actually less hectic than our schedule back here, wasn’t it?

Anyway, Lee Cook – on a par with, if not worse than, W4BS if you ask me.

21. Mike S - 18/02/2008

Hey, here’s an idea for ig and Matt.

How about, instead of thunks, “Match Reports”. No, listen, it’s be great: You could do previews, and give player ratings. You could write player profiles, and have a kind of noticeboard, and a “Thing of the Week”.

And you could list the fixtures…

I went too far, didn’t I? 😦

22. Hornet boy since Mike keens last game! - 18/02/2008

Tim turner ..

On learning that lee Cook basically gave £250k to a side that is now the richest in the world ….. couldnt have happened to a nicer fella !

I’ll forgive him when he comes back and plays for us again. we only hate him cos he’s good and we lost out on dosh the way he left.

23. JimBob - 18/02/2008

“Oh, and those who joined in the ‘Short greedy b*stard’ chant obviously hadn’t read the article in the programme in which it was revealed that, although he stood to gain £250,000 when QPR sold him to Fulham (10% of the transfer fee), he let QPR have it because they needed it more than him. (This was before the takeover, obviously.) How many footballers have done something like that?”

Tim – Plenty of footballers do that when they want to facilitate a move. They agree to wave their right to a % of the fee in return for the move going through. Such clauses are pretty standard.

24. Hornet boy since Mike keens last game! - 18/02/2008

Some negative thunks from Charlton

1. The journey remains pants
2. Is the food legal?
3. Any claims for Deep Vein Thrombosis filed yet? (good thing it was exciting – it was impossible to sit).
4. Big Screen man – we know the lineups – cant you show some replays!
5. Should Have; Could Have won !

25. Esp - 18/02/2008

Agree with Dave J, Dave M and others about Lee Cook I think Fran and others forget the way that Ray L pissed him about during his last season with us he was hardly a regular in the side was he? also one of the best passers in recent memory along with Ardley and Ashley. I don’t begrudge Cooky any of his moves post Watford and if I was a QPR fan the guy would be a folk hero in my book. How many of our lot would write a cheque out for £250,000 to WFC? Not many I bet. When the away morons (sorry Fran) were booing him when he came on as sub I was alone in my bit of the stand in applauding him. Sorry and all that. Memories of an away game at Millwall came flooding back when he was awesome. Great game though at the Valley and I’m pleased I made the trip

26. tim wells - 18/02/2008

re cook.1Water under the bridge now , at the time i was disappointed he went and especially to qpr, as they were and are still not the strongest, to me it showed how low our stock had sunk at the time, 2 If he did promise to sign a deal and welshed you can understand the resentment, but one hears rumours are they really true? 3 On the other hand he had some great games in his final season he did his bit for us 4 lewington was too conservative and should have picked him more, 5 i prefer too remember the good rather than resort to slagging him off, hes a decent player who i wouldnt mind back tho i would prefer aj or hameur b. 6 cooks not the only one who has chosen to move on helguson, young, bouazza, king , king are we gonna slag em all ?

27. Ian Grant - 19/02/2008

@ Esp and Tim Wells: This is an age-old argument, but I’m not going to let it go: for all that Lee Cook dazzled on occasion, many of the people who lauded him for those sparks of brilliance simply weren’t paying attention when he didn’t have the ball. Which is something that they had in common with the player himself much of the time.

As with Anthony McNamee, people love to see wingers with the ball at their feet. When they go home on the back of a two-nil defeat, they remember the tricks and the step-overs and the crosses as a silver lining to the cloud…and conveniently ignore it if their hero was doing his hair while the opposition were scoring their goals. You’ve got to put the work in; you’ve got to be part of the team. If you want an object lesson in what it’s all about, you only have to look to our right wing this season.

28. Al - 19/02/2008

Hurling abuse at any players, ex Watford or not, is tiresome in the extreme. It contributes nothing positive to the atmosphere and creates very poor role models for younger supporters. I’ve always wanted to think of Watford as a club that sets the bar higher on the behaviour of its supporters.

I think that IG is spot on in his assessment of Cook – there are many like him who appear to have a singular view of how they should contribute to team play – but thats a human frailty that we all have.

29. Simon - 19/02/2008

IG, I was wondering when someone was going to point out that, up until his last ten games for the club, Lee Cook was pretty average for much of his time at the club, save for a few tricks and turns here and there.

My personal bugbear with him was the number of times he would slow a break down on half way, expertly draw two men to him and then fal to offload in time so losing the ball with our central midfielders already beyond him.

He’s turned out to be a half decent player but that’s really all he is or will be so I really don’t think it’s worth getting hot and bothered over. If we’re going to look at players that demanded loads of cash to sign a new deal before going elsewhere and taking a parting shot at the club then look no further than Kevin Philips – a player that still receives hero adulation on his returns.

30. Matt Rowson - 19/02/2008

I think half the frustration with Cook was that he WAS beginning to get the message and putting in some performances that married a bit more industry with his undoubted crossing ability when he left. But that development was thanks to the way Lewington handled him, not in spite of it.

31. DM - 19/02/2008

For the record, I only stated that I agreed with Tim Turner about struggling to join in with the abuse aimed at Cook, and made no comment about his abilities.

I will add that, on his abilities, Ig, Simon and Rowson, M have it spot on.

32. stephen hoffman - 19/02/2008

the reason cook weren’t picked more by lewington was because he didn’t defend well enough , yes he was great going forward b ut at times his defending was absent without leave , lewington picked him when his defending improved – he was right.

33. stephen hoffman - 19/02/2008

helguson made no pretences about staying , King – is just as bad in my books as cook – as basically lied to the fans

34. Fran - 19/02/2008

Tim Wells, the ‘rumours’ regarding the circumstances surrounding Cook’s departure came straight from the mouth of Ray Lewington, so I believed them. As for comparing him with Helguson, Young, Bouazza and King. Helguson was an absolute hero for us, Cook was a youngster with potential, so no comparison. Young and Bouazza moved to a higher level for decent fees. King’s departure was a mixture of the two, although has left a sour taste in the mouth. I won’t boo him, although I probably won’t cheer him either. Our break-up with King was like dating a playboy and then finding they cheat on you. Thanks for the memories, but bye bye.

35. Johnny Boy ( formly JohnM, but there are too many of us) - 19/02/2008

All this talk about who would get booed etc is a little bit nebulous isn’t it. If Cook was to rejoin, develope into a hard working winger who tracked back, had an eye for goal and got most of his crosses in we’d all be singing his name like we do now for a certain T ‘Smudge’ Smith who also left under dubious circumstances although more the clubs fault than his, I think.
On the subject of Smith, I hear that when he was at Derby, George Burley rated him quite highly, maybe he will be looking for some scottish relatives in the Smith family?

36. Dave Hart - 19/02/2008

I don’t really hold a grudge against Cook for leaving. How many of us would turn down the chance to play for our boyhood heroes? His comments were just unfortunately timed, really.

The transfer that still leaves a bad taste in my mouth is that of David “Nothing to prove” Connolly. A player valued at more than a million pounds left us in the lurch for nothing, parting some very cheap shots at the club before and afterwards. For a player who had only really broken into the team the previous season, and had come through the ranks. it goes to show what sort of person he is. Rumours (true or otherwise) last month of us being after him had me rather worried, and I’m rather glad he hasn’t joined us.

A player with undoubted ability, but who has still yet to fulfill it, and probably never will. Also a truly disruptive influence (he nearly requested a transfer for being on the sub’s bench on his debut for West Ham)

I’ll never forget the look on his face when he came back to the Vic for the first time, and the reaction he got. You could tell he wasn’t expecting it.

37. Adam F - 19/02/2008

Re:Fran’s classic comparison

“Our break-up with King was like dating a playboy and then finding they cheat on you. Thanks for the memories, but bye bye.”

I’ve just had a pretty shit night. I’m smiling now.

Thank you Fran. And thank you Matt and ig

38. Nick B - 20/02/2008

Lest my earlier message be misinterpreted, I was reflecting on the absence of ig, and pining for the old match report days ( remember spending hours poring over those during the ‘Mooney’ run in)

I was absolutely not dissing Matt, to whom I’m very grateful for giving birth to the new slimline service

Sorry if I gave that impression…

39. Esp - 20/02/2008

Moving away from the Lee Cook posts and Matt R love-in!! I have found this BHaPPY quote from DM from the Leicester match: “..it should be said, Leicester were utterly awful in that 2nd half… if they had scored it would have been an affront..”
Does that ring any bells??
If we are to take heart from those last few matches and compare them to last season we now play for 90 minutes.
Certainly we are keeping the ball on the ground more, substitutions are becoming more inspired and we have a deeper squad allowing competition for places and cover for injuries that we didn’t have last term but what inspires me most and gives me confidence that a 2nd Aidy promotion MAY not just be a flash in the pan is the commitment his team show over a whole game. My only slight concern is that Darius (although physically strong and a real ball winner) is not scoring enough. I would like to see a 20+ striker in the side to see us less reliant on attacking midfielders and Shittu but then we haven’t seen Collins John yet so let’s hope he can do the business; if not that’s a position that needs filling

40. Fran - 20/02/2008

Adam F, I’m glad I made you smile

41. Kris - 20/02/2008

Nick B – I know exactly how you feel. The old BSaD was a big part of why I became the fan I am today. But I too must voice my gratitude for Bhappy which is more often than not a sanctuary from doom mongers and pessimists etc. On here people almost always have proper arguments for their belief rather than jumping on some ridiculous band wagon and crying wolf (or HOOF).

Am I wrong to compare the young Cook to Adam Johnson in that each have the ability to be a match winner but neither are great tracking back. People elsewhere are wondering why Johnson can’t break into a poor Boro side and I think his situation is very similar to that of Cookie in his last season with us.

42. tim wells - 20/02/2008

Fran cheers for replying to the post.as a fan who lives a fair distance away and doesnt get all the info, i didnt realise lewington had said cook had promised to sign, i just remember him saying they had pushed the boat out to get him to sign and he’d refused.2 re helguson, yes he was a hero and he put more time in fair point 3 re king in the end proved to be a bit of a big time charlie but alas players arent as loyal as they used to be Henderson seems to be an exception to this rule,4 although king sold himself his goals got us up gave us a great season and some fine memories shame he couldnt stay at least till the end of the season.but it was good while it lasted ienjoyed watching him 5 agree with last post about johnson, although mac is starting to fire and smith is playing well id love to have him back and would be chuffed if we sign him, 6 looking forward to preston sat come on.

43. Apperley 'Orn - 20/02/2008

Kris, I would suggest that AJ’s biggest problem at Boro is a certain Mr Downing. Were it not for him, I think AJ would be getting much more of a look in.

As for Cook – he was never in AJ’s class, so a poor comparison in my opinion.

I will agree with you on one thing though – this forum is, along with the WML, by far the best place for Watford fans to exchange well informed and properly considered views. Why I still bother posting anything on 606 is beyond me – I must be bored or something…

44. DM - 21/02/2008

Got to disagree there Kris. While not quite being in the Tommy Smith league of hard-working wing play, Johnson was far better at the tracking back aspect than Lee Cook ever was..

45. DM - 21/02/2008

Oh yeah, and I forgot to add.. BSaD was rubbish, Except the bits written by me. Like this one…

http://www.bsad.org/gone/bsad.html

46. Adam F - 21/02/2008

From the BSaD 2005/2006 survey Watford factfile in the section ‘soundbites’

“I’ve never been so depressed before the start of the season, not even in Division Three. This team is a near certainty to finish in the bottom three. But I remain hopeful!” (LOTS of these though – ed)

😀

47. Markymark - 21/02/2008

Kris: The reason AJ can’t get into the Boro team = Downing who’s looking good again!AJ should def go out on loan again.
I heard a rumour he could be going to Palace next season on loan.Mind you it was one of those sites where anyone can say anything.However,some from there have come true!

48. Kris - 21/02/2008

Seems I stand corrected on the Johnson-Cook comparisson. I’ll get me cloack.

DM – I had the pleasure of visiting BSaD this evening as I was asked if I had been to the Vic which – being from Denmark – is a bit of a trek. I have been twice and I checked BSaD to find details of my second visit – a Boxing day match v. Bristol City. I had somehow decided that the only goal was score dby GNW but upon checking BSaD I found out it was indeed Allan Smart (I feel confident that IG who wrote the report for that match didn’t get the two mixed up). Funny how the mind can mess stuff up. That’s when it’s good to have somewhere to go and get a memory update.

49. tim wells - 22/02/2008

PRESTON THOUGHTS1 1974 a cracking game DENNIS BOND, cracks in a 25 yard peach in a 3.2 win scores another scullion sets up a lwith a lovely cross for morrissey to head in we are 3 up by half time they get back with 2 goals from a centre forward named elwiss who gets 2, a beautiful august day im 15 at the time the first half of this was the best watford performance id seen at the time.2 1997 3-1 hyde sets up a tap in for kennedy , who scores another, hyde also scores, parkinsons long range drive is the best opposition goal for many a year ive seen at the vic.3 i watch a 1-1 draw in a bar in ramsgate in the vialli season its on a thursday on itv digital which i wouldnt subscribe to on principal,im relieved as gnw poaches a tap in for the equaliser after preston score 1st i think it was alexander who cracked in a long range shot after doyleys patial clearance.4 2005 grim 0-2 at home i think this would have to be in my top 5 worst watford games, only doyley plays well this was the straw that broke the camels back for lewington and neil ardley. 5 forgot a 3.2 home defeat in 2000 when mooney latches on to smiths cross palmer drills in a long range effort, ithink macken scored for them and rankine, good game disappointing result.6 i bring my son alex for the first time darius powers in a lovely header from youngs teasing cross, but its false dawn as they come back to win through, goals from nugent, and etuhu as ileave a disgruntled bloke says “Business as usual “. he was wrong thankfully. 7 im up with my 2 sons alex and zac, willit bring a good win.

50. Colin Wiggins - 26/02/2008

Good heavens, someone else who remembers that 3-2 win against Preston in 1974! A wonderful occassion because Preston’s player-manager at the time was one Bobby Charlton making (I think I’m right in saying) his second of two appearances at the Vic. And I also seem to remember that he was joined in the Preston line-up that day by a certain Nobby Styles. Great to see them.


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