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West Bromwich Albion 1 Watford 1 (12/04/2008) 13/04/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Thunks from the Hawthorns

1- Well that was much better.  Whilst we still lack any sort of convincing punch, we were steady and remarkably disciplined;  honorable mentions to the the central three at the back, all terrific, and to the returning skipper.  Shame we needed to win the game really, otherwise it was a big tick.

2- Tamas Priskin.  If he were a chef, you imagine he’d cook up an extravagant recipe, adding his own personal twist, a creative masterpiece.  Then use sugar in place of salt and forget to switch the oven on…  crikey moses.

3- The Albion.  Despite being popularly “the best side in the Championship” (TM) our fragile side didn’t half find them easy to play.  You imagine that the bloody-minded team that saw off Ipswich at Portman Road would have finished the job.  For all the passing and movement we kept them comfortably enough at arms length for the most part, and even our currently flimsy attacking options made the centre of their defence look like an accident waiting to happen.

4- Perhaps the most enjoyable chant of the season, “One-nil to the football team”, was also the briefest, being misheard as the more traditional “One-nil to the Golden Boys” by the majority.  Shame.

5- Luton.  Bothered.




1. Mark - 13/04/2008

Good to get some pride back and the players proved they can battle against a top side.

Defended pretty well apart from for the goal ofcourse but lacked quality going forwards.

2. Pete B - 13/04/2008

Much better but I am not sure we will finish in the top 2 at this rate. Be good to get Stoke in the play offs as we seem to have their measure. And then Bristol City in the final. But I fear we’ll come up and lose against Palace.

3. ian lay - 14/04/2008

A while back a number of managers, and a lot of people on here, said that it would probably go down to the last game. Well it most definately will. I can not remember a 2nd division title race being so close with so many teams involved. It may not be the prettiest football going on out there but boy isn’t it exciting (or nail biting) for so many football fans out there.

If we do go up will it be a big cheer/party/celebration or a huge sigh of relief?! 😉


4. Wrighty - 14/04/2008

Tamas Priskin – If he were a chef we’d give him a job as a sommelier

5. Red - 14/04/2008

Having seen all the contenders, would it be possible to be promoted, either automatically or via the play-offs and then refuse to go up? That would suit nicely.

6. Kris - 14/04/2008

Good result and good to see the players show a little passion and determination – something which we all called for after Barnsley.

It will go down to the wire and imho forget about auto-promotion – I fear we could miss out on the playoffs all together if we don’t start winning.

The key is the palace game. Win that and we’re at least in the playoffs. But lose and we’ll probably have to win both remaining matches to stay in the top6.

Tomorrow will be key for us as well. Hull are playing Barnsley and Wolves host West Brom. Those results will pretty much determine if auto-promotion is out of our reach.

I still believe we will go up – but I don’t think it will be without a trip to Wembley.,

7. James - 14/04/2008

It’s been the same most of this season. When sides attack us we can defend and then use the space behind them to hit back, but when sides put 10 men behind the ball all game we have no idea how to break them down. Let’s just hope Palace attack.

8. graham - 14/04/2008

Kris said;
“Good result and good to see the players show a little passion and determination”

Absolutely – yet whilst there is that on the plus side, when will a forward or even a midfield player look like scoring ? What we got was passion and determination indeed – too bloody right too ! Not enough, though,is it ?

9. Paul Wiggins - 14/04/2008

I thought that West Brom was a really enjoyable afternoon, great to be in a positive crowd rather than with the negatives who surround me in my part of the Rookery -not surprising the team tend to play better away rather than at home.
I have a strange view regarding Priskin – but I think that if he’d have played all season he would be our top goal scorer, yes I can hear the hoots of derision already. If we do go up we will need him playing from the start next season.
Feel strangely confident about the play offs, wont be playing Stoke though as they seem to have the easiest run in.

10. Tapps - 14/04/2008

Priskin wouldn’t be top scorer simply because those negatives that sit near you would have shattered his fragile confidence months ago as he doesn’t have the strength of Hendo, the workrate of a Blissett or the ruthlessness of a Helguson. He’ll be a success somewhere but I fear it won’t be Vicarage Road where the demands are for a different type of player (or chef).

11. Sequel - 14/04/2008

Changing the subject…..
Has anyone else noticed that the East Stand Foghorn and his brother get their mugshots on the Chaplain’s page every week?
They must have friends in high places…….

12. Lesley-Anne - 14/04/2008

Graham said “..when will a forward or even a midfield player look like scoring?”

Whilst I take your point, Tommy Smith scored last week against Coventry and in the West Brom match Dean Kiely had to make a great save from Priskin’s header (the Big save of the weekend according to Big League Weekend tonight) so I think that should be classed as a forward looking like scoring!

And I am actually in agreement with Paul about Priskin; I think he’s the most skilful player that we have and I believe he would fulfil his potential if played regularly. He’s always going to be the type of player who fans struggle with as he appears to be lazy but in my early days of watching Watford I seem to remember the same criticism being levelled at John Barnes!! If a player is hardly in the game but contributes a goal or two then I think he’s worth his place. That’s the kind of player I believe Priskin could be if he gets a decent run in the team.

13. Old Git - 15/04/2008

What happened to the thunks about Hull? They appear to have been deleted. Or was it all a bad dream?

14. Tops - 15/04/2008

I couldn’t agree more Matt – I was gutted that we weren’t able to belt out ‘1-0 to the football team’! I was even more gutted that Henderson’s shot (just after their goal) was blocked, however. That would have been an almighty, and very memorable, celebration.

One more point: wasn’t it brilliant to be able to stand up for the whole 90 minutes? Why on earth are our away fans about the only ones in the country whose default setting is sitting down?!

15. Billyo - 15/04/2008

Also helps we occasionally slid the ball into Tamas’ feet at the weekend.

I was sat with slack-jawed amazement during the move that won the free-kick for Tamas’ header. A free-flowing passing move that involved around 6 of our players. It was a joy to behold. Just goes to show we can play this game when we put our minds to it.

16. Matt Rowson - 15/04/2008

Old Git, there were no Hull thunks because neither of us were daft enough to go, thank goodness. Which means we have nothing to offer on the subject. What do you think this is, BSaD?

17. Old Git - 15/04/2008

Sorry Matt, you are quite right. The thunks from Hull started appearing at around No.68 on the trackback pieces after the thunks from Stoke. My mistake. It’s my age.

18. Nick B - 15/04/2008

If The Duke was a chef, he’d be Delia in cheating mode: all tinned or frozen ingredients leading to severe indigestion.
Except during Ramadan, off course…

19. Wrighty - 15/04/2008

I am sitting here amazed that I want Wolves to win tonight, I mena wanting Wolves to win what is the world coming to.

20. Wrighty - 15/04/2008

I mean mean, not mena

21. Royston RoF - 15/04/2008

All this talk about Priskin being most skillfull player in the squad…all I can say is that we should have never let Dominc (Foley) go if that is the case…how times change..TuFF lives on or should we change that to TuPP (The unofficial Priskin Party) 🙂

22. Vaughan Smith - 15/04/2008

First, I was dreaming that Boothroyd sending Priskin out to Preston was a masterstroke – Priskin does the biz, back he comes, pressure on Ellington, Kabba and John to perform, one or more of these chaps step up, and bingo, we’re back in contention. As if…

Next, if we had gone up (which we won’t now), would we have fared any better than Derby? Probably not…

Finally, it’s been fun (mostly) Aidy, but I think it’s time for you to take up a new challenge. Fulham and Bolton will be looking for a new gaffer in a few weeks time…

23. Hornetboy84 - 16/04/2008

It’s my birthday on May 24th.

Party at Wembley. All positive Horns Fans invited.

24. Hornetboy84 - 16/04/2008


I met Jordan Stewart last night at a football life achievement event celebrating Denis Law.

There were over a 1000 people at the dinner last night and Jordan said it was a delight not to be booed for the first time this season when he was introduced to the crowd.

25. JohnF - 16/04/2008

The way Watford players are treated now will make it more and more difficult to recruit decent players. The boo boys in the Rookery can turn very quickly and most of the decent players can do very well elsewhere. A young John Barnes would not have lasted 5 minutes. Where have these people come from and who do they think they are that they can ruin the atmosphere of what was a warm and friendly family club? Why do they bother coming if it is so bad?

26. Adam J - 16/04/2008

“he doesn’t have the strength of Hendo, the workrate of a Blissett or the ruthlessness of a Helguson.”

I love this quote, not because it shows up Priskin’s weaknesses but it’s put’s him into contrast with three totally different strikers. It just made me smile so I thought i should share that with everyone.

OK, totally different point. The P.S. from Hornetboy84 makes me so deeply upset. I am in the section of fans (if there is still this section?) that cannot stand booing. And this is for many reasons, I think the main one is probably it doesn’t do anyone any good. I hate it. And it makes it even worse when it’s to a specific player.

Now I’m not the biggest Steward fan by a long way. I felt he was very poor for most of the first half of the season. But does that mean that he has to be booed? No. What if you were at work and someone started booing you? I would hate it (although I have to admit at the moment I’m a lazy student).

Palace is this Saturday. It’s the first game that I’m going to be alble to go to in a very long time. And hopefully, I’m going to be cheering on a much needed win for our Golden Boys. But I know that if that’s not the case, I’ll be cheering for the draw, and whatever, cheering. Because we are supporters. We’re there for support. We’re there to be that 12th man.

Someone made the point a while ago that we probably player better away from home because of the Vicarage Road crowd. How about on Saturday we sing like it’s the first day of the season, we forget the booing and act like we love this club? How about we go out and give it our all, just like we expect of the players? They don’t boo each other, they support each other. And just as we expect 100% from them, they need 100% from us.


27. Old Git - 16/04/2008

Says it all, Hornetboy, says it all. The crowd this season has played its noble part in bringing about the stuttering lack of confidence and belief that we have seen recently. I don’t ever remember a Watford crowd being so deleriously and loudly unsupportive. Not ever.

28. Dave Jackson - 16/04/2008

Perhaps he’ll soon be playing to crowds of that size.

29. Jim N - 16/04/2008

John F and Adam J.
You are absolutely spot on.
This is the kind of point I was trying to make after barnsley. See comment 3.
However you will need to convince the likes of RookeryThoughts for whom supporting the team has become a chore during the season.

30. Paul Wiggins - 16/04/2008

The problem is Adam J that a lot of people who come don’t really love the club, the treatment given out to Gavin Mahon testifies to that. The club at present is vastly over achieving, life post Boothroyd will be a return to the annual battle to avoid a return to our natural home (division 3). There is not a queue of potential managers at the door with the ability to do anything with Watford. But be assured when Boothroyd does go the same people who are calling for his head will be the first to call for the new guy’s head probably after the first goal is conceded. Hope the second leg of the play offs is away, then we may have a chance.

31. Vaughan Smith - 16/04/2008

Interesting that Jordan can be so flippant about how he perceives the crowd to treat him. When it’s all said and done he has been nothing better than average this (or any other) season, and has more often than not had absolute stinkers. The number of goals conceded through the left back channel far outweighs those conceded through the right or centre. From my vantage point behind the goal in the Rookery, the ‘wrath’ of the fans is mainly being directed at Aidy, for his increasingly bizarre selection and tactical policies. If he didn’t select Jordan, there wouldn’t be an issue – Aidy seems to be the only person who believes he has anything to bring to the team.

On a completely different tack, when we played Coventry was I alone in observing that every time we got a throw in the ball had been professionally laudered, tumble dried and well aired before being returned to Bromby/Doyley, while the Coventry players got a filthy, wet ball back that was untouched by Sketchleys? What the hell is that all about? Talk about petty minded and showing a total lack of both sportsmanship and respect for the oppo. The Coventry boys seemed to take it quite well, but surely we don’t need to stoop to such pathetic tactics do we?

32. Matt Rowson - 17/04/2008


whatever Jordan’s strengths and weaknesses, claiming that you somehow speak for the masses is a giveaway sign of a flimsy argument. “Aidy seems to be the only person who believes he has anything to bring to the team”. Sorry? You’ve asked everyone else, presumably? Jordan’s form has been patchy, he would certainly benefit from not being our set piece taker. But don’t kid yourself that he offers nothing, or that your perception of him justifies his treatment. That’s just bollocks.

33. Nick B - 17/04/2008

We’re getting too polarised here – one camp wants to boo everything that moves; the opposite camp says they have no right to boo at all.

1. Preplanned hectoring of certain players, e.g. Mahon and O’Toole is pathetic and has no place at any ground

2. Spontaneous adverse reaction to abysmal, seriously below potential performance (Barnsley most recently, but several others this season) is a release valve for all but the most saintly. These guys are getting a hell of a lot of money and most fans are tolerant of mistakes, but not lack of fight (yes, I know, ‘how can you tell, they do really care’ etc). It’s a chicken and egg thing – is the booing causing the home form or vice versa; I suspect it started with the latter and is now the former

3. Aidy has raised expectations, now he’s feeling the draught from that, but life and particularly football) is like that, not what you’d want, but the days of trundling along mid table, 2 points for a win and no Sky have gone forever, very sadly

In summary, I’d like everybody to be behind the team all of the time, but I’d also like to see us consistently perform to somewhere near our capabilities. It’s just a shame that it’s seemed to need the injustice of sendings off to provide that extra bit of drive that’s been there routinely away from home

34. EMC - 17/04/2008

Well said, Nick B. Sendings off, especially Eustace’s, is probably what wrecked our chances at automatic promotion. Still, it’s all good fun.

35. Mark - 17/04/2008

Who is booing O’Toole?

The lad is only young and actually done quite well but probably needs a break which was not going to happen with Eustace banned.

36. matt - 18/04/2008

I think Nick hit the nail on the head. Booing players 20 minutes into a game is not going to inspire but paying a considerable amount of money to be served up the rubbish that was on display against Barnsley for example can equally not be expected to be applauded.
In all of this no one seems to have mentioned the style of football being played, or total absence of it. Aidy promised entertaining football when he arrived and initially delivered that, why has he turned to the dark side of d bassett football and how does he think this style of football will attract good players, big crowds and bring success?

37. Lincoln 'Orn - 18/04/2008

Who is booing anyone?? It seems to be a theme which keeps reoccuring on this site and simply does not help the team whatsoever. Be frustrated and shout all you like but this stupidity does not and simply can not help the team, it just heaps more pressure on.What we all need is for everyone to be together just like Watford has always been like in the past, certainly to me anyway. It’s that sort of spirit that has helped us achieve what we have done in the past and this season to a degree. If you are one of the boo boys or girls could I ask that you attend this Saturdays game with a completely different attitude. If you see a misplaced pass by Lloydy or one of Doris’s row z strikes at goal I challenge you to encourage even more and sing the players names even more loudly. I promise you it will do a lot more good than harm in the long run, and you might even feel better for doing it.
I declare Saturday the first booless fixture of the season, of course any form of booing, jeering or general obsenity aimed in the direction of Tango Man is completely justifiable and will be forgiven. Come On.

38. Billyo - 18/04/2008

Is this negativity at home such a new phenomenom? Thinking back over the last two decades (around the length of time I’ve been supporting Watford) almost all the really big games, that were won with big performances have been away from Vicarage Road. Maybe the level of expectancy was permanently raised by EJ and GT.

Even those games I can recall at the Vic were mostly cup games against higher opposition (Leeds, Southampton, Portsmouth), when no-one would have expected much. Looking at BSaD’s list of famous victories during our wilderness years in the 90’s are, all bar one, away from home; at Oxford to survive, Peterbrough and Palace in ’94 etc. We even only managed to beat that mob up the M1, when the burden of home expectancy was lifted. Then there are the play-off semi-finals, where the away match was critical in both.

I dunno, maybe I’m wrong, certainly the booing of individual players before they’ve even come onto the pitch is reletively new. Though saying that, a sizeable percentage of the Vicarage Road erm, faithful, have always seem to have had their favourite player to boo. Word no doubt gets around professional players too. Is it any wonder we struggle to attract big signings to the club?

39. Vaughan Smith - 18/04/2008

Matt, I am in no way speaking for the masses – merely passing on the sentiments of those around me. Your comment ‘You’ve asked everyone else, presumably?’, is, as you know, churlish and completely debases any sort of reasoned argument you may have had. Had you properly read my comment above, you would appreciate that my point is that Aidy is losing the faith of the crowd due to his decision making being perceived in a certain way by certain section(s) of the crowd. Had you witnessed the number of cries of “f*cking sort it out Aidy”, “f*cking do something Aidy”, “what the f*ck are you doing Aidy?” etc, (not from me – I just sat there, resigned to our fate), during the Barnsley abomination, then I suspect you’d react less petulantly to valid criticism of the manager and the place he’s taken the team to.

40. Meldrew - 18/04/2008

Interesting Nick B

Those days have sadly gone. If the players want the rewards then they will have to accept that the bond between player and supporter has gone forever.

When I watch the likes of Williamson who is on c.£8,000 a week and plays like an £800 a week Burton Albion player then any wrath he earns from playing like said Burton Albion player is fully justified.

41. Matt Rowson - 20/04/2008

Sorry Vaughan, I have a bullshit-radar that tends to preclude me from reading utter cack properly. I think I started struggling to pay attention at the point where you told me what I thought (which you’ve done twice now, incidentally).

42. Matt Rowson - 20/04/2008

Hello Meldrew, it’s been a while. How are you old boy?

I ought to make the point that hectoring players for lack of effort is one thing, hectoring them for just not being good enough (and I’m not sure that Williamson’s as bad as you suggest, but that’s by the by) is just daft.

However… I’m sure we first had this conversation over a decade ago, and neither of us has changed position since, so perhaps I won’t bother…

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