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Watford 0 Scunthorpe United 1 (26/04/2008) 27/04/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.
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Five thunks from the latest capitulation

1- To get the painfully obvious out of the way, we played against a relegated side missing several of its top players and never looked like scoring.  If we were to get through the play-offs (see point 2) what chance against United, Chelsea and the rest?

2- Given that you wouldn’t back us against anyone at the moment, it’s difficult to know what to hope for next weekend.  Not through any misplaced desire to see Watford fail, but through not wishing to shell out more money for the inevitability of seeing us getting dicked (or, more likely, huffing and puffing to defeat) in the play-offs.

3- John Joe O’Toole.  A favourite theme of recent weeks, admittedly, but whilst he remained one of few players prepared to bring the ball down and look for a pass, and whilst he has the potential to become a terrific midfielder, rarely has a player looked more in need of a rest.  Whatever the outcome of this season, we are in danger of ruining him in the longer term (see also Theo Robinson, much better off scoring for Hereford than being barracked by our lot for not being the finished article)

4- Speaking of barracking, thought that most of the crowd was fairly restrained yesterday; there was a horrible inevitability to Scunny scoring just as the first suggestions of bloody-minded defiance emanated from the rookery.

5- Seeing as it hasn’t been mentioned thus far, the lack of belief in the side is extraordinary.  Whilst we’re not a Premiership side by any stretch, and perhaps not even good enough to be at the top of this division, we’re not as bad a side as current form would suggest either.  The lack of leaders in the side is again evident, to the extent that John Eustace again stood out in this respect, even during what was probably his worst 90 minutes yet in terms of his own game.

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Comments»

1. Kris - 27/04/2008

I have a theory that the players are getting their very worst football out of the system in order to be at their best in the play-offs.

This theory is however, as realistic as the Horns going up this season. We still need at least a point from Blackpool and as we have been performing lately – we’ll get nothing.

I have been an optimist all season but now I find myself losing interest. The belief has gone – something I seem to have in common with the players. I want us to go up for sure – but I can’t see it happening.

2. Apperley 'Orn - 27/04/2008

Can we please forget the Play-Offs and start from scratch next year? I don’t think I could face the pain of watching us lose any more games (thankfully I am being spared the Blackpool experience next weekend – sometimes it pays to be a non-STH…)

I am still astonished that JJOT wasn’t rested, especially in light of the fact that (at least IMO) Williamson seemed to be coming into form when he returned to the team. If that poor young lad hears any more criticism from the stands it will set him back massively – give him a break Aidy.

We very clearly need a massive injection of “something” up top but where the hell is it gonna come from? Assuming we don’t make it to the top-table circus via the Play-Offs (and even if we do) who the hell is going to be willing to join us? Not one single effort on target – that is not good enough. Scunny were rubbish and if we can’t score against them, God help us.

I have been a staunch “Aidy in” supporter over the course of the last few months but bloody hell Aidy, I hope you weren’t expecting me to applaud back to you after that shower of shite.

Very depressed this morning.

3. Mike Jackson - 27/04/2008

If one of the two early headers had gone in it might have been a different story.
But as the game went on Watford’s play became more desparate and less structured
As with Palace, we had most of the play but got mugged on a break.
Only Tommy Smith seems to still be playing with any confidence.
There is an awful feeling of apocalypse about the Club. Players confidence shattered, Manager reviled, Board split, Russos dumped, Chairman in secret talks to sell.
The season can’t end quick enough for everyone I expect. I couldn’t stand the torture of play offs gained by everyone else falering in the final match. Two of four teams will put us out of our misery.

4. Tim Turner - 27/04/2008

Re point 2, I feel the same. Even if we do make the play-offs, I’m seriously considering staying away from the home leg of the semi. I just don’t think I can bear it any more – the tentative, unimaginative football on the pitch, the simmering hostility off it (though as you say, most of the crowd played a blinder yesterday, reserving their negativity for the final whistle). I just want this season to be over now, so I can pretend it never happened.

5. NRC - 27/04/2008

Confidence is a funny thing, the 3-0 walloping WBA gave us at home seemed to start the rot and we’ve never really looked half way decent since. The stats don’t lie, we’ve been playing relegation form most of this year and are only where we are because we accumulated so many points at the start of the season and everyone else is so poor. I feel we’re on a knife edge here with talk of new owners entering the equation too and a bad vibe generally.

Still, on a positive note I thought Ainsworth looked lively.

6. Hornetboy84 - 27/04/2008

1. !
2. !!
3. !!!
4. !!!!
5. !!!!!

if this had been World War 1 – then 8 pr 9 of them would have been shot for desertion/cowardice.

Re: Eustace – at least he was trying to work himself into the game. Only him and Tommy were fighting for it. I lost count how many times Eustace had to attack balls no-one else was moving for. He’d win a half-knick and then watch in astonishment as everyone else legged it.

7. Mark - 27/04/2008

We didn’t even have a real shot on goal against a relegated side…sums that performance up!

8. Holly68 - 27/04/2008

I stayed away yesterday for the first time in 35 years at home when sickness or holiday didnt prevent me from attending. I feel all the better for missing the match !!!

9. meldrew - 27/04/2008

Stayed away too. Got told to ‘F off and dont come back if you don’t like it’ by a number of people after voicing my opinions after the Palace game. Well you know what, I don’t just not like it, I find it hateful. It saddens me beyond belief that I deliberately missed a home game for no other reason than that.

10. Esp - 27/04/2008

Agree with Holly68 I was in Brighton for the weekend and am glad I missed it

My daughter took my seat in the Main Stand and if she is naughty I have told her she is going to the Play Off matches too..

The Watford Observer will make interesting reading on Friday as they will predictably pull no punches.

What chance any points at Blackpool? Can those who attended yesterday give an opinion?

11. Tops - 27/04/2008

Shots on goal: 2
Shots on target: 0

That really is all that can be said. Roll on the summer, and roll on next season.

12. JohnF - 28/04/2008

You were lucky in the Rookery. The East Stand foghorn was in action from just before half-time in an even more aggressive fashion than before. Considering that this is a family area it felt very uncomfortable. I agree about the play-offs and that it would be a mercy to finish it on Sunday but the performance away to WBA makes me feel it may not be over.

I felt sorry for some of the players (in spite of salaries) because they looked so abject. It wasn’t that they weren’t trying but the mental state really has hit an all-time low. Henderson looked devastated when the first substitution wasn’t him. I also agree about JJ who will be a great player, if we don’t ruin him first. Ainsworth did look lively but once again the process of getting the ball onto the right foot for both left wingers slowed down the attacks. Smithy put in several good balls, all behind the lads in the box but a player coming in a little later would have had a great opportunity. There is talk of Saracen’s quitting the Vic for their own place and with the unpredictable way the ball bounces now, it can’t be too soon for me. I al hope that Aidy gets a big dose of humility and learns that a) just because he says it, it ain’t necessarily so and b) man management often means protecting particular individuals when they are vulnerable.

13. Stuart - 28/04/2008

This is why I support MK Dons now.

I dispair, I’m lost for words. Why is nothing simple? 8/9 points clear and now this.

14. david c. (watford) - 28/04/2008

Just suppose…. Before the game on Saturday we noticed some stange new posters in the gangways of the Upper Rous that were selling a liquor from Thailand no-one had ever heard of. This prompted a discussion with my friends that if these portents were the advertisements of a new owner then perhaps the manager and players were no longer motivated anymore because they knew they were not playing for their jobs as new faces would come in and they would all be asked to leave.

I a stark contrast I was in Coventry yesterday to see the Sarries only just lose to Munster; there was pride, effort and courage in their narrow loss, that made the defeat palitable.
I saw none of that passion at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

15. Big Tone - 28/04/2008

Not a single shot on goal, why on earth do we persist with two strikers when it’s painfully bl**dy obvious that at this moment in time we do not possess two strikers that are capable of scoring.

As I’ve said before, can we not play Doris up front and then add a creative midfielder to sit just off him. If JJOT needs a rest the fine, use Smudger and then give the Ainsworth lad a chance on the wing (looked decent enough to me when he came on).

Doris might not be firing on all cylinders just now but he’s head and shoulders above Priskin and Ellington’s current form.

Come on Aidy, you’re right that we all need to pull together but being brave and “doing what needs to be done and not waiting for others” starts with you!

16. Hornetboy84 - 28/04/2008

Holly – I know how you feel.

I’d missed the Barnsley match – so have been very upbeat and vs. Palace I was frustrated but thought we had chances.

Scunny has just knocked me for 6.
I took the kids so swapped my Rookery seats for a place in the Lower Rous and I wasn’t sure if it was just a different perspective.

What is scary is that 12 months ago I took the girls to see our Last home game …. vs. Newcastle … and we won…. now we lose to Scunthorpe without one shot on target.

Aidy – I’m still supportive but its seeming like blind faith now. Please just dont tell me this is a better squad. It would be if we still had King, Young and Bouazza.

17. Jamie - 28/04/2008

Strangely enough I’d fancy our chances versus Bristol City in the playoffs over 2 legs. I thought they were pretty toothless at home and their GD is even worse that ours! The sort of opposition where we could possibly sneak a one nil victory.

Didn’t go on Saturday but have the feeling I’ve seen what went on already.

18. Old Git - 28/04/2008

The Daily Telegraph’s report decribes the first half as follows….’An open drain of aimless high balls, mishit passes and air kicks, it may have been the worst 45 minutes of football played in this country this season.’
Isn’t that at least something of which we can all be proud?
Cackle cackle. Phhhht.

19. Simon in Oz - 28/04/2008

From my Sydney armchair I have plenty of time to rummage around my uncluttered brain for facsimiles to this trainwreck.
Sorry to bore the younger of you, but ’75 stands out; a ho-hum mid-table season slowly went wrong and we brought ourselves close to relegetion after a terrible run from February. Needed 7 points from the last 12 games to stay up. Got 5.
Penultimate game at Bournemouth. A win would do us. Went down 4:0 until a late flurry netted a useless 2 goals. Why wait until the last 15 minutes to actually play? The great Oliver Phillips’ WO headline remains with me still. “Lemmings at Bourmemouth.”
Now here’s the point. It wasn’t a bad team that year. It included many players who had done, or were still to do, good and even great things for us: Bond, Scullion, Jenkins, Downes, Mayes, Rankin, Joslyn, Mercer and How. A few of those stayed around and went with GT (once he arrived) for one, two or even 3 promotions.
We lost the last game of course, 2:1 to Walsall at home and, “Hello, Division 4, here we come.”
I remember the horrible, cheated, gutted feeling that night after Walsall. I am not looking forward to a repeat on Sunday (Monday here)
As Scott Fitzgerald wrote (the one from New York, not the Northwood one), “Here we are, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Sorry ’bout that.

20. The Great Big O - 28/04/2008

The team are hanging in rags. Bring on…

…The Man In The Pink Shirt.

21. scotshorn - 28/04/2008

I hear that we are about to change the logo on the badge from a Moose to a headless chicken !

22. David, Aylesbury - 28/04/2008

I sincerely hope that during the ‘dressing room inquest’ that some of the players told Aidy that performances like that are a result of his tunnel vision tactics. There is so little creativity on the pitch is it any wonder we didn’t have shots on target.
Certainly some of the players don’t help themselves but I actually feel sorry for the likes of Smith and Doyley working their socks off in a system that doesn’t actually seem to suit anyone (apart from our opponents, obviously).
I thought JJ did try to get the ball down and pass it, but he doesn’t offer the little give and go’s and balls to feet that Williamson does. What must he have been thinking sat on the subs bench for the whole 90 minutes ?

I am really puzzled as to how/why Aidy seems to have convinced himself that this aimless ‘put it down the channels and try to win a throw in/corner/free kick’ is the only way we should play. We ceratinly didn’t play like it when we got promotion so why do it now. And why sign players like Ellington, Williamson, Ainsworth, Priskin etc when they are clearly not suited to that style of football ???
I just want the season to end but fear that next season will be more of the same unless Aidy accepts there is another way football should be played.

23. AndyC - 28/04/2008

I should feel bad about not going on Saturday but I don’t. It was the only home game I’ve missed all season. I woke up about 8 Saturday morning, sun was shining, blue sky and I though “b0ll0cks to the football, I’m doing something else with today”. I went to London Zoo with the missus and had a great time, even when I checked the results while checking out the Giraffes I didn’t even seem to care.

I’d field the following team away at Blackpool:

GK: Gorilla
DF: Bearded Big, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Warthog
MF: Meerkat, Zebra, Tiger, Meerkat
FW: Giraffe, Lion

My tactics are very basic…you’ve got the Meerkats quick off the mark able to run and beat defenders, ball comes in just outside the area, Girrafe nods it down, Lion terrorises the defence, runs onto the ball and sticks one passed the keeper. At the back you’ve got the Hippopotamus and Giraffe keeping the forwards at bay. Zebra and Tiger keep the midfield in shape. If all goes wrong then you can always bring Giraffe from the back line and play him upfront.

…I’m sure I saw the Giraffe doing keep ups in the Zoo.

Anyway back the real world, no form going into the last game and 2 teams able to leapfrog us…

24. Matt Rowson - 28/04/2008

AndyC

thanks for one of the most insightful posts of BHaPPY’s history.

There’s got to be a space for a rhino in midfield though? Doing the Derek Payne job…

Matt

25. DC - 28/04/2008

At the beginning of the season Aidy said that this year would be difficult because other teams knew what to expect of us now – they knew what we were about. Well, he was absolutely right, albeit that it took them 12-13 games to remember.

I’ve been trying all day to think of the opposite of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but the best I can come up with is “if it is broke, do something about it, especially if there’s 30 games of the season left”. The fact that this isn’t the most catchy of sayings may explain why it seems to have bypassed Aidy, who is becoming more and more prone to feeding cliches and amusing soundbites to the press rather than providing any analysis or insights.

Seriously, the past 5 months has seen some of the most one-dimensional, predictable, unexciting football I have ever seen. There simply is no plan B. We have simply one game plan: hit it long, hope that it falls kindly for one of the wingers, hope that they can beat two men on their own and get a cross in, and hope that the cross falls kindly for Henderson to prod home. If that doesn’t happen, hope that we win a corner/throw and hope that the delivery ricochets into the path of a yellow shirt. Repeat to fade.

So many times at the weekend the channel ball was there to be played but Priskin and Henderson never moved from the central third of the pitch – they only seem to know one way to score. O’Toole made a run from midfield a couple of times in the first 5 minutes of the second half but normal service was quickly resumed. And when Aidy made the substitutions early – something that many have criticised him for not doing in previous games – absolutely nothing changed. Ainsworth was a straight swap for McAnuff and ditto Ellington for Priskin. They were very similar players deployed in identical roles – how was that supposed to change the game?

I don’t profess to have all the answers (although a 4-3-3/4-5-1 with Eustace/O’Toole/Williamson and Smith/Ellington/McAnuff would be my suggestion), but we simply have to come up with an alternative to the defiantly rigid 4-4-2 we insist on playing. It’s not working! Try something different!

26. East Stand Man - 28/04/2008

AndyC,

I missed the Scunthorpe game as well but I think you have probably started a chain with your animals. We need something to take our mind off the current debacle.

Can I add to your squad:

Camel….When you substitute him he would get the hump

Dolphin…Up there in the forward line soaring above the defence balancing the ball on his nose and then flicking it in. Turning to the crowd clapping his flippers and waiting for his fish…Brilliant

Kangaroo….Boundless energy plus he would be good in any fisticuffs

Crocodile….Midfield snapping at the oppositions ankles a la
Les Taylor

Chameleon…Confusing the opposition, changing colours to their shirts when they have the ball

27. Jimbo - 28/04/2008

AndyC

It is more than likely at least 2 of the 4 teams that can leapfrog us will if we don’t win on Saturday – Palace, Wolves, Ipswich and Sheffield United (as their goal difference is superior to ours)

If all results go against us we could finish the season in 9th, which all things being taken into consideration is about right.

28. Wrighty - 28/04/2008

I can’t beleive we’re still 5th, everyone else must be really crap

29. Hornetboy84 - 28/04/2008

AndyC – you are just being a fool !

Everyone knows that you can’t play 2 stripes in the centre of midfield.

30. Red - 28/04/2008

Dear Matt and all those going to Blackpool,
Please someone write a match report so we can have (as the Americans say) closure on this season. I would like to know if, when we kick off, if we still put it straight out of play. This small tactic sums up the whole season- o. k. it does not work but lets keep trying it just in case it does. AB needs to listen to what the constructive fans are saying and at least consider if they might be right,or lets do an Ebbsfleet, then we can pick the team, though surely an elephant would be better in the GK position.

31. Wrighty - 28/04/2008

ESM, you can’t play a dolphin up front, they’re always getting caught up in nets

32. Back from Hammerau - 28/04/2008

I’ve got 2 theories.

1) There’s an identical Boothroyd twin of whom we weren’t previously aware. Whilst there’s a physical resemblance between the two brothers, only one of them has any football management nous. How else does one explain the transformation from the Aidy of 2 years ago to the current model? Can the man we see in the dug-out devoid of imagination be the same person who in the play-off semi at Selhurst Park was able to change the game at half time by acting decisively?

2) Somewhere in the ground there’s a Dorian Gray-style painting of Aidy. Instead of the man in the picture looking progressively older as its subject gets progressively younger, the Aidy in the portrait is getting progressively more astute and inspirational.

P.S. How the f*** did Danny Shittu get into a team of the best 11 players in the Championship?

P.P.S. My 11 for Blackpool…;
Lee, Sadler, Bromby, Demerit, Mariappa, Smith, Eustace, Williamson, Ainsworth, Ellington, Priskin

33. Stuart - 28/04/2008

I don’t know why people are talking about animals, I think we should dust off some of the vegetables from last seasons away days and send them out against Blackpool on Sunday.

34. Sequel - 28/04/2008

Well, I thought we had reached the bottom of the barrel against Barnsley, but since then, we seem to have hacked our way through and found another couple more empty containers to scrape at. To paraphrase Blackadder, Saturday was duller than a dull thing on dull pills.

35. Matt Lovett - 28/04/2008

Doom and gloom everywhere…dear oh dear. I couldn’t make it on Saturday so I’ve only got the reports from mates/the press/the t’intraweb etc to go by. Sounds fairly grim, but was it really as bad as 0-3 at home to Colchester in 78-79, 1-4 at Shrewsbury(!) in 90-91, or the 0-0 at the Kennel in 95-96 which effectively relegated both us and ‘them’? Oh well, at least we’ve had the odd performance to celebrate – beating Leicester on that bitterly cold night was one for the annals, as was the league game at home to Wolves after the dreadful FA Cup performance the week earlier. I may sound stupidly optimistic, but we’ve still got a chance of promotion. If we can cling on to 5th, or even make 4th, then turning Bristol City over would be a realistic proposition. A final at Wembley would be a decent day out, and in a one off against (possibly) Palarse or Hull we’d have a chance. After all, everyone else bar WBA are as poor as us…aren’t they…?

36. markymark - 28/04/2008

No they are not as poor as us on current form!! Thats as obvious as the nose on my face

37. James - 28/04/2008
38. jimbohornet - 29/04/2008

Blackpool will also be nervous as they now need a point to be safe.This game is for the battlers in the squad so I would leave out Priskin and play either Kabba for his effort and runs or Smudger or even McAnuff off Hendo, with Ainsworth wide. JJOT need a rest so I would bring in Williamson. At the back hopefully Bromby will be fit so I would drop JDM to the bench. I would also recall Sadler and Mariappa as we have shipped too many goals from poor marking by Doyley and Stewart(bet he plays though!)
On the bench I would keep NE LD JS and would gamble on Gareth Williams and Liam Henderson. We will need to score at least twice here and must go for it. If the miracle happens and we scrape in I would then try Theo Robinson in the playoffs as we have got to be bold and win 2 out of 3 games, which we have not done since February. It is like the last minute of added time and we need to all go up for the last corner, including the fans.Keep the faith !!

39. Nick B - 29/04/2008

Matt L – No, not as bad as those games, actually worse.

I don’t remember a home game without a shot on target, ever. Period.

Are you eternal optimist types on something not available to the rest of us?

I go along desperate to shout, chant and generally feel part of it, but after 10 mins of this garbage I feel completely anaesthetised

I don’t now give a stuff whether we make the play offs or if so, how we get on in them. That makes me very sad

40. Harefield Hornet - 29/04/2008

Why oh why do we all keep rattling on about this lost cause of team – If they equate to animals, as was humorously suggested above, James Herriot should have been called for a long time ago! Always a very sad occaision when any animals need putting out of their misery – but its humane and usually for the best!

41. DL - 29/04/2008

@Back from Hammerau

Danny’s probably in the team of the season because of his early season form. If the award was voted by his opponents it is probably because they don’t like playing against a 6ft4in brick outhouse who is able to win everything in the air and bully them out of the game. That’s not to say his form hasn’t dipped a little since Jan, but he’s our most valuable player in the transfer market and has scored 9 goals this season. In a season of few laughs his “I’m not here really” trick at set pieces has been highly amusing. I’d rather have him on our team than see our lads play against him. A crown jewel who must stay in the summer. Mariappa and Bromby at centre back next season? No, ta.

42. AndyC - 29/04/2008

Hornetboy84: Unfortunately this just shows my naivety in tactics. In the heat of the moment in a tight midfield game where we are getting nowhere and the crowd start getting on the players backs, I’d take off the Zebra and replace with the Giant Anteater….and we all know that Giant Anteaters are rubbish going forward…

43. Red - 29/04/2008

James,
Brilliant and it must be true.

44. Apperley 'Orn - 29/04/2008

DL – I’d say that the best performance from a centre back pairing that I have seen this season was indeed the Mariappa/Bromby combo vs. Wolves at home – we looked incredibly assured there and often (but not always) looked for a simple pass out to Eustace or O’Toole.

Although having a beast at the back is very useful, sometimes it pays to have someone able to play the simple ball out instead of “putting your foot through it” as Dan invariably does.

p.s. I think that BfH was suggesting Mariappa at RB with Demerit/Bromby in the centre.

45. Matt Lovett - 29/04/2008

James – Very good indeed. Just a quick note to Nick B – I’m not an eternal optimist, just a realist. As per my previous contributions, the team are massively over achieving compared to plenty of ‘bigger’ clubs. Yeah, it hurts when performances aren’t matching current expectation levels, and I have a good scream and shout when things go badly, but I still look forward to every game, still get an adrenalin shot when the opening bars of Z Cars strike up, and always leave the ground feeling it was worthwhile. I’m not interested in arguing with you, so all I’ll add is that I hope we make it to Wembley, and that you’ll be there bellowing as loudly as you can.

46. markymark - 30/04/2008

Apperly ‘Orn: That was a one off match! I bet you if Mariappa and Bromby played every match we’d get absolutely walloped from time to time as neither of them are particularly great tacklers tho’ they can both pass unlike Shittu and JD.For me the back four should be : Bromby,JD,Shittu,Sadler.Why ph why does Hoofroyd always pick Doyley and Stewart particularly when he knows the latter is b&ggering off at the end of the season!

47. AndyC - 30/04/2008

“Watford have received “a tentative approach” from a party interested in a takeover, the Championship club’s board have confirmed.”

Does anyone have any info?

48. Tops - 30/04/2008

Matt Lovett: Are you actually saying that after Barnsley and Scunthorpe you left the ground ‘feeling it had been worthwhile’?

What do you feel like when we play well? You must have a heart attack with the excitement!

49. tim wells - 30/04/2008

jimbo hornet interesting, sounds like a good idea but cant see boothy doing it, possible he may bring in ainsworth and drop priskin to the bench or maybe play kabba or ellington upfront with hendo robinson or possibly diagouraga may be on bench if we get to playoffs but only 1 and thats a long shot liam henderson maybe sub after all he is one of the only inform strikers even if he is only reserve but only if we get through him or robinson are long odds for place on bench in play offs and i think we will scrape in even though we really arent good enough to go up you have to hope 60 mil isnt to be sneezed at

50. DS - 30/04/2008

We already have a complete zoo team

Richard LEagle

Lloyd CrocoDoyley
Danny ShiToucan
Lee BronBumbleBee
Adrian Mari(RedSn)appa

Lemur Williamson
Alsation Bangura
LIONel Ainsworth

HippopoTamas Priskin
Darius HENderson
Nathan Ellingphant

And yes, I am bored at work today!

51. Apperley 'Orn - 30/04/2008

That may well be so markymark, although I don’t particularly agree that Bromby is not a decent tackler. Whatever the circumstances surrounding the game (i.e. new signings keen to impress) the fact remains that we won pretty much everything at the back that day, both in the air and on the floor. That, I guess, is all I was trying to say. :o)

Doyley, whatever his failings, is a better right back than either Bromby or Demerit in my opinion. They are centre backs, end of story. I’d sooner see either Lloyd or Mariappa there than either of those two any day of the week.

52. Matt Lovett - 30/04/2008

Tops – you’re missing my point. I go to see Watford play for two reasons – first because they are the team I’ve supported since my old man took me to my first game when I was seven years old. Second because I thoroughly enjoy the experience of going to football matches. I desperately want the club to be successful and be playing, and being competitive, at the highest possible level. If I ever felt it wasn’t worthwhile, I’d stop going, and while games such as Barnsley were horrific to watch, I certainly wouldn’t have stayed away even if I’d known the outcome in advance. Is that such a bad thing?

53. Nick B - 01/05/2008

Tim Wells

Congrats on turning out the longest unpunctuated sentence since Kerouac

Matt – try this on the ‘match reports’, it’s strangely hypnotic

54. matt - 01/05/2008
55. petebradshaw - 01/05/2008

OMG Watford 0 Colchester 3. Yes, we still have someway to sink. Also The home games against Millwall and Man City under Vialli. At least the players appeared to be bothered against Scunthorpe. But they hadn’t got a clue. Now whose fault is that?

Under Vialli they couldn’t be bothered. Whose fault was that?

If Boothroyd stays then can we please get some coaches (and an assistant) who have the guts to tell him (and the players) what to do tactically. And they said Ray Lewington was naive. Sheesh!

56. markymark - 01/05/2008

Tim Wells : Names start with capital letters and you didnot use one comma or full stop in your post.
Also, can’t agree with the Diagouraga shout.Maybe Robinson as a sub as at least he’d be hungry!

57. Esp - 01/05/2008

Agree with Mr Bradshaw completely – whether we win on Saturday, lose or most likely draw and scrape through (a draw would please BOTH clubs wouldn’t it?) next season there must be an overhaul

Whether our downfall from mNovember oneards was down to Burkinshaw leaving, Johnson going back to Boro, Aidy losing the dressing room, Marlon King going, the demoralisation of Darius after nearly going to the northern side (Preston, Notts Co??) several other conspiracy theories or Jordan Stewart it is a fact that we have a young, inexperienced manager who is just finishing only his 3rd full season in charge of the team.

Most fans are still behind him, he has had the glorious back handed compliment of a vote of confidence from the Chairman and I believe he is not too arrogant and his ego is not too big to seek some humility and learns lessons from this season

Dick Bate, Martin Hunter and Malky Mackay seem (to this punter at least) to be “Yes” men; I have no proof other than the results of the past 5 months. Having a decent away record is not good enough we need a Plan B, some decent set pieces apart from the Bromby throw in, some motivated players and a desire to make the Vic a fortress once again

58. Old Git - 02/05/2008

Amidst all the light-hearted and amusing frippery of discussions on team selection, booing or not booing, speculation of whether it would be best to miss out on the play-offs etc etc, it was reassuring to see a seriously intellectual and analytical posting from DS.
I have to say, DS, that the image of HippopoTAMAS Priskin is a very wonderful one, for which I thank you…enjoy the long weekend, Sir (or Madam) !

59. GraemeB - 03/05/2008

Another goal for young Theo today. Considering this is his first senior season he has been outstanding. Does anyone know if Hereford have an option to buy him? I fancy he’d be good for us in the Second Division, though for no sound reason I do fancy us to beat Blackpool….

60. Tybalt - 04/05/2008

Wow… skin of our bloody teeth!

What an agonizing morning of scoreboard-watching here from 3,500 miles away.

61. Tybalt - 04/05/2008

Oh, and I almost forgot… Wolves are seventh again. I’m telling you, that joke NEVER, ever gets old.

62. ramsgate horn - 04/05/2008

Scraped in,…looked like we could miss out but we got there. hendo sent off, even though hes been out of form , losing him for the play off semi is a blow, can we beat Hull on current form not likely , but strange things happen, Smith deseves the glory as hes been one of the top players not optimistic about striking options.ELLLINGTON needs to finally deliver who to patner him PRISKIN can score but too inconsistent KABBA hard working, skilful but not enough goals what other options i reckon take a chance on ROBINSON who must be on a high after his season at hereford,

63. Kris - 05/05/2008

GraemeB – Hereford have an option on Tiggy but not Theo.

As for us making the playoffs – well, I am overjoyed and at the same time pessimistic. However, I do agree with Aidy that form counts for very little at this point. And maybe – just maybe, Doris’ red card is a blessing in disguise.

64. Dan - 06/05/2008

Want some thunks from Blackpool?

1. What a place. It really is as tacky as its reputation suggests. The poor sods who live there have to spend every weekend surrounded by stag dos, hen parties (and on this occasion, “Young Farmers”) drinking from 11am and wearing ‘comedy’ t-shirts.

2. It’d be nice if they could finish the ground at some point. Although the facilities at Bloomfield Road are at least better than in the Brian Moore Temporary Stand.

3. Doris is his own worst enemy. Having been booked, then warned at the end of the first half after a late challenge on the keeper, he was always unlikely to complete the 90 minutes. But after he had gone we actually played better – keeping the ball and passing it around, as we could no longer lump it up to Doris’ head.

4. If anyone deserved to keep our play-off hopes alive it was Tommy Smith. Betty is the first manager to get consistently good performances out of Smith.

5. A Hull defence marshalled by Wayne Brown is never going to be the most mobile. The last 20 minutes here (albeit against a side that had absolutely no intention of trying to win the game) showed us the way forward – get the ball to feet, and get the strikeforce moving around. Hull lost 13 games this season – we can beat them.

65. Matt Rowson - 06/05/2008

Cheers Dan. Like point 5. re. point 3, I think his first booking was handball – that’s what 3cr thought anyway. But I agree with the general point.

66. Dan - 06/05/2008

Doris – yes, it was handball for his yellow. But he was late on the keeper towards the end of the half (not malicious, just clumsy – typical Doris really) and the ref gave him a ticking off. It was fairly clear at that point that he had to be careful for the rest of the game.


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