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Five Post-Blackpool Thunks 06/05/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Didn’t go to Bloomfield Road, but here’s five thunks in retrospect anyway

1- So.  Two goals then.  Shame that it had to be Wolves finishing seventh (as they did in 99 and 06).  I’d like to nominate Steve Kabba’s goal as the one wot dunnit.

2- If momentum is the critical ingredient in a winning play-off formula then we’re kinda knackered.  On the other hand, perhaps the suddenly aborted expectation solves one of the season’s biggest probems (yeah yeah, apart from not being able to score, defend, pass, Jordan Stewart etc etc etc)

3- If anyone’s in any doubt about whether getting promoted would be a Good Thing, the alternative would include welcoming back the Nottingham Forest “we won the European Cup you know” brigade next season…

4- The “bring back Theo Robinson for the playoffs” campaign seems to be gathering momentum; I’m unsure as to the wisdom of this, but in any event I seem to remember that a season-long loan prohibits his involvement (even though Hereford’s season is finished).




1. Ed - 06/05/2008


A couple of months ago someone mentioned here: when was the last time our midfield ran at the back line and went for goal. Well Tommy saved us doing that, and the last time I remember was Lee Williamson away at Sheff Weds in December. Maybe Aidy could try that one in training?

I’d like to nominate Tommy’s goal line clearance v Sheff Utd as the ‘one wot dunnit’, but that also gained us a point, so is invalid.

So I’d like to nominate Big Danny’s second header against Barnsley away. We were laughing about a possibly hattrick of headers even when the nonsense penalty shouts at the other end was going on.

2. Joe Richardson - 06/05/2008

Re: point 1) I second an earlier comment in nominating Jordan’s first game of the season (against Wolves) as the performance that secured us a playoff berth (instead of Wolves).

Pretty amazing that a whole season of ups, downs, highs and lows gets settled by a single goal. Almost poetic – shame it was 6th and not 1st place.

3. Fred R - 06/05/2008

As it happens, I quite look forward to travelling to Forest and Derby, as living in Nottingham they’re simple bus rides for me :). Plus the Forest are sooo easy to take the piss out of.

Do we really want to go up? By all accounts, Press and fans, football quality is seriously dire, the squad has the depth of a 5-day old puddle, and without Chelski-like spending we’re likely to make Derby look like a success story. I’ll bet most of the players won’t be right chuffed about the playoffs either. With morale at rock bottom after a knackering season, you could hardly blame them for looking forward to a relaxing summer holiday, and instead they’ve two more weeks, potentially, of training and matches.

Hey, can this blog be set to retain post data on submission? I wrote and submitted a post but forgot the email address, and on Back all my bons mots had disappeared. That’ll teach me not to copy to the clipboard, I guess…

4. Wat4Steve - 06/05/2008

Theo wasn’t on a season long loan. It was until January and then renewed, so whilst he was on loan for the season, it wasn’t a season long loan.

5. Simon in Oz - 06/05/2008

I would be interested in the correlation between:
1. The club winning the Div 2 play-offs in all years since that system started…
2. The number of points garnered by that club (as opposed to its 3 play-off opponents) in, say, the last 15 matches of the home-and-away campaign (ie “momentum” in Matt’s Thunk 2)
This will prove whether it’s form or arse that wins it. Let’s hope that it’s the latter. I’ll bet you that, sadly, it isn’t.
If, by any chance, anyone knows a decent statistician to do the job, then we are in business.
Hull (H) is Sunday 9pm live on telly here in Oz – so I will be shouting the house down.

6. Matt Rowson - 06/05/2008

The significance of Kabba’s goal was that it was FOR us and AGAINST Wolves. One goal wouldn’t have made a difference, we’d have been ahead of Wolves on goals scored believe it or not.

Wat4Steve – I suspect it amounts to the same thing either way. “The whole season” or “Until the end of the season” prohibits him from turning out for us, i think. I might be wrong…

Simon, I’m best man on Saturday and have a big work presentation on Wednesday (hell, that’s tomorrow). Statistical curio will have to wait…

7. Wrighty - 06/05/2008

Steve Kabba’s goal most certainly has to be the one as it was so rare and hysterically funny. Just think, if one person in the Wolves defence had been awake it would have been them instead of us, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

8. East Stand Man - 06/05/2008


Re your thunk 1. ’99 and ’06 are the 2 years we got to the Prem through the play-offs so there’s a thought to ponder on. Actually the 3 times we have made it to the play-offs in recent years have all been reached in different circumstances. ’99 the surge (a la the Palarse), ’06 3rd place was always ours and ’08 by the skin of our teeth.

Like you I did not make it to Blackpool but listened on 3CR. I was screaming at Aidy to get Hendo substituted but sadly he didn’t hear me. But maybe, just maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. We do play better (a) with ten men and (b) with the ball at our feet. Interesting to see if Theo features in the play-offs. None of the opposition will know too much about him.

9. Goldie - 06/05/2008

Okay, I didn’t get far in my search for Statto-like nuggets, but I can tell you that the last three playoff winners have scored an average of 16 points in their last ten games of the season.

We have scored 8.

Errr….Come On?!?

I can also tell you that the 6th placed team has won the playoffs 3 out of the last 9 seasons (3rd placed 4 times, 5th placed twice).

10. GraemeB - 06/05/2008

Interested in what you have to say about Theo’s return, Matt. I wasn’t aware of this rule and assumed that, as in many loan contacts, WFC would be able to recall him if needed.
Even if he was available, it would be surely be unwise to blood him in such vital games, two divisions above his current experience level. Does anyone know if he will be back with us next season, or was he (and Diagouraga) involved in the arrangement that brought us Lionel?
It would be helpful if the club’s quite useless official website could clarify such matters, instead of serving up its usual drum-banging drivel.

11. Red - 06/05/2008

Please AB signal to those in the know that you have listened and everything is going to change. We will, repeat, we will, pass the ball to a Watford player from the kick-off. The rest will be a piece of cake.

12. Matt Rowson - 06/05/2008

East Stand Man. 99 and 06…ummm, yes, that was my point

GraemeB… not that I’m disputing the quality of the OS, but they made it pretty clear at the time that there was an option for a permanent move in Diagouraga’s case (not Robinson’s).

The article is at http://www.watfordfc.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10400~1173655,00.html

13. Mark - 06/05/2008

Not a very good performance (again) and it was clear Hendo would get himself sent off although one could argue he was trying to at least get stuck in unliek so many others…just too much!

Thank goodness well deserved POTS Smithy came to the rescue and nicked that play-off spot from Wolves (I would have really hated losing out to them!)

Maybe without Darius to hoof the ball up to we might see some passing football with Priskin and Ellington as the front 2 although ofcourse they would actually have to move around during the game rather than wait for the ball.

We would be totally useless if we went up (again) but sounds like the money is needed once more.

Must take a lead into the 2nd leg at Hull who might be deflated at missing out on auto promotion to our “hoofball” friends…

14. Mark - 06/05/2008

Matt – I was thinking the foul on Steve Kabba which lead to the winning late penalty from Marlon on the opening day at Wolves proved to be most vital!

15. Apperley 'Orn - 06/05/2008

Yep, that was made perfectly clear at the time.

The OS is a little “Orwellian” at times, but in fairness they did make the Hereford dealings pretty transparent.

Does anyone know, purely out of interest, if Hereford have decided to exercise their option to keep TD?

16. Paul Wiggins - 07/05/2008

No one has mentioned the other occasion when we made the play offs in 88/89 when we lost on away goals to Blackburn after an awful home game after we drew away. It was a very average Watford team and the long term result was a string of managers who were very average and a 10 year wait before we made another real attempt to make the top division.
On a more positive note it was great to see AFC Wimbledon’s latest promotion covered on Sky Sports News and heartening to see Aldershot back in the league. Two cases of real supporters taking things into their own hands.

17. Stuart - 07/05/2008

Sunday was where this season diverged in similarity from 2000/2001, we actually made the playoffs! I don’t have much hope for us to be honest as surely we can’t have three playoff successes inside 10 years, surely!? However, here’s hoping!

18. North Bucks Hornet - 07/05/2008

Paul W – I remember the Blackburn play off game, strangely played out in front of only 13,000 odd fans which was indicative of the apathy surrounding that particular Watford team and the club in general at the time. Worrying parallels perhaps with the 07/08 campaign?
I can still see that fat northern monkey Simon Garner celebrating a vital away goal by cavorting in front of the Vic Rd End. Let’s hope we don’t have to see his modern day equivalent, Dean Windass, doing the same on Sunday?

19. meldrew - 07/05/2008

NBH – I was at that Blackburn home game and no way were there only 13,000 fans at that match, similarly when we beat Leeds in the League Cup, no way were there only 18,000 at that match!

20. Hornetboy84 - 08/05/2008

Matt re: thunk 2.

We clearly have momentum.

Note: In the second half vs Blackpool;
a) we scored
b) we didnt concede
c) we actually did start passing it around
d) Aidys just released Jordan Stewart

If we can just take the momentum of that 45mins and translate it into the next few games ….. well …. we’d be on our way to showing Kev keegan that you can indeed challenge the big 4 for a place in Europe.

or maybe i’m just being a little BsaD?

C’mon! Now where did I leave my Housemartins CD?

21. Wrighty - 08/05/2008

I just don’t get the early release of Jordan Stewart, much as his form has been a touch erratic, we don’t have a lot of cover at left back, or indeed on the left atall, have I mentioned our lack of left footers. Giving the reason as not being able to guarentee him a regular starts when the season is over, apart from the play offs, seems a little churlish.
Let’s hope Sadler doesn’t get injured.

22. Matt Rowson - 08/05/2008

It does seem odd Wrighty. Much as he was obviously leaving at the end of his contract anyway, the decision to release him early is so counterintuitive given the lack of obvious cover for Sadler (a bit of an ask for Jordan Parkes?) that one can only assume that he was causing trouble.

Which doesn’t make it a wrong decision at all, but it’s certainly not indicative of a happy camp. Hey ho.


23. Nick B - 08/05/2008


Anyone who can throw in words like counterintuitive with such panache should really become a writer. Preferably churning out football match reports and features for an independent website….

Can any player be so thick as to undermine things in the build up to the play offs? Treat that as slightly rhetorical

P.S. ig’s v. quiet at the moment..

24. Sequel - 08/05/2008

Ahh….Where would we be without rhetorical questions?

25. Wrighty - 08/05/2008

WO suggests that he spoke out of turn in the clear the air talks after Scunny, which seems totaliterian, although of course this may only be half the story.
Back to the play offs, my hypothetical money is on 0-0 at home and 1-1 up there, which will see us into the final without winning. Kind of in keeping with the season!!

26. Matt Rowson - 08/05/2008

Only if we’ve improved our penalty taking Wrighty. Away goals don’t count double in the play-offs.

27. Esp - 08/05/2008

With Matt being counterintuitive, Sequel asking rhetorical questions and Wrighty accusing WFC of being totaliterian I will try and bring this message board down to my level of understanding ie plain English 🙂

I think it;’s a good thing that we are training on our actual pitch this week as training at London Colney before home games recently hasn’t exactly done us any favopurs

I hope that Aidy gets the crowd going on Sunday with a repeat of the practice penalty kicks that he made the players take in front of the Rookery that was class and innovative 2 words that Aidy has not had thrown at him this season unfortunately

I am going to do some research into our form this season when we have played both Kabba and Ellington up front; I can’t see Aidy being brave enough to play 3 up front especially as we are without (arguably) our most potent threat in goal Darius on Sunday but it will be interesting to see how much success we have had when both Steve and Nathan have been in the side

Finally Stuart wrote: “I don’t have much hope for us to be honest as surely we can’t have three playoff successes inside 10 years, surely!?”

Whilst I have told you before about calling me Shurely Stuart there is another run that is quite significant – a bad one.

Smudger has been in 2 recent play off semi finals with Sunderland and Derby and lost both – let’s hope for him it’s third time lucky up at the KC on Wednesday night. With the help of a healthy advantage of course taken up there from Sunday’s match


ps: Well done Rowson Senior!!

28. Wrighty - 08/05/2008

of course, i’d remembered Birmingham as away goals but of course it was penalties.

29. Neil Crawford - 08/05/2008

I remember at the beginning of 06 we were just hoping to survive, two play-offs and a season in the top division (whatever they call it nowadays) isn’t so shabby. And if we go up, and get kicked out again, well then we are none the worse for it!
Best of luck from a Swedish supporter.

30. Hornetboy84 - 09/05/2008

If it does all go to Pens – will the team try and get Hendo sent off in the 2nd leg to make sure he doesnt take one?

and – would a draw at home be a good result? I think it would be.
Hope the fans recognize this and have patience.

31. Esp - 10/05/2008

Our forward line without King or Henderson (this seasons’ stats only)
Priskin and Kabba starting: W1 D0 L0
Priskin and Hoskins: W0 D0 L1
Priskin, Ellington & Kabba: W0 D0 L1
Ellington & Kabba: W2D1 L1
Finishing a game* (not starting line up replacing one or both of Henderson & King)
DeMerit & Kabba W0 D1 L0 (Burnley)
Ellington & Priskin W3 D0 L0 (Palace FA Cup & League matches, Coventry)
*To get into the latter statistics either King or Henderson or BOTH were not on the pitch however the strikers listed may only have played a handful of minutes

32. Pete B - 10/05/2008

Not that I would want him to play, but does anyone know what happened to Will Hoskins after Forest sent him back to us with a back problem?

What price Liam Henderson on the bench?

33. Greg - 10/05/2008

I do remember a certain Darius Henderson thundering home a penalty at Cardiff not so long ago… but admittedly glad he is suspended as he makes us reaort to awful football at times.

Ellington and Smith upfront Ainsworth on the right Macanuff on left could get us to Wembley but Priskin up there and its Forest next season.

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