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Watford 0 Hull City 2 (11/05/2008) 11/05/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from the first leg.

1- Yes, okay, so we lost.  And we can’t defend.  And, well, Dean Windass.  But that was rather fun wasn’t it? 

2- Jobi.  Unplayable in that sort of mood.

3- We look a rather tasty side when we keep the ball down.  As against Stoke, we alas looked rather tasty without actually putting the ball in the net as such – and I’d still have swapped all the neat possession for Danny’s bundled goal being allowed.  But it’s a straw to cling to…

4- Nothing bounced for us today, but that’s not healthy to dwell on.  After all, we were in plenty a strong enough position earlier in the season not to have to test our luck.

5-  Wednesday trip now has, perversely, something of an attractive edge to it.  Nothing to lose, everything’s a bonus.  That’s not to say I won’t feel differently at 9.30 if we get gubbed three-nil (and as my co-editor observed when contemplating Hull’s pace on the break with Folan, Fagan and Campbell up front “I can only remember thirty times when we’ve conceded goals like that this season”).  But what if we do it, and you’re not there…?



1. The Great Big O - 11/05/2008

I’d predicted we’d lose 2-0. What I didn’t predict was that we’d pick ourselves off the floor and play football on the floor. Sure, we failed to score again, but we created chances from open play. For the first time in several home games. It was decent to watch. It was actually likeable.

We should be grateful Aidy finally changed the style of play to something less horrific. In front of our lowest home League crowd of the season.

But the question keeps reverberating round the mind – why only now, why so late?

And, with Doris back on Wednesday, will he keep us playing football?

2. markymark - 11/05/2008

Fun!? No fun at all when you have a “referee” like that !

2 joke decisions have cost us any chance of promotion.

For me Hull looked fairly average and if that Shittu goal had stood we would have least got a draw.

3. meldrew - 11/05/2008

Jesus Matt.


A 2-0 home defeat in a play off semi final fun?

Watching a comedic defence and Richard Lee yet again proving he isn’t in the same class as the likes of Myhill or Nash let alone Foster is not fun.

And to describe Jobi McAnuff as ‘unplayable’ Well how can you possibly use that word in the context of this match. He didn’t score and didn’t create any goals. We lost 2-0.

4. RAMSGATE HORN - 11/05/2008

1. Disappointing,expected the worst given our recent form, a touch of resignation but defeat still hurts for me its worse later. ive got an empty feeling. 2 SHITTUS GOAL surely should have been allowed. 3 defendiing for both too sloppy they were too clinical to fail.4 MYHILL somebody please put something dodgy in his tea before next wed, he saved them at least twice 5 best players, macanuff was full of tricks but we need more upfront.6 Cant really see them capitulating but we can be gung ho nothing to lose, lets not give up till its certain we cant make it.7 how great will it be if we get through against the odds

5. Tybalt - 12/05/2008

Nothing bounced for us today, but that’s not healthy to dwell on.

No indeed, and really I had already consoled myself to the thought that we would miss out. What was massively encouraging (living in Canada I don’t get to see Championship games on TV too much) was that we looked nothing at all like the side I’d been hearing supporters complain about for the last few months. Well, except for one moment (the Windass goal, yes).

Positives to take into next season. And Mat Sadler looked tidy and controlled, didn’t he? Should have scored, that was one of the best saves I’ve seen all year by Myhill.

6. Westo - 12/05/2008

Spot on Matt. I’d not seen the Horns this season until yesterday – we get every Premiership match here in Thailand but nothing else except the playoffs. Jobi and Tommy were great, and when we played the ball on the ground we caused Hull plenty of problems. The defensive errors which led to the goals were comically bad, and Eustace did us no favours by losing his head. An enjoyable game which has left me asking: 1. Why do we hoof the ball so much? 2. Is Jay DeMerit really not worth a place in the starting 11? And 3, Nathan Ellington, aren’t we entitled to expect a lot more or did we buy a turkey?

7. Nick B - 12/05/2008

Well done Matt for producing such a calm and measured response; no time to moan and grind teeth, as you say.

Sorry to say, I can’t focus so purposefully. Have to say my heart sank when I saw the ref appointment in the WO on Friday; remember two Champ managers questioning his sanity, the normally fairly sensible Dave Jones calling him the worst ref he’d ever seen. Duly warned my companions what we might be in for and was not disappointed. Thought he made Styles look like Collina. Absolutely disgraceful performance, no understanding of the game, calling the decisions by numbers and seemingly in thrall to the completely odious Phil Brown, the man whose taste in suits truly sums him up.

Oh yes, the football…well, there were good signs, although I thought Hull looked pretty comfortable with their two goal lead most of the time. Smith again was outstanding, better than McAnuff, in my view. Defence looked all over the shop, and crass errors by Shittu and Doyley have given us a hell of a lot to do.

Priskin looked more comfortable, but the idea of Ellington as lone forward is laughable, couple of nice touches but barely broke sweat, unforgiveable in a game of that nature.

The crowd were really good and the players must have been lifted by the reception at the end.

If we do go out, I’m going to be a massive City or Palace fan come the 24th!

8. Dan - 12/05/2008

As I said at least four times yesterday, that was the best we’ve played for ages. Shame about the defending then, and Boaz Myhill (who was absolutely superb). And Mr Friend, although I haven’t seen the Eustace challenege again but my first thoughts were that a) it was pretty bad; and b) he would be lucky to stay on the pitch.

I can’t see it happening on Wednesday – I don’t think we have enough goals in us – but at least this gives us a pointer towards next season. It’s going to be much tougher to get out of this league next year, though.

9. Hornetboy84 - 12/05/2008

1. It shows what a dire season it has really been when we cheer our team off after a 0-2 defeat and some awful defending. Last 4-home games W0 D0 L4 F0 A8 .. hardly inspiring stats.

2. That’s the price we have paid not securing automatic promotion and going into a play-off lottery. You forget that you can get a referree like that.

3. What happened to Homer referees? Is that the price we paid for only attracting 13,000 home fans and letting Hull have half of one end? Would he have ruled it out if it was scored in front of the Rookery?

4. That was the Aidy we know and love from 2 years ago. Some brave decisions that nearly paid off. Just lost the luck. Maybe there is some hope next season if he manages reduced resources with more limited expectation.

5. Still going to Hull & back. Nothing to lose now and if we can get a goal (okay there is a big IF there) then they will wobble. Oh yes they will wobble. Lets win 8-6 if we have to and do them on Pens. Cmon!


10. Joe Richardson - 12/05/2008

Re: point 1 – couldn’t agree more. Despite a disallowed goal from Shittu, a terrible error of judgement from Shittu leading to their first goal, an injury to Shittu, a questionable red card, a lack of similar coloured cards for similar Hull infractions and a 2-0 defeat at home, I actually enjoyed it more then most other games this season (except maybe Stoke at home…something about Eustace getting sent off maybe?).

We tried. We tried to pass and tried to take players on and tried to score with shots from outside the area and Boothroyd tried out some attacking players and Priskin tried (a bit) and Ellington….well…overall we tried.

Bring on Wednesday.

11. Matt Rowson - 12/05/2008

markymark – I’ve not seen the replays, but consensus suggests you’re right, the ref made some very bad decisions which undoubtedly influenced the game. Shit happens though; in a cup-tie set up you’re always vulnerable to bad luck or bad decisions. That we are here is due to our form in the second half of the season not Kevin Friend, however incompetent, and it doesn’t help to focus on his contribution.

Meldrew, I agree about Lee for what it’s worth. Rumour is that Loach is number one next season? If true, that’s got to be to persuade him to resist offers of a place on the bench (at best) at the Prem clubs supposedly watching him.

But yes, I think it was fun however frustrating. How unlikely has us making a decent game of it looked in recent weeks? And as for McAnuff… he was denied several times by the excellent Myhill, and however encouraging the formation looked we still don’t have a spearhead neither of which devalues McAnuff’s performance in my eyes. A bit too little too late, admittedly, but I thought he was terrific.

Westo – I can’t help you on the hoofing thing, although I really don’t think it’s been as spartan as people have made out. The overreliance on the Bromby throw and general lack of confidence (and ability, maybe) have been the porblems

Nick B – harsh to blame the second one on Doyley. He had two men to cover, entirely due to Ainsworth daydreaming on the right and not tracking back with his man. That was another problem with the formation really – however positive Ainsworth looks on the ball he’s not a lot of bloody use without it. The name McNamee springs to mind, although admittedly Lionel’s got a few more years on Macca.

Dan – agree with your final point. It could hardly have been an easier league to get out of this year could it? West Brom can’t defend, Stoke have been largely awful since Christmas and we made the play offs despite everything… that’s the crying shame about missing out on automatic. We were well capable of it.

12. Clutching at Straws - 12/05/2008

1) Is it just me or was anyone else given hope by the move when Hull hit the inside of the post and then Campbell totally missed an open goal, followed soon after by a terrific save from Lee? 3-0 would have seen us dead and buried. 2-0 gives us a glimmer of hope.
2) Whilst Phil Brown is obviously a Colin-in-wiating, I thought the Tigers’ fans were superb. The chant “You’re getting mauled by the tigers” accompanied by the campest clawing gestures I have ever seen kept me chuckling all afternoon.
3) I have said it before and will say it again, we have a right footed player who can tackle and pass – Lee Williamson. Surely he has to be worth a run at RB though Eustace’s suspension means he’ll have to play in centre mid.
4) It has to be Priskin and Hendo up front.

13. Matt - 12/05/2008

What if we do it and I’m not there?

Simple – then I’ll consider going to Wembley – but if it ends up being Palace then I’ll probably give it a miss as I couldn’t stand watching Warnock celebrate.

Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever CHOSEN not to go to a home match (as opposed to other things forcing me to miss one) – I just couldn’t bring myself to actually pay to watch what’s been served up as “football” in the last few months. Ok so it turned out we didn’t play that badly, but do I regret not going? Not in the slightest.

Anyone want to buy a season ticket for next year?

14. DW - 12/05/2008

Whilst I don’t give us more than a 10% chance on Wednesday I did for the first time in ages really enjoy the game. Everyone is entitled to their views but I really have to question those fans who can’t be positive. I accept that Hull could have (& possibly should have) scored at least one more goal but we DID score and forced their keeper to make 3 saves, one of which in the second half was as good as I’ve ever seen at Vicarage Rd. If we play like that next season we will win far more games than we loose and that for me is enough. I may be in a majority of one but if we can’t get a positive result on Wednesday I hope Hull do go on and make it to the Prem

15. DM - 12/05/2008

“We look a rather tasty side when we keep the ball down”
Amen to that.

“But that was rather fun wasn’t it?”
Oh yes. For the first time since Norwich away, I enjoyed a Watford game and left the ground feeling happy with the team and manager’s efforts. Well, apart from that big lummox Shittu.

All in all, at the very least, we’ve finally seen the blueprint for next season and at last, a chink of light after a winter of rubbish. We got the ball to Smith and McAnuff’s feet more than 2 or 3 times a half for the first time in, well, a blooming long time, and the chances came. More of the same and the goals will come, too.

16. Wrighty - 12/05/2008

1. Danny Shittu – Great in their half (his run to beat two men had me laughing out loud), but not so good in our half.

2. Mr Friend – inconsistent at best

3. Phil Brown – Has he always been that much of a twat, or did he make a special effort for the play offs/television

4. Lionel Ainsworth – Not enough with the ball, absolutely nothing without it.

5. Wednesday – down and out with nothing to lose, might aswell go b*ll*cks out for it.

17. Matt Rowson - 12/05/2008

Matt – that’s really interesting. Well done.

DW – I’d like to see Hull go up and get dicked every week if we don’t make it. Largely for Phil Brown’s benefit. If he’s that unpleasant when his team’s winning 2-0 away in a play-off semi, heaven knows what the Prem will do to him.

18. stephen hoffman - 12/05/2008

hello to the guy who just had a go at lee , your forgetting lee made a fantastic save at the end , if he didn’t make it would have been 3-0 . Richard lee has been one of our most consistent performers this season and it is an absolute joke that some people feel the need to criticise him.

19. stephen hoffman - 12/05/2008

lionel ainsworth was one of our best players yesterday we actualyl had some pace in our side for a change -and accurate crossing, doyley was to blame for the second , generally are midfielders defended well however shittu and doyley were all over the place in defence . it has been obvious in the last 10 games , Jay is a better defender than danny, he should have started.

20. stephen hoffman - 12/05/2008

NO dont play henderson on wednesday , we play so much better without him , we will be hoofing it up to him if we do . play priskin and ellington up front with tommy behind the strikers .

21. NRC - 12/05/2008

Phil Brown and Mr. Bean – ever see them both in the same room together? Makes you think …

22. Joe Richardson - 12/05/2008

DM – “we’ve finally seen the blueprint for next season”.

As much as I enjoyed thinking this yesterday, I couldn’t help but wonder whether we’ll have the same foundations to build on these blueprints.

It’s not great that we take 50-odd games to find an exciting style, especially as in 2 weeks time (I’m confident!) we take a 3 month break and come back with half the blueprint missing and new faces drafted in. Is it going to take as long again next season to find our feet?!

If only this game had happened in January, imagine how we could’ve built on this…*sigh*.

23. Aylesbury 'Orn - 12/05/2008

Have to say I am baffled by those ‘supporters’ who chose not to go yesterday. Supporting Watford is about going through some thick but an awful lot of thin. Perhaps those that stayed away are relatively new to following Watford and don’t remember the Petchey years when the thought of a second play off appearance in three years would never have been considered.
And Brown. What a complete and utter to$$er.

24. Tim Turner - 12/05/2008

Wrighty – a bit unfair to criticise little Lionel, who was only starting his second game for the Hornets yesterday, and made a good contribution on the right wing, I thought. If Jobi hadn’t been on top form, Ainsworth might have got more plaudits; in particular, there was one moment in the second half when he skipped past two defenders on the touchline that was breathtakingly good.

And I remember him making a superb last-ditch covering tackle in one of his previous games, s he can track back when he puts his mind to it. I agree that Lloyd was left to mark two men too often yesterday – maybe Lionel’s inexperience got the better of him. If an old trooper like Danny Shittu can suffer a rush of blood to the head like the one that led to the first goal, I’m prepared to make allowances for a 20-year-old.

25. stephen hoffman - 12/05/2008

what do you expect from a guy who employ windass as a striker

26. Matt Rowson - 12/05/2008

stephen – unpleasant as Windass is, he’s scored 14 goals this season, more than any of our lot. What’s your point?

Tim – “lloyd was left to mark two men too often”. Agreed. But once is too often. I’m not writing Ainsworth off by any stretch, but he was at fault yesterday. David Ginola got the boot from several clubs for being overweight and not tracking back – and Ainsworth’s hardly in his class (yet). Covering the fullback’s overlap is hardly an optional extra.

As for Shittu, you make him sound like a wise old head? Are you joking? Whatever his qualities – and he has many – dependable, sensible defending has never been one of them.

27. Flippo Galli - 12/05/2008

I’m in a real dilemma now. Should I stay or should I go to Hull?

Having experienced what was served up a few weeks back at the KC makes me think ‘No f**king way’, but the glimmer of hope of a glorious, mad, ecstatic 3-0 win at their place just might – might – turn it.

If there were a situation that AB could thrive on, it’s this one…


28. Simon - 12/05/2008

The strange irony yesterday was that there were times when we almost seemed to over play (much as I was one of the biggest critics of the Bromby long throw form the half way line, we moved in the first half Doyley taking short throws by the corner flag and receiving it back – that, to me is rather flawed given Lloyd’s inability/unwillingness to cross the ball).

In Shittu, I’ve been a bit surprised all season as to how highly he seems to be rated. He’s been either brilliant or dreadful defensively with little in the middle (eg Barnsley away where the 2 he scored cancelled out the two he gave away) and he has been one of a back 4 that tends towards the safety first approach and therefore sucks us into the long ball, battling for scraps game.

For the wingers, my take on this was that both Ainsworth and McAnuff were kept forward as a tactical measure. Both were leaving it very late before dropping back, meaning that both full-backs were, on occasion exposed. The advantage, of course, is that it allows you to break much quicker but it can be high risk as, if the ball is switched quickly (as it was by Garcia) then there’s little margin for error to avoid being overloaded.

That said, the centre-halves positioning for the second was also questionable in my view – you have to ask how Bromby had got himself into a position to deflect the first header onto the bar.

29. Wrighty - 12/05/2008

Tim – If Lionel can track back and tackle then he should, however many games he’s started. If players are to live up to their potential then we should be disappointed if they don’t, especiaaly when they have as much potential as Lionel. I’m not saying he had a bad game, but he showed that their full back was there for the taking and didn’t exploit it. Still there’s always Wednesday for him to do it.
On the Doris front, I wouldn’t start with him, as it seems to annoy him and gives him a point to prove when he comes on (possibly a big gamble to take, but now is the time for gambling)

30. Tim Turner - 12/05/2008

Matt – I just meant that Shittu is an experienced player, old enough to know better. No argument from me about his defending – I suspect he’s been picked mainly for his attacking threat in recent months. Not that there’s been much of that either, since opposing goalies and defenders worked out that if you go down convincingly enough, the ref will assume that big bad Danny fouled you and disallow the goal.

31. Holly68 - 12/05/2008

If we get a goal in first half and go in 1 nil up, Hull will panic

32. Holly68 - 12/05/2008

No to Henderson please,

33. Northern 'Orn - 12/05/2008

Aylesbury ‘Orn: Don’t start me on the empty seat thing. For me it was compunded by the fact that the club wouldn’t sell to anybody without a fan ID. I’m not deliberately a johnny come lately but haven’t been to the Vic for years since we moved away from Watford, the kids came along (and the season ticket was deemed a non essential item…) but I happened to be nearby at the week end, heard that tickets we’re on general sale, got clearance from she who must be obeyed and thought I’d take my 4 year old son along to a ‘big game where grandad used to take daddy to watch football’. So I ring the ticket office and am told that there’ll be no on the day sales and I can’t buy a ticket in advance because I don’t have a fan ID . And then just to add insult to injury we then see hundreds of empty seats on the TV. How are young lads supposed to fall in love with the ‘Orns when their Dad’s aren’t allowed to buy them seats! You’d have thought we could do with the cash! Go figure eh?

34. Back from Hammerau - 12/05/2008

Aidy you heartless b*****d.
Now I’ll be travelling to Hull with a scintilla of hope (despite having been at the KC a few weeks ago) and you’ll cruelly dash it by coming away with a 1-1 draw.

35. Matt Lovett - 12/05/2008

Our best performance since we put Wolves to the sword the week after the FA Cup exit. Shame that Mr Friend looked as if he’d be in his element in the British Gas Midlands League. That Boaz is something though, isn’t he? By some way the best goalkeeping display I’ve seen at the Vic for some while (from an opponent of course!). He was by far the man of the match on the BBCi player rater – really puts into perspective how close we were to doing the business. Strangely none of my colleagues/fellow imbibers at work/the pub took the piss either (as they did after Barnsley, Scunthorpe etc.). The general consensus from the ‘neutrals’ that I’ve spoken to was that Shittu’s goal being disallowed was barking mad, Eustace’s dismissal was bizarre, and Boaz’s save from Sadler was exraordinary. There’s still hope – we had a remarkable away record over the 23 league games. An early goal and who knows? An unlikely position to recover from, but Brown himself as a player has tasted play-off defeat from this ‘winning’ position he now finds himself in…

36. markymark - 12/05/2008

I always thought that Shittu is too erratic.The type of player that will score both ends; score and then get sent off ;or be terrific one minute/week and then shcoking the next minute/week.
Still,I’d rather have him in my team than against his team 🙂

My main worry for Wednesday is us not conceding with 2 powder puffs central midfielders.

Front 4 must be : Smith,Ellington,Priskin,MacAnuff.
Only bring on Henderson if we are desperate later on..

37. Mark - 12/05/2008

It was a very good disaply apart from the defensive errors and Ellington but then things couldn’t get much worse home wise.

Sadly I fear we won’t get 2 goals at Hull who will have a full house behind them and a manager who looks like he will explode on the touchline ( I suspect if they win Mr Brown MIGHT look happy)

More of the same next season and I will feel much more confident than if we keep Henderson up front and carry on with the dull hoofball (which other supporters seem to think we we “enjoy”)

Are you worried that keen players will go though and how much money is there for Aidy (if he does not quit..) to spend?

Crowd was rather disappointing but maybe people just could not be bothered to pay £25 for what may have been more turgid rubbish.

38. Apperley 'Orn - 12/05/2008

I couldn’t disagree more markymark – I have been saying for a while now that our best formation would be a 4-5-1 with Hendo leading the way and Smithy and McAnuff picking up the lay-offs.

Ellington and Priskin are not going to put themselves about enough to pressurise the Hull defence into making early mistakes which, let’s face it, we need.

I don’t subscribe to the view that Hendo is the reason we lump it upfield. It’s more to do with the choices made by the men at the back and big Dan, love him or hate him, is the worst offender in the back 4 when it comes to bad decision making.

39. Pete B - 12/05/2008

Yes, I did enjoy that. And it does make Wednesday much more appealing than it might have been. Why? Because at long long last we have a plan B. Smith in the centre was really quite something.

I can see the McNamee in Ainsworth but I think the latter offers so much more in the medium term.

Phil Brown? I quite liked him until yesterday. And never mind the suit, what were those shoes all about.

Shittu? Lummox. Yes. Demerit and Bromby for me. Shittu on the bench as a super sub if it’s really desperate and we’ve nothing to lose.

Score first on Wednesday and it’s game on. Hell, I remember coming to the Vic in 2006 against Palace and being worried they’d score first. And we had three goals (which thanks to Lee they don’t).

Eustace? Yes, looked like a red card straight away to me. At least the ref thought about it. Dunno why he didn’t book the Hull player though.

40. Matt Rowson - 13/05/2008

Apperley…got to agree. Doris hasn’t been in great form of late but you’ve got to have your big players in for the big games. Doris against Palace in the second leg last time was absolutely ferocious, and heaven knows there’s little enough leadership in the team already. Smith was great “in the hole” but I’d still be tempted to play the same formation with Smith back on the right and Ellington in the role Smith played on Saturday.

Pete – didn’t intend to write off Ainsworth; as you imply, Ainsworth has merely suggested concerns in a couple of games whereas McNamee demonstrated an inability to rectify those same concerns over a number of years. But I’d still have Ainsworth back on the bench on Saturday.

And Shittu? Yes, his decision making is poor. But the need for goals outweighs defensive considerations for me (and only marginal considerations at that – neither Bromby nor Demerit have been faultless and they’re a small pair at CB). Shittu is arguably our only dependable source of goals.

My team would be:







41. Big Tone - 13/05/2008

Generally with you Matt and Apperley although I still think Ellington is a luxury we can’t afford and Doyley has been turned inside way too easily in the last 2 or 3 games. Therefore I’d go 4-5-1:





Wiliamson sits with Eustace (I’ve a feeling that red will go away today) and (the now rested) O’Toole has a free reign to menace from deep without worrying too much about his defensive duties.

But the most important thing on Weds is that whoever lines up where, it’s gotta be a gusty balls out do or die effort from the off. Thin red line stuff – no retreat, prevail or die where we stand.




42. Matt Rowson - 13/05/2008

I can see the O’Toole argument Tone, although I still fancy Ellington in the slightly deeper role. Don’t agree about Doyley though… certainly not for Demerit, who looked ok at RB against a team without wingers but loads of big blokes (Stoke) but would get fried against Hull.

43. Big Tone - 13/05/2008

Hmmm. Maybe not Demerit then, but the second goal on sunday, the Scunthorpe goal and the second palace goal have all happened because Doyley didn’t deal with bread and butter balls down the left side. In my view, once ok, twice well ok, but don’t do it again, but three times? If not demerit, then why not Mariappa, especially if we’ve now finally remembered how to play it along the ground?

I don’t get the Ellington thing, why in a deeper role? I don’t think he’s lost cause. A good pre season and we could have a really useful player on our hands, but for now (and arguably since he arrived), he’s just not been on it.

44. Nick B - 13/05/2008

Two thoughts – Hendo has been a sending off waiting to happen all season, particularly away from home; BIG chance of the same happening tomorrow, given Hull’s mastery of the dark arts, especially as lone striker

And please don’t suggest Bangura returns, he’s been a pale shadow this season and Aidy’s lost confidence in him. We need someone who can pass

45. Stuart - 13/05/2008

Mk Dons anyone?

46. Matt Rowson - 13/05/2008

Nick, were you at Ipswich? Bangura alongside Eustace admittedly but Al was absolutely terrific in what was the team performance of the season for me. Admittedly he was poor in the next home game (can’t remember which) but wouldn’t say he’s a lost cause. Williamson and O’Toole just feels a bit lightweight for me.

Stuart – bugger off.

Tone – all I was thinking was that the formation looked promising on Sunday, and if you’re going to bring back Doris (which I would) then I think Ellington could play the role that Smith played so well, meaning Smith could go out to the right to replace Ainsworth.

47. Big Tone - 13/05/2008

Nick B: No, we need someone who can break the play up and if Eustace is out Bangura is the only real option and as Matt says – he has done well here before.

Matt: Agreed about moving Smudge out to the right again but Ellington doesn’t run!

Stuart: You are a troll and I claim my £5.

48. Nick B - 13/05/2008

Tone – You’re right that we need one destructive midfielder, luckily that’s now Eustace after the FA did the sensible thing, my point was that Bangura is not the fearsome ball winner we once thought he was and is mostly peripheral to the action. I’m not sure if all the publicity didn’t go to his head a bit or whether it’s down to injuries, but I think we promoted him to folk hero a bit hastily in retrospect
Matt – Sure you’re right about Ipswich, but I’m struggling to think of another example in quite a long time

49. Mick G. - 13/05/2008

Eustace back – We’ve had three red cards recinded in just a few months.
Who says things even themselves out over a season?
How much damage does a wrongful dismissal do? – if not actually in terms of points,as it happens, but in terms of putting extra pressure on the poor sods left on the field.

50. Joe Richardson - 13/05/2008

Eustace has had his red card rescinded.

Thankfully for the FA this wasn’t a turning-point in the game, it happened near the end of an otherwise incident-free and unimportant match, otherwise they would probably have to take a long and hard look at the quality of the ref in question.

51. Matt Rowson - 13/05/2008

As the last three comments imply, it does seem that our reputation precedes us and colours interpretations. And that’s without Eustace’s dismissal against Stoke.

Not a lot we can do about it now. Just got to focus the injustice, now effectively conceded, for tomorrow night. It’s going to be a bit tasty…

52. Big Tone - 13/05/2008

Yup, tasty indeed – and do you know what, (although I can’t quite put my finger on why this should be) but for the first time in a very long time, I think that we might just piss on someone’s parade…

53. stephen hoffman - 13/05/2008

what i meant with the windass comment , was there both respectively a good player and a good manager – there’s just nasty pieces of work . it’s like warnock – good manager but a complete wanker -and his embodiment on the pitch shaun derry.

54. stephen hoffman - 13/05/2008

people are forgetting danny is a defender ,a defender’s job is to defend and save goals , not to let goals in and score in the other end – the job of scoring in the other end is a striker – and i didn’t think shittu was a striker . as for henderson it is plainly the reason why we lump it up -when we had kabba and ellington against coventry -for the first half hour we played it on the floor , bromby and shittu have both been hoofing in recent weeks and what do you know hey presto hendo’s not playing and they both keep it on the ground -danny’s errors against hull had nothing to do with hoofing.

55. petebradshaw - 13/05/2008

“KEEP ON PUSHING” – can’t help thinking the website headline is a tad ironic… hopefully Bromby won’t be doing that when Shittu heads in after ten minutes. Hopefully Eustace won’t be doing it either. Bring on tomorrow… you gotta love football…

56. Esp - 13/05/2008

Matt wrote:

“Whatever his qualities (Shittu) – and he has many – dependable, sensible defending has never been one of them.”

Which makes it even more extraordinary then that he got into the PFA Championship Team of the Season, I must admith that my son thought the awatd was well deserved but I was gobsmacked.

Smithy should have been in it but obviously the powers that be decided that another right winger deserved the accolade more

Shittu isn’t even OUR best centre back let alone the whole leagues’

It was obviously down to him being both likeable to his fellow professionals (not a bad thing in itself) and his goal scoring

BUT when he goes AWOL as he and Doyley did too frequently this season we let goals in – and if some of those easily shipped in goals had have been defended properly we would not have pissed away those 9 points and we wouldn’t now be chewing our nails about tomorrow night in Hull

57. Stuart - 14/05/2008

ha ha I am a troll! I don’t live under a bridge though so how can I be? I’m more of a wind up merchant I think.

So 0-2 down with the next leg only a few hours away now, can we do it? Of course we can, come on you ‘ornnnnnnnssssssss!!

58. NRC - 14/05/2008

Pete – similarly the use of a picture of Hendo alongside the caption ‘Don’t miss a thing’ since after the Blackpool game …

59. Hornetboy84 - 14/05/2008


Agree with Ellington role. He CAN make us play.
I thought his overall contribution was strong on Sunday. If he can add the goals at some point (which he is capable of despite the lack of WFC evidence) then he can help us be a better team

Eustace overturn makes my blood boil. Clearly shows the referee was out of his depth (some would say shockingly one-sided) and we had momentum that looked like getting us at least 1 goal and then game on. i hope we can channel this into a positive momentum tonight.

So – does that make 5 sendings off this season 3 of which have been over-turned. Conspiracy!

I suggest a new team anthem …. “No-one likes us! No one likes us ….etc”

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