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Watford 1 Charlton Athletic 0 (16/08/2008) 16/08/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from the win over the Addicks

1- New passing game, new passing formation. Fine. But the real benefit thus far has been the protection afforded the defence. It speaks volumes that on a day when John Eustace was below par, Charlton rarely got more than a sniff – having Eustace and Williamson, fantastic today, as two sitting midfielders makes us a whole lot more secure. It does ask a lot of the four attacking players though (4-3-3 my arse). Speaking of whom….

2- We could perhaps do with Tommy Smith developing a minor inconsequential injury until the end of August. Failing that, we just hope that nobody of any relevance is watching. Man of the match, again.

3- Unlike Kelly Youga. Jaysus. For the second season running he puts in an early pitch for “worst opponent of the season”… you kinda feel that the Addicks got the better deal when he was shown red. “Advantage. referee….?”

4- Big Greg. Another one of Tamas’ better performances, but our attacks suddenly had glue and purpose when the new signing took his place and we looked like scoring goals, lots of goals, for the first time this season – albeit against a tiring ten men. Misery guts next to me shifted awkwardly in his seat, remembering Nathan Ellington’s encouraging debut. Boo hiss to him.

5- Even the turnstiles worked. Maybe it’s all going to be ok…


1. Albert Tatlock - 16/08/2008

An enjoyable day at the office today. Four points from the first couple of league games and a promising Carling Cup performance are good omens for the season ahead.

Even a grumpy old git like me left Vicarage Road with a smile on my face.

Come on

2. Kris - 16/08/2008

3 clean sheets and two goals scored speaks volumes. But apparently we’re pleasing to the eye? Aidy needs to nail Noddy to the floor till Sep. 1st.

3. Paul - 17/08/2008

Could not be at the match so it’s good to hear things went well and that we have started the season positively. Thanks for the review.

4. Red - 17/08/2008

Hooray, I really enjoyed yesterday- just like watching Brazil. How long is it since I have heard the fans cheer for each completed pass-I think it got up to seven, nevermind the goal was pure route one stuff. Would I tell people to go to Watford to see football? On this one performance yes! AND we didnt kick the ball out from the kick-off. The future is yellow.

5. Aylesbury 'Orn - 17/08/2008

Hugely encouraging performance. Lloyd looked composed when in possession, Macanuff and Smith remain a defender’s nightmare and Eustace and Williamson were impressive in the middle. Cannot fault anyone.

6. Apperley 'Orn - 17/08/2008

Great day out yesterday, very assured performances all round I thought, with special mention for Jay Demerit and Lloyd Doyley, who I thought were both superb (and barely a sliced kick into touch all afternoon from the right back).

However, one thing is for absolute certain – I will not relax until September comes and Tommy Smith is still wearing the yellow shirt. That man is, for me, rapidly turning into a legend. I don’t think I’ve seen so much ground covered by a Watford player since Nicky Wright graced our shores, the only difference being that Smithy never seemed to run out of steam!

Rasiak – fantastic signing on paper and the 20 or so minutes on the pitch yesterday suggest that the reality could be much the same. He may not be the quickest but he has a lovely first touch and eyes in the back of his head. It was clear that with him up top we looked infintely more likely to score.

Brilliant stuff, a very pleasant surprise, and my 5 year old daughter has a 100% record (2 games, 2 wins). Shame she can’t come along every week!

7. Matt Lovett - 17/08/2008

Good result, and an encouraging performance. Should really have buried them in the second half, but I’m sure that will come once Rasiak settles in. He looks a bit of an inspired signing, assuming the Gaffer can keep him motivated. Disappointing crowd though, especially the Charlton contingent. I can understand why anybody would have a problem with the Palarse, but to relentlessy ask your mates to stand up on the basis of hating them does grate after a while…

8. Johnny Boy - 18/08/2008

Good game and nothing really to add to the points all ready made except to add to your point 2 Matt that Tommy did seem to be holding his groin towards the end so maybe he’s creating his own ‘inconsequential injury ‘.
Felt that Jay looked good as a leader, keeping the back four in line with a few choice words now and then.
How you East Stand expatriates finding the lower Rous – personally like the extra leg room and modern catering facilities but seat is fairly low down which is taking some getting used to.

9. Harefield Hornet - 18/08/2008

The departure of one or two big time Charlies does seem to have galvanised the rest of the squad and with the new boy showing promise things now dont seem anything as gloomy as we might have expected. Still, its very early days and we could do with some more experienced cover for the centre of defence in case we lose one of the current two (who were both excellent). If we can achieve this and hang on to Smithy I dont think a top ten finish is beyond hope. John Harley was the nuts – great entertainment! I am actually looking forward forward to the next home game and I havent been able to think/say that for a while!

10. Esp - 18/08/2008

Although the crowd was small Matt I think the “stay-aways” and johnny come lately’s will be back once word spreads around Watford that our home form has improved.
We now have a terrific backbone running through the side with Bromby and Demerit having a superb understanding, Eustace and Williamson as a solid midfield pairing and Harley and Smith on either flank working their stuff. Not crossers of the ball as good as Ashley imho but if Rasiak, Hoskins and eventually Priskin can start creating chances of their own we may not need to rely on the pin point accuracy of the wingers’ dead ball crosses.
We also have 3 interchangeable goalies having played in the last 4 matches who all look good and, crucially, have earned the defences’ confidence in them.
Nearly 6 hours of competitive football without conceding tells it’s own story and the £48 I paid in the Buzz store to put a number 12 and Doyley’s name on the back of my new home kit shirt will be money well spent (if Simpson doesn’t force Aidy to sell him!)

11. Apperley 'Orn - 18/08/2008

Surely it was Harley and McAnuff on the flanks Esp? Smithy was playing in the “hole” behind Priskin/Rasiak. Having said that he seemed to pop up just about everywhere so I can understand why you might have thought he was playing out wide!

12. Old Git - 18/08/2008

Although we all loved Big Doris and Big Dan, it has become apparent that they were actually part of the problem. They were both blunt instruments who had too much influence on the way the team played. And is it just me, or did Damien Francis put in his best display in a Watford shirt, even though he was only on the pitch for 15 minutes?

13. Esp - 18/08/2008

Just a quick(ish) reply to Johnny Boy – as an expatriate East Stander I have found my vantage point (and leg room) a lot better than I thought matey
The ticket office did tell me and Paul Jr that we could choose another pair if we were unhappy but we are on an aisle, as before, and 8 rows back (I was worried when I read “Row D” on my card but there were some double lettered rows such as AA and BB so I’m really happy and the club have been accommodating.
Mind you I am jealous of the Rookery Bars’ Sky TV monitors which I winessed at the CC match but I guess the Lower Rous won’t be getting them as the club may assume we can all read the giant screen in the north west corner.
Finally before anyone corrects my message of yesterday the “6 hours of competitive football without conceding” I referred to is from the 2nd minute of the Blackpool match (which was of course our last “proper” league match) plus THIS seasons’ 3 games.
I have conveniently overlooked the Hull play off matches for statistical purposes (which we only played of course to try out our new wonderful “total” football stylie). Phil Brown’s tan, the KC stadium and Dean Windass were just in a bad dream we had which we have now all fully recovered from 🙂

14. Tapps - 19/08/2008

Another East stand expat here. Like the leg room, facilities and knowing I’ll never have the sun in my eyes again (unless Sky one day make us kick off at 8 o’clock in the morning). Don’t like the elevation (Row B) and the bloody linesman keep stopping right in my view of the action!

Enjoyed the two home games so far and agree with the other poster who said Shitts & Doris were part of the problem even if they were good fun a lot of the time.

I was really hoping Tamas would step up to the mark as I’ve been a defender of his since day one, but Saturday made me think he just doesn’t quite have it……hope I’m wrong.

15. Matt Rowson - 19/08/2008

The thing to remember about Priskin is that he’s only 22. The same age as Hoskins and Mariappa… and in a foreign country from a young age. He is immensely frustrating, but he does HAVE something and is worth persvering with. Worth bearing in mind also that tall blokes don’t often develop physically until relatively late – one of Graham Taylor’s hobbyhorses. Takes a while for the back muscles to catch up with the height spurt (witness Ross Jenkins Sr, Peter Crouch).

That said, I’m glad we’ve got Rasiak… having someone to work on isn’t the same as forcing him in as first choice.

16. East Stand Man Expat - 19/08/2008

Some random thoughts from the Crystal Palace and Charlton games

Jay Demerit back to his former self. I assume that’s either because he is captain again or he just did not gel with Big Danny. Probably a big pat on the back for Aidy Boothroyd to remotivate him

What has happened to JohnJoe ? With Lee Williamson playing out of his skin it may be some time before he sees first team action again.

Mention also to Mart Poom – OK he has not had much to do but looks much more solid than last season. Interesting to note that Poom made the outstanding League X1 of the week which is suprising as the stats reckon that Charlton did not have a shot on goal…..

Speaking of which who comes up with the Stats especially the goal efforts both on and off target and percentage of play. Sometimes I think they must be watching another game.

Both Charlton and Palace looked very ordinary. We will face much tougher tests.

Agree with Old Git about Hendo and Shittu though when it comes to Damien Francis I remember him playing a blinder in his first home appearance against West Ham in the prem then it all went down hill.

It’s looking good in a kinda minor way. At least the football is worth watching even though the one goal in 180 minutes was so totally route one!

17. Esp - 19/08/2008

Old Git – If Big Dan was part of the problem I’ll take the problem AND the crucial goals he scored for us.
As Matt has correctly pointed out elsewhere it was the overall quality that was the problem and in that statement he was referring to more than Dan and Doris. Our direct game did win us lots of points and ensured we were top longer than any other team remember!
Although the new style is paying dividends at the moment the main thing that will boost confidence and bring out the quality that is obviously there (Smith, Bromby, Demerit, McAnuff…) will be a settled and injury free side and this season we can also do without players telling Aidy they are better than they really are and wanting to leave!

18. DW - 19/08/2008

For me, more pleasing than anything is the sense of fun returning to match days at the Vic. I’ve enjoyed both games so far, particularly the performance of Llyod who I feared was on his way out of the club and Tommy who must be one of the top 5 players outside of the Prem. There was much talk before the Palace away game that we were nailed on certainties for relegation and whilst that was/is wide of the mark, expectations of a top 6 finish I feel should remain a hope rather than expectation. I agree with the comments on Priskin, he is so diffident at times it’s hard to bond with him but he has something and could yet be another of those players who from un-promising beginings develop in to decent players like Jenkins, Richard Johnson and Tim Sherwood.

19. Jonathon - 20/08/2008

Another East Stand ex-pat.

The LR seat I’ve got, is pretty damned good. Towards the Rookery, and back row of the lower tier, and right in front of a food bar, great seats.!!

Harley impressed me with his rugby tackle, and then protestation. Very nice.

Tamas has come on leaps and bounds since the prem, in my opinion…

20. Old Git - 20/08/2008

Esp…I will remember Big Dan with great affection. One incident from last season in particular still has me laughing. With barely the slightest movement of one of those tree-trunks he called thighs, he sent Scunthorpe’s crop-headed psycho Martin Patterson simply flying. I can still see the expression of bemusement on his face before he hit the ground. Bless! And yes, granted, Dan did score a fair few goals.
However, a central defensive pairing has to be a partnership and Big Dan never seemed able to bond with a partner, whereas Demerit and Bromby do seem to have got something going together.

21. NRC - 20/08/2008

East End Stand Man expat – JJOT spotted in the lower reaches of the Rookery with someone I assume was his Dad/Uncle/Grandad – didn’t look best chuffed.

As an East Stand expat too am taking opportunity to sample different parts of the ground and tried far right third of the way up of the Rookery – same quality of seats but enjoyed the view. Mat try LR after all these glowing reports!

22. Esp - 20/08/2008

Jonathan please contact me off site at esphornet@btinternet.com as I think my new seat is very close to you (I’m Row D – 148 I think, without looking)..Rookery side of the half way line anyway.
I can introduce you to Rob Horne who is a wml regular too. BHaPPY can be an introduction site for East Stand ex-pat’s – something Messrs Rowson & Grant never envisaged I’ll bet! Marvelous!!

23. Dave Hart - 21/08/2008

Those considering sitting in the LR should try to get a seat in at least row C (going back to row O), preferably a row or two back even further. Otherwise you will have the white wall blocking most of your view. Row AA is at the front. I get a good view from row E.

24. tet - 23/08/2008

NRC- I saw JJOT walking into the ground looking as miserable as sin. He played in pre season friendly at Tring and I’m sorry to say he looked by far the worse player on the pitch. He looks to of lost some confidence, maybe he’ll play on Tuesday and prove me wrong.

25. ramsgate horn - 24/08/2008

Written after forest, some comments on the season so far; 1 attended Charlton game, had a good day a fine performance Smith was excellent only Nicky Weaver stopped us scoring a hatful in the second half. 2 mentions for Harley who was again useful WILLIAMSON who grafted, DOYLEY who has made a steady start to the campaign, and whom i hope doesnt leave, SMITH scored again yesterday making it 3 in 3 he is buzzing at the moment we cant afford to let him go and im sure Boothroyd doesnt want to sell him. 3 even taking into account yesterdays defeat at forest, its still a better start than expected given pre season form, hope RASIAK settles he looked good against Charlton would like to see HOSKINS included PRISKIN skilfull but fades out of games badly needs a goal but agree he has something.

26. NRC - 26/08/2008

tet – well he did play and look what happened! Maybe it’ll cheer him up?!

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