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Watford 3 Queens Park Rangers 0 (22/11/2008) 23/11/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Five thunks from a much needed win over QPR

1- Not that our on-pitch problems have gone away, naturally (see point 2).  But how’s that for a bit of perspective.  For all that watching our team in recent weeks has been a bit like building a house of cards on a draughty window sill, we’ve never looked as utterly lamentable as QPR did this afternoon.  Great big holes in the defence?  Check.  Fanny football, no penetration?  Check (no need for that Vialli appointment after all, then).  Prima donnas flouncing around not wanting to be there?  Check.  Suspicion that whoever’s picking the signings from Italy isn’t quite the spotter that he fancies himself to be?  Check. Suggestion of deeper problems that you wouldn’t even wish on the likes of QPR ?  Check, check, check.  You’re well out of that lot, Heidar.

2- …but for all that Scott Loach dealt with what he had to deal with welcome assuredness, particularly in the second half, our defence’s performance in the first half suggested that there are pratfalls still there waiting to happen.  Fortunately today they proved utterly academic. 

3- Lee Williamson.  Terrific again;  if Jenkins can last the pace we have a central midfield that suddenly looks quite convincing. 

4- Within minutes in the first half, the somewhat redundant “Simpson out” chants, and the identification of a play-off winning captain as a “Watford reject”.  Wonder how many perpetrators were common to both insights… perhaps you could all wear clown outfits in future?

5-  Fitz Hall.  After two soft red cards and a punch-up in a play-off exit on his last three visits with three different clubs, Vicarage Road doesn’t seem like a lucky venue for “One Size”.  Hey ho.


1. JohnF - 23/11/2008

On a miserably cold day, the Vic felt like a haven of summer, excepting that one swallow doesn’t make one. Still, I’ll take that for a start. It looked a better balanced and certainly more confident team with a lot of good performances. I particularly liked Lloyd Doyley getting caught offside, go Lloyd. The majority of players played well most of the time and Tamas Priskin was worth singling out for the way he held up the ball and he linked well with Tommy Smith who was tireless. However, QPR were awful and defensively we still managed to look vulnerable at times. The marking left a lot to be desired on a few occasions and that needs to be dealt with. I can’tbelieve that Ross Jenkins is only 17 and what a difference a Loach makes. Mid-table would be good so a few more wins and draws and who knows? I am glad that the youngsters are coming through because unless there is a takeover we seriously need to cut the wage bill for next season, unless some of the moaners are prepared to support a massive hike in ticket prices and pay them. Trouble is I don’t think many people would be prepared to do that. First time in weeks I don’t want to miss the Championship on Sunday morning.

2. Dan - 23/11/2008

Agree with your view on the back of the Rookery. How embarrassing. If I sat any closer to them, I would have to insist on a seat move. Brain dead, the lot of them.

3. Red - 23/11/2008

Why did QPR turn up to play a pre-season friendly at this time of year? I have never seen such a lack of interest from a visiting team, no effort at all. How is it that they are where they are, and we are where we are? For all those cleverer than me, when was the last time we scored three at the Vicarage Road end?

4. Matt Rowson - 23/11/2008

JohnF – completely agree about Priskin in particular.

Red – it was against Coventry, but I’m not sure when. In the play-off season we won 4-0 here and scored 3 second half goals. I can’t remember the game at all… one assumes that these were in front of the Rookery but maybe not. Otherwise it was the 5-2 win in August 2002.

5. scotshorn - 23/11/2008

Best performance since Coventry away last season ?

All round good performance but special mention to Loach who looks the part – nothing flash but safe and secure

Priskin !! whatever he had for lunch – give it to him again – his best game so far for the Orns

6. Weymouth 'Orn - 23/11/2008

I see on the B.B.C.tonight that Brendon Whatever- his- name- is is in the frame to be named Manager this week.
Is it that the Chairman likes plucking his managers from obscurity?
Will it work twice?
And isn’t this a trifle harsh on Malky??

7. Harefield Hornet - 24/11/2008

For Hornets like myself (and there is an awful lot of us) who live over the border in Middlesex, this game is as, if not more, important than the old matches against L**on.

Most of us know stacks of QPR fans and we’ve had to endure more than out fair share of annoying gloating since the takeover. Friday was made even more uncomfortable by the news that HHr was due to feature for them on Saturday. What a relief when he wasn’t even on the bench!

Mind you, after what followed I dont think he would have made any difference at all……GOD they were awful”!

I like the look of the new appointment, particularly the connections with his fomer club and bringing in Frank Lampard Snr, who didn’t put many feet wrong during his long career. Mackay also stays – so it looks pretty promising all round.

As ever of course – they’ll only be judged on their results.

Come On You Horns!!!!!!!!!!!!1

8. Paul G - 24/11/2008

Was nice to hear that the majority of people welcomed Gavin Mahon back even though there were a few who had to boo him. Priskin looked more like the player we have hoped he will be and I hope he continues to improve. We still need to tighten things up a bit at the back and Mahon should have put his two headers on target at least but I still think we have the players to get us away from the relegation zone.

9. the real DL - 24/11/2008

An astonishing performance from Williamson on Saturday. especially in the first half: everything you could want from a central midfielder at this level. Agree with you, Matt: his freedom to dictate play came from the protection given to him by Jenkins, who was also excellent.

10. Esp - 24/11/2008

Lots of the above BHaPPY subscribers single out Priskin for praise and I agree his linking up with Smith was excellent and turned the 4-4-1-1 into a neatly effective 4-4-2 for long periods

However I think Mark Tallentire in the Grauniad this morning was being a tad over generous making him MotM – surely Williamson, Demerit, Ward or our attacking threat (!) Doyley deserved that accolade – oh, alright that last bit was a joke

Indeed both Darren Ward and Lee Williamson were in the NotW’s team of the Week

Have you heard my Championship joke btw? – An Englishman, Irishman and a Scotsman are sat in a dugout, when…….(You can make the rest up yourselves!)

Finally the Grauniad ALSO wrongly captioned “Darren Ward climbs above QPR’s Patrick Agyemang” below a huge 12 inch deep x 2 column wide photo of Jay DeMerit and the aforementioned Rangers man on page 9 – god to see them keeping up their high standards of football reporting and captioning

11. Johnny Boy - 24/11/2008

So, we definitely have a board who believe in lighting striking twice . A young, reserve team manager who is going to come in and take us into the premiership—— fingers crossed. He does seem to be making the right noises with the appointment of Frank Lampard senior, older mentor etc and the retention of Malky, who might become a minor legend should the boys win at Bristol City tomorrow. My only worries are the last Chelsea connection, a certain balding Italian, and what style the new man adopts remembering that the Mourinho’s chelsea was not a particularly attractive team and, despite the ups and downs, I like the current style. One thing I am sure of is that should he appoint a certain balding englishman who answers to the name Butch, we’re shafted.

12. DM - 24/11/2008

Brendan Rodgers eh ? As much as this smacks of trying to re-create the initial success of Aidy Boothroyd, I think the position the club is in makes this another bold choice by Graham Simpson et al. Can we afford a rookie manager making mistakes given where we are in the table ? Only time will tell, but a proven manager, able to put a steady hand on the tiller would have been a more comfortable fit for me, rather than another ambitious young manager. That said, Frank Lampard Sr’s involvement is welcome. Though it remains to be seen how much of a role he will play, he is respected and very well connected. Can we expect a few useful loans from Chelsea/Spurs ?

Interesting times.

13. Esp - 24/11/2008

Johnny Boy wrote: “My only worries are the last Chelsea connection”
There is also a Watford connection with our 3 new coaching appointments as Austin was on our books (as 14 year old) before going to St Albans City and Southend; it’s always nice to see old players returning….Smith and Brown in recent history

14. Esp - 25/11/2008

The last time Watford scored 3 goals in the first half of a match (and won) was on 5th April 2003 in the infamous 4-7 riot at Turf Moor which 50,000 Watford away fans witnessed (!)
To save you looking it up we were 4-2 in front by the half time whistle

15. plbaxter - 25/11/2008

It was actually 5-4 to us at half time. I remember telling my son that it was going to be a boring 0-0 before I left for the match!

16. Esp - 25/11/2008

Sorry for my Grauniad slip above we did of course score 3 goals away at Southampton as someone has pointed out (and I photographed the bloody scoreboard too!!) – I am NOT the new Trefor Jones btw 🙂

The last time we scored 3 at HOME and won was in Divison One on 2nd January 2001 versus Wimbledon (a side that included Damien Francis, Ardley and Gayle) our scorers were Mooney (2) and GNW. However Wimbledon did score a goal so the first half margin was only 2 goals

The last time we scored 3 in the first half and retained that margin up to the half time whistle was again in League Division One but much earlier on 21st November 1998.
GNW (2) and Bazeley were the scorers, we jumped to 2nd spot as a result and ig reported afterwards: “GT has somehow recaptured that immense, heart-pumping, gut-wrenching feeling of get-the-hell-out-of-our-way purpose that served us so well before….a team of no stars but many jewels. Rejoice.”

Thanks as ever to the BSaD archive for the research material

17. Matt Rowson - 25/11/2008

esp, I’m not sure who you’re having this conversation with, but point 16 is wrong (see comment 4 above)

18. Back from Hammerau - 25/11/2008

The way I look at our play-off semi-final against Crystal Palace, we were 3-0 up at half time (after 90 minutes) and there were no more goals in the second half.

19. GraemeB - 25/11/2008

Can anyone explain why Hoskins and JJOT suddenly seem out of favour? True Priskin had a good game and Jenkins looks a fine prospect. But considering the excellent form of the aforementioned duo, I should think they are feeling somewhat aggrieved to be dropped down the pecking order.

20. Weymouth 'Orn - 25/11/2008

Back from Hammerau
……..But that was an away game………. We were at home on Saturday!
Or are you saying that “game of two halves” has taken on a new dimension in that the two halves are now to be played on different grounds??

21. Sequel - 25/11/2008

Let’s hear it for Buck Rogers. He’s even brought his grey, metallic sidekick with him. Boogie, boogie!

22. Matt Rowson - 26/11/2008

GraemeB… John Joe has done well, but the midfield suddenly looks sorted with Jenkins sitting in there. For all his goals, we’ve rarely looked as settled with John Joe in the side.

23. Big Tone - 26/11/2008

Sequel, I hate to be a pedant, but I think you’ll find that Buck Rodgers sidekick Twiki said “bidi-bidi-bidi”.

I can’t quite believe I know this sort of useless drivel but ‘Boogie boogie boogie’ was Metal Mickey’s catchphrase I believe.

I’m off for an atomic thunderbuster and a lie down…

24. DM - 26/11/2008

Re:Jenkins – His inclusion has made a huge difference in midfield. He’s made Eustace look old and lumpy, while making O’Toole look a bit one-dimensional. Add in a sensational upturn in Williamson’s already pretty decent form and hey presto – a fully functioning midfield pairing for the first time since Mahon and Spring. The improvement in Watford’s defensive performances is no co-incidence.

Now, if we could find a centre half that can orgnaise the other defenders a bit better, we’ll be mid table before you can say Buck Rogers.

25. the real DL - 26/11/2008
26. Dai_Crwban - 26/11/2008

Maybe JJOT has been sold and part of the deal is not playing him every week?

27. Esp - 26/11/2008

The midfield certainly seems more settled and as JJ is neither an effective defensive midfielder OR a holding midfielder and, to my mind not a brilliant tackler he is a luxury we can do without but handy to have on the bench

In that 8 day spell recently when he scored goals in 3 consecutive games (a reserve match, league game and a Cup match) I think on at least one of those occasions he came on from the bench to score and I do give him credit for picking up the pace of a game very quickly

If we play the midfield that Mackay likes to play and only one up front (TP) with Smith just behind in a linking roll there is just no place for Hoskins in the side, it remains to be seen if Buck sees things differently of course

Finally some fawning praise for the BHaPPY editor who, at a time when most Watford fans were saying that Priskin was lightweight, would never come good and should be sold he was constantly singing his praises so Matt – are you happy to be proved right?

28. Matt Rowson - 26/11/2008

I’ll be proved right when he starts popping a few more goals in too…

29. Sequel - 26/11/2008

Big Tone, I stand corrected (as I do when wearing orthopaedic shoes).

30. markymark - 29/11/2008

A truly Godawful Vialliesque performance today.Not impressive Rodgers!!!

2 shots in 90 minutes at home to the bottom team.
Why try to play like Chelsea/Chelsea reserves with the play we have at the club.
Why play Jenkins and Harley at full back when they have been doing fine at midfield.
The bench was one the worst Ican remember : Lee,Doyley,Robinson,Henderson,O’Toole.
Rasiak is far better than Robinson and Henderson.

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