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Watford 2 Norwich City 1 (10/12/2008) 10/12/2008

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from the win over Norwich

1- Yeah, I know.  A win.  Any win.  But good god.  Norwich were poor, and yet we were fortunate to come away with three points.

2- I know I made this point in the Spurs thunks… but can we have a little bit of oomph please?  Some welly?  Some aggro?  Would it be worth wheeling Tommy Mooney back from Marbella just to wander around shouting at people?  And giving it some when the ball came into range?  Or any opponent?  Or anyone at all? Or to find Colin Foster, prop him up in the penalty area and just have him head and booter the ball whenever it came near him.  Make it look a little bit brutal.  I don’t want to watch bloody embroidery.

3- Big respec’ to Leigh Bromby for something resembling a defensive performance, something the side’s been lacking of late.  But you’d sooner have him OR Mariappa alongside Colin Foster (see above)

4- Leroy Lita looked as if he was on detention.  Or doing lines or something.

5- We aren’t half going to miss Smudger.


1. The Great Big O - 11/12/2008

That was the kind of undeserved win struggling teams sometimes steal away from home. Norwich had more possession, more shots, more corners.. while we continued our very high conversion rate of chances into goals. I agree we’re pretty punchless. And uncreative too. Only when Tommy gets the ball does it feel like we’re truly in possession.

Feels like John Joe could do with a full 90 to give us the welly, inspiration and momentum we need.

2. JohnF - 11/12/2008

Not enjoyable really but relief at 3 points. Roeder shouldn’t kid himself that Norwich played well, we played badly. However, Brendan Rogers seems to have learned his lessons quickly and is now trying to change things gradually within the capabilities of the players he has. One key problem was that our two fullbacks last night were awful and the midfield dropped deeper and deeper to help the defence. Considering the bombardment the central defensive pairing did well even with the lack of height. We also suufered from the lack of height in the midfield. The changes were made to address the problems and seemed to be effective.
Young Parkes surely can’t be worse than Saddler and is Avinel progressing at all? No joy from the officials so that’s a change then.

3. Kris - 11/12/2008

Ad point 5. With Smith’s history in mind, for him to come back and become the key to our success is a fantastic achievement. It seems he’s far better now than he was when he first left.

I really can’t see us keeping him past January no matter how much he wants to stay. And anyway, I can’t help thinking he’s too good to play for us.

4. Jamie - 11/12/2008

That has to be the poorest Norwich side I have ever seen. I used to watch them a lot in the late 1980s and early 90s and even in recent years they have always had a face or two to fear. This was limp stuff and I’m glad we sneaked the win.

Thought Sadler played well last night. His performance for months until he ran out of steam.

Agree though, some bite, some anger, some harrying would be nice. It gets the players going and also the crowd. Perhaps we need a super sub…

5. Sirhornet - 11/12/2008

Leroy Lita = poor man’s Clinton Morrison.

The interesting thing about last night was Brendan’s willingness to use his subs and change the formation to suit the game, something which never seemed to be a strength of his predecessor. For all their posession, Norwich never really looked like scoring in the last 20 minutes so Brendan can take some credit. Let’s be honest if it was a lucky win, so be it, it’s about time something went in our favour.

Also even though it happened in front of me, can anyone explain why Williamson was booked?

6. Matt Rowson - 11/12/2008

Sorry JohnF, I’m with Jamie. Sadler did well, particularly in the first half, and whilst Lloydy’s never going to be the most comfortable ball-playing full back he didn’t do too badly last night.

All of the back four are reasonable defenders. The central problem is that there’s no leadership, no organising from anywhere, although Mariappa was at least talking last night.

Sirhornet – I didn’t see the booking… ig commented early on that it was a bad sign that we were discussing exactly what colour Norwich’s shirts were as early as five minutes in. But someone behind me said it was for persistent fouling.

7. Johnny Boy - 11/12/2008

Yes we did need that win and one against Coventry would not go amiss to get us back on track.
Essentially last nights team was the same as Saturdays against Birmingham but didn’t play as well. Having had the dubious pleasure of attending last Saturdays game curtesy of a friend who had a spare season ticket it was interesting to get another perspective. Their concern when only 2-1 up that we would come back – said in that distinctive west midlands accent -‘ooohhh I’m worried’ etc. Lloyd had a good game as did Sadler and on the whole Watford performed better than last night.
Regards Tommy – the two teams I’ve heard talk about are Bolton and Stoke – would you move there? Interesting that Tommy is now back playing inside forward, where he started all those years ago under GT’s second phase as manager
Agree Matt that Rodgers does use his subs – thought it was noticeable that Roeder didn’t.
What happened to ‘mouthy twat Bridnutt’ – hasn’t said a word since his debut, lets have him back

8. Esp - 11/12/2008

We scored first which was pretty par for the course of course but we didn’t concede soon after which is a plus point

Very little other positives (apart from the result of course) and Ted is far from there with his preferred formation – I thought Bridcutt was very average and maybe we will NOT be creating the team around him from now as he was subbed for the second time which is good – but Williamson out wide??? I don’t think so, he plays so much better in the centre
Bridcutt does not NEED to play where is currently and he would do well to switch to full back where we are desperately short of talent imho – much as it pains me to say it I don’t think twed should be playing Doyley at all, his confidence levels are desperately low surprisingly
Rodgers himself said that we played poorly last night and I think under him AND Malky we have played a lot lot better but Roeder was even more accurate when he descrobed the result as “daylight robbery”; Narch didn’t beat us, they beat themselves

Loach 7
Doyley 4 (awful,always losing possession)
Sadler 5
Bromby 8
Mariappa 5
Jenkins 5
Williamson 6 (played out of his favoured position)
Smith 8
Bridcutt 6 (wondered if he was playing in the first half)
Harley 7
Priskin 7

O’Toole 6 (almost rescued the most boring 2nd half of the season)
Eustace 5

9. stephen hoffman - 11/12/2008

im happy we won ugly , plenty of times this season we’ve been the better sides in the game , but because of awful defending we’ve lost – how many games can you say we’ve been thrashed in – i think one . So it makes a change to have a strong defensive performance -even it means our attacking was less flamboyant.

I still dont understand why rodgers plays williamson out on the right – why he is our best central midfielder and was playing some really good football so to accomodate bridcutt who is way to inexperienced and not on a patch on williamson and puts him into the centre.

Also i think bromby had only a couple of bad games this season and was unlucky to be dropped.

I have to disagree with lloyd having a good game once again his distribution wasn’t great and his positioning was at sea.

10. stephen hoffman - 11/12/2008

i thought bromby provided leadership last night .

11. DW - 11/12/2008

1. Bridcut is not as good as Jenkins and williamson in centre midfield. Williamson only looks good when he comes off the wing, I do hope he can start in the middle on Saturday.

2. For all of Betty’s bad buy’s we have now sold King, Henderson, Shittu and (come January) Smith (let’s guess £2.5m) at a considerable profit and this excludes Malky and Foster. These players have been sold on at a greater value than the cost of the flops in Ellington, Jobi, Eustace, Sadler and Jackson.

3. Bromby and despite his inclusion on my list above, Sadler were good last night, they both need to have another good game on Saturday.

4. Not a great atmosphere but another good gate at this time of year in this climate.

5. any news on Burkinshaw?

12. DM - 11/12/2008

The solution to this “give it a bit of welly” stuff is a simple one, and playing out of position on the right wing. Williamson has been excellent this season, without him in the centre we lack the energy to win a 50/50 ball. This, for me, is the biggest tactcial worry about Ted so far – two holding central midfielders that sit off the opposition is a recipe for disaster at this level. A lesson Ted has to learn if we’re to move forward.

13. Back from Hammerau - 11/12/2008

Not the most enjoyable of games. Every time Norwich had the ball in our half I worried they might score.
Looks to me like BR is getting to know the players and realise their limitations and strengths. Certainly seems to have made a difference to Priskin.
If we’re playing them together, I prefer Doyley in the middle and Mariappa on the right.

14. James - 11/12/2008

I though Sadler was pretty terrible last night. He didn’t make any horrendous errors, and his passing was ok, but every time the ball came down that side the winger just went straight past him without even trying. I think Sadler made one tackle in the whole game, about five minutes before the end. He just doesn’t seem to have the confidence to put a foot in, and he doesn’t have the pace to keep up with his winger and force him into the corner.

Doyley struggled as well. He kept getting caught too far from his man and could stop the crosses coming in.

Overall I don’t really think Norwich dominated as much many of the reports have suggested. They certainly had more possession and put hundreds of balls into the box (surely a clear sign our full-backs were struggling), but they didn’t create many clear cut chances. Whereas we looked like we could score every time we went forward, and had three penalty shouts towards the end.

Oh and Williamson’s booking was well deserved. It was for four late challenges in quick succession. I think two were given as fouls and two played advantage.

15. James - 11/12/2008

Damn it. I wish it were possible to edit these posts.
This line should have read:
“Doyley struggled as well. He kept getting caught too far from his man and could NOT stop the crosses coming in.”

16. DL - 11/12/2008

“Also even though it happened in front of me, can anyone explain why Williamson was booked?”

He hacked down one of their players in the run-up to what culminated in a corner. Late challenge which only passed the ball forward anyway.

The ref played advantage and then booked him once their attack broke down.

17. DL - 11/12/2008

Just saw James’ post before mine. I didn’t see the other offences (wengeritus) but he deserved a booking for the last challenge alone.

18. Lesley-Anne - 11/12/2008

I thought Sadler actually played quite well last night, certainly better than he has other times. He got robbed of the ball badly once that I can think of in the 2nd half but expecially in the first half he defended well. He certainly didn’t put in a tackle 5 minutes from the end because he was subbed 10 minutes before that!

It was good to see Bromby play well again. I wish he and Jay DeMerit could form a good partnership as both can play well; they just need to do it in the same team!!

Please DW don’t assume Smith has already gone!!! As has been mentioned, why would he want to go to the clubs that are interested? And I’m still hoping and praying for some investment that will mean he doesn’t have to go anyway!! Hopefully we can get rid of some fringe players that will bring in something (not having to pay their wages would be a start!) and that would save Tommy from having to go.

Finally, a mention for Tamas Priskin; 3 goals in his last 3 games and he’s looking a lot more confident because of it. Hopefully he can continue in that vein and become a Hornet hero after all!!!

19. Dave Hart - 11/12/2008

I couldn’t agree with you more about Sadler and Doyley, James. For some weeks now both of them have failed to not only mark their men properly, but allow far too many crosses into the box. Their right winger had Sadler in his pocket; Sadler was nowhere near him as he headed the equaliser. Both fullbacks barely made a tackle between them all night. How many crosses did either winger put in? How many times did each winger go straight past them?

Marriappa was superb in the second half, winning virtually all of his headers. If he and Bromby hadn’t played so well, or Norwich actually had a striker who could win the ball in the air, we would have been in deep trouble.

20. Back from Hammerau - 11/12/2008

Lesley-Anne, The clubs linked with Tommy Smith may not be footballing meccas, but whilst our financial/ownership situation remains as it is, the club needs to generate some cash in the New Year.

21. Mark - 11/12/2008

We’ve had a fair bit of bad luck this season so about time we got luck I think…

Bromby MOTM for me as well and Harley just doesn’t stop running for everything even in a lost cause.

Rumours are we want 3 million for Smithy…?

You guys probably know more!

Is there a danger we are just playing Bridcutt for the sake of it leaving Williamson out of position and not as effective as earlier in the season?

22. Pete - 11/12/2008

I just don’t understand the reluctance to play Hoskins who has been having a great season. Why play Williamson out of position wide right when Tommy is just as effective there as up front, leaving a space for Hoskins beside Priskin.

23. derry pigweed - 11/12/2008

Jenkins and Willo in centre midfield and if Buck has to play Bridcutt he should be at right back as bridcutt can pass and poor old Lloyd can’t and the passing game Buck is trying to play always breaks down when our fullbacks get involved especially Lloyd.
Ps I think i am going soft but the more i listen to Brendan the more i like him,Aidy a great talker never had this effect on me?
3 Points against Coventry please Lads!

24. Esp - 11/12/2008

To take Dave’s point if Ted Rodgers has suggested to Mariappa, Sadler and Doyley NOT to go tight on forwards and NOT to man mark them I think his introduction of “zonal” marking or whatever fancy phrase he calls it is bollox and certainly won’t work at Watford or in our division

If Harley can go tight on attackers and tackle why can’t they? The number of tackles and our resultant lack of possession was woeful – a really lucky escape as many above have said

Please Ted consign your marking tactics to your Dusty Bin

25. SteveG - 11/12/2008

1. Haven’t managed to get to many games this year, so dependent largely on the radio and BHappy for informed comment – but I did get to Birmingham on Saturday. Decent performance, I thought, and did nothing to change my view that this squad should be perfectly capable of holding down a mid table position.

2. I was prepared for the worst having read the reports on the Doncaster game, but was pleasantly surprised at what seemed to be a decent mix of passing with a purpose and some penetrative attacking that could well, as has been mentioned, get the best out of Priskin. If it wasn’t for the now obligatory kamikaze defending, we could have come away with a point from a tricky away game.

3. Didn’t see any point in Bridcutt’s signing, though. He looked OK (apart from the misplaced pass that led to their second goal), but his inclusion is distorting the shape of the team and forcing others to play out of position – from what I’ve seen and read, the Williamson/Jenkins combination has been working well. If it ain’t broke…

4. If we played well on Saturday for no reward, I’ll take an undeserved three points on Wednesday as fair exchange – especially if I didn’t have to watch a poor performance!

5. Don’t give up on Tommy just yet. A lucrative contract may lure him away, but good though he is, he wouldn’t be an automatic choice for most premier league clubs. Helguson may be a richer man now, but can he really be satisfied with several seasons of reserve team football and sitting on a bench? I still live in hope that some people might actually want to get a regular game and be able to shine, rather than boost their bank account even further in obscurity.

26. SteveT - 11/12/2008

I must be a miserable sod as I really enjoyed last nights game – but then maybe my expectations are so low at the moment they can’t go any lower !

There’s been a lot of talk about how poor Norwich were. I don’t think they were that bad – they had a lot of possession but lacked any quality in the final delivery and couldn’t create decent chances. Aside from the goal, I think all other goal attempts were either off target or straight at Loach. I certainly thought they were significantly better than QPR who lacked any sought of fight whatsoever.

The things that pleased me were:

1 – our reaction to the equaliser
2 – our defensive display – still disorganised but a lot of grit and determination
3 – Loach’s communication – I heard him shouting last night !
4 – Priskin – confidence is doing him the world of good – I’d just like to see him jump for a header and retain the ball a bit better. At the moment defenders are climbing all over him but he is not winning free kicks because he isn’t making any attempt to go for the ball.
5 – Bromby – I’ve got a lot of confidence in him, but he’s not the organiser I expected him to be. It would be good if we could get Davenport or similar in January.
6 – Williamson – its obvious that his best position is in the centre, but I don’t think we have many other options – unless we play the woeful NotEnuff or take Smith away from the striker role he is playing so well.
7 – Harley – I believe he’s been a fantastic signing and doesn’t get anywhere near enough credit for the work he puts in and the quality he delivers.

27. DW - 12/12/2008

I do hope your right Lesley, I’m just looking at the drop in revenue we are about to take and the fact that Smith has (I think) 18 months left on his contract. Either way lets enjoy him while we still can.

28. Anders - 12/12/2008

esp wrote:
“I think his introduction of “zonal” marking or whatever fancy phrase he calls it is bollox and certainly won’t work at Watford or in our division”

On more careful investigation I think you will find that most teams in our division opt for zonal marking, as did Watford under Boothroyd and GT for that matter.

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