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Watford 1 Scunthorpe United 0 (03/01/2009) 03/01/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Five thunks from the Cup win over Scunny.

1- We’ve seen some awful cup performances in recent years (in stark contrast to one era in our history in particular).  But this was a particularly disconcerting flavour of awful.  Lots of possession, very little penetration, an incomprehensible retraction back to a lone striker once we got ahead… it all felt a bit Vialli again somehow.

2- Lee Williamson – one hopes it is a “minor knock”.  Whilst the cup-tied consideration doesn’t seem to have influenced the selection of supposedly exit-bound Smudger and O’Toole, Rodgers’ experimentation to date has already suggested that he underappreciates Williamson’s worth.

3- The new boys clearly have something.  Hoyte looks strong and has a bit of oomph about him.  Cork showed some very good stuff as well as some slack stuff.  Can’t but cringe at how honoured Brendan thinks we should feel at being loaned such starlets though.  Am I being unfair?

4- The band.  Top banana.  Marvellous.  And a little bit weird…

5- Aidy Mariappa is a centre back.  End of.


1. Dave Hart - 03/01/2009

I thought that the band did us a big favour when they suddenly started playing after we scored; it prevented the Scunthorpe fans from drumming up (boom boom!) their own support to motivate their own players.

I thought that Hoyte in particular played well out of the two debutantes.

I’m a bit surprised that Rogers didn’t get in a left back as a priority. It’s a major weakness in our team, and would enable Harley to play at left mid.

Nice talking to you ESP, by the way.

2. derry pigweed - 03/01/2009

1. 4-5-1 at home vs lower league team made for an awful match

2.Is Willo being sold?

3.Hoyte was good and Cork was promising,but a central midfield full of teenagers eg Jenkins ,Cork and JJ needs some experience and leadership

4.Very boring until the last 20 mins and then changed a very quiet VIC into a carnival -fairplay

5.Mariappa SUPERB

6.PowderPUFF Pathetic

3. DL - 03/01/2009

Matthew, I told you Cork would play centre mid! He looks decent despite some shocking passes. Gav was our best passer, despite playing right back. Ever since he was linked with the Geordies JJ has been under par, strange.

4. Matt Rowson - 04/01/2009

derry – I dunno. but that was what I was implying. hope not.

DL – even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day old son

5. Dave Jackson - 04/01/2009

If there is anyone out there who can translate the offside rule into Hungarian, could they please send it to TP as soon as possible. What does Raziak have to do to prove he’s the better option?
Impressed by the defence for the last 180 minutes, keep that level up and we should be safe.

6. Dan - 04/01/2009

Well I’ll try and take the optimistic view. There is no doubt that this was insipid stuff, and 4-5-1 at home to Scunthorpe didn’t exactly fill me with joy either. However, it may be the case that Buck has (correctly) diagnosed that job number one is to stop the bleeding at the back, and if that means playing three across the middle to protect the defence then so be it. Two clean sheets in two games is something we should be grateful for. We do appear to have sacrificed a great deal of our attacking threat, though.

I thought Cork looked class, and as long as Willo returns we actually have a very effective midfield three there with Jenkins. If we are using loans to get us through this season so that we can rebuild the squad to match our shrinking resources, then fine. I don’t want to watch a Premier reserve side every season though.

Now something that doesn’t make sense… Priskin. He spent most of the game apparently in a sulk, just as he did against QPR, and was totally ineffective. I can’t work out whether this is some kind of rebellion against being asked to play up-front on his own, but whatever the reason he is not worthy of a starting place. He was halfway off the pitch yesterday before he realised that JJ was being taken off instead – and actually looked brighter afterwards. But Rasiak is by far and away the best and most effective striker on the books and has to get the nod especially if we stick with 4-5-1.

McAnuff, I think, has played reasonably well recently and his set pieces were more effective than Willo’s. I am still not averse to flogging him for whatever we can get, of course, and putting Hoskins in his place.

I am getting a bit sick of reading the Buck Manifesto every week in the programme notes.

7. Esp - 04/01/2009

Talking of the clock are we the ONLY Championship sground NOT to have one?

Until the goal had dark visions of this turning into another Accrington Stanley but at least we wuld have been spared the penalty shoot out at 0-0

Priskin looked a totally different player after Rasiak came on and his body language must have told Rodgers that he prefers playing with a strike partner; the original formation was perfect for an away league match but NOT a home cup match. With 2 up front all game we should have been 2-0 up at half time

DeMerit for all his poor performances prior to QPR away did well again and it is obvious that BR saw our woeful defence as his priority to sort out (if Aidy was a BHaPPY reader he would still be in a job wouldn’t he ig???)

After Jay I felt that Mariappa and Cork were particularly good and Jenkins and Smith were their usual consistent selves; surely Eustace, Bangura, Sadler & Bromby have played their last games?

JJ can only be playing games to be in the shop window as matt alluded to which of course is a double edged sword; we have a couple of midfielders who could have played in his position to an equal or higher standard. He plays 1 good game in 3 and transforms into a headless chicken for the other 2; Rodgers though does seem to have a soft spot for him despite his obvious demise at the club this month

Derry – re: no 2 Wilko WAS injured with a foot problem, without that he would certainly have played imho and he is high on my list of players we shouldn’t sell at any cost (I hope matt’s wrong about Smithy)

It was good meeting YOU too Dave Hart fellow Lower Rouser, thanks for finding me to chew over the first half awfulness, mind you, you can’t really miss me 🙂

Finally I took my Kiwi girlfriend to her first ever Watford match yesterday and she said two things; one profound and one stupid

After 30 minutes “I see your problem, nobody is shooting at the goal” and much later “I’m supporting that man in black; he’s wearing a nicer uniform”

Priskin is NOT a lone striker. End of.

8. SteveG - 04/01/2009

1. At least we won…
2. Hoyte and Cork both look promising, but unless Cork can play on the left it doesn’t solve our key problem… although it would give cover if Williamson was on the way out.
3. Despite the boos at the time (and Priskin’s body language suggesting he expected to come off!) the substitution changed the game, and I think it was the right call. Suddenly we could win balls in the air, and Priskin looked better as well as he had someone to play off. Surely Rasiak has to start, alongside either Priskin or Hoskins.
4. Although the lack of penetration was dismaying, at least we do seem to have some players now who can actually keep possession.
5. JJOT on the left in a 4-4-2?? Something must be better than continuing to play McAnuff in his current form.

9. Matt Rowson - 04/01/2009

dan… i dread to ask, but having not bought a program recently, what’s the gist of the manager’s notes?

esp – we have a clock, but it’s beyond the capacity of my sight to read it, on the north east corner. Disagree about Smith, thought he was disappointing yesterday.

10. Dave Hart - 04/01/2009


The clock died about three or four games ago. They got it running for the start of the Bristol City game, but it died again after they scored…

11. Matt Rowson - 04/01/2009

told you I couldn’t see it…

12. Dan - 04/01/2009

Some examples…

Spurs – “I’ve spoken about my belief as to just how this game should be played and I know that’s the right way to go about approaching the task in hand”

Norwich – “We’re really getting to see the best of one or two of those individuals as they become comfortable with the philosophies and the freedom to be more expressive on the pitch” (not entirely sure who this was referring to).

Scunny – “A real chance to look ahead in a positive fashion to what is a new era all-round… we’ve got a really good opportunity now to start bedding in the philosophies and thoughts that I’ve been communicating to my players and staff over the past few weeks”

I didn’t mind Betty’s relentless positivity so much… this feels more like being on the receiving end of a lecture. I’d rather hear, for example, about why we’ve switched to 4-5-1.

As for the clock/scoreboard, it’s been broken since the Bristol City game.

13. Apperley 'Orn - 04/01/2009

1. Brrrrrrr.

2. Sideways football like that, at home, against lower league opposition was massively disappointing…

3. …speaking of which, no Williamson today so Jobi had the chance to shine by supplying deadly balls into the box from set-play situations – unfortunately I nearly lost my voice for the number of times I felt compelled to shout “at least get it past the first man” – can’t agree with those suggesting that he was any better than Willo in those instances.

4. Brrrrr some more

5. There is a pattern emerging- my daughter attended her third ever game today. She has now seen us win 3 times and not concede a single goal in the process. I think the club should do more to harness her obvious status as a lucky charm, supply travel to games and free tickets at the very least…no? Oh, OK then.

14. Apperley 'Orn - 04/01/2009

On top of my other 5 points, I’d like to say that Mariappa was superb today but Jay still worries me. Quite how he got MOTM I’ll never know. I would still personally favour Bromby/Mariappa as a partnership – Jay, far too often, goes blundering in when holding back would be the better option.

Cork was OK (though young RJ was better IMO), Hoyte has potential and is certainly not shy of a crunching tackle or two.

Oh and the band – can they come every week? I’ve never known the Rookery be such a morgue as it was yesterday and they managed to inject some life into proceedings for a few minutes.

Still, brrrr…

15. stephen hoffman - 04/01/2009

i dont think it was a good attacking performance but defensively we looked a lot more solid than we have done for a while . My view with rodgers is we will stay up this season quite easily through grinding out wins but it will be very boring football . I must say Jay finally looked somewhere near to his best with a sterling performance ,and put to bed for a bit at least the doubts i had about him – however it was just his luck this season with injuries that he seemed to hurt his knee.

On another point , why didn’t we start with raziak . We actually had an attack when he was put on , he took his goal well, held the ball up well , ran about ,and put himself about , won headers and bought more people into the game and was clearly trying . Tamas by contrast looked disinterested won hardly any headers was outmuscled , outfought and didn’t like he was going to score on a month on sundays , and whenever he got the ball he seemed to lose the ball -And another thing Tamas , please please please learn the offside rule.

16. stephen hoffman - 04/01/2009

matt we have a clock but for the last 2 games it’s stopped work – some technical glitch . Obviously with our money problems we cant afford the workman to sort it out . I think we’re being harsh on JJOT i thought he played quite well yesterday his passing was a lot better than usual and him and cork worked well together in midfield . I didn’t think tommy had his best game though-at times he tried to overelaborate and he wasn’t involved as much as he usually is and i thought priskin was poor even when raziak came on, hoskins and raziak is a much better partnership upfront.

17. Sequel - 04/01/2009

Are there any other Main Stand refugees who’ve noticed that Winter’s alot colder now that we’re in the Rous Stand?
I wore 5 layers beneath my jacket yesterday, plus team woolly hat, gloves and scarf, yet I was still perished.
I think this global warming lark is overrated. A few shots at goal from the boys might have helped though.

18. Esp - 04/01/2009

If Matt REALLY did think that I had never seen the clock in over 12 years of supporting Watford he must have thought I was blinder than he is 🙂

Thanks for your clarification post Dave and for ensuring that BHaPPY readers didn’t think I was incredibly stupid!!

19. Esp - 05/01/2009

Apperley ‘Orn wrote: ” Jay still worries me. Quite how he got MOTM”

I’ll give you a clue why he was MOTM – the match sponsors were the marching band from Delawere and …. 3 guesses as to who make the MOTM award 🙂

And for anyone else out there doubting why Rasiak and/or Hoskins shouldn’t start the next matches, Priskin’s record in ALL competitions (club and country since 2006):
OFFSIDES: 276 (OK I made the last one up)

But one goal in every 5 matches – that’s not good in my book; time will tell if Buck thinks so

20. Wat4Steve - 05/01/2009

1 4-5-1?? 4-3-3 IMO RJ & JC sitting with JJoT getting forward. TP flanked by JMc & TS

2 The grass is not always greener. We moaned and Hoofers for playing direct attacking football we now moan at playing a possession game. Seems some fans just want to moan. We are Watford not Arsenal or Man Utd.

3 Jay DeMerrit is now technically the weakest player in the team. JC and GH both looked comfortable in possession and were not afraid to pass the ball even if it was backwards. Once it reached Jay if was hoofed into the channels. One pass in the second half made me LoL as it went out for a throw when there was seemingly no pressure on Jay what so ever.

4 Lee Williamson why all the fuss? An average player IMO. Lots of energy guess that’s why some fans have taken to him. For me, no end product. Personally I’d rather keep JJoT, still raw but scores goals and causes defenders problems.

5 Priskin, yes he had a poor game today. Probably wasn’t the right fixture to play one up front, as was evidenced when we went 4-4-2, but he was not the only player to have a bad game. Seems some fans have been waiting a long time to get on his back and let the rest of us know it.

21. Matt Rowson - 05/01/2009


1- Cork was sitting, Jenkins and O’Toole in front. Whether you classify Smith and McAnuff as forwards in that formation is academic really – it was ineffective as far as creating chances was concerned

2- Supporters are not a homogeneous mass, I doubt that it’s the same people focusing on the style of play. As ig has pointed out on these pages before, the moaning about direct football was really moaning about RUBBISH football. The direct thing was a bit of a red herring.

3- He was, however, one of very few players interested in playing the ball forwards. We thought he was playing quarterback for a bit, albeit ineffectively.

4- Disagree entirely. The only midfielder who gives us some welly in the middle of the park. It’s not about end product, it’s about everythng before that. JJOT WILL be an excellent midfielder, but as his last few appearances have shown too often it’s JUST end product and nothing else. Our most sellable asset for me.

5- Completely agree

22. Simon - 05/01/2009

This wasn’t a particularly good game to watch, admittedly, and I completely agree, Matt, that the switch to 4-3-3/5-5-1 doesn’t serve either of our centre forwards particularly well if Smith and McAnuff are not playing closer to them when the ball is played up. We were probably not helped either by the fact that all three of our starting front men can and will play better than they did at the weekend (well two of them will – I am no longer convinced that McAnuff will offer much more on a regular basis).

I can, however, see where Rogers is trying to go with this and there were (very) occasional flashes of the players being able to put that into action, most notable towards the end of the first half where we worked decent space for O’Toole down the right hand side by retaining possession and moving the opposition about.

Given the changes that have taken place in the playing style both at the beginning of the season and then again since Rogers’s arrival, I think it’s unrealistic to expect the chances to flow immediately as it takes an awful lot of work to play the style Rogers is aiming at. The advantage of playing that style is that it should, in the long run, make the side stronger defensively as it should retain possession (remember that, even in the promotion season under Boothroyd, we conceded a hatful as the style meant giving the opposition a lot of the ball) and your attacking play relies less on the ball happening to drop in the right place.

It remains to be seen whether Rogers can get the players we have to play in the manner he wants but we maybe owe him a bit of time to find out (incidently, I still find it a bit odd that his two fundamentally attacking substitutions in the last two home games have been roundly booed but maybe that’s more a sign of fans being more willing to boo their own team/manager now than ten years ago).

23. Ian Lay - 05/01/2009

Dan asked why we have switched to a 4-5-1. Well actually it might have been 4-3-3.

Rogers is from Chelsea, who in recent years have played 4-5-1 a lot. The thing about 4-5-1 is that it instantly transforms into 4-3-3. The two wide men push on and more central, and the left and right of the three central midfielders go slightly wider to cover the flanks. If done correctly it’s far more flexible than 4-4-2. Unfortunately in this country we are very much brought up on 4-4-2 from school age. So it’s not something you transform overnight. In fact if you are not used to the formation it looks more like 4-5-1 than 4-3-3 most of the time.

I’ve played as one of the “wide” men in a 4-5-1 formation that was suppossed to become 4-3-3 when we were attacking. Getting your positioning right over 90 minutes was hell! 😉

Also this from Rogers, quoted on Teamtalk. The URL is:


“I played 4-3-3 and felt it wasn’t working, I thought we needed to get a bit more support higher up the field so we put Grzegorz on and his contribution was fantastic, so I was very pleased.”

So it looks like he was trying to play 4-3-3, but it wasn’t working so it probably looked like 4-5-1.



24. Wat4Steve - 05/01/2009

1 Matt your webpage so I guess you’re entitled to the last word but it’s all about opinions. I still believe RJ & JC were supposed to be protecting the back four first with JJoT pushing on. We will have to agree to disagree at times to me it was so obvious that I would say our formation was in fact a 4-2-3-1. Not sure where you sit perhaps I had a different perspective from my view [ps opinions are not right or wrong]

2 Sorry the moaning is just getting to me. Had to tell one chap behind me to shut up! He moaned more than my wife on a bad day, if he doesn’t like the football were playing he could always stay at home. We all like all action players hence our heroes are the Mooney’s, the Helguson’s and the Ray Train’s etc, technically not very good but wore their heart on their sleeve and would die for the team. Today’s footballer appears to be a different breed, just speak to a Spuds fan about Berbatov. Priskin in particular reminds me of Berbatov, by that I mean if he doesn’t fancy it he doesn’t want to know but is still capable of one magic moment that will win the game.

3 A forward pass that losses possession is still a bad pass. Not saying I am a fan of a possession game but it appears to be Brendan’s way. Not sure we will ever have good enough players of our own to play this way or if the fans will be patient enough (too low tempo). I believe you should play to your strengths. Possession football will take time with the ability of our squad and the state of our pitch it may never happen! I has taken Capello long enough to get half way there with half decent set of players.

4 Agree Williamson is having a good year (by his standards). Again, ‘welly’ does not appear to be Brendan’s way. Anyway you need two players in every position Williams may edge JJoT at the moment but in the long term JJ will be by far a better player, just an opinion mind! If we sell JJ who will back up LW? IMO we do not have another box to box player.

5 Glad we could agree on something ;o)

In addition…….. I wonder if Brendan thought this was a relatively easy tie and wanted to give his team time to play the way he wants, to gel. I hope in time he is more flexible. I think some fixtures, and this was one, you need to match you opponents. I would have played this one 4-4-2 from the start. TP was never going to battle on his own with lower division old fashioned centre halves!

One last comment on Priskin if anybody has ever played up front on their own they will know how hard it is. If he chases every cause, as some sections of the crowd want him to, then he will be knackered after 15 minutes! When you play two up they can take it turns it is much easier. Rodgers wants one and he wants one that is comfortable on the ball. He has gone on record and said Rasiak is not his type of forward.

25. Back from Hammerau - 05/01/2009

I discovered a way to relieve the tedium of the match.
I took along a friend who isn’t really that knowledgeable about the game, claiming to be an Arsenal fan having been to Highbury/Emirates 3 or 4 times.
He decided to place a few bets on the game and, with a little prompting from me, put £5 on a Watford win, a Watford 2-1 win, JJO’T as first scorer and the Scunthorpe #10 as last scorer.
His boyish enthusiasm (he’s just short of 40) throughout the game in cheering on the subjects of his bets (“Come on #26”) helped warm a cold day.
He managed to get over the disappointment of JJO’T’s substitution before he’d had a chance to score and right up to the final whistle he was confident that we’d get that second goal, which would be immediately followed by a consolation strike from Gary Hooper.
He made a loss of £12 on the transaction but considered it good value for money given the pleasure he’d had.

26. Mark - 05/01/2009

Godo job the band were there…otherwise people may have fallen asleep not helped by some pretty flat forward play despite the best efforts of our midfield.

The defence was fairly solid after a shaky start and I totally agree with Matt’s point regarding Mariappa.

Cork and Hoye look like being useful additions but we cannot just rely on the loan players….

Should we read more into Elton coming back than just him retaining his Life President position at the club?

27. Old Git - 06/01/2009

TG was a very effective attacking midfielder who would have done well in a 4-5-1 formation. In many ways JJoT reminds me of a young TW. Good to see RT getting a mention, so thanks for that, Wat4Steve. We need to discover a new AM to sort out our defensive problems (ha-ha)…or even better, a new DW and JW type of combination. Does anyone know why JS only had one season? It’s been on my mind to ask for a while.
Aren’t these initials irritating, can we stop now please? I have to spend five minutes working out who we are supposed to be talking about.

28. stephen hoffman - 06/01/2009

well rodgers has got it completely wrong on raziak 2 goals in 3 games a constant attacking threat holds the ball up can pass and head the ball well gets involves in games got some skill, know’s the offside rule – im sorry rodgers is talking absolute rubbish saying he’s not his sort of forward-what an effective forward who scores goals. on this point rodgers has completely lost it .

as for demerit he had a very good game yesterday back to the form we’re used to from him. remember this season hasn’t been easy for him what with having an injury every couple of weeks -what more did you want from him yesterday he won everything in the air he made some crucial challenges and when the ball needed to be cleared out he cleared out – i also didn’t think his distribution was that bad and anyway he’s a centre back generally there not great at distribution but there bloody good at keeping the ball out aka dyche , cox and page.

29. Matt Rowson - 06/01/2009

Old Git… I’m guessing… Garbett, Walley, Train, McClenaghan, Welbourne, Williams in that order? Not sure who JS is without consulting one of Trefor’s books….

30. Old Git - 06/01/2009

He played in a back four with AG, IB and SH. (you see, it is VERY irritating, isn’t it?)…I think I’m correct in saying he played in exactly 46 league games, being ever present for one very significant season including that wonderful night at Old Trafford.

For a young un Matt, your knowledge of prehistory does you proud.

Matt Rowson - 06/01/2009


31. straightnochaser - 06/01/2009

John Stirk. Arrived from Ipswich. Played an entire season. Immediately disappeared-who remembers where? (Mick Henderson hardly constituted an adequate replacement!) Has such a statistical feat ever been repeated?

32. East Stand Man Expat - 07/01/2009

OG – Garner, Bolton and Harrison. I remember them well.

Happy New Year to you all

33. Matt Rowson - 07/01/2009

Stirk went to Chesterfield I think?

Mo Johnston did something similar didn’t he? Although it was a year rather than a season, and not the same circumstances.

34. Simon - 07/01/2009

Mark Falco can’t have been a million miles off that – (excuse my memory on some of this but I was only 8 at the time) arrived in November?? 1986, scored a hattrick on his home debut v Villa, went on to score 15-odd goals that season and, from recollection, played pretty much every game and then disappeared off to Rangers cos Bassett didn’t fancy him (quite how he didn’t fancy a striker averaging a goal every other game is still beyond me but there you go).

35. Matt Rowson - 07/01/2009

Good call Simon. Kevin Richardson at roughly the same time played pretty much every game in 86/87 before being discarded for £100,000 (good god) by Bassett. He was Arsenal’s player-of-the-year the next season IIRC.

36. Old Git - 07/01/2009

Bassett’s judgement was indeed perplexing. Falco had a brief but memorable Watford career and played in that great Cup quarter-final win at Highbury in what was really GT’s last great moment before he left for Villa. The midfield that day was dominated by Kevin Richardson who was similarly jettisoned by the unlamented Bassett. When Arsenal came in for him, Bassett is reported to have said ‘if he stays here he’ll be playing in the reserves so he might as well go and play in Arsenal’s reserves instead’. Needless to say, he played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s winning the League Championship that next season, while Watford simply crumpled. Worst manager ever?

37. straightnochaser - 07/01/2009

Yes Matt, I think you do remember correctly. I believe Richardson captained Arsenal to the title in his first full season didn’t he, scoring freely from midfield? I do recall Bassett criticising Richardson’s record of 2 goals for us in 40-odd appearances under GT the season before in justification for off-loading him. I think he’d taken a little time to adapt to our style playing with 2 wide men compared to Howard Kendall’s ethos at Everton previously.

38. JohnM - 07/01/2009

I remember John Stirk quite well. The terrace rumour at the time (no internet then!) was that he was deeply unpopular in the dressing room, regularly emphasising his First Division pedigree, and the other team members lack of same. Although quite a good defender, he had a tendancy to the occasional horrible error (a la Keith Dublin)—I remember Watford conceeding two goals in one home match, both due to gross Stirk errors. He was recruited to replace the somewhat inadequate duo of Geidmintis and Trevor How (I think)

39. Matt Rowson - 08/01/2009

Bassett sold Richardson (and Barnes, Falco, Bardsley etc) in the summer of 1987. Arsenal didn’t win the title until 1989, so it was Richardson’s second full season. Not sure he was ever Arsenal captain either, although he did captain Villa later on.

40. Anders - 08/01/2009

I believe the Barnes transfer was arranged prior to Bassett joining.
The other ones were pretty horrible of course.

41. markymark - 08/01/2009

Tony Geidmintis died aged only 44 in 1993 ;
Trevor How hails from Great Missenden ( or Little Missenden ? )near Amersham which is quite near my neck of the woods.His Dad was a publican I believe something Trevor moved onto after a short lived football career.
Talking of right backs, lets hope our new one Hoyte stops that irratating left winger Hunt ( was going to replace the H!) tomorrow!

42. JohnM - 08/01/2009

Tony Geidmintis, as I recollect, was the more popular full back during his short period at Watford, despite Trevor How’s local connections—at the time I always thought How was struggling with league football, and, indeed, after six years pro at Watford, dissappeared into a (long) non-league career. His father, I believe, was a very good speedway rider.
Bassetts’ offloading of Watford’s cream during his short period was supposed to be a prelude to his bringing the cream of Wimbledons staff here—which, apart from Glyn Hodges, never happened (I seem to recollect abortive attempts to bring in Fashanu}. During his time at Watford I remember a lot of frustration with Richardson, and a considerable amount of derogatory comments on the ineffectiveness of his shooting. The difference in this aspect of his play at Arsenal was startling!

43. straightnochaser - 09/01/2009

I stand corrected, Matt, regarding KR & the Arsenal captaincy. I thought it was late August after the season had started before he was sold to ’em though, so being pedantic it was his first FULL season when they won the title.

And it’s a tad harsh to blame Barnes’s departure on Bassett. He was going even if GT had not departed. Bassett is undoubtedly guilty as charged with reference to Bardsley, Falco & Richardson however.

I’ll get me coat! 🙂

44. Wat4Steve - 10/01/2009

GT sold Barnes not Bassett

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