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Watford 3 Burnley 0 (27/01/2009) 28/01/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Five thunks from the knocking back of the Clarets

1- Before Saturday, my co-editor suggested that Mr.Rodgers needed to give us something to cling to.  Well this wasn’t so much a damp rope to cling to as a luxury yacht with well stocked galley and attentive staff.  Wallop! And there was me suggesting that we were doomed with him in charge.  Shows how much I know.  Why are you still reading this?

2-  Burnley’s manager has criticised his team’s defending this morning, rather peevishly suggesting that our victory owed more to his team’s errors than our fine play.  Cobblers.  His team may have defended badly, but the victory owed no small part to the fact that we held out against an enterprising and potent attacking side.  We looked solid, reliable, unflustered.  Yes, really.  And a big factor in that was…

3- Mike Williamson.  Bish bash bosh.  Wonderful.  Exactly the sort of commanding, unfussy lump that we’ve been screaming out for all season.  We have a defence, at last.  Marvellous.

4- Comedy highlight #1:  Will Hoskins’ substitution, preceded by several failed attempts to introduce Priskin during breaks in play which saw Hoskins gradually edge further and further from the bench until he eventually responded to the no 22 on the board from the corner flag in front of the Rookery. 

5- Comedy highlight #2: the gentleman in front of us, who shall remain nameless, loudly and angrily berating the decision to make said substitution, and being mobbed when Tamas Priskin demonstrated it’s value.


1. Andy - 28/01/2009

I’m gutted I missed this game due to f***ing work… good to read some real positives

2. Somerset 'orn - 28/01/2009

Matt – we WERE doomed with Rodgers in charge – if he stuck to his principles. Fair play to him for the U-turn on tactics… perhaps he reads BHaPPY and saw the light, or perhaps it’s the hand of GT. Or perhaps we should give him all the credit, because I think he probably needs it, so well done Rodgers.

Something to cling to. Hurrah!

3. Johnny Boy - 28/01/2009

Lovely evening – just what was required to put a smile on our faces.
Thought Lloyd had a great game. We know Eagles is a bit useful and he had the better of him IMHO.
What a difference a strong bench makes. Last Saturday the substitutions were pants – last night, sublime.
Re your point 5 Matt – think that happened a lot round the ground. All power to Tamas.
Ref had a good game.

4. Kris - 28/01/2009

As always I go on what I’ve read elsewhere but surely an honourable mention for Lloyd Doyley for keeping Eagles in his pocket to such an extent that he ended up switching to right wing.

Also, if this performance is what we can expect from Willo mkII the alleged £150k looks an absolute steal. I was surprised that it was Jay who had to make way but it would seem Mr. Rodgers got it right starting Mariappa along-side MW.

I had predicted the starting line-up with the exception of Jay/Mariappa and one other. I had Jon Harley at left wing. it took Macanuff two minutes to show me up (even if he tried hard to miss). For the first time in a while I can happily say that someone is doing a far better job at managing the team than I can.

Oh and the substitutions Matt. Each and everyone the right one at the right time? I think so. Also love the fact that he stuck with to man up top when he took off Rasiak – a lesser man would have opted to play 4-5-1 trying to preserve the lead. That lesser man is Brendan a week ago.

Another thing – I read in a match report that Brendan seemed a lot more up for today. Never sat down, always encouraging players etc. If this is so it seems he’s learnt that he needs to be there through-out the game and not just before and at the interval.

These new features – the 4-4-2, not trying to preserve a lead by making defensive substitutions, not sitting on the bench throughout but being on the touch line shouting. Is it a coincidence that this has happened at the same time GT returns?

Either way – can’t wait for Wolves.

5. BC - 28/01/2009

” the gentleman in front of us, who shall remain nameless, loudly and angrily berating the decision to make said substitution, and being mobbed when Tamas Priskin demonstrated it’s value.”

C’mon, name and shame … let’s nip this ridiculous booing in the bud now.

6. NickJ - 28/01/2009

Had to work late … in Shrewsbury of all places! Of all the games I could have missed this season …

Still, positive stuff, by the sounds of it, and pleased that Priskin came on and made an impact.

Obviously I realise that commenting on the game having ‘watched’ it on the BBC text commentary is somewhat like ringing 6-0-6 and starting off with “I’d just like to say it was great commentary today Alan” … but it was important to build on saturday, and to add a clean sheet to seven goals in two games is a big step.

7. Wat4Steve - 28/01/2009

1 – Mike Williamson – Less of a lump in my opinion, looked to bring an air or confidence to what has been a rather frail back four. Look remarkably comfortable on the ball for somebody who has spent a lot of his career in the lower leagues and after only one training session he seems to have settled in rather nicely. Also brought out the best in Mariappa

2 – Jay DeMerit – re Williamson please close the door on your way out. Take £500K and get his £7K/week wages off the payroll and let’s buy a half decent left back. That said Doyley (defensively) did OK last night but is too uncomfortable on the ball and does look very awkward on the left to play there regularly

3 – Lee Williamson – Considered by many to be a lynch pin of this side. Not missed in our previous two games in my opinion. Cork and Jenkins looked good. Fulham allegedy are looking at him to replace Bullard, take the cash, IMO we are top heavey in Mentre Mid. Re Cork, Chelsea have got one hell of a talented kid on their hands. Centre Back, Centre Mid, Holding Mid and now right back. I reckon if you stuck him up front he would do a good job there too!

4 – Priskin – I for one am glad, Have always liked him great touch and his second goal was top draw twice now (Spurs game being the other) he has turn defenders inside out and place the ball with his weaker foot into the bottom corner. Whilst not as physical as Raisiak a much better footballer, although I do concede he can not play as a lone striker. Give him the support he needs i.e somebody to do all his running and tell Priskin to go out there and play his natural game. It’s a shame a lot of Watford fans can not see hi technical ability for what it is.

5 – Rodgers – I don’t care what formation we play. I believe players and tactics win games. We mixed it up more got it forwards quicker and into the right areas. Whatever has changed your views it doesn’t matter well done for not being so pig headed as to not wanting to change. Onward and upward if your eye for a [player can bring in a few more (assuming Williamson will be and cork is) bargains to the club and if you continue to develop the players we have, I say you might just prove to be the right appointment.

8. markymark - 28/01/2009

Apparently Burnley were by far the better team yet lost 0-3!?
Statistically, we had no corners and far less attempts than them.Is this true !?
Mind you, look at us at Reading – 70% possession yet lost 0-4.

9. ian wilson - 28/01/2009

I think the booing was because Will was going off after a really good effort when he was left on his own up front and Rodgers seemingly changing his mind, not at Tamas.

I’m prepared to go along with the general thinking that Rodgers’ move was well thought out genius now.

10. AJC - 28/01/2009

A truly astonishing turnaround in performances and I’m absolutely delighted. I was increasingly under the illusion I would never enjoy a football game again, and am so glad to be proved wrong.

Although people are mentioning the potential influence of Taylor, did anyone else notice that we’ve basically taken 10 weeks to go back to the side and formation that Mackay was playing? Perhaps that is being a bit churlish and uncharitable to Rodgers. We certainly needed a bit more steel and organisation at the back and so far, so good from Williamson, but this entire season I was sure we had a side that could compete at this level but that we rarely played to our strengths.

Mixing the football up so we are playing long and short, keeping the other team under constant pressure (take a bow, Mr. Hoskins), looking like we want to win every ball and not being afraid to shoot. Suddenly this is a team I genuinely want to root for. Thank you, Rodgers. Whatever led to the change in approach I am genuinely grateful.

11. Steve C - 28/01/2009

I’ve never booed, but if that’s how Tamas responds to it – Boooo! (only joking).
I did feel sorry for him when he trudged of first on his own. He’s clearly feeling a bit unloved even after coming on late and scoring twice, and it looked like Tommy had a go at him even after he’d scored the second for not laying it off.

12. markymark - 28/01/2009

Lets not get too carried away.If we were to lose at Wolves ( a distinct possibility ) and the others including Charlton ( again ) win we’re well in the mire.
As well as we’ve played in the last two matches,3 teams do go down and often its one whos deemed “too good to go down”
All I’m saying is we still need probably 54 points and we’ll have to certainly improve our away form
Who do you reckon will now then given current form ( Donny continuing to win etc,etc ) ?

13. Tapps - 28/01/2009

The finest moment for me was the third goal. Priskin & Smith had one thing on their minds and it wasn’t “Corner Flag here I come”.

14. Old Git - 28/01/2009

I’m confused. I thought we all wanted to get rid of Brendan Rogers because everyone said he didn’t know what he was doing. Do we now stop heaping abuse upon him and instead say what a master tactician he is? And if so, for how long?
Sorry but at my time of life I find it difficult to keep up.

15. Back from Hammerau - 28/01/2009

Welcome Mr Williamson – not just commanding and unfussy as Mr Rowson says – but took the novel (for the rest of our defence) approach of talking to and organising his colleagues.
Was someone at the club busy modifying some of Lee Williamson’s shirts removing the ‘1’ and substituting a ‘2’?

16. Esp - 28/01/2009

Loach 6 – It’s a shame he put Richard Lee’s gloves on; fumbled a couple of times to scare the home fans but made an excellent save towards the end. Needs to come off his line more

Hoyte 6 – Not one of his better games, didn’t do well against Eagles when he swapped wings and was rightly subed by Buck after getting a yellow

M Williamson 8.5 – Best debut from a new Hornet for a long time, an imposing imposing presence, physical and great in the air. The sponsors’ MotM and who could argue?

Mariappa- 8 Was just shaded by his central defensive partner as my MotM, won loads of tackles, was a solid presence and looks likely to strike up an excellent partnership with Willo. Leaves DeMerit with only full back options imho

Doyley 7 – Had the better of Eagles in the first half and was reponsible for Burnley’s lack of effective crosses in the second half in particular. Our most reliable defender and looking likely to make LB his position. Now, if only he couild pass….

Smith- 7 Not one of his better games by his own exemplary standards and like other Watford midfielders was pretty anonymous in the first half as the gap between them and our defence was too wide. However I was impressed by his leadership and he could make a better captain than Jay

Jenkins – 7 Great tackling and passing and is very much the player in form. First name on the team sheet.

Cork – 7.5 Another assured performance and had to play in 2 positions when Hoyte was substituted. Did well in midfield and defence and is possibly our most talented player after Smith and Hoskins.

McAnuff – 8 His second consecutive outstanding tireless performance and another one to silence his critics in the crowd.
Is it the competition for places now or the bid from Charlton that has spurred him on. Mackay and Rodgers always had faith in him it just remains to be seen if the board enforce his sale as one of the big earners.

Rasiak – 6 Frustrating that a man of his size and stature ducks out of headers. Sluggish and at times disinterested. Priskin looks like the more effective partner for Hoskins in a 4-4-2

Hoskins – 7 Played the assist for Jobi’s goal and had a terrific match, really enjoyed himself and I hope he has a deserved run in the side


Harley – 7 Fantastic energy as usual, plays game in right spirit

L Williamson – 6 Some nice pasing but not on long enough to make a telling contribution

Priskin 8.5 – Battling for a place in the starting line up he took both goals well and his second is up there with the best scored at the Vic this season. Worked very hard and excels in this formation.

17. JohnM - 28/01/2009

Wonderfull to hear such positive results, reports and comments. The last two results have certainly guaranteed Rodgers tenur ’till end of season, at least. Although my unease about him is still present, I for one am glad that he will probably be here until end of season—we can’t risk another manager change. I really, really hope I was wrong about Rodgers.
One small fact to keep in mind:- G.T.’s first managerial appointment at Lincoln:- I believe he went 16 matches before gaining his first win. Perhaps, these days, we don’t have enough patience—.

18. DM - 28/01/2009

That was much, much more like it. Not only did Williamson, M evoke memories of Keefy Millen and Colin Foster’s instant success, but Mariappa and the wonderful Doyley had comfortably their best games of the season alongside.

My favorite moment was Eagles being shunted over to the left flank – That was one great big feather in Lloydy’s cap. Eagles clearly fancied himself against our makeshift left back and tested him time and again, but every time he met more than his match and was well and truly pocketed. Contender for display of the season there from Lloyd.

Whatever forced the change in Rodgers, I’m bloody glad it’s happened. Another positive sign from the manager was the second substitution – after much justified criticism of many of Rodgers’s changes, I think this won us the game. Hoyte did well first half but looked tired in the second, and got done by Eagles twice in quick succession. Another 5 mins of Hoyte could have spelt big trouble, but switching Cork to right back was a great move. The first time Eagles got the ball after that, Cork flew into him and that possibly potent supply line was slammed shut. Great reaction from the manager.

At last, we can look forward with a bit of confidence. If we could just nick something at Wolves, who have gone right off the boil and will expect to get back on it against us, then we really could have something to hang our hats on.

19. Reg - 28/01/2009

I decided to miss the cup game, like many others, but after the result took control of my season ticket again! I still don’t think Rodgers’ is the messiah but fair play to him for changing his formation and getting back to a potent strike force. Williamson was assured and marshalled the defence well. In the second half the midfield got hold of the ball, something they struggled with in the first, and we looked better. Doyley seemed to enjoy himself on the left, although his clearances need working on. Always said he had two left feet!
Well done to Priskin, he’s always had a good touch, just can’t jump!
Few days left to keep hold of Smitthy, finger crossed.
All in all a bit more light at the end of the tunnel but results of other teams in the mire have still left us in danger. Got to keep it going. Wolves will be a big test. They have not had good time for a few games and will be looking to rectify that.
One last thought – is Loach sponsored by Teflon? Catch the bloody round thing first time!

20. Dan - 28/01/2009

Re 2 – well maybe Owen, but that’s what happens when a defence is put under pressure by a side that attacks quickly and purposefully.

This was good stuff. At 1-0 with about 20 to go, I made a mental note to remember, no matter what happened, that this was an encouraging display against a very decent side.

Never mind Priskin, Buck’s best move was taking off Hoyte – Eagles had moved over there to get away from Doyley, and Hoyte had already been booked and couldn’t risk a second card. Moving Cork back there bottle Eagles back up again.

Williamson (M) – excellent. Biggest difference for me? That he did his job without fuss, and crucially without giving away free-kicks all the time – something that Jay has been doing all season.

21. stephen hoffman - 29/01/2009

i think thats harsh on lee williamson i think in the first half our midfield was pretty poor and when williamson came on he gave a bit more life to our midfield . Jenkins was extremely quiet yesterday and is looking increasingly tired he needs a rest i would put williamson in there . Tommy on the right is still not at his best i would put jobi there as he plays better there and when harley came on he was brilliant , energetic and snapping at heels.

22. Wat4Steve - 29/01/2009

Agreed Tommy Smith is not a right winger! Said this all last season but interesting that he won player of the year. The question is who do you up front with Tamas? Smith will play deeper linking up with the Mid but Hoskins will stretch the play and do more running, something which we need as Tamas is reluctant.

23. Somerset 'orn - 29/01/2009

Wat4Steve – who says Tamas is now our first choice striker? We’ve seen plenty of false dawns from him before, I’d still stick with Rasiak for Wolves and use Priskin off the bench.

The conundrum for me is this: McAnuff is better at right midfield, we miss Harley when he’s not used left midfield, but where does that place Smith if we’re sticking with 4-4-2 (which we must for now)? He could partner Rasiak (as her did at Derby) or Priskin, but then Hoskins drops to the bench. Bottom line: we can’t fit Harley, McAnuff, Smith and Hoskins into the starting midfield/front line, so who sits out?

Add to that the question of which 2 from Williamson (L), Jenkins or Cork in centre-mid, and it all starts to add up to a much stronger looking bench than we’ve enjoyed of late.

24. DW - 29/01/2009

Very very promising and as many have said there is all of a sudden competition for places. It was interesting to see Jack Cork move to right back when he had previously not shown any great ability at the “nastier” aggressive side of the game but produced a fantastic 20 minute cameo keeping Eagles at bay. Tough Call to leave out Harley but the result shows that Buck is not afraid of the difficult decision.

For the Wolves game I would keep the starting XI from Tuesday but swap Williamson for Cork. Anything we get up there is a bonus so we should play with a degree of freedom

25. Wat4Steve - 29/01/2009

Were all entitled to our opinions in mine Tamas, when played along side Hoskins is our best striker. I accept he is weak in the air but the answer to that is simple. KEEP THE BALL ON THE FLOOR!

I have seen nothing in Raisiak to suggest he is a better option than Tamas he is equally lazy and his touch is not as good, he is possibly a better penalty box player but if you use Will that isn’t a problem either.

I have always said it and I will be continue to be consistent Tamas is technically the best player at the club. Oh…. And Raisiak isn’t either our player.

I see there are stories in the Scottish press we have sign another midfielder to a future contract a guy called Cowie from Cally

26. DM - 29/01/2009

Somerset –

These are great questions, but how nice to see each of those in form and making it difficult, rather than having to select one of a bunch of players playing poorly.

For me, McAnuff and Jenkins sit out, and yes, that is harsh on both.

27. Esp - 29/01/2009

Bottom line an Somerset ‘orn is that in form McAnuff, the signing of Cork in midfield and Doyley in the sort of form in Harley’s no.1 position (according to Rodgers) means that we have great competition for places now which we haven’t had for a long time. A conundrum indeed but what a problem for BR to have! The bench on Tuesday (for the first time in ages) had a wealth of talent and experience in it at this level

Smith by his own high standards didn’t have a good game on Tuesday so I wouldn’t be surprised to see one (or all) of Jenkins, Smith, Rasiak and Harley on the bench on Saturday.

It would be unfair (on current form) if Hoskins didn’t partner either Priskin or Rasiak up front especially as I’m not keen on a Rasiak/Priskin forward line as they both don’t work hard enough over 90 minutes.

28. Wat4Steve - 29/01/2009

Besides I don’t think we have had any false dawns this season I believe Tamas has been consistent and contributed in most games he has played in. Sure he has had bad games as have every player but yet sections of the crowd boo him. This mentality started last year with Stewart (I for one would like him back at the minute!).

Tamas is an intelligent player with excellent vision and touch. Possibly one of the most technically better players ever to have worn a WFC shirt. Yet the more vocal Watford fans appreciate the efforts of Lloyd Doyley more! A guy who can not pass has no positional sense ducks when he tries to head the ball and quite honestly is lucky to be playing at such a high level.

Others, Jay Demerit being the most notable have been atrocious for 12 months or so and are earning extortionate amounts of wages 7K / week yet appear to be getting unconditional support from the fans. Logic? There isn’t one!

29. Lesley-Anne - 29/01/2009

Totally disagree witht he comment that Jenkins had a quiet game and needs a rest. Particularly in the first half he was excellent, getting the ball out of the penalty box time and time again during Burnley’s dominant spell. We kept saying “Jenkins again” every time!
He has maturity way beyond his years and is a vital part of our team. I agree more with the person who said he should be first name on the teamsheet.
He is on a par with Cork in my opinion and he’s ours!!!

30. simmo - 29/01/2009

I thought it would be interesting to see the Burnley blogs about the game.

Apparently we are the dirtiest team they have played all season with all the shirt pulling (because obviously Paterson never does this) and that Smith took a dive to get one of their players booked (umm, I recall not 1 but 4 fouls before he was scythed from behind).

We are also still the same cheating team we were under Aidy by deliberately time wasting at goal kicks and throw ins. However in particular they refer to Will Hoskins edging ever further away from the bench when he was about to be substituted. Frankly I thought that the worst bit of time wasting was when Priskin put the ball in their net in injury time.

However most amusingly the consensus of opinion was that they outplayed us from beginning to end and our performance was that of a team certain to be relegated. If that was a performance of a relegated team I would like to see the score when Burnley play a team certain to be promoted.

Can Burnley fans now be added to the contenders for the sour grapes trophy 2008/9 along with Ipswich, Palace and Naridge.

Matt R – a few months ago I suggested that Simpson and Ashton should step down and you seemed aghast at the thought of the Russo’s returning. Would you now accept that this may not be so bad as surely they have been responsible in making funds available for the loan players and for the signing of Williamson. Welcome back Jimmy and Vince.

31. Matt Rowson - 29/01/2009

So far so good Simmo, although Williamson arriving surely had more to do with Ainsworth going, and Henderson and Robinson buggering off on loan freeing up the wages? If we’re comparing early achievements then Simpson’s whole “saving the club” thing will take some matching, no?

32. Wat4Steve - 29/01/2009

What was the point in saving the club if only to nearly destroy it again 2 years later? – There are skeletons still in a closet I for one hope they stay there.

I also remember a certain concert, three share issues, Helguson sale, premiership monies and cash injection from the Russo going some way to achieve this (saving the club).

Oh Jimmy and Vince also gave us the money to buy King and Hendo. Didn’t Simpson and Cashton also promise us a new East Stand? Nuff said

33. simmo - 30/01/2009

I agree that Simpson did save the club and his tenure should be remembered for that alone rather than what happened towards the end. I also agree that the sale of Ainsworth may have released some funds but surely Henderson and Robinson were not particularly well paid players at the club. Remember we have also taken on Hoyte, Cork and Bridcutt’s wages so in some sort of balancing act it does seem that the Russo’s have had a hand in releasing money.

I am not really seeking to compare regime’s but I do recall how the majority felt towards the end of November…..no manager, no money and no hope. We were talking about “when” Smith and others would be sold rather than “if”. The change in mood in the last week is palpable and this has to be in some small way to the change in board. Yes this is only the start but in my eyes the new board have started well.

34. Somerset 'orn - 30/01/2009

Wat4Steve – it would be delightful if Priskin could prove all the doubters wrong and start banging them in every week. But it doesn’t come down to just doubts about him – perhaps it’s rather that we’ve never had a squad that can play to his strengths. Maybe we are closer to that now.

Just an aside to all of the positivism surrounding the last two wins, Rodgers whimsical claim that we can make the playoffs still sits uncomfortably with me. To put it in context we’d need 14 wins from the last 17 games to have a chance – even Wolves, Reading and Birmingham have yet to find that kind of form. We’ve been subjected to too many questionable soundbites from his predecessor to stomach this kind of piffle right now.

A bit of naive positivism has its place, and it served Aidy well at the beginning. But in our position Rodgers would do better to show that he’s keeping his eye on the ball and concentrating on the relegation dogfight – something that he’s shown scant regard for until this week, preferring to plan ahead for a triumphant return to the premiership instead. We’re not out of trouble after one league win and a bit more pragmatism might be easier to swallow.

Leave the blind optimism to the supporters, Brendan, and concentrate on digging out some more performances like the last two.

35. stephen hoffman - 30/01/2009

you cant play tamas on his own up front it wont work and never has worked .

36. Simon - 30/01/2009

Let’s see how we do tomorrow.

My take on the Burnley game was that we restricted a decent side to a handful of chances despite them having a lot of the ball in the first half in particular. The movement of the two central midfielders combined with one of the forward pairing dropping off was as good as I’ve seen in a while in this division but we kept them out and carved out some decent chances of our own on the break.

I agree that the subs were all very sensible although I thought Williamson (L) added more than some seem to feel. Jenkins and Cork I thought both sat a little too deep throughout which helped to allow the Burnley central midfielders space (particularly as the wingers were clearly under orders to force their wingers inside). Williamson, in my view, offers something slightly different to both of the others in that he plays a bit further forward and looks to carry the ball himself. I think that gives us a slightly different dimension.

Wolves are a side that can score goals in a host of different ways. It’ll be a good test of Williamson (M)’s defensive and organisational capabilities but he got closer to his man on Tuesday than any Watford defender I’ve seen this year which isn’t a bad starting point.

For any Wolves fans that have strayed on here for a preview of tomorrow’s game, by the way, to make you feel at home, can I just add:


37. markymark - 30/01/2009

Simmo: We are not neccesarily paying Hoyte,Cork and Bridcutt’s wages.
The is a good chance that Chelsea ( despite Abramovich losing a couple of billion ) will be paying some,if not all of Corks’ and Bridcutt’s wages ,not that they are on big money yet.
Ditto Hoyte / Arsenal.

38. JohnF - 31/01/2009

Wat4Steve, I very much agree about Priskin and the attitude of some of our fans. I notice that Loach is now becoming the butt of the criticism when a performance from a just 20 year-old isn’t perfect. Even international keepers rarely have a perfect performance. He is the best young keeper in a long while so good on Aidy for bringing him in.

Matt, I agree about Simpson. There is a danger that our fans see everything in black and white. I am also a fan of the Russo’s who are excellent businessmen and Stewart Timperley who is very knowledgable, experienced, a fan and a gentleman.

39. Dave Jackson - 01/02/2009

Just got back from Wolves and although I’ve always loved Lloyd’s attitude and spirit, today it seemed plainly wrong to have him at left back while Harley sat on the bench.
Hoskins and Cork were the best of our lads today and fought superbly.
Doesn’t the table look depressing!

40. Matt Rowson - 01/02/2009

Perhaps with hindsight Dave, but Lloyd was a star turn against Burnley. I love Harley in midfield, but he’s unreliable defensively for me.

41. Far East Hornet - 02/02/2009

“I’m very proud of the performance”

“I think the scoreline flattered”

“With a bit of luck today we could have got something from the game ”

For f#s sake it was a 3-1 defeat in the middle of a relegation battle, which left us in the bottom 3.

Get a bit of fighting talk into you Rodgers for gods sake else we’re doomed, even despite the win the other day.

“Shame about the defeat today but I can’t wait to make ammends at Southampton. We’re going to go there and give ’em hell” That’s the sort of thing he should be saying in this situation.

P.S. I know Matt and Ian didn’t promise anything when they set this website up – but would it be asking too much to always have the result posted the next day and then just put up a quick comments section?

Could this be done automatically?

I’d imagine after this 3-1 defeat there would have been at least 20 or 30 comments come up right off…. and the run in looks like it’s going to provide plenty of talking points….

42. Gerry G - 02/02/2009

“And there was me suggesting that we were doomed with him in charge. Shows how much I know. ”

A home win over an out-of-form mid-table side is welcome, but hardly a vindication of Clodagh, so keep your scepticism honed, Matt. Royston Vasey struggled to get a result against Southampton on Saturday, and we were soundly stuffed against Wolves, so that puts the form in perspective. Anything less than 3 points against the Saints and the knives will be out again for Clodagh

43. Matt Rowson - 04/02/2009

Far East Hornet

first and foremost this is a blog. ig and I didn’t go to Wolves and therefore have nothing much to say. There are plenty of discussion forums available if that’s what you’re after…

Gerry G – you might have waited another day before that posting :). Actually I think Burnley WAS terrific, irrespective of what happened on Saturday. Form aside, Burnley looked good coming forward and we held them off. Unthinkable.

44. JohnF - 04/02/2009

Saturday will be interesting and an important test. We are going to need wins in all of our home games at this rate in view of the awful away form. However, I can’t quite put my finger on the reason although the report from one of the papers on the official website might have a clue. Brilliant passing but lacking cutting edge at either end. I guess that means ytoo tentative in defence and not getting the ball forward fast enough. It may be that this is a mental thing with the players and what they need is a bit of luck in an away game to trigger confidence.

Whether or not the fans are restless I don’t think the board will make any move just yet. However, I am concerned that attempts to unload high earners on loan have been frustrated by players not wanting to go. The attitude shown might say something about their mentality and one can only hope that it means they will fight for their places and start to deliver what we need. I’ll be interested to see how MacAnuff plays on Saturday against another relegation side, particularly with more competition for places and whether Eustace manages to show that he is worth considering in a relegation scrap.

45. Ian Lay - 04/02/2009

Well Saturday is one of those famous 6 pointers. I expect we are all thinking the same thing….. got to beat Southampton at home if you expect to stay up. Full of confidence we will and hoping to catch the game. My first for about a year. So might see some of you in the Rookery.

I think we’ll stay up. If we weren’t scoring goals I’d be worried. We are and the defence is apparantly looking better now Williamson has arrived.

46. Wat4Steve - 05/02/2009

“A home win over an out-of-form mid-table side is welcome, but hardly a vindication of Clodagh……………………” And a defeat against the team that is top of the table is hardly the final nail in the coffin. Even before the season started how many would have predicted getting a result away to Wolves?

Whatever anybody thinks about Lloyd or Harley on the balance of probability Harley must be the better option. Lloyd will without a doubt have the odd good game but he is far too much of a liability to get the nod ahead of Harley unless Harley is going to start left mid!

Team for Sat. (4-4-2) Loach, Hoyte, Williamson, Mariappa, Harley, McAnuff, Jenkins, Cork, Smith, Hoskins, Priskin. Subs Lee, Doyley, Wialliamson, Rasiak, Cauna

47. Weymouth 'Orn - 06/02/2009

Re; Wat4Steve (46)

Please keep up.
Your subs bench could look a bit thin.
Rasiak can’t play – as per the conditions of his loan.
Cauna can’t play – as per the usual conditions for anyone joining the ‘Orns (i.e get yourself injured a.s.a.p.)

48. markymark - 06/02/2009

Wat4Steve: I agree mostly with your team but Cauna has a slight injury so I would choose the same with the other new boy Cowie on the bench.
My only other change would be to start with Rasiak who links up well with Smith & Hoskins.
I feel that Priskin is a better option coming off the bench as he showed against Burnley.

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