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Watford 2 Crystal Palace 0 (28/02/2009) 28/02/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

1- Good stuff from the Don.  Comfortably his most impressive outing so far, he covered an enormous amount of ground, scored the first, made the second and got himself into positions to cause trouble throughout.

2- That opening goal was handy, mind, we’re custom-made to defend a lead at the moment.  At some point it would be nice to see how the new model copes with going a goal down.  Not against Palace though, oh no.  And offside or otherwise Colin’s reaction was tremendous… and him staying “on” was far more entertaining than a red card would have been.

3- Glad we’re not doing scores any more… would be difficult to know how to rate Mr.Loach.  Scarcely a save to make, but no small nervousness in the penalty area on occasions.

4- What a pass from Smudge to find Harley’s overlap…

5- Three games now against teams that are “down there”.  Continue this good run and lingering relegation concerns could be behind us in ten days’ time.


Watford 2 Swansea City 0 (17/02/2009) 17/02/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from the win over the Swans



2- How bloody hard did every single one of them work tonight?  In the process reducing a very evidently capable Swansea side to a pass-to-consequence ratio unseen at Vicarage Road since the departure of Vialli. 

3- Masterful stuff from Lloyd Doyley, Nathan Dyer disappearing into his pocket whither many have gone before him.

4- Enjoyed the squad huddle at the end of the game.  Any excuse for gratuitous fist waving (I don’t get out much…)

5- Good stuff from the Rookery.  Has anyone worked out what the first two lines of that song are yet…?

Watford 1 Chelsea 3 (14/02/2009) 14/02/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five thunks from the Cup exit to Chelsea

1- A tremendous effort all round.  Losing to Chelsea is no disgrace for a side at the bottom of the second division, and if we rode our luck more than once we also came close to levelling the game at 2-1 down.  Lots of good individual performances… the wonderful Jenkins, rejuvenated Demerit, unrecognisable Priskin, bullish (!) McAnuff.  But the team worked, for the most part.

2- Lloydy Doyley, football genius.  The outside-of-the-boot pass that released Priskin for the opening goal was a thing of beauty…

3-…and what a five minutes that was.  All manner of bedlam in the Rookery.  One of those goal celebrations that only ever seems to happen under floodlights… where gravity is temporarily suspended and you find yourself buffeted on waves of noise.

4- Anelka.  Frightening.  Like having to mark a ghost.

5- We need to get this whole thing out of our system pronto.  This was always a no-lose game;  even a replay would have been a bonus and an achievement.  But on Tuesday night we need to win.

Bring on the Wilkins 09/02/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Following Saturday’s opponents’ extraordinary decision to dismiss manager Luis Felipe Scolari, added entertainment value is provided by the installation of Ray “Uncle Fester” Wilkins as Caretaker.

One needs to retain a little perspective of course.  Chelsea’s “crisis” is a relative thing… they’re still fourth in the top flight, we’re still in the second division relegation zone etc etc.  And if the dressing room was as anti-Scolari as has been mooted, we may suffer the collective relief at his departure.

But not if Ray Wilkins has anything to do with it, a man whose continued employment on the coaching staff of any club, let alone one of the most successful sides in the country, remains a source of wonder.  The assumption had been that he was a canny media appointment by the Blues… stick him in front of a microphone to blather confidently but pointlessly at let the rest of them get on with running the team without letting him do any more than stick the bollards out.

And yet he’s in caretaker charge.  One can only hope that it remains so until after the weekend.  His season at Watford should add venom to the home support;  Vialli, disaster though he was, can be granted some small respite in retrospect by virtue of his motivation.   It’s not as if he was at Watford for the glamour, or even the money.  He wanted to prove himself as a manager, much as he failed to do so.

But Wilkins was just after a meal ticket.  Throughout his employment, his dual role as Sky summariser was captioned “former Manchester United and England midfielder…”, with no mention of who currently paid his wages.  Surely, these will be his last days in charge of a football team.  It would be lovely to make them uncomfortable.