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End of Term Report Part 2 17/06/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.

Well yesterday’s instalment provoked no end of comment.  Balls to the lot of you, I’m enjoying myself and if I haven’t got proper football to distract me from worky nonsense I can at least think about it…

5- Leigh Bromby

Bromby arrived with Sadler and Eustace in the ill-fated “patch up the promotion push” exercise in January 2008.  Since when… he’s just been sort of there really.  The neatest encapsulation of his time at Vicarage Road came against Wolves at home, when he had a decent go at containing a difficult opponent but failed to do so.  Inconspicuous mediocrity.  It was only on my brother’s resumption of regular attendance mid-season and an early confession that Bromby “worried him” that I remembered that he was in the team at all.  Consequently, every post-match analysis at the top of Occupation Road saw Will run his fingers nervously, involuntarily through his hair at mention of Bromby’s name. Perhaps that has drilled something into my subconscious… but for whatever reason I can’t help feeling that if we’ve needed to shift people on, Bromby wasn’t a bad choice.  His eagerness to return to the subs bench at Bramall Lane suggests that the feeling is mutual.

Next Season: Not sure whether he’s officially gone yet or whether the Blades are just holding off in the hope of a bulk discount (“What, they’re signing Ellington too…?”).  Either way, inconspicuous space-filling on the Bramall Lane bench awaits.

6- Jay Demerit

Like David Holdsworth in days of yore, Demerit is a completely different animal alongside a dominant centre-back.  Before Mike Williamson’s arrival Demerit appeared to be as much part of the problem as anyone in our porous back line.  Since then he’s looked much happier, much more the bullish, confident defender that once partnered his now-manager.  Doubts remain over his suitability as a captain, a role that has always seemed to detract from his on-field performances but there’s no doubt that his heart’s in it and he’d be missed if peddled on over the summer.

Next Season: If he stays, we could do with his new partner in crime hanging around also.

7- (#1) Damien Francis

You don’t need me to tell you that the idea of Damien Francis proved a lot more appealing than the reality.  One of those players who would always look good on a highlights video, he certainly had the Tim Cahill/John-Joe O’Toole trick of timing his runs into the box well, but otherwise tended to disappoint in his time at Vicarage Road.  It may be that had we ever seen a completely fit Damien Francis after his first season he would have proved more than adequate in the second tier, but as a big man in, with one or two notable exceptions, what was a fairly small side he frustrated by his reluctance to employ his stature.

Next Season: NA (retired)

7- (#2) Liam Bridcutt

The first of the heralded flood of young pretenders brought in by Brendan Rodgers, it would be fair to say that he largely failed to make the impact that all parties must have hoped.  His debut against Doncaster promised slightly more than an ignominious drift out of the side via the subs’ bench, being arguably his strongest and certainly his bolshiest performance;  ultimately he’ll be remembered as epitomising the very awkward period at the start of Rodgers’ reign which really didn’t work at all.

Next Season:  Another loan.  Plymouth, perhaps.

7- (#3) Don Cowie

Mike Williamson might have made the most dramatic and evident impact of our January recruits, but Don Cowie’s first six months at the club were no less successful.  A terrific amount of energy combined with a tidy use of the ball and fabulously timed runs, there’s no doubt he’s a big asset;  we missed him after injury ended his season prematurely at the start of April.

Next Season:  Not mentioned in dispatches regarding possible poachings and squad-trimmings.  Bloody good job.  A key man.



1. MintyJaffa - 18/06/2009

The first reply.. I am obviously the only one not too busy to comment, b ut keep up the good work Matt…

How depressing is it that of the 10 players you have mentioned in the first two posts, only 3 are likely to be with us come August, possibly 2 if Jay flies the nest, although I think unlikely.

And what thoughts our Central Midfield for 2009/10 as our quality Jocks seem to spend all their time injured???

2. NRC - 18/06/2009

We are listening really Matt – more excellent work. New manager new captain perhaps, anything to spare us from Jay’s anodyne programme notes. Agree also re. Cowie, would be good to see him over a season in a settled side, a cause for optimism along with Williamson – two of BR’s better imports.

3. DM - 18/06/2009

Yeah, keep up the good work Rowson. Blah Blah Blah. Naturally, I disagree with everything*.

Black shorts again I note..

* Except all of it, actually. Damn.

4. Tim Turner - 18/06/2009

Yes, I’m listening and enjoying this feature a lot. Back in GT’s golden era, he always used to do something similar for the WO at the end of each season, and I always found it fascinating to hear the manager’s honest assessment of his players. I don’t think any Watford manager since has done the same thing, which is a shame.

The scary thing is that you’ve covered 10 players and only got up to no. 7 in the squad list. The fact that three different men wore the no. 7 shirt at various times says a lot about what a chaotic jumble of a season it was.

5. odc - 18/06/2009

No question that Cowie is already a good asset – and becomes even more significant as a creative source if Tommy disappears somewhere (please not Berk-shire!). As long as Malky can keep at least one of them – and Williamson – we’ll be fine.

6. Sequel - 18/06/2009

I agree with the others; good stuff, Matt. I, too, hear the tumbleweed drifting by at the mention of Leigh Bromby

7. Ady - 18/06/2009

Absolutely keep up the good work! Makes me realise how much I miss BSaD! Stranded in Cornwall I only get to see the Horns a couple of times a season (and I’ve seen the sublime to the ridiculous at the Theatre of Greens over the years – including last season’s mystifying team selection just as we were on a roll!).
What strikes me from the players you’ve covered so far is my realisation that I wouldn’t be able to recognise half of them if I bumped into them on Plymouth Hoe. They can’t be real Watford players – just an array of here today gone tomorrow (to paraphrase Sir Robin Day) bit part players. I just hope that next season we can build a settled side with what we’ve got left without running to the premiership’s (“not a premier, not a…”….now that takes me back) kindergarten every half hour. I want a Watford side I can recognise from one week to the next… and mid table obscurity.
See you all on ANOTHER Tuesday night (why?) in Plymouth!
Keep the faith!

8. Jeremy Clarke - 18/06/2009

jc here

mr – stop being so perdantic..we are all out here musing over your words..just that they second place after the fxture list

9. Mike S - 19/06/2009

It’s not just BSaD’s crack squad of writers that are no longer on standby – it’s the fleet of wannabe readers tuning in every day in the hope that someone has penned a GBNF for Colin Simpson, or a “Lewington Out” article.

We still love you Matt. It’s just that BHaPPY is more of a “log on once a week to see if either of them has got off their jacksie and written something” thing.

Good stuff, by the way. Predicting what happens to these chaps next season is extremely tricky, as we don’t know what MM thinks of them. Perhaps Sadler’s Watford career has further mileage yet; MM’s already hinted that he’ll welcome Ellington into the first team reckoning.

10. DM - 19/06/2009

Good article, that ‘Lewington Out’ one….

11. Mike S - 19/06/2009

Oi – I didn’t say anyone had written it. But there were plenty of misguided souls who would have appreciated it. Like, erm, Graham Simpson, for instance…

12. Ian Lay - 21/06/2009

Great articles Matt. Didn’t comment as I was going to wait until the end until I’d read all of them. I must admit I do like these little “end of season reports”. Always a good read.

I miss BSaD too. The writing and the reading.


13. Lanterne Rouge - 28/06/2009

Hi folks – you will all be interested to read a really good profile of JayDeMerit in today’s New York Times. I have posted a link to this on a new blog I have set up with a mate covering all things to do with the Coca Cola Championship, hopefully from a non-partisan perspective. The blog is called Thetwounfortunates and is at http://thetwounfortunates.blogspot.com/

14. Dave Hart - 29/06/2009

I’ve heard whispers that Bromby was on enormous wages, and that he simply HAD to go, although it would be interesting to know if this was actually true. I have also heard that he was homesick, so it could be either or both reasons for his departure.

I found that out of every four appearances, he would have a stormer followed by a mixture of average and stinkers. I shall certainly remember him for his awesome performance at home to Norwich, when both fullbacks were run ragged. Bromby and Marriappa kept us in the game that day, no doubt.

Last time I looked, Bromby was not on the Watford squad, and I believe that it was a done deal in January, bar the red tape. Perhaps United were waiting for the parachute money to come in first.

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