jump to navigation

Watford 4 Sheffield Wednesday 1 (23/10/2009) 24/10/2009

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.

Five Thunks from a fun-packed evening at Vicarage Road.

1- Well I have to confess to not having seen that coming. The continuing absence of H and the Duke still on the bench didn’t particularly lift the spirits on the way into the ground either. It’s never as much fun as when you don’t expect it, is it…?

2- Speaking of which, Angela’s performance had not been suggested by his previous outings. Strong, confident, elegant, direct, and utterly unplayable. More please.

3- Having said all of which, Wednesday were pretty shocking. They were ropier than us defensively, and whilst Tudgay looked sharp there was next to nothing going on around him. And quite what Michael Gray, the most left-footed player ever, was doing on the right flank is beyond me.

4- And not wishing to focus unduly on the negative, but Scotty really does need to start coming for things and knocking opponents out of the way whilst doing so. It’s not as if his centre-backs are really big enough to do the job for him…

5- Having, whilst hanging the washing, frequently overheard two of my younger neighbours debating the various merits of the big four ad infinitum whilst kicking a ball around, I took the bold step of inviting the pair, both nine years old, to watch, you know, a proper football match, in the stadium and everything. The morning after, both are gushing about the experience and Josh is wearing a brand new replica shirt. My work here is done… (with a bit of help from Angela, Danny, Tom et al).


1. Craig Burley - 24/10/2009

Re thunk 5 – you’ve done well.

2. Matt Lovett - 24/10/2009

Best performance of the season by some way. Lansbury was superb, as were Cleverley and Cowie. In fact, Jenkins apart, I don’t think any of them had less than a good evening. Oh for Lloyd to finally get that elusive goal…I swear I saw a trickle of blood from his nose as his body struggled with the ‘altitude’ of being so high up the pitch when he nodded just wide…one day, one day…

3. Nigel - 24/10/2009

Watched it on tv Down Under and after the 4th goal went in, Gary Birtles said, “Absolutely brilliant…i’ll tell you what, this is the way football should be played”
Some of the stuff we played was a real joy to watch, the passing and movement was top drawer.
Can we get the youngsters on loan for the whole season though?
However in the meantime another 3 points towards safety.

4. Joons - 24/10/2009

Finally a performance from Angela, whose body language this far has been that of an arrogant so and so. But for me Cleverley was the outstanding player on the pitch: his workrate is phenomenal and his run for the last goal was sublime.
In addition, Eustace’s performance was a mighty two fingers up to those who cricitised him for not being up to scratch. You know who you are. Repent for he was wonderful on Fri night. Ross Jenkins could do with a little rest and learn from Eustace.

Wednesday were terrible, as insipid a performance as any we are likely to see from a visiting team this season.

Great week for the horns, and Malky deserves credit for a decent start to the season.

5. All To Cleverley - 24/10/2009

A cracking nights entertainment. Whilst the Owls were poor, some sublime movement and goals from the GB’s made it a night to remember for all the right reasons.

Hopefully it made for a good nights TV viewing also.

Unlike the “Big 4” watching Watford or your local club should be more fun than the annual scramble for European places. Good for you El Hornet History Man – I hope the 9 year olds return to Vic for many years to come.

6. Simon in Oz - 25/10/2009

A very rare chance for me to see a full game as it was live on TV in Oz. Before the match I was wondering how current WFC would compare to Sydney FC, my Southern Hemisphere team, where I never miss a game. Well now I know. The Northern Hemisphere would win about 10:1. This is no insult to Sydney, it’s just the crisp controlled passing, the intelligent runs, the effective tackling and the general purposeful play, all at 95mph, would be too much for them. It was lovely and the lack of a Doyley strike was the only regret.
Re: Matt and the 9 year olds. The Jesuits have always identified 7 as the ideal age for lifelong conversion, but this game was definitely worth delaying their first (footballing) communion for.

7. Luke Fairweather - 25/10/2009

A few thunks…

The scoreboard. Why is this so difficult? The basic requirement is to count time yet this seems beyond it and us to sort it out. Perhaps this is not high on Jimmy’s “to do” list, but this is shameful.

Malky. A real football manager and not a media tart. We all know which we prefer. Integrity anyone?

Filming from the other side of the ground. Am I alone in not quite being able to get my head around this? I am easily confused at my age but I get lost as to which end we are attacking.

Claridge “Watford wont get promoted” – hands up those who would like to see this prediction rammed down his ‘Orn’s hating throat.

BBC Commentary after goal 4 “Oh it’s terrific, it’s really good football by Watford” When was the last time a commentator said that about us? Have we finally laid rest the ghost of Boofers?

From my Manure supporting mate in the LR “very impressive tonight” trust me, this is the highest form of praise available.

What a week its been. Beyond any reasonable expectations, surely. More please!


8. benno - 25/10/2009

Great performance with some real moments to savour.
Only negative, the new scoreboard.

9. DM - 25/10/2009

The Owls were poor ? How would anyone know ?? We didn’t give them a sniff of the ball for large chunks of that game, especially the first 25 mins of the second half and had any of our 2nd, 3rd or 4th goals been scored at Anfield this afternoon, Andy Gray and co would be purring over them.

Take nothing away from Watford, the lads quite simply smashed Wednesday and played as well as anything we’ve seen since the last promotion season.

10. GraemeB - 25/10/2009

Totally agree with Joons’ comment on Eustace. He was immense, and on the strength of recent performances he deserves a run in the side. Jenkins has been disappointing lately — not that he’s done anything especially bad, but he hasn’t looked as solid as he did last season. It’s nothing to worry about as almost all young players take a dip at this stage, and he remains a tremendous prospect. A few games on the bench could do the trick.

11. Matt Rowson - 25/10/2009

Luke – Claridge isn’t the panto villain as a pundit that he was as a player. It sounded like a fair assessment to me, and we’d have taken the definitiveness of “won’t get relegated” at the start of the season.

DM – We were excellent, we were very much architechts of our own success, it wasn’t MERELY a matter of Wednesday being poor. But goals 1, 2, and 4 should all have been better defended, they offered next to nothing going forward, and they weren’t even putting us under pressure in possession… in the second half, Graham had three players near him and yet none closed him down as he received a Loach drop-kick, controlled and set off into their half. That’s unforgivable.

Luke Fairweather - 25/10/2009

Agreed, Claridge does deliver a fair assessment, and we should also be carefull what what wish for….however it would be a lot of fun, no?! One can only hope that Malky aviods the Manager of the Month Award for as long as possible.


12. rous man - 25/10/2009

Landsbury & Cowie played different roles from the other night at Ipswich Cowie more of the support role for D G and Landsbury as a proper midfield player (I had a bloke near me at Ipswich telling any one who would take notice how bad he was) Cleverley is different class hope we can keep all the loan players for the rest of the season. Loach wins us a lot more points than he might cost us. Eustace again was good & Cathcart is getting better.

13. Lesley-Anne - 25/10/2009

One of the best games at the Vic for ages!!! And it wasn’t a “single-handed” demolition by Lansbury as the League Paper state, this was a great all-round team performance. And as Matt said, especially after Cardiff, completely unexpected! If we can keep Cleverley and Lansbury for the whole season, we should have an enjoyable one.
As previously mentioned it was great to hear the media, particularly the Sky commentary team, being so complimentary about us (I think we found a new fan in Garry Birtles!) and making so much of our young team. Long may it continue!!
And re: the scoreboard, what was that all about?! It can barely be read in the Rookery at all. Why can’t we just use the big screen as a scoreboard with a clock showing the time as several other clubs do? It can’t be that difficult.

14. DM - 25/10/2009

Sorry Matt, I don’t buy that at all. Number one I’ll give you, but the piece of skill for Angela’s first was right out of the top drawer – there are very few defenders at this level that could have stopped him. Then Cleverley mesmerised the defenders with his quick feet to lay number 4 on a plate. Watch them back and you’ll see what I mean.

Of course, they weren’t great, but they weren’t as poor as some of your other posters are suggesting..

15. Matt Rowson - 26/10/2009


Cleverley was terrific for goal 4 but Lansbury shouldn’t have been first to his lay-back. The defender was ball-watching, and didn’t even attempt a block. For goal two, yes Lansbury’s piece of skill was fabulous and he made the goal by forcing the issue; had he not done what he did the two dallying defenders wouldn’t have looked like twats. But they DID look like twats, one of them needed to take control of the situation and put a challenge in.

16. Johnny Boy - 26/10/2009

I wonder if Malky and his team know their best team better than us fans – quite an admission for a fan to make. Re your thunk 1 Matt, I too was a little worried that with only the one recognised striker we were in for not very enjoyable evening. – wrong – and why Malky knows best.
– Some of our best results have come with this formation an we started against Cardiff and Covntry with two in attack.
– With the versatility of our two loanees and Messers Cowie and Harley we have midfielders who can attack.
– I think that Heider and the Duke will probably be used, to coin the phrase so beloved by the national press at the moment, as ‘Impact Players’ – and boy did Heider make an impact last time out.

Re Dan Cowie who is starting to look very tasty, that scottish cap seems to have done the trick, is causing me some concern in my ‘glass being half empty’ mood. The reason being that if he starts getting some goals a premier outfit might come a sniffing in January looking for a bench warmer and WFC’s cash requirements might take precedent

17. JohnF - 27/10/2009

This was an excellent performance with, as is the case with all such performances, a little luck thrown in. Just as one (or two) defeats didn,t mean relegation, one good win doesn’t mean promotion (the poisoned chalice?). This is a young side and will have its ups and downs and inconsistencies. This even applies to the older more experienced players. I see lots of criticisms of players but at the moment I think the youngsters are doing pretty well. Lansbury is only 18 for goodness sake and Hodson is only just 18, I think.
In terms of players going, I would have thought playing regularly and developing will encourage Wenger and Ferguson to leave their young charges with us until the end of the season, I would be more concerned about injury. I was disappointed with Ellington when he came on as his touch was both heavy and uncertain, I think he is right about best if he moved as that would ease the money situation. Graham was fantatsic again and in the Actim index for the league is the one to worry about creating interest as he is well up there like Tommy was last year. Funnily enough the other 3 Hornets in the top 100 are Loach, Cleverley and Doyley!

Looking at the league, this could well be the closest ever; a good few games can put you in the play-offs and poor few games can drop you into trouble. I’m hoping for upper mid-table and I am content to enjoy what is being served up. At least I am enjoying it and feel proud to be a Watford supporter, even in defeat we have played some great stuff.

18. DM - 27/10/2009

Matt, I’m not gonna let this lie ! The second goal – well yes one of the defenders needed to take control, but the fact is Lansbury executed his move too quickly for them. Same goes for the 4th.. Cleverley tied two defenders in knots, the rest of the defence was pulled out of shape, allowing Lansbury the time to find the space required.

It’s all about speed of reaction… not something we associate with most Championship centre halves.

19. Matt Rowson - 27/10/2009

I’m not disputing that we were brilliant, or that we asked questions of Wednesday that put them under pressure, forced the errors. It’s not the same as slapstick gifting of goals.

In the face of a tamer Watford performance Wednesday’s defence (entire team) might not have looked so wretched. But we DID ask the questions, they completely failed to provide answers (see response 15) and they DID look wretched.

20. GraemeB - 29/10/2009

Marlon King, what a charming character! But you have to say Boothroyd got the best out of him and managed to keep him largely out of trouble. That £3m look like a good bit of business now…

Harefield Hornet - 03/11/2009

“Largely out of trouble” I don’t think we are aware of half of it. God knows what he got up to – even when he was with us! – I just think he went through a lucky period of not getting caught!

That large string of previous convictions was certainly kept well hidden during the time he played for Watford – but thats hardly surprising given the spin that came out of the club during the previous regime. Off the field the bloke is obviously a one man horror show.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: