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End of Term Report Part 3 26/05/2010

Posted by Matt Rowson in Thoughts about things.
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The study still has one large box and any amount of unsorted crap nesting behind me, but I’ve carved myself out a corner, plugged things in and it all seems to be cooking so on we go…

11 (#1) – Jobi McAnuff

Although it didn’t feel that way at the time, I think we should perhaps be grateful for Jobi’s handful of appearances at the start of the season. The haphazard excitement of the win at the City Ground saw the last hour of his Watford career and was all I saw of him in our colours this season, but by all accounts his final four outings encapsulated Jobi at his most frustrating. Odd glimpses of devastating brilliance layered with rather more prolonged spells of irrelevance and petulance… had it not been for this timely reminder we might have mourned the loss of Jobi rather more, mindful of his fine form under Brendan Rodgers at the end of the previous campaign. As it was, McAnuff’s next appearance was against Watford having been reunited with his former manager. Having already prized money out of the Royals for Rodgers, and then seen Tommy Smith pull the rug dramatically and deliciously we were able to see McAnuff as the cherry on the cake as far as our fractious early-season relationship with the Berkshire club was concerned.

Next Season: McAnuff seemed to have a decent season at Reading, but that’s always been the thing, hasn’t it? He always looked exciting playing for other clubs… Wimbledon, Palace, West Ham, Cardiff. A player I’d always hoped we’d sign. Then we did and… well. Perhaps there’s something to read into the relatively frequent moves, and into the stories linking him to yet another sideways move to QPR.

11 (#2) – Heidar Helguson

There are several stick-in-the-memory images that will survive in the memory from this season. One of which I’m sure will be referred to in passing below. Another, I think, will be the sight of Helguson exiting stage right against a vanquished Reading, and Danny Graham’s enthusiastic appreciation for his strike partner, his urging of the Vicarage Road stands to match his own applause. Helguson’s second (and, technically, third) spells at Vicarage Road never quite managed to match the game against Leicester for heroic drama, but nor should they be cheapened by comparison with his first spell at the club, nor by the situation he found himself in. Quite clearly unfit for long periods, Helguson continued to put himself on the line in a manner quite unbefitting of a mere loanee. If his lack of mobility in the second half of the season limited his effectiveness, eleven goals in twenty six starts interrupted by injury was nonetheless a decent return; in competing and battling in a fashion that other loanees in the recent and not recent past really haven’t done, he displayed a professionalism that shouldn’t be taken for granted in retrospect.

Next Season: H will be 33 in August, and as we’ve seen this season will not be a young 33. It was suggested more than once during the year that a deal to retain H was all but agreed; if this is the case we’ll benefit from his experience and brutishness in a side lacking in both qualities. If not… I think we’ll appreciate the reasons why.

12- Lloyd Doyley

There are still detractors, clearly, and there are conversations that are just not worth having. Like… if you don’t get why the MK Dons are an abomination then it’s really not worth explaining to you. Again. And like… if you really are going to buy the Daily Mail through choice then your thought processes are so far removed from mine that I can’t begin to put myself in your shoes and as such will never win the argument. Nor do I want to, frankly. Those daft enough to dismiss Lloyd as a problem that needs solving just haven’t been paying attention. Fortunately, as second place in the Player of the Year award reflects, a fair few have. Oh, and that goal…

Next Season: Lloydinho will be here forever. Splendid.

14- Ross Jenkins

After a strong 2008/09, the last campaign was somehow less impressive from the youngster. The greatest problem appeared to spring from an uncomfortable midfield partnership with John Eustace that never quite worked; whilst not fulfilling identical roles, the two never really complemented each other and as Henri Lansbury found his home in the centre of midfield Jenkins was always going to be the fall guy as the rejuvenated Eustace brought some much needed gravitas to the midfield. Still a teenager, it would have been nice to have seen a bit more of Jenkins alongside Lansbury in some ways; in any event, the lad has a bright future and might benefit from only having played half the season; more experienced players found the full whack a very tall order.

Next Season: Still in and around the squad and probably a first choice in the centre again as the squad stands. One to be patient with – this boy will be a star.

15- Jon Harley

There can’t have been many Watford supporters who wouldn’t have liked to keep Jon Harley. He may have been a nasty little bugger but he was our nasty little bugger, and even off the bench provided both venom and an option in several positions when such were needed. Thing is… if you were starting from scratch with our budget, there’d be little justification in spending what must be a considerable wad on an experienced player who was, at best, the first choice cover in a number of positions. We simply don’t have that luxury. Some might argue that Harley was under-utilised as a left back as the only senior left-footed player in the squad; as mentioned a few times on these pages he was never dependable enough as a defender for my money, caught too often out of position. In any event, Harley was never going to stay, having made what is presumably a very healthy nest egg out of seeing out contracts and negotiating signing-on fees as a free agent ever since he left Chelsea in his one big-money move as a 20 year-old.

Next Season: Somewhere like Preston seems a sound bet, with Darren Ferguson taking a broom to the Deepdale squad. Or perhaps a return to Burnley, one of few who will have enough loose change to recruit experienced cover. Good luck Jon in any event. Job done.

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Comments»

1. wfcsteve - 27/05/2010

Matt
You’re comments on Lloyd encapsulate everything I have loved about BSaD and BHaPPY over the years. Absolutely brilliant!

Jim Nash - 27/05/2010

Well Said wfcsteve.
Every word and every sentiment included in that one paragraph make you feel you are in tune with like minded people and that it is actually worth reading a football related website (‘cos let’s face it – I you wouldn’t admit to reading any of the others).

Pete - 28/05/2010

Jim, agree 100%. Lloyd, MK Dons and particularly the Daily Mail comments – I’m at home!

2. Old Git - 27/05/2010

Will you just bloody listen, young man? I am being driven to the other side of sanity by this ridiculous word ‘loanee’. The word is LOAN. The only possible use of ‘loanee’ is to describe somebody who is in receipt of a loan, NOT the loan itself. If you borrow, say, a power-drill from your neighbour, then that power-drill becomes a ‘loan.’ It does not become a ‘loanee’. The same goes for sums of money, bicycles, small amounts of sugar or anything else you are likely to borrow, including footballers.
If I read BHappy, does that make me a ‘readee’? Or if I listen to the opinions of David Cameron, am I therefore a ‘toffee’?
Yes, I know that English is a constantly evolving language but there’s no excuse for using stupid made-up words when there is already a perfectly adequate one.

I am bracing myself for your views on Tom Cleverley. I could go completely over the edge…..

Matt Rowson - 27/05/2010

At the risk of prolonging a discussion when I should just apologise and move on…

I would argue that in widely accepted football parlance the act of loaning someone is the loan, not the subject of that loan. Similar for transfer… someone is the subject of a transfer, not the transfer itself?

And I’m not likely to borrow a football, personally. Or a small cup of sugar, since Tsega normally keeps vatloads in the cupboard to make sure that her teaspoon can stand up in her tea. I did, however, recently borrow a power drill.

3. Simon - 27/05/2010

As a self-certified pedant, I thought I’d weigh in on this (I’ve probably proved on more than enough occasions that I know insufficient about the football to comment intelligently).

I think the issue here comes of the fact that the football world is one of the few in which items capable of independent thought and action can be the subject of a “loan”.

The parallel is in business where one company borrows and employee from another company. That person becomes a “secondee” (which does appear in the dictionary).

There’s therefore a strong argument that the use in the football world of the verb ” to loan” (why football clubs “loan” things rather than “lends” them still escapes me) instead of “to second” makes a footballer that is the subject of a loan, a “loanee”.

I would also suggest that someone in receipt of a loan would more properly be described as a “borrower” rather than a “loanee”.

For anyone who wants to discuss this further, I’ll be sat in the Upper Rous next season with a large number of empty seats around me for reasons that have probably just become apparent.

4. Old Git - 27/05/2010

Oh dear. I am now concerned you might start referring to a transferred player as a ‘transferee’.

In football parlance the word ‘transfer’ can surely refer both to a transaction or to the player who is the subject of that transaction. Likewise ‘loan’.
For example, the phrase ‘He has been signed on a free transfer from Stockport’ can also be legitimately expressed as ‘He is a free transfer from Stockport’.

I hope you were successful with whatever you did with the loaned power drill. When the loan was negotiated, was it stipulated that it could be recalled at any time and that it would not be used against its owner?
And did you actually use it, or did you just keep it on a bench until it got fed up and went back?

Matt Rowson - 27/05/2010

The doorbell is affixed, and the numbers on the front of the porch also (and almost straight, too).

This weekend: clocks, pictures and photographs. If I have enough rawlplugs.

I’ll try to keep you updated…

5. JohnF - 27/05/2010

I agree with your assessments Matt (dammit) and particularly Ross Jenkins who came through a nasty injury to do pretty well. I just hope that our fans are sufficiently patient and the boo-boys leave him alone. In fact leave everybody alone as booing your own side is crass and mindless and only does harm. Lloyd, an entertainer who is becoming more consistent and certainly a better bet at left back than Harley. McAnuff just didn’t give enough often enough to be worth the money.

6. drewoneone - 27/05/2010

Whatever Heidar does next season he has now joined my own personal Hornets Hall of Legendary Fame. The other inductees (sorry if this is gramatically cobblers Old Git) are:

Tom Walley, Stewart Scullion, Barry Endean, Luther Blissett, Old Ross Jenkins, Graham Taylor, Nigel Callaghan, Tony Coton, John Barnes, Tommy Smith, Ashley Young, Nigel Gibbs (one of the nicest people in footbal I have ever met)…..Lloyd Doyley.

Most of them were likely to do something unexpected that stuck in my memory, HH being no exception.

7. Sequel - 28/05/2010

Matt, Simon. Would you like to discuss the etymology of “bouncebackability”?

Matt Rowson - 28/05/2010

no.

8. Old Git - 28/05/2010

A couple of oversights, surely, Drewoneone……Tommy Mooney and Wilf.
Both should surely be induced into any Hall of Legends.

9. Steve - 28/05/2010

Jobi – agree; what a disappointment.

H – agree; what a legend.

Diddly – I reckon he could leave at any time. He is clearly rated by other managers and we are not in a position to turn down sensible bids. But I don’t think he would instigate a move if we treat him well. Oh, and you can add the ‘The Guardian’ to the papers list…

Jenkins – agree; what an apparent talent, but let’s hope that it wasn’t a false season (the good one).

Harley – again I agree. I hate agreeing. I hate writing to say that I agree even more. I might even scrub this post and pretend to disagree, but a) l don’t think I could make a creditable argument; b) I’ve taken the time to write the above (which I’m not going to reread before sending) and; c) life’s too short.

Cheers

10. Jeremy Clarkson - 29/05/2010

JC here

drewoneone

What no Dom Foley…shame on you

11. Lanterne Rouge - 29/05/2010

McAnuff has been superb for Reading and that run where he took on teh whole Liverpool team at Anfield in the FA Cup was truly thrilling – but I take your warning that he may go off the boil seriously Matt. It’s up to Jobi to build on his promise now.

12. JohnM - 29/05/2010

Drewoneone. At last a list I can agree with! Plus the addition of Old Gits Tommy M and Wilf R. Being (probably) older, I have to add Pat Jennings, Duncan Welbourne, Keith Eddy. And how about Steve Sims and McClellend? That’s about it. really—

13. Dave Hart - 30/05/2010

The problem with Harley is that he is as much an asset as he is a liability. He was always going to be sent off for a stupid tackle sooner or later, as he was against West Brom. His poor temperament is probably what has held him back in his career.

Looking back now, Boothroyd was given a budget to sign players at the start of his final season. He splashed out big wages on Rasiak and Harley. As useful as they were, perhaps he would have been wiser to sign five or six cheaper players instead, as the squad at the time so completely unbalanced.

Having said that, at least Boothroyd only signed them on short-term deals this time.

14. Simmos - 31/05/2010

Old Git – It’s alright. Your irony has not been lost on me!

15. NickB - 01/06/2010

Old Git – did you really mean to start another one over induced v inducted?

And can we start singing ‘The refer is a w****r?

16. Esp - 01/06/2010

drewoneone – I was going to make the same point as Old Git about a grave oversight from your list

Having watched the Hornets since 1995 Mooney’s passion and mutual respect with the supporters has not really been surpassed and he is a true legend in my book and one of football’s “nice guys”

(Great to see him and Luther on Saturday at the Vic for the SEJ gig too)

17. NickB - 01/06/2010

Ian Bolton and Stewart Scullion for me.

Agree on Keith Eddy too. The fittest (in the old fashioned sense) chain smoker I ever saw.

18. Simoninoz - 02/06/2010

Dear Old Git,
You have me worried. I am Training Manager for a medium-sized company in Oz. Does this mean the poor, unwilling souls that come to my workshops are no longer ‘trainees’, but need to be addressed as ‘trains’?
If any of them were named Ray I would, of course, be delighted.
You have to be a (slightly) old git to get that one.
Keep smiling everyone!

19. drewoneone - 08/06/2010

Yep, you are all right about the Moonster, how I didn’t include him is a mystery to me too.

Keith Eddy – another hero of mine I would probably include if we get to the second floor of my Legendary Hall. What I remember about Keith is his penalty taking prowess, I can’t remember him missing one.

Dom Foley on the roof with Bill Baxter.


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