Watford 0 Scunthorpe United 2 (23/10/2010) 23/10/2010Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.
Five thunks from an underwhelming afternoon at Vicarage Road.
1- My last thunk regarding the general quality of our play this season after Tuesday’s game couldn’t have been more unfortunately timed. This one stank to high heaven… and there exists no more reliable an indicator of an awful performance than the home crowd, at 2-0 down, booing the display of four added minutes at the end of the game as being too long. Miles had left much earlier in the half seeking solace in a cigarette… correctly deducing, one assumes, that we weren’t going to score if the game continued until the East Stand is rebuilt. The reality remains, of course, that we expected far more of this this season than we have been subjected to… but the limitations of our squad were suddenly painfully evident.
2- In particular, our ability to cope with both injuries to key players, and of our young squad to bounce back from a poor performance looks like being tested to the full. Danny Graham’s departure didn’t look at all good, and one can only hope that if Marvin Sordell’s replacement was as a consequence of his earlier knock, then it was precautionary. Malky has demonstrated a sensible, disciplined instinct to err on the side of caution with knocks already this season, presumably in recognition of the need to keep everyone fit. Troy Deeney gave us all palpitations by apparently trying to get himself sent off on his appearance off the bench, potentially reducing our forward line at Derby to zero (has anyone got Craig Levein’s phone number? or Jay DeMerit’s?). Deeney could finally get a run in the team however, which might be a fairer basis to judge him on than the half-hour cameos that have characterised his Watford career thus far.
3- Not that we were short of players that could have been done with replacing, and not that I’m in favour of knocking youngsters, but few will have survived 90 minutes playing worse than Michael Bryan did today. He’s clearly got something, the quality of deliveries is decent and he’s got quick feet. He’s not remotely ready yet though and with his deliberation on the ball slowing down a game that we needed to stretch, the more direct, chaotic influence of Will Buckley staying on the bench was a little odd.
4- None of this should take anything away from Scunny, who did more than just win the game by default and were worthy victors. Tight, disciplined, tidy and, ultimately, clinical, they look a reasonable side. Few visiting right backs will have a greater influence on a game at the Vic this season than Cliff Byrne, who followed an exquisite finish for the first goal with a crucial sliding block as Danny Graham pulled the trigger during our good five minutes immediately afterwards, and denied a far post chance with a diving header to clear a right wing cross in the second, arguably worth another two goals to his side.
5- Lloyd reminded us why he’s only netted the one goal with a horrible miss to an open goal at the Rookery End. This miss contributed to a bizarre goal famine in front of the Rookery; of the 23 goals scored in the League at the Vic this season, only 4 have been at this end and only one of those, John Eustace’s bicycle kick against Coventry, scored by someone in yellow.