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Watford 0 Crystal Palace 2 (16/10/2011) 15/10/2011

Posted by Matt Rowson in Match reports.
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Pausing only briefly to apologise to those who took the time to comment on the Millwall post and whose posts went unacknowledged and, until now, unpublished (gmail decided to start sending comment notifications to my Spam file after 5 years of accepting far less pertinent comment…)…  thunks….

1- We like to think we resist the temptation to exaggerate here at BHaPPY.  So in response to the predictably excitable pronouncement of “a new low” from over my left shoulder one should perhaps concede that Forest was worse.  Worse in its stultifying ineptitude, worse in the pathetic calibre of the opposition who were giftwrapped the result.  Palace at least did what they had to do (not much, we’ll get to that), and earned the win.

But this was still grotesque.   Hogg’s increased willingness to push on, a key factor in the victory over Millwall, was completely absent from this afternoon’s showing, with Eustace and Hogg again sitting behind the ball.  So this isn’t just about individual performances… both had useful touches.  But with NOTHING coming into the gap between the opposition midfield and defence the strikers are playing perpetually with their backs to goal;  the ball goes wide, then back to midfield, then wide, then we lose it.  Palace did exactly what every opponent with half a brain will do until something changes quite radically… sat back and let us smack our very blunt heads against them. And then broke on us.

With a big, solid side and defensive players in midfield positions Palace were well equipped to do just that.  They offered little going forward and might well not have gotten the winner but rarely looked like conceding either; the excitable Zaha picked out an absolute pearler, Palace immediately settled back into their banks of four and the game was over.

2- Of the many concerns, most fundamental is the lack of an apparent plan.  We’re in mid-October, and I’m still no clearer about how Sean envisages chances being created by this midfield than I was when it was first fielded against Birmingham.  Reservations about the Hogg/Eustace combo were expressed then… with the rider that this was one game based on little training ground time, an understanding would take time.    Getting of for two months on, it’s not clear what we’re expecting to happen.  Hogg occasionally pushes forward, normally to positive effect, but generally we’ve got a back six.  It’s not that things are being tried but not working.  It’s not that the team plays badly but you get the idea.  It’s that the individual vim of our attacking players is being sapped by the ineffectiveness of our attacking shape.  Nowhere is this more evident than in Marvin Sordell;  streaky last season, it nonetheless feels like no coincidence that his bullish start to the campaign, the focal point who we relied on to dig out a goal and who seemed desperate to step up in the absence of his erstwhile partner now looks like a passenger.  This doesn’t reflect well on him… but it’s hard not to sympathise with someone working with such scraps.

3- Hope comes in the shape of Joe Garner.  On the odd occasion when we got the ball in to his feet as he dropped deep… suddenly we looked potent, dangerous.  This was most evident in the first half; Michael Kightly looked hugely positive early on before fading… he wandered inside and slipped a beautiful pass into Garner whose shot beat Speroni but crashed off the post.  It has to be said that we didn’t always play to Garner’s strengths;  one wonders if, having heard Joel Garner (sic) announced as the teams were read out, we half expected to see a ten foot West Indian pace bowler up front and aimed our balls accordingly.  No, I don’t know anything about bloody cricket, ig told me.

It has to be said, however, that Garner doesn’t appear to adhere to Corinthian values.  Quickly gauging Mark Halsey’s fussiness, he’s adept at bouncing off the slightest bodily contact, will give a little shove to gain himself space, use his hand if he thinks he can get away with it.  Frankly, we have weightier things to worry about at the moment than this… but I’d like to like my team, even as they’re struggling a bit…

4- Did you ever play arcade football games, back in the day, where there’d be a bug, or glitch, such that certain stock moves could be guaranteed to deliver a goal?  And how, much as you tried to resist the temptation to fall back on this get-out-of-jail free you just couldn’t help yourself?  So… it’s churlish to criticise over-reliance on one stock tactic, we’ve all been there.  Except that it’s not as if the long cross-field ball to Forsyth is actually getting us anywhere very often.  Perversely, he’s at his most effective with the ball at his feet – a little ungainly, but tidy, there’s something there.  Not something that’s justified him playing every minute this season until the 67th minute mind.

5- Most of all, it’s just boring.  As was observed pre-match… a fairly forgiving Watford crowd, or at least elements of it, will seize upon any hint of encouragement, is just desperate for it.  It’s not there.  The atmosphere was dead – in the home end – from the first minute, the inevitable sarcasm from the away end almost not worth the effort.  Yes, of course it’s quiet.  We f***ing know.  It’s desperate.  I’ve got a pass-out to go to Leicester on Wednesday;  the only justification I can conjure is that with zero expectations I can’t possibly be disappointed.  A more pressing personal decision is whether to bring my 5-year-old daughter to the Peterborough game, her first proper match.  She has a ticket, but I can’t imagine that the nonsense we’re being asked to watch at the moment is going to sell the experience to her.  Depressing stuff.

 

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Comments»

1. Chris Edwards - 15/10/2011

Matt, agree with much of what you have written. Just wonder if we need to be looking further behind the scenes towards backroom staff? Does dyche need his mate as assistant or should we be employing someone more objective and with experience to offer advice tactical or otherwise? I am in this instance referring to Mr Woan and someone in a similar role to burkenshaw (spelling?) under boothroyd. This could be the only change that is needed as I actually think we have the players that could take us handily into mid-table (although you should know my thoughts on Forsyth by now).

2. Nigel - 15/10/2011

Maybe we should bring in a ruling for this season that at least one thunk every game has to be a positive silver lining thunk?

And just to make it really hard, this thunk has to be WFC related…

Matt Rowson - 15/10/2011

That you feel the need to suggest such a ruling is a pretty damning indictment…

3. Scully - 16/10/2011

I’m sorry Matt but you have been building towards this penultimate negative report and your view that, SD is not the man to take us onwards and upwards is, in my opinion not giving him a chance!.
His still learning his craft and still early in the season yes, we did not play well today but, lets agree on one thing.
Palace were very fortunate today, 2 wonder goals that would have graced the prem, Match of the day!
Its easy to criticise at this time but, we need to look at the bigger picture and not make these early presumptions.
Just remember, its not a sprint but a marathon that takes us over the line eventually.

Matt Rowson - 16/10/2011

At no point did I say that SD is not the man to take us forward. Nor do I have an agenda as you imply… I completely supported SD’s appointment, he would have been my first choice. I expected some kind of continuity as a result, but his approach has been conservative and ineffective. Palace weren’t fortunate… they played in a way that was guaranteed to stop us playing and broke, a classic away performance and they got the three points. If you can see green shoots you have keener eyesight than I do.

4. Mark - 16/10/2011

I am not sure we’ve had such a toothless attack in over 20 years of watching the GBs.

Must be one of the slowest in that time at least.

Feel a bit sorry for the defence as they’ve generally done ok this season but are likely to give one away (TBF the Palace goals were well taken) whilst we appear to have little chance of scoring.

5. The Great Big O - 16/10/2011

Thunk five is particularly accurate. It was boring.

The only moment that made me feel something was when Sords got the ball in our half, turned, and ran past – what? – five players to arrive at the edge of their box. Stunning. Thrilling.

And what was our fans’ response to this spark of life, this brilliance? They greeted the unsuccessful end of his run by shouting vitriolic abuse at him. Yeah, that told him. Don’t try that again, mate. We don’t like that round here.

(I hope the boss won’t tell him that too, but with the lack of adventure programmed into this team, I can’t be sure.)

I like the tidiness of Hogg, but we desperately need invention in that role. Whichelow? Murray?

Help.

Jon - 16/10/2011

A little unfair on the crowd. At the end of the run Kightly was in acres of space and was crying out for the ball, as the crowd could see. Nothing wrong with a selfish striker, especially one who has had little support, but you have to accept the frustration if it doesn’t work. In this case he needed at least to get a shot in. All that hard work and then to be bundled off the ball…. We’re only human I’m afraid
Worst of all was that the match was just so predictable. Each game (home) we miss a couple of chances before going behind. Frankly we never look like getting back into a game. Still not quite sure how we did against Birmingham and Milwall.
I’m bringing my son to Peterborough, but he’ll bring his DS just in case!
Frustrating, but no where near an all time low. Look back to Colin Lee or even poor Ray Lewington’s last couple of games. Still got a way to go yet. But there should always be hope and I’ll still be going. Come on SD proove people wrong.

PS: As for people on “another site” calling for Billy Davies. Spare us all.

Matt Rowson - 16/10/2011

Davies. Good God.

Roger Smith - 16/10/2011

Quite right about Sordell: we were thrilled with the way that he waltzed through the defence, and left them there for the taking, but then he didn’t do the easy bit.

I thought your first sentence referred to thunk 5, which was a bit harsh. True, the Palace crowd were magnificent, but when we did create a chance – Garner’s shot, Eustace’s header – the Rookery voiced its encouragement. We even got to our feet a few times.

Doyley found some good space, but didn’t do enough with it. The fundamental problem is that our build-up is too slow, giving defences all the time in the world to get organised and mark up. Either that or it’s a hopeful punt upfield, and we don’t have an effective target man.

Overall, I think it’s too soon to write us off just yet. Sooner or later the breaks will come, and with confidence restored we could yet do all right.

Will that do, Nigel (Post 2)?

6. lukefairweather - 16/10/2011

Perhaps not a “new low” but certainly a return to the final days of Boofer’s reign, or the turgid, depressing dross that was the Harry 1/2 year. A side which commits the twin crimes of being both dull and inneffective will not galvanise support and from there it is a downward trend, I fear.

Change will surely come soon and with a new owner – who is not afraid to make big changes in the off the field staff – one wonders how long SD can avoid an appointment with JobCentre+. I have been reminded by WML readers that we do in fact sack managers from time to time, but not normally after so few games, surely. Painful Watford history in the making.

Luke

7. Stephen Hoffman - 16/10/2011

To me we need a bit of creativity a bit of a spark. We have that in Matt Whichelow and yet for some unfathomable reason he’s on loan- Please explain. I dont have a problem with Kightly he seems a good player, if needing match fitness. However shouldn’t we be developing our own young players?

Matt Rowson - 16/10/2011

Whichelow’s back from Exeter now. But I agree with the general point.

8. hornetboy84 - 16/10/2011

Unfortunately fully agree. I too wanted SD for continuity but the effective ditching of the kids for journeymen who quite frankly are not doing it is depressing. Its not as if we are crying out for a pIan B. I really don’t even understand what plan A is. This was evidenced by the change to take off Sordell. Personally I thought he was awful, failed to make incisive runs or really look like he was trying to offer an option – but I do accept he is playing off scraps – its just the impression now is he will do whats right for him to escape in the new year and for me his exciting run followed by the fact that he only wanted to shoot but had that option closed down was evidence of increased self-interest. But despite this I cant understand a plan that takes him off – when we needed him to play off Big Chris. We should have reshaped to a 3-3-3 and removed Hogg – what then followed was 20 mins before Big Chris touched the ball. I so want to give him a chance but he failed to make any impression or get close to winning a touch its embarrassing. Kightly will add something – that is not a problem and the early probing was good – but seriously what is the plan.
The bloke over my right shoulder just shouted -“Is this seriously better than playing the kids” …. and that really struck with me. There is nothing to get you excited – you never feel anything would happen. We are hopeful of long throws and corners and really none of them look like creating a chance anyway.
I’m not a boo boy. I stay to the end. (My protest is to absolve from clapping) . I recognize some of the constraints. And I never want managers sacked. With 2 incredibly tough away games to come we are in real trouble. And I fear we need a drastic impact. I spoke to SD on the open day and said “Just be brave, go for it and whatever happens the fans will forgive you if it doesnt work” – we are far from that type of that approach and because of that I am (to quote a dragon) nearly out. I pray we can find some inspiration – but it needs a new plan. And as I said if a manager doesnt seem to have one in the first place – Im not sure how he can have a new one. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !

Matt Rowson - 16/10/2011

would agree with much of this, but disagree re Sordell. He obviously should have passed the ball, but it was a bad decision borne of low confidence in a young player. That’s the risk in playing kids of course. But at the same time, that’s part of kids growing up. Our kids of a year ago are a year more robust now, but most of them are nowhere near the team.

hornetboy84 - 16/10/2011

Matt. re: Sordell. Maybe you are right. I’m just looking for him to step up – probably because he is our only player with any real quality and feel that he could do more – because like vs. Brum we need him too. Regardless I would not take him off in any game … otherwise who is going to score… i’m usually optimistic – but seriously struggling at the moment. I think if I look at all the players individually we have some solid workers – but there is no team play. (And just seen the goals on Goals on Sunday and ok the first was ridiculously spectacular …. he was being forced wide by Dickinson and just whipped it in beautifully from a tight angle – but I think my added angst that he was a young player with pace and playing without fear and our equivalents from our so called Dream Academy are where? ……. Mr Dyche…. please get some balance and shape to our team asap – but trips to Leicester (cant face the humilation for the 3rd season in a row so not going and Hull are not really ideal places to try and start a revival.) – we so badly needed 3 points vs. Palace – but simply failed to turn up or enact change when it was clearly not working.

Matt Rowson - 16/10/2011

don’t think the defence did too much wrong yesterday. Mirfin mistake for the second but still a great strike.

Sordell… he’s still a kid, he’s 20. He’s potentially our most potent striker but when he’s not performing I don’t see anything wrong with trying something different.

9. Jeremy Clarkson - 16/10/2011

JC here

My first ever game was against peteborough way back in 196….she’ll never forget it however good or bad..

I suggest take your daughter, she can lead the chanting “bring back the youngsters”…clap clap clap

10. Paul Caruso - 16/10/2011

Feels like the spectacularly unspectacular days of Devonshire, McLaughlin, Byrne et al circa 1990-91. Howsomever like the season of melancholy Autumn we find ourselves in, the decaying leaves are soon replaced by the shoots of snowdrops as the first signs of spring. The loaned battle-hardened youngsters will bring about a resurgent second half of the season, the soporific season will burst forth with a well-spring of youth. Still confident of a 17th-placed finish.

Harefield Hornet - 17/10/2011

Blimey ! Another Stuart Hall.

11. Sequel - 16/10/2011

Lukefairweather: The final days of Boofers’ reign were not short on incident and excitemen,t as I recall, even if results weren’t what we would have wanted. His last game in charge of our injury-ravaged squad was a 4-3 home defeat Blackpool, a game which was in the balance until they scored an injury time winner.
That team may have had its frailties, but it knew where the goal was. Who would bet on us scoring 3 goals in a game this season?
At the moment, we’re too easy to defend against, so we can expect a succession of teams coming to the Vic this season to set up the way Palace did. Thankfully, most of them won’t have a Zaha in their squad……

12. Esp - 16/10/2011

Re: Sequel’s post one likely conclusion to your post is that Boothroyd’s tactics would be far better than Dychey’s

I maybe the only poster on this site to admit it but I would welcome our 2nd most successful manager back – especially with no Ashtin & Simpson around to massage his ego and Bas with an empty chequebook.

As for the game, when I wasn’t watching from behind splayed fingers I kept remembering and concuring with a recent BHaPPY conclusion that “This team is a difficult one to like”

13. Nick - 16/10/2011

I think this team is the worst/most boring watford team I’ve seen since i started coming in 83.

Sod plan b we dont seem to have a plan a unless that is to launch it at forsyths head. I hate thinking this but dyche out and take woan and loughlan with you. The man has been backed with 11 signings the majority of which look atrocious. Is it just me or does Mirfin look a bit porky. As a team we look slow, sloppy, miserable and devoid of creativity.

I won’t boo the team but i made the mistake of going to soton and won’t make the mistake of supporting them at Leicester.

14. ben le rougetel (@bennyleroo) - 17/10/2011

I truly hope that the sponsorship of the match ball by a funeral directors is not a portent of what’s to come.

15. Harefield Hornet - 17/10/2011

A Little word about the opposition. The current Palace team reminds me of Mackays Watford, full of youth and prone to mistakes, reactive and inventive but not the finished article by any means. The quality of the strikes were exemplary and suggest the executors will not remain at Selhurst Park for long given their own financial problems. Then they will be sold and Palace will struggle again, the manager will be sacked or head-hunted ala Watford…………and so the cycle of the financially challenged majority continues. This performance has dramatically changed my view, not so much of this current Watford side that has been cobbled together with mediocre triers, but of Dyches potential as a manager. I have never witnessed such an apathetic crowd at Vicarage Road, and I have only missed about 10 home games since 1978. Any inventiveness which may be hiding in the current squad is being severely hampered by our game-plan, or rather lack of it – it’s as simple as that. If Dyche can’t see this and refuses to see this after it’s been made obvious, his days are numbered.

Matt Rowson - 17/10/2011

Your comment about Palace only holds up to a point. Yes, there are some good kids there who are being used. Prone to mistakes, perhaps. But the approach is more conservative than Mackay’s Watford… we’d always give it a go, perhaps being too open as a consequence. Palace had two? three? shots on target? Two great strikes, they deserved the win, but it could easily have been a nil nil. Difficult to attribute too much blame for the outcome to our back five, for example… Dickinson did quite well on the first one for me, pushed Zaha wide but you can’t do much about what came next.

The point is, Mackay’s Watford would create (and give away) plenty. Palace did neither. You can’t rely on worldys, or in more general terms goals carved out of nothing, to win you games – albeit Palace were away and would I’m sure have been quite happy with a point.

Harefield Hornet - 17/10/2011

Fair Point re Palace generally but there was just something about the way they sprang forward and executed the strikes that reminded me of Mackays Watford at their best. Also against Brighton a couple of weeks ago they demonstrated that ability to bang in a few in quick succession which reminded me of us last season.

Lets hope SD manages to re-think his own tactics soon – I’m sure there’s a half-mediocre side lurking in there somewhere, It’s just a matter of whether any of us can stay awake long enough. The thing that really worried me was that after 33 years that’s the first time I’ve sat there at the end of a defeat and didn’t really care any more.

16. Andrew J - 17/10/2011

It’s not that we’re too good to go down, more that we’re not terrible enough for the drop. Those like myself who can’t afford to go very often will have to pick and choose and hope for the best that the performance and/ or result is worth the effort and expense. Southampton and Palace were not two good choices on my part. I think Kightly and Forsyth made some good chances but Sordell (on his own) and Iwelumo are not good enough and Garner looks as though he’s going to take a while to click with the rest of the team. Eustace and Hogg looked anonymous. Ho, hum.

Matt Rowson - 17/10/2011

You’re right in that you don’t need to be particularly good to stay up; you just need to be less rubbish (or luckier) than three other teams. Wouldn’t put money on that at the moment though.

17. John Samways - 17/10/2011

Always value the reflections on this site, Matt – especially when the going is tough and (invariably vitriolic) knee jerk reactions fly in from all quarters. Good to read balanced, thoughtful insights …..

A general observation, on the bigger picture, if I may (from one who has supported the Club with a passion from 1953) – I have been abroad for the past 5 weeks and have ‘limited’ to listening on 3CR.

It is clear that as a Club we have overachieved for several seasons – Div 2 is seen by many as our ‘right’ and Div 1 as our ‘home’. Certainly, given the financial structure of the Football League, it is far from easy to regain lost status, and to maintain our place in Div 2 with a viable, sustainainable business plan would (continue) to make us the envy of the majority of other Clubs. From what I’ve seen from earlier in the season and the comments I’ve read recently, I certainly am a member of the brigade which believes we can stay up this year. But the big question is ‘Why have we been able to overachieve as a Club?’

Fundamentally I believe it is because there has been a synergy within the Club embracing every level for many of the past years (admittedly periodically threatened by events/personnal) – a synergy that was GT’s greatest legacy to the Club.

In recent years, with serious threats to the sustainability of the Club from various quarters, remarkable work has been done – both on and off the field – bringing moments of unexpected joy (amidst the inevitable disappointments). This is not to deny mistakes were made – after all, we’re all human! – but foundationally there was a togetherness and unity of vision and purpose (and much healtyh debate!). In short there was a synergy.

Understandably there has been little comment about the departure of the Head of Business Operations after 16 years at the Club but I wonder whether this is not symptomatic of a worrying sign. To lose a Chief Exec and Head of Business and replace then with two men, however well intentioned, without relational knowledge of the Club ‘family’ and, as far as I can conclude, limited experience of the very specialised world of professional football, is a change I find profoundly disturbing. What impaqct is this having upon the working ‘environment’ at the Club – something that does not merely impact the office but spills out, ultimately, on the training ground.To simply believe that GT is the answer to all this is surely wishful thinking …… ultimately he has no control over events (other than the authority he has earned from his remarkable commitment to the Club) and to hold everything together is a fulltime task. Quite apart from that, WFC needs to look beyond GT as it steps into the future, whilst continuing to build on the remarkable legacy he has provided and honouring his links with the Club.

My passion for the Club is unbridled and will continue, but I find the current scenario disturbing.

ps Hope to be back for Peterborough!

Matt Rowson - 17/10/2011

Splendid post John, thanks for taking the time

The departure of Mike Jones that you refer to hasn’t been commented on in our pages, but as with the loss of Julian Winter earlier in the year it’s a baffling, worrying turn of events. I’m not sure that the club ARE formally replacing him or Winter… Bassini doesn’t need staff, it seems. If true, all power to him. But I’d remain concerned that we’ve lost two excellent, committed people.

And I completely get what you mean about synergy. I’d extend this to suggest that without this, without being a community and part of a community, a smaller club like ours hasn’t got a prayer.

18. John Samways - 17/10/2011

I meant ‘Div 1 is seen as our destination by many (not ‘home’ – thankfully!)

19. Mark - 17/10/2011

I’d suspect Sordell would be dropped if Dyche felt he wasn’t showing enough effort but he is the striker most likely to score…

Afterall Big Chris,Deeney and Garner to an extent despite the latter’s best efforts aren’t going to get goals.

Not sure CI even touched the ball in 20 minutes of action!

20. JohnM - 17/10/2011

Didn’t see or hear the match—was in hospital after a heart attack. A brush with mortality helps you to see the important things in life—-the hooded man in black, clutching his agricultural implement, called to me from across the road ‘Maybe next time, sonny Jim’
Have seen Garner a couple of times, and I really do feel he will come good—he does seem to find good positions on the rare occasiions Watford make a decent attacking move. I always give Watford 12 matches before a judgement—but it looks bad—I cannot understand why Dyche cannot seem to appreciate that the midfield setup does not work.
Now back to my ‘healthy eating’ Hospital handouts—-

Matt Rowson - 18/10/2011

Crikey John. Perspective indeed. Take it easy.

Jeremy Clarkeson - 18/10/2011

and what will the Ol’ ticker do if were to win,
luckily it doesn’t happen that often these days!

21. David, Aylesbury - 18/10/2011

I was very pleased when Dyche was given the job as continuity seemed to be our best hope of a successful season (ie staying up).

But thanks to the summer signings we seemed to have ended up with a team full of average journeymen. Yes, there are some reasons for optimism – Garner looks like he has a good football brain (though also a slightly unpleasant ability to buy free kicks and generally wind up the oppostion) and Forsyth shows good touches though not sure he has the necessary pace to play out wide. But what seems to be missing is a spark – somebody who can turn a game with a bit of skill or injection of pace. The only player capable of that is Marvin, but he is looking increasingly fed up at the lack of decent passes to him. We look slow and predictable, and though Palace weren’t much better they had that spark that we currently don’t have.

I would love to see Whichelow in the team – last season proved that a) he can finish and b) he injected a bit of pace and made things happen. The football we are playing isn’t awful, certainly nowhere near as bad as the anti-football employed by Aidy Boothroyd in the failed Play Off season. It is just slow, predcitable and easy to play against.

As previously noted Saturday just seemed awfully predictable. I really would rather watch a team of Acedemy graduates such as Sords, Matty Whichelow, Adam Thompson etc combined with the older heads like Eustace, Taylor and Aidy Mariappa (who in my mind has been outstanding this season) giving it a real go. Yes, we may still lose 2-0 but at least I might feel some pride in the team again.

It is going to be a long season and of course I will still be there supporting the team, but they don’t always make it easy do they ?

22. Simon - 18/10/2011

And there was me thinking that my overly long thought on the Millwall game might fail to hold people’s attention rather than get slung out all together as spam.

I wasn’t at the Palace game (despite having a season ticket, Saturday afternoons aren’t so easy to to playing committments) but it seems from reading the thunks and talking to others that the Millwall comments were equally applicable to this game (and, in fact every game played this year).

If you’re going to set up with a very organised defensive unit in midfield, you need either great movement going forward or a bit of pace/sparkle in the side to make it work. At present we have neither which is why we’re dull to watch and keep losing by the odd wonder/fluker/badly conceded goal.

When it comes to relegation, I’d back a side that scores and concedes a lot over one that relies on keeping clean sheets and nicking the odd goal every time.

23. JohnM - 18/10/2011

Oddly, lying in hospital, the one thought about Watford as the doctors/nurses hovered, was the thought that, on death, how sad it would be that the memories of the good times at Watford would be gone forever.
There are some decent players at Watford, but the system is wrong and the player/s needed to change it are either not at the club or (maybe) out on loan or out of favour. Finally, I am afraid that S.D. does not have a ‘Plan B’—or the ability to implement it.

Jeremy Clarkson - 18/10/2011

JC here

Is it Sean or the collective coaches who IIR do not have that much “winning experience” amongst them, albeit if you call keeping Pompey up last year was a success in itself

..I still hold onto that a good manager has a solid coach alongside who can see the

Lewington = Burton
GT= Harrison and Walley
GT 2nd time = Jackett
Malcky= Kerslake and Dyche

Vialli had Wilkins for gods sake!!

even Ferguson has had Kidd, the Portuguese fellar and now Phelan

but a good coach doesnt make a good manager (generally)

…it has been said here by others..Sean needs a helping hand to allow him do what he is good at and let the management side be taken care off

GT=Bertie Mee
AB=Burkinshaw

Who can we get for Sean?…Luther ????

24. Roger68 - 18/10/2011

It is true that there does not seem to be much vision or unity of purpose around the club at the moment.

At the top Mr B. remains an enigma–it is still not clear what his motive was in buying the club, what his intentions are towards it, what his business plan is or what his football expectations are. He seems to want to run the club entirely by himself–Winter and Jones gone, minimal board , private company secrecy–but where is he taking us on this self directed journey?

At the same time Dyche does not seem to have a clear footballing vision for the club. Contrast the stated ambition of Boothroyd, the admirable footballing philosophy of Rogers, the demonstrated commitment to youth development of Mackay. What vision is Dyche bringing to the job ? Where does he want to take us, and how? So far it seems his tactical template is one-dimensional, he mainly values “manliness” and “effort” in his players, and he seems to believe that by making them “compete for their place” he will get the best out of them. Is that enough?

On the terraces the fans want to get behind the club but find it hard to identify with a team made up of new faces which so far is proving to be distinctly less than the sum of its parts. They remember we were making progress with developing young players last season and that was a source of pride;they are are puzzled as to why these players have now been marginalised, and that is a source of discontent.

The owner needs to establish a sense of direction for the club , Dyche needs to demonstrate he is more than an over-promoted number two, a couple of the new signings need to start making a real impact, and some of the youngsters who broke into the team last season need to be brought back. Oh, and we need a couple of back-to- back wins.


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