Post Match Bullets – Watford

After writing last week about the calm before the storm, I had a very similar feeling of ambivalence before yesterday’s game against Watford. Albeit slightly different in terms of it being the last league home game of the season and also feeling a bit hung over from watching The Rifles at Rock City the night before.

However after a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon I felt compelled to drop down a few lines about our fantastic team and their dismantling of Watford.

  • All things considered there was a period in the first half of about twenty minutes when I thought we played some of the best stuff we have played all season. Absolutely superb hi-tempo champagne supernova football that we could have only dreamed about this time last season. With automatic promotion gone and third place pretty much in the can too, the players and staff have to take massive credit for the fact we are still playing with this level of intensity. Just brilliant stuff.fozzy
  • The midfield in particular yesterday were absolutely immense. Bryson is back on full throttle following his injuries and causes havoc with his non stop running. George Thorne is just mercurial in the pivot and Hendrick is playing the football of his life. Sometimes when he powers through midfield he looks like a 16 year old running past a load of primary school kids. Its really tough on Hughesey, who has been so key for us this season, that he can’t get in but you can’t even think of changing these three the way they are playing.
  • In the pub before the game I saw a glimpse of Paul Green playing for Ipswich. I always liked Greeny, but if you think Wizzer was an upgrade on Freeman and Thorne an upgrade on the Eust, what about Craig Bryson as an upgrade on Greeny? All things considered he has to be one of our best signings ever.
  • If I was a Watford fan, I’d be really worried about they’ve become. A really friendly likeable club have become a cog in somebody’s wheel and seem to have lost their soul and identity. It can’t be right to have that turnover of foreign players, the majority of which have just been parked for development purposes. They got away with it last year because the quality of players was better, now the quality of player is poor they just look lost. Shame.

McClaren has an interesting conundrum now for the Leeds game whether to retain momentum or “use the squad”. Personally I would rest Martin (always likely to get sent off too) and maybe Bryson. I would also give Dawkins some serious game time so get him firing.

I don’t think we will know our opponents until full time next weekend (aside from it definitely won’t be Forest!) but on this form we certainly shouldn’t fear anyone.

Come on you Rams!


PS – Regular followers will have seen me enthusing about the Rifles a lot on twitter. If you haven’t heard or come across them before, check out the opener of their new LP here. Great band.


Posted on April 27, 2014, in Post Match Thoughts and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You’re right, the quality of the footy at times yesterday was brilliant. How the game didn’t end 12-4 to us I don’t know. The failure to take our chances and the sloppiness at the back has to be a bit of a concern though. I’d certainly rest Martin for the Leeds game (Bamford in that central striker role maybe).
    Think you’re being a tad harsh on Watford though. Sure it’s been a poor season this time around and the Watford fans I spent yesterday with thought the first half performance was awful. However, the Pozzo model is a positive option for a club like Watford, none of their friendliness and decency has been lost and the influx of foreign players (admittedly poor this season) hasn’t stopped quality Academy players (Bond, Doyley, Hoban) from getting on the pitch yesterday.

    Anyway, let’s focus in the play off semi – COYR!

  2. Thank you Popsider for your reasonable thoughts against the previous post who has not got a clue about what is happening at Watford. I was at the game on Saturday with close friends one of whom is a massive Derby fan and Nigel Callaghan who is a close friend of mine. We were poor and you are playing with a lot of confidence as happens when you score goals and win games. Without doubt McClaren has done a good job and got you playing entertaining and attacking football. We have been nearly men all season conceding enough goals in added time, without which would have us in the play offs. It has been a season of change and building. We are not right yet of course but we have quality which has not shown itself and as you indicated have some very good home grown lads who were in the squad on Saturday, the latest being Alex Jakubiac who could be very good. The Pozzo family have been very professional and sound in everything they have done since coming in, including the development of one side of the ground that was awful. They are investing and getting things right including the development of the training facility at London Colney. All this stuff is going on without the press too heavily involved. They have a very sound business model and just get on with it without having to sell themselves to the press. The foreign players haven’t been poor all season, just inconsistent but they are learning from setbacks and am sure will be stronger mentally next season. They have a 5 year plan from where we are and a club of our size has punched above it’s weight since Graham Taylor first came in.

    As for Derby, they played some great football and a high tempo on Saturday and look like they have goals in them for the play-offs. But the play-offs are a lottery. Of course I have mates and so hope you do it, but beware of Wigan who are full of Premiership players. It will be interesting and I wish you the very best of fortune.

    • Thanks both for the sturdy and well structured defence of Watford. You guys know better than me what’s going on behind the scenes, so I suppose I do have to stand corrected to a degree and I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest any issue with the fans.

      I would say though that I’ve just spent 5 years watching a team with ‘some quality’ who were regularly ‘unlucky’ and don’t even go there with late goals. Ultimately you are now part of someone’s project to make money from players whether you like it or not.

      If the Pozzo family are investing then great. It’s certainly better than the fiscal abyss facing most football league clubs. If you can keep your identity on that basis then fair play.

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