Wednesday, 4 February 2009

That was the month that was

The trouble with being an occasional blogger is that sometimes there’s simply too much going on. Over the past month, every time I’ve started to compose a new post in my head, it’s been superceded by some fresh event that seems worthy of comment before I’ve managed to crystallise my thoughts on the last one.

January 2009 brought big stuff for Watford fans - big, BIG stuff, like, ooh, I don’t know, the departure of the chairman and chief executive, the subsequent revelations (courtesy of the Watford oracle, Oliver Phillips) about what went on while they were in charge, and then the announcement of a new board featuring Graham Taylor. There was small stuff that seemed to deserve comment as well, like Brendan Rodgers’ ludicrous substitutions in the FA Cup tie against Palace, decisions that almost cost us the game. That had me spitting feathers, I can tell you. There was nerve-jangling stuff, like the agonising wait for the transfer window to shut before any important players could be lured away from Vicarage Road. There was even some football played, of gradually increasing quality as the month went on.

So for now, I’m just going to comment on one small story: the departure of Moses Ashikodi, released from his contract without another club to go to. His is a typical enough story: promising young player arrives, plays a couple of games, picks up an injury, recovers, goes out on loan and then leaves again, having barely made a mark on the club. Moses only started one game for the Hornets – the 4-1 win against Stockport in the FA Cup 3rd Round a couple of years ago, in which he scored – yet I was impressed enough by his performance to be hopeful that he’d be an integral part of the first-team squad this season.

The stats from his loan spells at Bradford, Swindon and Hereford since then suggest that was wishful thinking - a return of three goals in two years in the lower divisions doesn’t exactly make a powerful case. Injuries played a part in that, I gather, and who knows what else. I’ve watched enough football to understand that sometimes, talent and athleticism can be undermined by other factors, factors that are covered by words like ‘temperament’ and ‘personality’.

Maybe that was the case with Moses – I don’t know. Either way, he now joins the list of those who gave us the briefest glimpse of their potential while they were at Watford before fading from the scene again. And that always makes me a little sad.