Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The phoney war

For the second year in a row, the misalignment of my holiday dates and the fixture list (ie when Watford are at home, I’m away) means that I’m not going to see my first game of the season until mid-September. As a result, these early weeks have an unreal quality, as if the matches the team are playing, and the movements of players in and out of the club, don’t really apply to me as a Watford fan.

Thus the departure of Tamas Priskin to Ipswich last week, while I was eating cheese and drinking red wine in France, seems more like a dream than a news story. Not that it was all that unexpected. He joins the likes of Lee Cook and Hameur Bouazza in being promising, but largely underwhelming, for a couple of seasons, finally fulfilling that promise for six months, and promptly buggering off at the first sign of attention from a rival club. Mind you, the fates of Cook and Bouazza suggest that we’re likely to be seeing a lot of him at Championship level - and no higher - in the years to come.

One thing all three players mentioned above have in common is that they were signed at a relatively young age from elsewhere, and I like to believe that a player who’d come up through the Watford Academy wouldn’t treat us so shabbily. Which brings me, as ever at this time of the year, to the naming of my favourite player. Well, obviously it’s Lloyd Doyley again, the player who gets better with each passing year*. And this season he’s going to score a goal. No, really.

*You’d think this would be true of all footballers, given the amount of expensive coaching they receive, yet that’s manifestly not the case.

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