Monday, 21 September 2009

On the boos

There was a time, not so long ago, when it was rare for the Watford fans to boo the team off the pitch at half-time. It was a sanction that was reserved for those first-half performances where the team really didn’t look like they were trying, or where they just looked clueless.

There was more half-time booing last season than ever before, though – some of it justified, some of it arguably not. And when it happened again on Saturday, I did start to wonder what’s going on. Okay, it wasn’t our greatest ever first 45 minutes, but it was far from our worst. The formation wasn’t working, Henri Lansbury’s tricks and flicks were stubbornly refusing to come off, and we’d given away two soft goals against muscular, more than competent opposition. Not the end of the world, and – as the second half so gloriously proved – by no means irreversible. So why boo?

My only conclusion is that to some people in the Rookery, booing as the players go off at half-time is merely their way of saying they’re unhappy about the score, rather than a criticism directed at the players or manager.

Either that, or they’re morons.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

It’s good to be back

Finally, my first game of the season, and a corker too. A few miscellaneous observations from the 1-0 win over Barnsley:

- Henri Lansbury - wow! He must be a nightmare to play against, what with his incessant running and pressing, not to mention his skill on the ball. And the showboating must get on their nerves too.
- Was that really Dale Bennett’s first start for the first team? A fine example of a young player grasping his chance with both hands.
- And how satisfying that our first league clean sheet of the season came with a back four composed entirely of Academy products.
- That nurses’ home they’re building on the back of the Rookery is considerably larger than I was expecting. Still, it should be less drafty this winter now that both corners have been filled in.
- Cudos to Richard Walker for the new-look programme, and in particular for bringing back the section on the statistics page that shows each player’s total number of Watford appearances. It disappeared for the last two seasons, to my immense frustration. (I know. Humour me.) Just to confirm how new this squad is, we now have only four players with more than 100 Watford appearances - and one of those is Richard Lee, who’s unlikely to feature until we sell Scott Loach in the January transfer window.