Sunday, 25 April 2010

All’s well that ends well

Random thoughts from a very welcome final home win of the season:
  • Lucky for us that Reading had already left for their summer hols, mentally at least. The last time I saw such slack defending, Watford were doing it
  • Danny Graham may never get a better chance to score a hat-trick; it’s a good thing the two shots he volleyed high over the bar didn’t affect the final score
  • The Mexican wave has no place in a football ground, and I will refuse until my dying day to take part in one
  • And those red, yellow and black balloons someone in the Rookery blew up in the second half and chucked around were fun for about two minutes, and then became extremely annoying
  • I wonder what Arsène Wenger thinks about Henri Lansbury? He sent us a promising, ball-playing midfielder, and after nine months at Vicarage Road he’s about to take return delivery of a first-rate hoofer - some of Henri’s clearances upfield yesterday were positively agricultural. I blame the pitch
  • I really hope that’s not the last time I see Heidar Helguson in a Watford shirt, but I fear it will be. For what it’s worth, I’d sign him like a shot if it were feasible: with his injury record, he’s unlikely to be available for a full season, but he’s worth a place in the squad for his effect on opposing defenders alone

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Hope reborn?

I said in my last post that I couldn’t see the Hornets winning another game this season: I’m happy to be have been proved wrong this afternoon. It was scrappy and ugly, and Plymouth offered precious little in the way of resistance (it’s odd to see an opposing team play with even less confidence than Watford), but still, a win’s a win.

As it stands, the maximum possible target for safety is 54 points (the most that Sheffield Wednesday, in the last relegation place, can get), which would meaning winning two of our last four games. Then again, if we beat Leicester next week and Wednesday lose (they’ve got their derby against United, incidentally – not a good time to be playing your arch rivals), our real points total and their maximum possible will be the same, making us as good as safe. Statistics can be comforting sometimes, can’t they?

Finally, in the style of Match Of The Day 2, here’s my ‘2 Good, 2 Bad’ from today’s game:

2 Good – Dale Bennett. God, that boy is a good defender. I think he won every single header he contested, and dealt with everything that came his way simply and effectively. I’ve never been so reassured by the presence of a teenage centre-back.
2 Bad – Liam Henderson. Has there ever been a Watford substitute whose arrival on the pitch leads to such a collective lowering of expectations? That was his 21st substitute appearance, and I honestly can’t remember him doing a single thing in any of those games that led me to believe he’s ever going to be worth a place in the starting line-up. I know it’s tough, being sent onto the pitch with 10 or 15 minutes to go with instructions to make things difficult for opposing defenders (at least, that’s what I imagine Malky tells him) – but does he have to do it in such a lumpen, clumsy and downright incompetent fashion?