The ins and outs of yesterday’s win against Portsmouth are already being dissected in other forums, but one thing no one has mentioned yet is the extremes of noise we witnessed at the Vic yesterday.
At one extreme, the deafening volume of the new tannoy in the Rookery drowned out all attempts at pre-match chat with my neighbours. It was like being in one of those nightclubs where the music is so loud that conversation is reduced to miming and sign language.
Sure, it’s nice to have some proof that Mr Bassini is actually spending some of his money on the club. At the same time, as the bloke next to me said (this was after the match had started and the ringing in our eardrums had stopped), if you’d made a list at the start of the season of all the things at Vicarage Road that needed money spending on them, the tannoy would barely have scraped into the top ten.
Maybe the entire home end had been stunned by the volume of the pre-match entertainment, because once the game started, there was a depressing lack of any kind of singing, or even shouting, from the Hornets fans. Even a second-minute goal barely roused us from our collective torpor. I know we’re not renowned as one of the more passionate sets of fans in the Championship, but this was ridiculous.
I thought the announcement of the formation of the Yellow Order at the start of the season might go some way towards improving the situation, but since they moved to the bottom left-hand corner of the Rookery, it’s actually got worse. They seem to throw in the towel the minute they realise they’re outnumbered: “Look, lads, they’ve got a bloke with a bell, and someone who can play the trumpet out of tune for 90 minutes. We can’t compete with that. Maybe if we win a corner in the second half, we can have a go at ‘Come on you ’orns’…”
The thing is, I love singing, and will happily join in pretty much anything if it spreads to my part of the stand (near the middle, about halfway up). But in too many matches this season, the Rookery has sat in silence while the away end sings and chants throughout the match. Frankly, it’s getting embarrassing.