Dr Watford's 2008 Review - January
January, and after seeing the New Year in with a bang (well, 3 in truth) down at St Mary`s and an impressive 2-0 win over Palace earned a place in the velvet bag for the FA Cup 4TH Round, 2008 started out great for the Golden Boys.
Ok, so the sale of Captain Mahon - to the Not so Super Hoops of QPR - had left the Good Ship Boothroyd skipperless but everything was going to be fine. Reliable Lloyd racked up 150 games in the famous yellow shirt, Marlon chalked his 100th league goal and "was going nowhere" according to the gaffer.
On the transfer front, Ainsworth hot footed in from Hereford to act as bench warmer for 2 ½ years - presumably to replace McNamee who was dispatched with his asthma inhaler to Swindon. Young Ant later said he was seen as 'Watford`s clown`…now he`s just that 4ft Robins dwarf who can`t cross a ball and wheezes all the time.
Man Mountain Shittu left a gaping hole as he headed off to the African Cup of Nations. It was ok though. 8ft 8 W`Ham giant Calum Davenport was drafted in and played the best 11 minutes of his life in a Watford shirt before breaking his neck on his debut and swiftly returning to Upton Park on a stretcher.
A £4m offer from Fulham was rejected for King, who was "going nowhere".
Losses to Wolves (a 4-1 trouncing in Malky`s FA Cup swansong) and Preston (1-0) were offset by Al Bangura winning his immigration hearing…only for the News of the World to dub him a love rat and suggest he`s cheated club and country all round.
Still, with John Joe O`Toole signing on until 2011, Loach being touted as a possible future England No 1 (whilst on loan at Bradford) and Jordan Parkes gaining valuable league experience at Brentford things were looking up.
Sadly, Collins John was back on Boothroyd`s radar presumably to replace King who, after 'not going anywhere` was on the first bus off to Craven Cottage for a medical…
Duke Ellington soon gets wind that a striker berth might be his for the taking and promises "goals, goals, goals"…and duly delivers in the 1-1 draw with Charlton
Sadler was snapped up from Birmingham, after the left back turned down Wolves and Leigh Bromby rocks up from Sheffield United after holding talks with Watford minutes after the Hornets earnt a point off the Blades at Bramall Lane - thanks to Ellington (again).
Both think they are Premiership bound. Both are proved wrong.
King gets on the wrong side of Al Fayed`s medical team who deem his knee not fit enough for the Premier League and duly send him back (give that man a passport)…Sadly, Collins John already joins on loan, Aidy is delighted and we`re stuck with him
Marlon is packaged up with sticky tape and bound off to Wigan who fork out £4m for a dodgy knee. Chairman Simpson said King "wanted to go". Boothroyd dubbed the whole saga "something out of Neightbours or Home and Away". Strewth!
Unbelieveable Chris Kamara reckons the departure of Mahon was the turning point as Watford`s form falters in the league and Aidy drafts in Stoke skipper John Eustace to fill Gav`s boots…at a cost of £400k which the club can ill afford.
Thankfully it`s the end of the spending as the January window slams shut with no sign of the DJ Campbell rumour coming true…
Collins John promises Goals Goals Goals…