Dr Watford's 2008 Review - May
May, and Aidy Boothroyd wanted to "make it Watford`s month"…but he didn`t get his wish and it was anything but.
Ok, so newly crowned Player of the Year Tommy Smith rescued a precious point up at Bloomfield Road with what seemed like his 122nd goal of the season to secure a play-off place - on goal difference from Wolves!
But that was as good as it got on the pitch as the Play-offs saw the Hornets loss 2-0 at the Vic to Hull (all thanks to Eustace`s dodgy red card that never was - even the FA admitted it) and a 4-1 thumping in the 2nd leg.
Richard Lee gets the blame all round after a couple of mistakes that left the Tigers back in after Hendo`s early strike to make it 2-1 on aggregate had it all looking a bit interesting.
Boothroyd promises changes to the style. The attack minded players (and Jobi McAnuff) are beside themselves with excitement. Simpson hails it as "a new beginning" and duly stands by the increasingly under fire gaffer.
Jobi wins Goal of the Season after his long ranger to pick up an undeserved point v Cardiff at Xmas in the 29th minute of injury time…the only time he beat his man in the entire season?
Elsewhere, JJ O`Toole picks up the Young Player of the Season award and chalks up a match winning header for the Irish U21 against Bulgaria. But the shaggy haired midfielder isn`t the only one catching the eye internationally.
Demerit gets the nod to face England at Wembley but doesn`t make the matchday squad after a right ol` army with the US coach if you believe everything you hear.
Williamson does his best Bob Marley impression as he gets a surprise call up to the Jamaica squad but gets injured early on and misses all the Reggae Boyz World Cup qualifiers.
On the injury front, Ashikodi returns to the Vic from a loan spell at Swindon - where a hat trick for the stiffs was the highlight of his stay - to have a plate and pin removed from his leg and that chip taken off his shoulder…some people braver me that me would argue.
As for the kids, well the boys at Harefield Academy took their foot on the button marked 'PR stunt` to win the English Schools U15 FA Cup and Lewis Young wins Player of the Tournament at an U19 competition in France against the likes of Sparta Prague, Lille and Boavista.
Which, in truth, is all good as the kids may be all we have left come the summer.
Stewart leaves the boo boys behind for good as heads off to Derby with Ellington (and his massive wage bill) in tow for company. Santiago Aloi returns to River Plate after getting nowhere near the first team during a 1 year loan spell from the Argentinean giants. And Big Danny Shittu is linked for a big money move away to Rangers, Celtic or er, Wigan Athletic.
Demerit puts the misery at missing out on playing Wembley (TWICE) behind him by being linked to Middlesbrough and Sunderland after interest from Fulham cools…
It`s ok though as defensive cover seems to be on the horizon with Steven Carr, Ian Harte and Fulham`s Moritz Volz all linked.
Nothing comes off…Maybe Volz was warned off Watford by Collins John back at Craven Cottage about his complete lack of goals, goals, goals.