Dr Watford's 2008 Review - July
July, and will the last one out please turn off the Vicarage Road lights as Rinaldi, Diagouraga, Kabba (on loan) and Joyce all move off the wage bill and on to pastures new.
There were pluses, as Jon Harley arrived on a free from Burnley to bolster the midfield whilst links to giant centre back Sol Bamba and Ulises De La Cruz (both who made friendly run-outs) looked promising…
And a 4-day Austrian training camp took a turn for the worse with Al Bangura sent home for ill discipline and the devastating news that the board have sold Henderson to Sheffield United behind the gaffers back.
When told of his departure Darius thought Watford were 'joking`…sadly not, as a £2m switch was completed in double quick time. It was a good bit of business in fairness but the manner and speed had us all worried.
And we were right to be. The club and Watford Observer have a massive ding dong over the local rag ran allegations that the board have taken us to the brink of administration. Chairman Simpson promised legal action and assured fans that the books are in "tremendous shape".
The Russo`s don`t agree and for those cynics who suggest they were doing their bidding through the W`Observer there`s plenty of food for thought. A potential £20m bid was reported by a rather sheepish Kevin Affleck but nothing materialises.
Oh, how Watford could have done with a windfall and as Eagles signed on to Burnley for £1.25, thoughts of a 10% sell-on looked to provide welcome relief to the coffers - had the Hornets not waived their rights to any pay outs from Old Trafford when Webber joined all those years ago.
On the pitch and the 'Post Hendo` era starts well with a 3-1 friendly win over Borehamwood, thanks to Ashikodi at the double. Villa`a Ashley Young turns up to watch brother Lewis make his Watford bow.
Young Lewis insists he`s just like £10m man Ash… "only better" - and he quickly backs that up by netting the Hornets consolation in a 3-1 defeat to local boys Wealdstone.
Back to business with the league boys and it`s a 1-1 friendly draw with the Bees of Brentford that hardly whets the appetite for the season ahead.
The passing`s poor from our 'New Watford` and only a goal from Smithy, a run out for a fit again Gareth Williams and a look at the obvious talents of the aging De La Cruz brighten a dull afternoon.
Still the Shittu saga rolls on. Hull enter the race but Danny`s in talks with Rangers as Celtic look everywhere but at Shittu. The Buoys even turn their attentions to Tamas…(sadly some defender from Eastern Blok and not our beloved Priskin).
t all appears to go wrong up at Ibrox for Big Dan with his wages proving a stumbling block. Walter Smith says "he priced himself out of the move" but the club, the player and the agent all claim the "deal is not dead".
Rangers sign Loovens from Cardiff to shut them all up.
Boothroyd admits he likes the look of MK Dons skipper Keith Andrews but reckons he`ll be too pricey for the Hornets. Andrews shows his class with a scorcher of a strike as the Dons beat Watford 2-1 on a forgetful night in Milton Keynes.
He then buggers off to join Blackburn for a cool £2m - Aidy was right all right along…
Still, at least Jon Harley opened his account and Theo Robinson looked more than capable of causing a few selection headaches.
The Dons defeat didn`t please the gaffer who stressed "we looked more League 1 than a Championship side".
No one argued with him.