Date:Friday August 18 2006
Jay DeMerit and Danny Shittu should be Watford`s central defenders in the Premiership opener against Everton, according to the fans who voted in our poll.
71% of supporters who voted said that Jay Demerit and Danny Shittu should start at Goodison Park tomorrow. The pairing - who started the two pre-season friendlies against Inter Milan and Chievo - appear to be Aidy Boothroyd`s first choice and look the most likely to start against the toffees.
Boothroyd made his intentions clear when starting £1.6million signing Danny Shittu at centre-half against Italian giants Inter Milan, despite only signing the Nigerian international 24 hours previously.
However, one has to feel for former Scotland international Malky Mackay who despite winning successive promotions with Norwich City and West Ham United, has never played in the Premiership. The 34-year-old lacks pace but reads the game well and is a model professional. Hopefully it will be third time lucky and the Belshill-born defender will feature in the top-flight this time around.
20% of supporters voted to keep the play-off winning partnership of Jay DeMerit and Malky Mackay at central defence. The combination got better and better as the season progressed culminating in the three play-off games, where the Hornets did not concede a single goal.
However, the pairing did not start last season as first choice but once Jay DeMerit had leaped ahead of Clarke Carlisle pecking order there was no looking back for Watford`s defence.
Some Watford fans doubt whether Shittu would have got into Watford`s starting eleven last season and believe that the jury is still out on the former QPR and Blackpool defender.
6% of voters want Malky Mackay to play alongside Danny Shittu in the heart of Watford`s defence. A higher number of voters than first thought want the popular American, Jay DeMerit dropped from the starting line-up. But perhaps the voters did not want to see the ever-dependable Malky Mackay relegated to the substitutes bench.
3% of voters wanted to see a different combination at the heart of Watford`s defence than the ones already mentioned. As Clarke Carlisle is out injured this is a vote for 19-year-old Adrian Mariappa.
The Harrow-born defender has already become a firm fans` favourite at Vicarage Road, despite only making a handful of first-team appearances. The footballing centre-half looked impressive when coming off the bench against Inter Milan and looks certain to have a big future with the Hornets.
Poll results in full:
Centre halves against Everton?
DeMerit and Shittu 71%
DeMerit and Mackay 20%
Shittu and Mackay 6%
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