Date:Monday October 9 2006
I woke up on Sunday morning, and decided that in fact I was going to claim all I could to my Scottish roots. Not because they beat France, but because of England`s abysmal display against Macedonia. The fact they beat France, just made my decision easier.
I would just like to notify that as disappointed as I am in England`s performance, I am by no means surprised. We have the man who seemed to be most active during Sven`s reign of mediocrity and underachieving at our helm, and we reverted back to the disapproved diamond formation. Our 'new wave` of 'fresh football` has again only lasted for a couple of matches, before the players stop playing for their positions, and start to settle again.
It doesn`t take Nostradamus to notice that in recent years England have started well under a new manager, and then again petered out into a state of no pride or any real conviction on the pitch.
However, I do realise that I am calling on us as failures a bit too soon, and I cannot call for the sacking of McClaren due to two underperformances, albeit if they were against minnows. My experiences as a Watford fan have taught me that a manager cannot be judged purely on a couple of matches, maybe once we see how successful we are in Euro 2008 (if we even get there), there can be stronger criticisms.
On the topic of European football, the place where Aidy has aimed for us to be this season, so far this does not look like we are going to get there, with the points we have on the board. Although at least we are playing like we could be up there. At least for half a match anyway.
Which is my next complaint: Watford`s stint of one-half football. It was evident against both Villa and Fulham. Against Villa it saved us a point, against Fulham it lost us two.
I don`t want to start completely criticising Boothroyd, saying he is getting it all wrong. Take the Fulham match for example; he must have done something right, we managed to score 3 goals. However, it was the 3 conceded that were the problem.
Personally I feel the midfield died a bit in the second half of that match, and with the introduction of Spring earlier may have saved us some points, and Mackay certainly looked to me like he was struggling with the pace of the match.
We need to sort out our one-half wonder performances, and make it a to half consistent performance. If by giving our all in one half, we are sacrificing ourselves for the next half, then we need to balance our energy consistently across the match.
My next complaint goes to all the fans who know have new found hatred for a certain Watford legend named Heidar Helguson. It would seem that all the goals he ever scored for us, and all the effort he ever exerted for us, suddenly went out the window when we scored a goal - and then celebrated it. We at Watford should know more than anyone else, that Helguson plays with his heart on his sleeve and gives 100% every match, and that every goal is always hard-worked by him, and he loves scoring. Expect him to celebrate, I certainly don`t hold any criticism for him celebrating scoring the equalising goal for his team, and I don`t think anyone else should either.
So as not to make this article seem like a complete trawl of misery and melancholy I would like to end it on an optimistic note. That note being Ashley Young. Against Fulham he managed to score two and get an assist whilst seemingly struggling with injury. He gave a full-hearted performance for the whole match, and couldn`t be easily criticised.
This kind of performance gave him the chance to replace and out perform the apparent best English youth talent available at the moment. In his second appearance for the Under 21s he made some nice touches and passes, and could certainly start pushing for a starting place.
WRITTEN BY STUART BROWN
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