Dr Watford's Casebook - Issue 4
Never let it be said that Dr Watford doesn`t learn from his mistakes.
Take last season as a perfect example. I marvelled at Sir Aidy`s genius in sending young Watford striker Joel Grant out on loan to Aldershot and there would be an excited whoop within VitalWatford Towers each week when a 'J Grant` goal flash appeared on the trusty ol` vidiprinter. Only to find out, right at the death, that young Joel had only netted thrice all season and veteran Jon Grant had finished up as the Shot`s top scorer having smashed them home for fun!
These things happen, but, trust me, the good doctor likes to take heed from the error of his ways (and Mrs Dr Watford wouldn`t have it any other way).
So you can understand my wariness as I keep a watchful eye on the performance of Hornet academy striking starlet, Theo Robinson, on loan at Hereford United. You can also probably just about appreciate my caution as a 'T Robinson` goal alert at Edgar Street reacquaints itself with my ear drum.
In fact, I just have to make doubly sure that Tony 'TimeTeam` Robinson is knee deep, digging up old bodies well past their 'best before` date and not (repeat, not) running rings round them in an end to end Div 2 clash at Morecombe or Rochdale.
Thankfully, I doubt that the undisputed king of archeological TV has the blistering turn of pace, the deft finishing touch or appetite to chase down a loose ball to be overly confused with Watford`s 18yo on loan star…Then again, I can`t imagine young Theo knows one end of an, as yet unearthed, medieval site trench from another either.
Swings and roundabouts an all that!
In fact, Theo Robinson has notched up 4 goals in 8 outtings for the Bulls - including a consolation strike against Bruce`s Brum in the Carling Cup - has struck up a decent understanding with ex Watford loanee Trevor Benjamin and is showing signs of bulking out a bit so the loan move is already proving it`s worth for both clubs.
We know the boy`s got pedigree, after all he netted 13 times on loan at Wealdstone last season in just 16 games which prompted Sir Aidy to give him his Premiership debut against Newcastle and he`s made a couple of outings for the first eleven in other seasons, so he is certainly in it for the long run.
He ain`t no Harry Forrester for those in the know!
And Robinson will, no doubt, learn more from the lower league experience of being kicked 6ft up in the air by a hairy 40-something centre half - with the remains of an U17 Academy midfielder`s shin pad wedged in his teeth - than plying his trade in the Pontins Blue Coat league for stiffs.
Hopefully he ain`t alone. With Watford`s french (and incredibly leggy) midfielder Tiggy Diagouraga also on board the Graham Turner runaway Hereford bandwagon until Christmas, centre back Cedric Avinel defending the line down at Stafford and striker Will Hoskins showing that 'someone loves them and they really do care` down at the New Den, there is experience and know how to be gained.
What`s more, Alex Campana was one of the few bright lights in a incredibly dark Carling Cup campaign. The nippy winger will surely be posted out to toughen up in Div 2 at some point now that Adam Johnson, Jobi McAnuff and Tommy Smith scrap it out for the 2 winger berths but I truly believe he has a future if he can learn to do the basics well.
After all, we`ve been here before with speedy wingers who are great with the ball at their feet who, for whatever reason, never went on to make an impact…
Need I mention the name Rod Thomas to even the ardentest of ardent Watford fans?
Youngster Jordan Parkes, goalkeeper Scott Loach and shaggy haired midfielder Jon Jo O`Toole have both been tipped by Sir Aidy to cut the mustard and be the backbone of the first eleven in years to come.
O`Toole looked incredibly comfortable in the middle of the park when he came on against Ipswich despite only signing his first pro contract this week. Loach is rumoured to be as good a stopper at Foster and damn the young keeper can smack a ball whilst full back Parkes has a mountain to climb to displace Jordan Stewart.
The Vic`s faithful have been screaming out for a home grown left sider to take to our hearts since Paul Robinson left (on the cheap) for WBA and Parkes could provide the winter warmer we all need (it`s cold up in Scunthorpe you know)!
And that`s even before we`ve mentioned the likes of Adrian Forbes, striker Ewan Clarke and Liam Henderson all of whom regularly turn out for the Ressies.
Personally, I think it`s great for the future of Watford FC that Sir Aidy is pursuing with a number of Academy products and getting some experience into their legs before throwing them head first into the nitty gritty of first team action.
Mind you, it doesn`t bode well for the likes of Anthony McNamee (or I am guessing that`s his name as the 8 year old peepsqueak in front of me squeals in excitement whenever his name is read out) who has had more chances to impress than a desperate X Factor wannabe.
A stunning overhead kick against WHAM in the Cup last time out sums the pint sized wideman up perfectly - everything in his locker to be a top performer but when sent out on loan to Barnet just didn`t come back to WD18 with a bit extra added to his game.
Just look at Hameur Bouazza - one minute he`s bob bob bobbing along on loan at Swindon, I blink and he`s sold to FLEM for just over £4m!
That`s the power of the loan system...As long as you grab your chance!