Dr Watford's Casebook - Issue 5
So Sir Aidy reckons Watford are 'great entertainment at the moment` huh?
And you know what, on away trips with the Good Ship Boothroyd, especially after Saturday`s swash buckling performance against Scunnie at Glanford Park, then the gaffer might just have a point.
But Dr Watford is still a little puzzled 'cos whilst we go all out attack on the road with Plans A, B, C - right through to G - all functioning as they should, back at Fortress Vicarage it is plain frustrating for the Rookery faithful.
All this talk from Glory Hornet Boys coaching staff about changing the mindset of the players to play (and adopt) a different style of football and then…well then Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday happen.
For years I have been a great advocate of the long ball game - the good ol` fashioned Watford Way - that many in the so-called know, thought was the work of the devil. But let`s face it, it was only a dreaded 'long ball` if it was carried out by a yellow shirted satan worshipper whereas it was a devastating 60 yard throughball with pinpoint accuracy from a player with 'bags of vision` if a Man Utd or Liverpool primadona pulled it off.
But don`t get me wrong, I do love a bit of unadulterated sexy football on the side should it happen to come along. It might make me feel just a little bit grubby around the edges and like I`m cheating on a loved one should I marvel at the joys of a fluid passing game but hey, you know what they say - variety is the spice of life and all that.
In fact, I`d quite confidently say until I was yellow in the face that The Good Ship Boothroyd has all the potential to make my eyes wander and leave me all flushed with emotion. After all, Sir Aidy now has a squad blessed with 3 of the best wingers full of pace to burn in the Championship in Mssrs Smith, McAnuff and ol` Jinky Johnson. Then there`s the strikeforce at his disposal - King Marlon, Hendo, The Duke and Tamas - a forward line that must be the envy across the league. Full backs who can play a good ball and enjoy overlapping…In fact, we even have a keeper, in Mart Poom, who prefers to roll the ball out through his back line rather than put his foot through it n`lump it up field
And that`s why the Route 1 tactics the Fortress Vicarage faithful foot soldiers had to endure in both the Blackpool and Sheffield Wednesday performances infuriates me so much.
Let`s be honest, for all the free flowing footie away at Scunthorpe (and even the 25 minute spell of brilliance at Loftus Road), we were more long ball against Simon Grayson`s tangerine army than we ever were in our ill fated premiership season and what scares me half to death is that we looked more unproductive for it.
Last Tuesday night, we ripped The Owls from Hillsborough apart for 30 minutes, went 2 up, could have chalked up 3 more and then…then we took our foot off the gas, stopped passing the ball about, forgot about our width and pace and hoofed the ball in the vein direction of Darius Henderson`s peroxide head for the next 70 minutes!
Now don`t get me wrong. I think a bit of directness every now and then is what this division screams out for and is why Hendo is such a valuable asset to the club. To think he was almost on the first bus up to Deepdale scares me half to death at the moment.
And I have to agree with the gaffer when he wants games 'won and shut down early' so if that means direct football gets us on top at home and then we can settle down a bit then so be it. It`s the ol` Arsenal adage of "get the game done and dusted with a 30 minute blitz and then control it".
But at the moment, we get the first part right on the hallowed turf at Fortress Vicarage - quick out of the traps, balls slung into the box, headers flying in left, right and centre and we look dangerous.
And then with the game seemingly wrapped up, we have a lapse in concentration and let the opposition back in. Against Wednesday, Graham Kavanagh had so much time in front of goal he could have pulled his socks up, tucked his shirt in, checked his hair in the St John`s tent and still had time to pick his spot past Mart Poom.
Yes, we were that complacent.
But it just doesn`t seem to happen on our travels, where we will work hard to quieten the home crowd, create a little bit of pressure and then slide through the gears as other teams tire.
For all his educated sound bites, I can`t believe that Sir Aidy is not a big believer in the 'best form of defence being attack`.
So why then do we end up playing large chunks of home games on the back foot in our own half with the ball smacked forward without a moment`s thought to try and give Shittu and DeMerit a breather…?
It`s nail biting to the point of, well, cuticle.
Edge of the seat (in deep frustration) it may be but if 'that`s entertainment` Aidy, well then bring on the Chuckle Brothers!