After Saturday's defeat, and Martin Devaney's eventually crucial goal in a 3-2 loss, let's hope that Clarke Carlisle doesn't rub our noses in what we lost.
Clarke left Vicarage Road after two successful seasons in Hertfordshire, but was not guaranteed first-team football and made the decision to return North. Prior to his stint in the South with Watford and Q.P.R, where he became a cult hero before leaving for Leeds, Carlisle started out with Blackpool. The fee was around 300k, three times what the Hornet`s paid for his services in 2005.
His debut for the Hornets came hours after meeting his new team-mates for the time and he produced a commanding display against Preston, his place of birth, despite a 2-1 defeat. Clarke didn`t wait long for his first goal in a Yellow shirt and Pride Park was the venue for his first, a bullet header to win the game in the 90th minute at the beginning of September, Clarke was already filling in as captain.
By the end of the 2005-2006 season, Carlisle had 5 goals to his name, but his season ended frustratingly as he was sidelined at old club Q.P.R with a peculiar thigh injury. Initially it was expected he would return to play some part in the Play Off Final. Unfortunately however Carlisle did not return until April 2007 and made his return in an emphatic 4-2 victory over Portsmouth at Vicarage Road. He even went on to play in the F.A Cup semi-final defeat to Man United.
His days at the 'Vic did not appear to be numbered, but before the Carling Cup defeat of Ronnie Jepson`s Gillingham, Carlisle was sold to Burnley. I myself was disappointed by the news, and, after Matt Jackson`s bumbling display, my disgust was warranted.
Since his move to Turf Moor, Carlisle has made 15 starts, scoring once.
Burnley have always been a team of significance in Watford`s history. In 2001, Graham Taylor made his last appearance in the dugout in a lacklustre 1-0 defeat in Lancashire. In 2003, Watford rattled 7 past their leaky backline as then loanee; Michael Chopra nabbed four in a 7-4 victory.
In more recent times, the 4-1 defeat to them, once again in the North was a catalyst for a long run of positive results on the way to promotion, whilst earlier that season, Boothroyd recorded his maiden Watford victory at their expense, 3-1 to the Glory Golden Boys on the day.
Here`s to more success today, but none for Clarke in the immediate future…