Hornets toast Willo by downing claret
27 Jan 2009
New Watford rock Mike Williamson helped himself to a man of the match award last night after putting in a pitch perfect debut in the Hornets 3-0 win over a cup weary Burnley.
The 6ft3 signing from Wycombe looked every inch a Championship player as Watford eased to only their 5th clean sheet in 29 league games - and their first of 2009!
Yes, a goal after just 2 minutes does help (all thanks to a smart move involving Rasiak, Hoskins, Smith and finally McAnaff - who did his best to miss from 2 yards) but Brendan Rodgers will have been happy with his defence that looked so, so comfortable against a good side with attacking intent but no end product
Burnley were pacy, playing a passing game that would have the Watford boss wetting himself with excitement but Reliable Lloyd had Eagles in his pocket for most of the game whilst Martin Paterson barely got a kick out of Williamson and Mariappa. The fact that Robbie Blake (who always scores against us) looked toothless up front was testament enough to a much improved backline performance
Watford on the other hand were ruthless - a brace of classy finishes from sub Priskin (his 1st thanks to a clever ball from former Burnley boy Harley within minutes of Tamas coming on, was sublime) made the scoreline a bit one sided but if Watford were flattered by the scoreline their passion alone deserved the result.
Owen Coyle`s men had plenty of possession (10 corners away from home!) but the Turf Moor's braveheart boss screamed (claret and) blue murder at his defenders after the game (as well as half time, questioning the effort.
As for Brendan Rodgers? Well, gone was the backwards and sideways passing that many had feared and whilst a bigger test will come at Molineux on Saturday, the midfield provided extra support to the back 4 when on the backfoot - Jack Cork and Ross Jenkins both looked immense in shutting down.
There were problems mind. Loach dropped just about everything (butter on his gloves?) which could be a danger if we face a side keen to pressure the keeper whilst Gavin Hoyte is plainly not good enough at right back (lacks awareness and strength).
But in truth that was about it.
The pace and numbers getting forward on counter attacks was reminiscent of Old Watford, Rasiak and Hoskins compliment each other no end and Smithy was, well, Smithy. He has to stay.
Even McAnaff seems to have been given a good kick up the ol` backside and now is prepared to take on his man.
With the pressure piling up in the relegation scrap (Doncaster winning at Sheff Utd and Charlton notching up a rare win), all things yellow are most definitely looking up…until we inevitably get stuffed in the Black Country on Saturday!!!
Watford's new signing will be happy with his debut. He won everything in the air, got distance on his clearances and looked commanding. A couple of 50 yard cross field balls showed he's handy with his feet too.