Midweek Memoirs of Mr Bodell
We all know that in reliaty, Watford reaching the Play Off's has been a dissapointing end to a season which promised so much some months ago. Again, we all also know that back in October, the Hornets were flying, nine points clear and on their way to the promised land with virtual ease. Something went wrong, and now we've scraped into the Play Off's by a goal, I'm going to be positive and look to the future.
This weeks Memoirs therefore size up the Play Off opposition...Hull City
Contrasting results from a season, and most recently of course, the humbling on Humberside. Phil Brown, now in his second job as a manager, has certainly found things a little easier the second time around, and his chances of success have been aided by the success of his signings. Frazier Campbell has been a huge hit in the second half of the season, racing into double figures. His goals, including one superb strike in a win at West Brom, have been suplemented by his strike partner, veteran Dean Windass. Despite suffering a horrific gash to his leg a fortnight ago, Windass should be fit in time, and at Watford's peril. At 39, Windass mightn't have the pace of his Manchester United loanee partner, but his experience gets him in the right positions.
Hull have now been in the Championship for three seasons, are they going to extend that to a fourth, or climb to a level they've never reached until now? The largest city never to enhoy top-flight football...Bristol City
In a poor week for penalties, we were only a missed penalty away from going top, then perhaps it would have been us celebrating the title a couple of weeks back. Anywhom, no need for bitter and twisted, Bristol have deserved their play off place and will look to claim back-to-back promotions. Should they achieve this, it would be almost as unexpected as Hull nearly clinching automatic promotion.
Under the guidance of former Hornet Gary Johnson, the Robins have flirted with automatic promotion before 'doing a Watford', falling away, and then limping into the Play Offs. The Bristolians have the worst goal difference and though they've claimed some impressive scalps this season, are without a real 'goalscorer' - something you could level at Watford too however. Lee Trundle scored on the final week of the season, and maybe it's time he hit form after just four goals prior to the weekend. A talented individual, this is surely his last crack at the Premier League after years in the duldrums of the lower leagues...Crystal Palace
Home [Cup] 2-0
A mixed bag of results against the Eagles this term as Neil Warnock achieved what Iain Dowie famously did a few years ago. Back when everyone's least favourite gaffer took over, the South London side were threatening League One sides more than Championship sides. But, a marked improvement centering around a number of key signings has seen Warnock's side charge into the Play Offs and finish above the Hornets.
After a recent sparring match, Palace youngster Victor Moses showed his potential and it would be a shame if the Premier League bruisers didn't get the chance to give him the 'Cristiano Ronaldo' treatment sooner rather than later! It would also be nice to see Colin outclassed again, whilst the legs of Shaun Derry wouldn't match Gerrard or Lampard and Julian Speroni's second season in the Prem might be as poor as the first!
Here's to the Horns!