A proud night to be a Watford fan
The last few weeks have taken us back to the gloomy days at the beginning of the season where we were not good to watch and didn't score goals. Tonight though, was very, very different and I know I'm not alone in saying how proud I am to be a Watford fan after that performance.
I was busy predicting an absolute trouncing and to have lost 1-0 feels a travesty. Twenty five shots versus six in our favour says it all, but at the same time sums up the difference between the top flight and the Championship. Whilst Rafael Van Der Vaart's goal owed a lot to Scott Loach's clanger, it was as much down to the clinical nature of the Dutchman, shooting from 25 yards.
My patience has now worn out with Loach. I've always defended the lad but he is making errors too often now and I do think it is time not just to find him a competitor for the number one jersey but someone who can realistically dislodge him for good.
That Sean Murray was handed his full debut in such a big game shocked me, as Dyche has not been an advocate of youth so far during his tenure but the 18 year-old impressed hugely and certainly offered more than Craig Forsyth down the left. Whilst not jeopardizing his development, I hope we see more of the young man soon.
The decision to pick Troy Deeney down the right was also a good one. I'm no fan of Deeney as a winger but he is a real, honest, gritty hard-worker and that is something you cannot say for Mark Yeates. Deeney was magnificent and gave Danny Rose and Luka Modric a really tough time down the left.
Yeates' introduction for Murray in the second-half disappointed me at the time, but the former Spurs trainee was unlucky not to assist a Hornet's goal on several occasions.
Finally, kudos to the Hornet's faithful for the chant 'Stand up if you've paid your taxes'. Further kudos for Spurs' retort: 'He's Harry Redknapp, he'll pay what he wants'. In all honesty, the man is an institution, I hope he gets away scot free.
A word for John Eustace too. 'Arry said he ran the show and I couldn't agree more. I love John Eustace and although he hasn't always been at his best this season, he's been in corking form since the turn of the year. Like a fine wine, he keeps on getting better, and long may it continue.
All in all an excellent showing in front of the nation and hopefully a real positive to kick-start our league form in the New Year. We really need three points and Millwall on Tuesday night, here's to avenging this defeat at The Den.
chrisgwfc will have your regular report up soon.