Away From Home: Hornets back on track
Back with his latest 'Away From Home` column, Billy Hawkins reflects on an important win at Huddersfield and discusses England`s World Cup 2014 fate...IN the run up to another international break - one that could see the end of England's World Cup dream - to come away from Huddersfield with a victory places the squad in a positive mindset.
Following Fernando Forestieri's deft volley and Daniel Pudil's finish after Lewis McGugan's free kick, Watford came away from the John Smith's Stadium with a victory - being the first team to defeat Huddersfield at their home this season.
It certainly creates a good atmosphere going into the international break, especially with the knowledge that, until December, there are no midweek games to increase fatigue.
Topping off an indifferent week - following defeat against Blackburn - the question regarding performance levels is still apropos; although sitting comfortably in the play-off places, only one performance - the 5-1 victory at Barnsley - could be considered stellar.
Arguably, some would say that it shows well on a team when they can play badly and still win - Cardiff and Hull from last season spring to mind - and to grind out results against the lesser teams - teams who would have caused problems last season - certainly bodes well for the progression of the season.
In the wider world of international football - with the upcoming World Cup qualifiers - the Internet has been awash with derogatory remarks towards Roy Hodgson's archaic squad selection, and his defence of Joe Hart as guaranteed first choice goalkeeper.
In Hodgson's defence, playing Joe Hart is the only logical choice, as allowing Fraser Forster or John Ruddy - who himself looked out of sorts against Chelsea on Sunday - a start in such high pressure games reeks of desperation (and recalls a certain appearance by one Scott Carson).
Yet, although he now has no other choice, Hodgson has dug this hole himself; by not allowing either 'keeper to play in friendly matches against lesser opposition, he has given himself no other option.
It also doesn't help that, by choosing to play for the draw in the majority of the group games, the melancholia of the nation next summer hangs upon two tricky games.
The nation`s hopes for a summer of World Cup induced enjoyment - whether that includes England or not - should be confirmed within the next few days.
Is it bad that I still wish upon the dissolving of the national team?