Away From Home: Rams defeat no disaster
Journalism undergraduate Billy Hawkins returns to pick apart the defeat by Derby County at the weekend...A LACK of midweek action leaves little to be discussed in the wake of a 3-2 defeat to a Derby County side coached by a surprisingly effective Steve McClaren.
Following the (existential questioning) of the international break, heading into the league return with a defeat - especially to a lacklustre mid table mainstay this season - assuages no discontent from the Twitter gatherers; all manic voices and discordant ramblings.
Admittedly, to the more like minded fans - the defeat causes no overreaching mental crisis; fear that one defeat is the outline for the remainder of a clubs season.
McClaren's man management credibility aside - his misuse of the England squad a reminder to all - his ability as a technical coach, and guidebook-esque tactical knowledge, have never been brought into question.
Ironically it was his lesser talent which swung the result of his first game in (all but official) charge; 4-1 down at home by half time to Ipswich, an (astoundingly) awe-inspiring McClaren team talk galvanised his side - with few match winners amongst them - to pull back to 4-4 was an impressive result - aided by a brace from Craig Bryson - who completed the comeback two minutes from time.
I was strongly critical of Derby's treatment of the Nigel Clough situation, an overly harsh sacking of a manager aided in no part by his lack of support from superiors, embellished by the process of - albeit self imposed - exile by phone.
Yet, in hiring a technically astute manager, a belief of high reaching success may materialise in the coming months.
Although the appointment of one of a constant group of veritably middle or the road managers - with McClaren bred of the same English school of thought as Clough - still brings into the question the unwilling advancement of English football.
With the knowledge of Derby's strong form and the enduring defensive frailties of the ever-changing Watford back line - an easy win for the home side should not have been the result on fans lips - although one can be excused in the ephemeral randomness of mind pre-match.
Although two fantastic - one arguably world class - strikes from Fernando Forestieri and Lewis McGugan gave Watford a way back into an otherwise tough match, a loss was ultimately seen through when substitute Connor Sammon - on at the behest of former - and incredibly well received ex-Hornet - John Eustace - picked up Will Hughes pass and finished late on.
Ultimately the result is not as worrying as some would think - with the season still less than a quarter of the way through to completion - Watford still sit firmly in contention for a top league position.
As evident last season, any run of wins raises any club to exceptional heights through the course of the season. Almen Abdi is still to return to the squad of unified misfits - and will invariably improve a side still sitting better off than this time last season.
There is no need to worry yet; is there?