Dr Watford's Casebook - Issue 1
UEFA surprise package or no UEFA surprise package, Saturday night's result against Israeli outfit, Maccabi Haifa, has only strengthened my opinion that the 'Watford Way' might not be the best route to follow along the good ol' yellow brick road.
You see, here at VitalWatford, we can quite clearly see the obvious merits of being a family club with strong community links and excellent local contacts. In fact, the whole ethos behind following the Watford Way and sticking with tradition is something a lot of fans love about the club...
Yet, I can`t help feeling it`s soon got to be a case of out with the old and in with the new if the Glory Hornet Boys are to find any kind of success come May 2008.
After all, from an onlookers viewpoint, this pre-season this has been like any pre-season we`ve had over the last 15 years and quite frankly, I was hoping for something fresh and new. Something that, should I dare said it, didn`t include friendlies that followed the trend of 'community service`.
Each year the pre-season calender gets filled up early with run-outs against the likes of St Albans, Northwood, Cheshunt, Amersham or Wealdstone rather than top notch league sides or lower league grafters who bare some resemblance to the sides that we`ll face next year…
Now don't get me wrong, these games are ok to get players up to full fitness, to try out a few new faces or tinker with new formations but one thing is certain... whether they get a result or not, the Glory Hornet Boys are in a 'no win' situation.
The local sides will always raise their game and as we saw only too often in the media coverage of the St Albans defeat, fans of our respective neighbours never report that the Hornets fielded a youth team with little experience.
It`s always puzzled me why we always leave it late, late into our preparations to face some league qualities to check out whether we have done enough in the summer or not?
In a World Cup year, do England prepare for the finals with warm-ups with a flavour of things to come against South American opponents or an Asian team? Or do the organisers think to themselves 'sod it, lets just play Wales and Eire to build up local relations'?
Ok, so this year we've still got Lincoln, MK Dons and WillemII to face before the trip to Molineux but with 2 weeks to go what can we now learn from a couple of games against Div2 also rans and an unknown Dutch outfit?
Will these games tell us anything new ahead of the new season or give us time to change things around, add more depth to the squad perhaps if required?
I doubt it!
A quick scan of the papers today does very little to raise my spirits - Palace have turned over IK Gothemberg in Sweden (a team packed with power and defensive qualities). Charlton have smashed Gillingham (blood and thunder), Saints went down to Lazio (attacking force letting Burley know he needs a new centre half) and even Burnley challenged a Leeds side with something to prove.
The list goes on...and on
Let`s just hope that the next 9 months don`t drag quite as much!