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Midweek Memoirs #7

Midweek Memoirs #7
Typical. Bloomin` Sky, why do they move the games? Why? Due to Sky not taking my club`s fixture into account (inconsiderate people!) I had the dilemma of deciding whether to play or watch. In the event I made the right choice as I skippered my side to an undeserved 4-0 defeat. I even managed to get home in time to listen to all the action as Lloyd Doyley played his part in a goal! At the time I must admit to thinking Simon Oxley had made a mistake, but after consultation with family who made the game, it was Lloydy afterall!

Anyway. My second dilemma of the past few days - what to write about - all is well at Vicarage Road so there`s nowt for me to complain about…HOLD UP! I`m not entirely happy. My faith in Aidy Boothroyd has never really been tested since he took over, however, I do have a few fears in his management at the moment…

1) The sale of Clarke Carlisle: With Clarke at the club we had five senior centre halve (DeMerit, Carlisle, Shittu, Jackson and Mackay). However, since then, Jackson has proven himself rather suspect and Malky is yet to get a whiff of first team action thus far. Cedric Avinel has now left on-loan. so, in theory, we have three centre halves.

Surely if Aidy had kept Clarke at the club, although he may not have been guaranteed first team action, he would have figured more frequently with our current lack of centre backs. Keeping Clarke would have meant that Mackay could practically retired, as he would not have been needed. We would therefore have been left with four first team centre backs. It`s simple really, but Boothroyd perhaps needs to look further into the future.

2) Failures in the transfer market: Despite chasing any number of strikers, Aidy has failed spectacularly on several occasions to get his man. It first happened in 2005 when Sam Parkin joined Ipswich and this Summer, Heidar Helguson, Collins John, Billy Sharp and Nathan Ellington are all believed to have rejected Watford, as well as many more. Ellington has at least now signed, but it has been a long time in the coming.


The fact that Nathan rejected us in the Premiership, yet signed in the Championship tells me that once again Aidy has been conned into paying the player more money. 'Player Power`, remember that?

What worries me is that Aidy is not making the right impressions on players and therefore not 'selling the club to them. Consequently they reject us and go elsewhere, UNLESS, Aidy offers them stupid sums of money - which he has been doing. Don`t think I don`t want Ellington too, I do, it gives Mr Boothroyd the chance to rotate his best forwards and also to have someone of quality on the bench.

3) Substitutions: It is fair, I think, to say that Aidy has never quite got the hang of the use of substitutes.

A prime example was the Leicester game this season. I would like to say; I was there, so I think I probably have the right to moan about Aidy`s decisions.

The substitutions were naff, and late. Will Hoskins was brought on with only seven minutes to go. When you consider that we were 3-1 down, just nine minutes into the second half, it seems rather stupid to wait so long before bringing on a forward.

Here`s another example. With four minutes to go, he brings on a defender, Aidy Mariappa! Why? That sort of sub is inexplicable in my opinion. It is by no means the first time either. I have to admit, off the top of my head, I cannot remember a specific occasion, but I know they exist.

4) Man management: This one may be perceived as being 'a bit dodgy`. Aidy has worked wonders with players like Marlon King, Clarke Carlisle, Moses Ashikodi, etc. BUT - quieter members of the squad, Jay DeMerit and Darius Henderson have caused some level of anxiety for the Hornets supporters and boss. Of course, Aidy got the right result in the end, they both signed new deals, but at what cost?

As I mentioned the other week in my 'player power` memoirs. Henderson`s sudden desire to leave was only quashed by the money Aidy offered him in his new contract. To save myself repeating myself (!), here is a snippet from that week`s memoirs…

"After being allowed to leave for Preston, Henderson decided to stay and try and fight for his place. After having bids for other strikers fall through, Aidy effectively says to Hendo: 'I didn`t want you, but I can`t get anyone better so you`ll do'. Henderson then states he wants to leave, which is probably fair when you`ve effectively been told you don`t have the gaffers faith. However, in my eyes, what isn`t right is to turn around and (effectively) say: 'I`ll only stay and be a good little boy if you give me more money a week than I`m actually worth'. Aidy, bowing down to player power, again, hands Hendo a new deal with lucrative terms-player power is the winner again.

As you can deduce from my entirely unrealistic snippets of conversation between parties Henderson and Boothroyd, this whole affair has been entirely brought on by Boothroyd`s failures in the transfer market, but that`s a whole new moaning session."

So there you have it. The areas in which I`ve lost faith with Aidy - thankfully, he`s a great motivator and a good, honest, genuine man, with a bit of tactical knowledge - well, he`s gotta have something to have lasted for this long! Don`t get me wrong. I don`t have a 'real` problem with Aidy. In fact, I don`t have any sort of problem with him. I still refer to him as 'God`. I just think that there are a few areas of his management were he needs to learn from his failures in the past. It is worth remembering on my part though the he is only thirty-six and that this is only his third full season as a manager.

I`m not for one minute suggesting he needs replacing, and least of all by me, although I`d give it a shot, my managerial experience stretches as far as Football Manager on PC! I have no doubts he will become one of the most successful managers in our history and in the history of English football.

Keep the faith (Ironic? Yes!)

Tom Bodell


Writer:wfc123
Date:Wednesday September 19 2007
Time: 8:09AM

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