Jilted at the Altar
Such is the acceptance of money’s role in the game these days that few batted an eyelid when Brendan Rodgers jumped the Watford ship in May, barely six months after taking over. That he leaves a club that has enjoyed a cup final appearance, three major semi finals within the last decade and a second placed finish in the top flight for one whose chief memory of silverware is the long forgotten Simod Cup in 1988 shows how topsy turvy the world has become. The superior “set up” at the Madejski Stadium was evoked, whatever that means, and Watford were left jilted at the altar of a burgeoning relationship. Enter Malky Mackay – an up and at ‘em kind of player in this days with Celtic, Norwich and the ‘Orns. Will he restore the cruelly interrupted tradition of direct play fostered under Taylor, Boothroyd and others?
It’s to the Hornets’ credit that they are unlikely to dwell overlong on the injustice, although should Rodgers or others come pillaging for his remaining assets, the rancour will swell. Tommy Smith is still a Watford player at the time of posting; ditto John-Joe O’Toole, Tamás Priskin and Jobi McAnuff. For a side that has struggled with hitting the net consistently for some time now, Danny Graham is the hoped for solution who has been brought in from Cumbria: Watford fans will hope he isn’t the new Will Hoskins. However, the most significant signing could be SPL stalwart Scott Severin. The man of Stirling forms an intriguing central midfield partnership with young Ross Jenkins, no relation to his namesake, the Watford striking hero of yore, warmly fêted on the peerless blog BHaPPY.
At the back, a cement like pairing of Jay DeMerit and ex-Chairboy Mike Williamson protect England youngster Scott Loach and one would expect Mackay to get this part of the team right given it’s his specialism. Watford were always tough to overcome last season and although they are very unlikely to make it to the play offs, away fans never enjoy their trip to Vicarage Road, although that ridiculous trek around the allotments is now a distant memory.