Watford did their chances of staying up all the harm in the world today as they slipped to another defeat, 1-0 at the hands of bottom of the league Peterborough. That`s Peterborough with only 4 away points all season, Peterborough with one away win all season?at Vicarage Road.
Crammed full with kids paying just £1 to get in, this sort of showing will hardly inspire tomorrow`s fans to return to Vicarage Road any time soon. Until Peterborough`s 51st minute goal Watford were toothless, ineffective, lacking any ideas, motivation, creativity, cutting edge or guile. Fans are supposed to motivate the players by supporting them vocally, but it`s two-way street and the fans are only going to sing if the football being dished up is of league standard.
I think we all accept the pitch is not currently conducive to playing easy-on-the-eye football, but it hasn`t got a great slope like Barnet`s, a ditch in the middle like Wigan`s and so on. The pitch does however treat both teams equally.
Watford offered nothing going forward and were lucky not to go behind when Liam Dickson smashed a shot goalbound after an initial Scott Loach save, Loach throwing himself to the floor to push the effort wide. Hornet`s fan, Craig Mackail-Smith also came exceedingly close as his close-control turn and volley thumped the woodwork square on.
Peterborough`s pressure was repaid early in the first half, Watford lost the ball straight from kick off – that time old tradition of passing it to the man on the edge of the centre circle who hoofs it into touch, hoping to find Heidar Helguson still isn`t working. And within six second-half minutes Liam Dickinson gave the Posh the lead.
From a hopeful long-ball, Scott Loach was forced to tidy up on the edge of the area but when no-one took control and got rid of the ball he was left hopelessly stranded on the edge of the 6 yard box as former Blackpool loanee Dickinson looped home a speculative effort.
This setback did at least get Watford going in the right direction, though there was more action to be seen off the pitch as fans were pulled apart- the stewards who are so quick to stop you standing up in support of your team stood idly by it`s worth noting.
Taking note of the fans demand for Will Hoskins, Mackay replaced the ineffective Danny Graham who didn`t even offer his usual toil, Hoskins came up with a few half-chances and a decent penalty shout but the best chance fell to Aidy Mariappa. On the corner of the six yard box Mariappa saw his effort nodded off the line by Mark Little who was stationed at the back post to help Peterborough cut their deficit to just eight points.
Watford are just one point and two places from safety with game against three of the bottom five still to play. Squeaky bum time anyone?
Peterborough: Lewis; Little; Morgan, Lee, Zakuani; Griffiths (Simpson); Mackail-Smith, Torres (Geoghaghen), Rowe; MacLean (Reid) and Dickinson.
Subs not used: McKeown (gk); Day, Green and Crook.
Referee: Mr A Taylor
Scott Loach – 7
Kept us in it first half, not at fault for the goal.
Aidy Mariappa – 4
Abysmal. Shocking distribution, never got tight to his man.
Martin Taylor – 6
One of few headless chickens.
Jay DeMerit (c) – 5
A shadow of old.
Lloyd Doyley – 5
Incompetent technically for a man that bombs on so much.
Don Cowie – 5
Didn’t use the ball at all well. Got too narrow.
Henri Lansbury – 5
Far too quiet for an Arsenal youngster.
John Eustace – 4
Even as a Eustace supporter, I found him dire. Either hoofs it or goes backwards, or plays others into trouble.
Tom Cleverley – 6
Tried to create something on his return. Poor set-plays.
Heidar Helguson – 6
Offered more than Graham, but only in terms of endeavour and toil.
Danny Graham – 5
Tries, but desperately needs a goal or several. Didn’t get a sniff.
Why do we not leave men up at set-plays?
Every other team does and it means for 1 forward, 2 defenders are needed, so that’s two men less attacking your goal – simple.
Why do we kick and rush from kick off?
On this one, a lot of teams do it, why not pass it back, knock it about, get everyone a feel of the ball then probe; instead of hoof and hope for the best.