How often have we heard that same old story? Team goes on cup run, team matches Premiership (not Premier, not a ship) side, team comes down to earth with a painful bump the following weekend. Okay, maybe not that often, but you get the point. Crewe at home, despite our visitors losing Dean Ashton to Norwich, had “potential banana skin” written all over it. Much as everybody’s attention is rightly focused on a certain game against a certain team, the need to build on the last home match (a 1-0 win over Millwall, in case you can’t remember in a post-Anfield blur) with another three points was paramount. The Carling Cup Final would be nice, but a few home league wins in a row will keep the relegation battle wolf well and truly clear of our door.
Neither side wanted a draw but both teams deserved something from what was an excellent Cup tie. For Watford the replay will be sandwiched between the two legs of the Carling Cup semi-final against Liverpool while Fulham’s priorities lie in Premiership survival.
Of course, Fulham left us with the suggestion, before Russian billionaires raised the stakes, that Al Fayed’s money would buy more than a superior type of mediocrity; nevertheless, it’s hard to remember to be smart when we’re asked what we’ve been doing since we were neck-and-neck with them at the top of the Second Division back in 2000. In short, not as planned.
More games from 8th January at https://oldwatford.com/tag/jan8