Month: September 2005

20th September 2005- League Cup Second Round, Watford 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

One look at the teamsheet told you everything you needed to know about the depth of our squad and with a pretty much full strength Wolves side taking the field, the test had come. With injuries and suspensions seemingly ready to take a first meaty bite out of our squad, Boothroyd wisely chose to rest Foster, Devlin, Young and Blizzard, while Fletcher was cup-tied meaning first starts for Toumani Diagouraga and Francino Francis. There was also a return for the veteran shot-stopper and all round good egg Alec Chamberlain and further chances for Al Bangura and Hameur Bouazza to shine, while James Chambers returned at right back with Lloyd Doyley slotting in at centre half to replace the banned Malky Mackay.

It was actually the oldest player on the pitch who kept us in it at one point. Alec Chamberlain, looking for all the world like a sprightly forty year-old instead of an ageing forty-one year-old, leapt to the aid of our defence to tip a powerful shot over the bar.

Having drawn the new squad in parallel with some automotive stuff I found myself being kept awake until 2.30 this morning by a frustrating urge to compare recent games with different types of armchairs. This could be something to do with being a bit on-off at work at the moment; it could be the non-conformist aspect of my personality seeking some form of retribution for my conformist views; it could be a way of including a particularly visual moment I had at a moment of Wolves’ misfortune or it could be that people might see where I am coming from and agree that describing a game of football to someone who wasn’t there is only partially adequate.

17th September 2005- Championship, Watford 2 Sheffield United 3

Leaders Sheffield United came from two goals down to beat 10-man Watford courtesy of a late own-goal off the knee of defender Clarke Carlisle.

Damn right, then, that this left a very bitter taste in the mouth. There’s never anything pleasant about losing a two goal lead; hell, there’s rarely anything too lovely about losing, full stop. But you can live with it, generally. This would’ve been a very different report if we’d just skipped the sixty-seventh minute and got on with it, succumbing to a rather flattering comeback that cancelled out our own rather flattering lead. Neil Warnock’s sides have a certain reputation for unreconstructed physical force, for a distinctive, shall we say, WayneAllisonness; that’s all part of the game that we love. You’d take that on the chin, without complaint. Given the chance.

The thing about lessons is you don’t dwell on them. You take what you need and move on. On that basis, this report should be about four sentences long, of which this is already the third, which just leaves the following: if this game isn’t a turning point in our season, then Betty “Adrian” Boothroyd truly will have made a difference to this club, been proven a “different” kind of manager, and be most worthy of a more expensive, better-fitting suit on matchdays in future.