Manchester United have the air of a team in complete control of their own destiny, so a side of Watford’s limitations were always going to struggle in a contest their manager Aidy Boothroyd had likened to “Muhammad Ali against Jimmy Krankie”.
Liverpool ended a turbulent week with an emphatic Premiership win at Watford. After two cup exits at home to Arsenal, the under-pressure Reds responded with a fine display, Craig Bellamy scoring the first from Steve Finnan’s cross.
Watford are not so much out of their depth in the Premiership as trying to swim with one foot on the bottom. Such a lot of effort is devoted to keeping heads above water that attempts at progress are slow, painful and, in the case of Saturday’s inept display against Liverpool, downright embarrassing. Adrian Boothroyd’s team will not drown but they will surely return to the Championship paddling pool.
Watford’s manager Aidy Boothroyd had a far more frustrating afternoon. ‘I think that when you play one of the big four, sometimes there’s a choke that goes on,’ he said. ‘They see players that they see a lot on the TV. Sometimes some of them can’t cope with it.’ Boothroyd also revealed that there is now an ‘£8million bid on the table’ for Ashley Young but would not reveal other details.