Category: Gianfranco Zola
A late penalty from Lewis McGugan brought Watford a first win in five league matches and sent them surging back into the top six, but the difficulty they had in finding a way past Doncaster offered further proof that last season’s wildly entertaining if ultimately frustrated attempt at promotion will not necessarily segue into a more irresistible upwards surge at their second attempt under Italian ownership.
Where we continue to fail, rather too obviously, is in making our possession count for anything much. We’re caught between simple ball retention, knocking it around without much purpose, and trying to penetrate opponents who’ve been afforded the time to get themselves in order. Occasionally, we stumble on what might be a way out of the cul-de-sac: here, Gabriele Angella launched a sublime, far-reaching pass to find an advancing Anya, cutting through the banks of four in an instant. But, inevitably, that simply led to repeated attempts at the same thing with diminishing results, and it wasn’t long before Angella’s missiles harked back to Jay Demerit trying to fulfil childhood dreams of being a quarterback in the Boothroyd years.
More games from 17th September at https://oldwatford.com/tag/sep17
Both are little men with big ambitions but there the similarity ends. Gianfranco Zola is urbane and mild-mannered, Billy Davies fierce and feisty. And it remains true that teams naturally reflect their managers.
Forest weathered the sort of second-half fightback that is becoming Watford’s custom and would have had maximum points again but for the high-class save, low to his right, with which Manuel Almunia kept out Ishmael Miller’s goalbound shot.
In my head, we always draw one-all with Forest. It’s kind of an unwritten rule. Not strictly true in reality of course; nonetheless a glimpse at the record books reveals ten such outcomes in the last 30 league encounters spanning almost 30 years. It feels as if I’ve seen at least that many.
More games from 25th August at https://oldwatford.com/tag/aug25/