Category: Gianluca Vialli
Nigel Gibbs final Watford appearance and Gianluca Vialli’s last programme notes.
BSAD report: One final first team outing for Nigel Gibbs – applauded on arrival by everyone in the ground, including the Gillingham players – was worth the price of admission alone, even if he was required to spend ten minutes looking awkwardly out of place at left back. A broad grin on hitting a pass so firmly that even Anthony McNamee couldn’t catch up with it betrayed his enjoyment of the occasion, and it was an enjoyment widely shared. Nigel Gibbs has been a great player for Watford Football Club for twenty years. There need be no further explanation.
I don’t ever recall hearing the Flintstones Theme Watford chant being sung by the Rookery (see Hornets in Harmony pages 31-33)
Watford’s manager Gianluca Vialli called on his team to win this game, and a second home fixture against Grimsby on Sunday, to haul themselves back into the promotion frame. But the plea fell on deaf ears here last night, and Marcus Gayle’s listening equipment must be of the cloth variety.
Ten o’clock pm. Final whistle. Swift exit for the train station, through the shouting, grumbling, miserable hordes. Except those who’ve stayed behind to abuse the team, that is. Stride quickly through the streets, checking my watch and wondering if, deep down, I ought to be feeling rather more angry and disillusioned. I’m unable to figure that out. Or maybe I don’t want to try too hard.
Vialli talks about the League Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, the game where he lost the confidence of many Watford supporters.
Watching this game was a reward for ministering to my two sick children while they emitted green and yellow fluids and solids from both ends, for the past two days. Frankly, if we’d been playing Norwich, I don’t think I could have stomached it. But allowed out by my wife, at the possible expense of an Arsenal ticket in a couple of weeks, I hoped against hope that the Charlton spirit would see us right against a team everyone knows are unlikely to finish as low as seventh yet again.
More games from 22nd December at https://oldwatford.com/tag/dec22
BSAD: Really, it’s impossible to capture it without immediately referring to an insane performance from Paul Robinson, who spent most of the first half stomping around to mark his territory on the left flank before leaving his kingdom to seek fulfilment of his schoolboy dream of being a dashing, swashbuckling goalscorer.
Gianluca Vialli’s stated love for the League Cup, which he won in 1998 while player-manager at Chelsea, has seemed out of touch now that it is fashionable to devalue the competition, but last night his Watford team produced a performance to reinvigorate its romantic side.
More games from 27th November at https://oldwatford.com/tag/nov27
BSAD report: Perhaps it’s a little premature, but there’s a sense that this is the start of something…and it doesn’t necessarily matter if it’s not the start of a period of dazzling success. There are more fundamental things, really. Many have felt isolated and alienated as the new era has jolted into motion, failing to identify with an unfamiliar, anonymous team. As a fan, there’s been little to hold onto. Now, with Gifton Noel-Williams and Tommy Smith returning to stunning form, Micah Hyde running the midfield, Neil Cox back in favour, and the emergence of distinctive, committed figures among the new signings (David Noble, Stephen Glass, and Filippo Galli), it feels a whole lot less like watching a daytime soap opera.
The week before this game was played Watford player Paolo Vernazza was stabbed at his home by a burglar as reported here by The Guardian.
More games from 9th October at https://oldwatford.com/tag/oct9/