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.
As early as the quarter hour mark we were forced into a reshuffle as Cox limped off having earlier received treatment. Doyley dropped into his more accustomed central role, with Heidar continuing his tour of the outfield positions as a right wing-back.
At this point, anyway, Luca brought Helguson on, and I assume we went to four in defence, with Glass dropping back and Helguson, inexplicably, playing wide right. Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and there’s no denying Pennant’s usefulness up front, but isn’t he supposed to be a right winger and Helguson a striker?
A difficult pitch and a difficult opponent, full of tricks and movement, but we played as well as we could, which is all you can ask for. Although City were better than us, technically, our battling performance could have earned a draw. Helguson’s unfortunate own goal gave City a win they barely deserved: that’s what happens when you ask strikers to play a defensive role.