So, this is all a bit weird. For the first time in twenty-odd years, I’m visiting – definitely feels like visiting – Vicarage Road with almost no context in which to place the game I’m about to see. Last time around, a little person’s lifetime ago, it was all George Thorne and Diego Fabbrini and getting stuffed at home by Yeovil; our habit of wandering around with immaculate hair and shoelaces undone had, inevitably, led to us plunging head-first towards the bottom of a steep flight of stairs. All of last season’s joie de vivre had gone, leaving only the witless confusion of that ridiculous, disastrous second half against Leeds, the pivotal moment of Gianfranco Zola’s reign. It wasn’t any fun.
Tag: Blackburn Rovers
Hull remain favourites for second place, but Watford’s much superior goal difference means the Tigers will need to win at least one of their remaining fixtures to prevent a late charge from the Vicarage Road club, who have now mathematically secured at least a play-off spot.
Troy Deeney scored twice for the Championship’s third-placed team and if their hopes of hauling in Hull’s four-point cushion with two matches remaining seem far-fetched, the form of the club’s strikeforce bodes well with playoffs on the agenda. Zola left the Championship player of the year, Matej Vydra, on the bench and the 20-goal striker was hardly missed as his replacement, Fernando Forestieri, set up the first three goals.
The scoreline tells one story. The narrative of the match itself, however, is not (merely) one of us putting inadequate opponents to the sword. In fact it followed the template of several of our big wins this season; against Huddersfield in the snow in January we laboured for a bit against a side hellbent on stopping us from playing – and once we had gotten that first goal we were gone, galloping off into the sunset with the points and never looking back.
More games from 20th April at https://oldwatford.com/tag/apr20
Before Stuart Attwell came along to take his place at the top of the league table of Villain Refs there was a man called Rob Styles.
This was one of those games, where discussing the football without first discussing the officials is impossible, where the man in black dominates proceedings to such an extent that the other twenty-four participants might as well have stayed at home, where seasons are turned on decisions made by arseholes. Hence, presumably, the fact that we’ve not yet had any comment from Graham Taylor.
This game took place in the middle of the fuel crisis. Protesters unhappy at the heavy taxation on fuel had blocked depots across the country. As a result panic buying started and on the day of the game over 3000 petrol stations across the country were closed because they had no petrol left to sell. Therefore a trip to Blackburn by car was a risky proposition for many Hornets fans. However those who braved were rewarded with a wonderful win.
The 100 Greatest Watford Wins- No.45: Britain was in the grip of a fuel crisis. Farmers and lorry drivers had blockaded oil depots in protest at the soaring cost of diesel. Queues formed on the forecourts, then the petrol pumps ran dry. There was an away game to get to. Watford laid on an extra coach for the supporters as many opted to leave their cars at home. Fewer than 200 Watford fans managed to make the journey but they witnessed a thriller.
Having negotiated the dangers of a sleepless night panicking at the prospect of having to ditch my car in darkest Wolverhampton (the geographical point I estimated my car would run out of fuel, assuming a steady speed of eighty miles per hour from London to Blackburn and back), we actually found that the best way to get through said crisis was to ignore it. Potentially hazardous, I concede, but somewhat necessary given the mass hysteria that seems to accompany anything vaguely out of the ordinary in this country. With Elvis Mark’s ‘billy can’ safely secured in the boot, and a gentlemen’s agreement to stop everywhere where petrol appeared to be on sale, we set off in trepidation. And, as if by magic, we arrived at Ewood Park.
…We don’t know if we’ll get home….”The spirit of Dunkirk,” Fincham said. Whatever, the spirits of fuel and transport were in our favour. Food at Toddington, fuel at Rothersthorpe, and arrival at the Fernhurst at 5pm. Four hours, not bad for V**xh*ll! The Fernhurst, a fine “Star Lodge” establishment offering ridiculously tasty food and cheap beverages. An up-market Harvester, the stuff of awayday dreams. This was to be a night to remember.
Premiership champions, eh? Without the, erm, charismatic inspiration of Dalglish, Blackburn Rovers have been exposed as utter cack. Expensive, aristocratic cack, but cack nonetheless. Their European Cup adventures have revealled a team without class – clueless, English battle-hard-and-you’ll-get-a-result football at its worst. They’ve been an unholy mess in the league too. Let’s face it, I fancied our chances.