When the final whistle went, a couple of the Watford players dropped to the ground as did a number of the Bolton players. They all looked dead on their feet and certainly those of us in the stands were completely drained. What a terrific game of football. There were ecstatic grins in the away end and hugs between friends and, most likely, complete strangers. The players came over and were greeted as the heroes that they were. Ighalo, Layun, Forestieri and Deeney thanked us by nipping over the advertising hoardings to give their shirts to the crowd.
Having been separated following the play-off final defeat when Vydra joined West Bromwich Albion on loan from Udinese, the Czech international was reunited with Troy Deeney and both players scored in the first half.
The final whistle went to great applause from the home fans. We had been masterful in the first half and, even if Bolton got back into it a bit in the second, it was a convincing win. Even better than that, we had quality all over the pitch. It was a joy to witness. The horror show that was the end of last season is now a distant memory. I’m really trying not to be over-optimistic, but I can’t help feeling that this could be a very exciting season indeed.
Unusual to be starting with the “big picture” stuff, normally the domain of thunk 5. Relevant here though., because however dispiriting our recent form has been… things could be worse. No, really. I mean, you know that, right? You remember Bassini? Not being able to afford Keith Scott or a Stevenage-era Barry Hayles in Division One? The financial abyss post-Vialli? This? Whatever’s wrong is small potatoes in comparison. And even if one accepts that there are major problems with the team – we’ll get to that – we have owners with a demonstrably sound plan, and a degree of security. And some very talented players, albeit we’re not seeing the best of them at the moment.
The game where Lloyd Doyley scored his other goal.