Tag: Mathias Ranegie

23rd August 2014- Championship, Watford 4 Leeds United 1

Watford won the clash of the Championship’s two Italian-owned clubs as they overcame nine-man Leeds United.

So, here we are, four games in, three wins and one defeat, and the manager’s job on the line. Notably, the pressure comes from inside rather than outside; these are questions being asked by the players rather than the fans. There’s no sense of mutiny around Vicarage Road, nothing more than a familiar impatient tetchiness, common to all modern football grounds. But you look at that squad – a winning squad, for pity’s sake – and you can’t see any structure at all.

When I entered the ground, Macca was being interviewed by Luther.  What a joy to listen to my two all-time favourite players chatting.  When they finished, I made my way around to the Lower Rous to give Don a bag that he had left in the West Herts.  As I reached the disabled area, Don was coming to greet me and pointing rather urgently behind me.  I turned and there was John McClelland looking exactly as he did in the 80s.  I immediately turned into a gibbering star struck fan.  I managed to blurt out that I’d loved watching him play and went to shake his hand and found myself being warmly hugged.  It is quite possible that my feet will never touch the ground again.

19th April 2014- Championship, Watford 3 Ipswich Town 1

Watford kept alive their hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs and dented Ipswich’s with victory at Vicarage Road.

Beppe Sannino said: “Tozser’s the only player I can’t change in this team because I don’t have any other players with his characteristics. He gave us the right balance. He’s the only player that knows he’s going to play in advance.”

This was a game from a parallel universe.  A parallel universe in which this season panned out as we thought it might, in which we really did rip the division up, too good for whatever the Championship could throw at us.  In which a team turning up and haring after us, closing us down up the pitch and denying us space and waiting for us to make a mistake wasn’t anything like enough.  A parallel universe in which, perversely, Beppe Sannino had replaced Gianfranco anyway.  Go figure.  I never claimed to be an expert in this stuff.