Watford would seem to specialise in compounding the problems of troubled south-coast clubs, but Portsmouth’s first-team coach Kevin Bond did not bemoan the impact of Harry Redknapp’s departure as manager last week.
Three BSAD reports including…Despite recent events, Portsmouth are a much better side than the last round’s victims, and this success required the intense, concentrated implementation of a well-prepared gameplan. Required it, got it…and weagain, astonishingly and spectacularly, arrived at the point where we’d put the game out of reach with half an hour remaining.
…whatever they were trying to create in the second half, we should applaud Watford and Portsmouth. Sure, it was incredibly ugly…but, as I’ve explained, prototypes often are. No, we should encourage their attempts to create a new sport with the rucking and mauling of rugby, the sparse incident of snooker, and trace elements of football. However, we should also request that they don’t trouble us again until it’s been fully tried, tested and perfected.
This was going to be a fully-interactive role-playing report on the second half of the match, but in all honesty there wasn’t a whole load of interaction so here’s a rundown of the roles the players played.
If the season’s only previous goalless draw against Barnsley had more merits than the scoreline suggested, then this was your authentic “move along, there’s nothing to see here” stalemate. The least entertaining spectacle of the campaign so far by, ooh, that much and a flashback to what life in the First Division frequently used to be like for the Hornets prior to Graham Taylor’s return.
THE EDITOR of Portsmouth’s club programme, Chimes, was indulging in some mischievous wish-fulfilment with the premature publication of the First Division table in his opening-day issue. In the absence of any points won or goals scored, Pompey appeared in 15th place while, by dint of name alone, Watford were in the relegation zone, above West Brom and Wolves.
Somewhere in my head, there’s a long list of things that I want to do before I pass away. Predictably, most of them are completely unattainable – I’ll never write a novel, I’ll never paint a whole train carriage, I’ll never beat five defenders and drill a shot past the keeper. I can dream, though.
Taken from the programme on 18th August 1998-League Cup First Round Second Leg, Watford 1 Cambridge Utd 1 (Cambridge won 2-1 on aggregate)