So there we have it. Aidy is no more.
The instant reaction is shock, despite being a supporter for over 20 years, sacking a manager still doesn’t seem like a very Watford-like thing to do. It feels like one of those things that happens to other clubs…
Anyway, the dust has settled a bit, we know who is going to be in charge for the immediate future and I’ve had a chance to give it some sensible thought. So what do I reckon? Well…
Firstly, if you look back over the past 12 months, it has been pretty horrible. The majority of last season was utterly woeful, both in terms of entertainment and results. This year has been more exciting than many of us anticipated, but in the cold light of day, the results haven’t been up to scratch, and 12 wins in almost 50 games tells it’s own story.
Secondly, in the cold light of day, a lot of Aidy’s signings haven’t been up to scratch. They have ranged from the rubbish (Ellington) to the bizarre (Collins John) to the illegal (Junior) and with a few notable exceptions the players brought in have left a lot to be desired.
I have a huge amount of sympathy in this area, as replacing Ashley Young, Hameur Bouazza and Marlon King wasn’t going to be hard – it was impossible. Latterly he has found his hands tied behind his back when it comes to transfers due to financial constraints, but how much his earlier errors in the transfer market contributed to our lack of cash, I guess we’ll never know.
So, it is pretty apparent that Aidy has made mistakes and has struggled. However…
This season we have been absolutely decimated by injury. We have been unable to keep the same side for any length of time, and quite frankly it shows, especially in our defensive displays. But we are still in there and fighting – we are scoring goals (against all odds!) and haven’t been outplayed this season. we haven’t been that bad at all… and certainly haven’t rolled over like we did so horrifically last year. This told me that Aidy was till in there scrapping, and the players were too. He hasn’t exactly made a silk purse our of a sows ear, but we all knew that this year was going to be very tough, and so it has proved. I was personally confident that Aidy was the man to pull us through…
The Board disagreed though and now all eyes must turn to potential replacements. Who are we going to get that is better equipped than Boothroyd? Who are we going to get that is willing to come to a club that is:
- For sale
- Flat broke
- In a relegation scrap?
I have a feeling that the list will be extremely limited, and those mentioning the likes of Curbishley and Allardyce are quite frankly in dreamland.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Malky given the job – he knows the players and the club, and above all else will be cheap which I assume will be one of the main criteria.
So to sum up, I think this decision is a massive gamble. On the one hand, Boothroyd has made mistakes and the results over the last 12 months have been undeniably poor. However the timing surprises me. If we get this wrong now, we are in deep, deep trouble. Relegation whilst in this perilous financial state would be catastrophic. Look at those who have gone before us and never made it back – Oldham, Bradford, Swindon, Huddersfield, Millwall to name but a few – previously fixtures in the top two divisions, now languishing in the nether reaches. That could easily be us.
I remember thinking the same when Lewington went. I thought the Board had made a mistake. As it turns out, they were right, I was wrong. I really, really hope they are right this time too…
On a lighter note, Skybet have published their odds for the next manager, Curbishley is 3/1 favourite.