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Mike in the Guardian – Watford 2011-2012 Preview

Tuesday 2 August 2011 by
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The Guardian newspaper asked From The Rookery End’s Mike Parkin to give his thoughts on Watford’s chances this season. You can read his views on the Hornets below, and along with other bloggers from every club in the Championship on the Guardian website.

Nothing is ever straightforward when it comes to supporting Watford. Flamboyant chairmen, the turning of a much loved ex-manager into a vegetable, constant criticism of our style of play and a three-sided ground have all been used as proverbial sticks to beat us. Now, us Hornets fans have another thorn in our side. Wales.

During the close season we have lost the Championship’s leading scorer Danny Graham down the M4 and across the border to Swansea, whilst our manager, his backroom team and the influential midfielder Don Cowie have also crossed the bridge, all now employed by Cardiff City.

The exciting winger Will Buckley has also departed, although he has headed south to Brighton. Add into the mix a relatively new and unknown owner and Watford fans could be forgiven for being mildly concerned.

However, in appointing the former youth and reserve team manager and Mackay’s assistant Sean Dyche as boss, the club have gone for continuity – something that has pleased Watford fans. He may not have managerial experience, but he has Watford experience and that will do for us. Combine his appointment with a smattering of new signings; Mark Yeates, Chris Iwelumo, David Mirfin, Craig Forsyth and the wonderfully named Prince Buaben, who all look like good additions, and there is perhaps cause for cautious optimism.

Of course, when I say optimism, I mean a vague notion that we may achieve this season’s single goal. Survival. Whilst our younger players performed admirably last year, they are going to have to do so again this term if Watford are to avoid a relegation scrap and only time will tell if the squad is big enough, strong enough and experienced enough to keep our heads above water in what is an increasingly competitive division.

Simply put, if by 5pm on 28 April Watford are still a Championship club, the 2011-12 season will have been a success.

I guess time will tell exactly what Wales has that Watford doesn’t.

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