It was quite endearing really. Two goals to the good and seemingly out of sight, Leicester supporters serenaded their Watford counterparts with a rendition of “Two nil on your big day out”. It was a cause for much amusement in the packed away end, with fans of the Foxes presumably assuming that the large following from Hertfordshire was borne of a burning desire to see Jeffrey Schlupp in live action.
The reality is of course that Watford’s away support was there to see their own team’s latest efforts to solidify their survival campaign, and whilst the Leicester fans were left to continue coming to terms with being the new hottest ticket in town, the Vicarage Road faithful departed the King Power Stadium positive yet pointless.
Jamie Vardy’s impressive exploits aside, the main talking point from the game was a goalkeeping error from Heurelho Gomes in the Watford goal. There’s no denying it was a costly error, but you won’t find me or any other Watford supporter pointing a finger at the Brazilian. There is a unity at Vicarage Road, one that manifests itself in a tangible bond between those in the stands and those on the pitch and that means sticking together when there’s a blip of any sort. Saturday’s most certainly won’t be the last tough break for this side – Watford have made a hugely creditable start, but there will be plenty of bumps in the road to negotiate as this season unfolds, and as supporters it’s our job to understand and accept this.
Gomes’ form has been nothing short of exemplary since joining from Spurs, and his consistent, dominating performances have played a huge part in getting Watford to where they are today. There’s no question of there being anything other than support for the Brazilian and I daresay that the majority of Watford supporters have moved on already. What’s important is that he and the team do so too.
On the evidence of the season so far, the reaction will be a positive one. The most disappointing performance of the season so far was the ten minute capitulation against Arsenal, a virtually momentary lapse that was publicly acknowledged by players and staff, before being summarily banished from the memory banks with a fine victory away at Stoke. This is sport at the highest level; a newly promoted team is going to encounter problems and make mistakes. The secret (for the fans as much as the team itself) is to deal with them, learn from them and move on. This is a team and club that is firmly focussed on success, and dwelling on negative aspects of the past simply isn’t on the agenda. So our goalkeeper made a mistake. Show me a professional ‘keeper that hasn’t. It will be a minuscule list.
No ill will towards the heroic Heurelho then, and no gnashing of teeth at the defeat either. Whilst Leicester City aren’t quite the attraction their supporters seem to think, there can be no denying they are one of the teams of the season so far and defeat at the King Power is far from catastrophic. No-one likes losing, but defeats – and the reaction to them – can say a lot about a side. The fact that Watford dragged themselves back into this fixture combined the respect the Foxes showed them by shutting up shop for the final quarter of the game indicates that this is a team that is definitely moving in the right direction. Not the finished article, but by no means out of their depth.
It may be because I’m intoxicated by the magnificent Quique Sanchez Flores, awestruck by the tireless troy deeney or simply turned to mush by the new John Lewis advert, but at the moment it’s almost impossible to not take a number of encouraging and exciting positives from every Premier League performance Watford turn in.
We may have had our “big day out” ruined, but we, like Heurelho Gomes, will get over it. It’s Manchester United next.
Come on you Horns.