“Uncle Mike, why don’t they just, ummm, shoot?”
I took my 8 year old nephew to Watford on Saturday, and whilst I could answer most of his questions adequately enough, I must admit his query about shooting struck me as being quite pertinent.
Whilst it is fairly obvious that our record of 10 goals conceded in our last 3 home games is causing us increasing difficulties, our reluctance to shoot has been equally evident against Leicester, Coventry and most recently in this horror show against Cardiff.
The sole encouraging factor is that wer are creating space and opportunities in which we would expect our strikers to shoot. I guess that’s half the battle. Oh alright then, a quarter of the battle, but we definitely have been playing some decent football in the final third, play that deserves more output. More shots. And perhaps even, whisper it, more goals…
For those still in any doubt, we were well beaten by a strong and competent Cardiff side, and not even the most hardened, partisan wearer of yellow tinted specs could argue otherwise.
Anyway, you’ve probably gathered that all this talk about attempts on goal is merely a futile effort to avoid talking about what is going on at the other end of the pitch. We’re now shipping goals at an alarming and potentially fatal rate. Admittedly we have had a tough week, with bizarre injuries and illness taking their terrible toll on our already thin squad, but the fact that the aggregate score over the last 3 home games is now 5-10 in favour of the visitors doesn’t bode particularly well.
I have used these pages to share my enthusiasm and excitment about the young players coming through and playing their part this year, and I maintain that the future looks bright. However, the past couple of weeks have left us in no doubt that we will need to work hard and stick together to ensure we make it to that future with our Championship status intact.
I’m under no illusion as to our sole objective this year, and you shouldn’t be either. We need to stay up. Nothing more, most certainly nothing less. Failure to achieve this single goal would be catastrophic to what is clearly a rebuilding process both on and off the pitch.
We have a team containing some decent players, some good loanees and more than a sprinkling of academy/youth team graduates. We have a management team in place who care about the club, and at Board level we seem to be as stable now as we have been for quite some time. This is a football club, a football team, that we should be able to get behind. A team that we can love, support and identify with. It’s going to be a tough season – they always are, but supporting a club like Watford is a two way process. You get out what you put in. If you turn up at The Vic expecting free flowing football, win after win, and a constant influx of high profile players – you’re going to be disappointed. If you understand where we as a club are, and what our objectives should be, you’ll (more ofthen than not) enjoy it.
Obviously there will be poor days in the office, and Saturday was undoubtedly one such example. I think my My nephew summed it up pretty well with another little gem. “Uncle Mike, I do love Watford, but they haven’t been very good today have they? When can I come again?”