Fans Half-Term Report: Watford

Things are a stirring in South Hertfordshire, not that any newspapers would tell you. Under a bright new boss, Watford are quietly going about their business in trying to bring back the glory days of Barnes and Blissett.
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Things are a stirring in South Hertfordshire, not that any newspapers would tell you. Under a bright new boss, Watford are quietly going about their business in trying to bring back the glory days of Barnes and Blissett.

What's going right?

Near on everything (touch wood). We are hovering just outside the play-offs, despite being 9/4 with one major betting company to be relegated before the season started, and are playing with more than style than David Beckham's three kids (the middle one came 26th in a GQ poll, don't you know). Up until the recent 4-2 defeat at the hands of Cardiff, we had recorded seven straight victories on the bounce in league and cup, including the thrashing of league leaders QPR live on the BBC for all the world to see. And with Palace, Preston and Bristol City coming up at home, a fresh unbeaten run may just be on the horizon.

What's not?

The presence of Conservative peer and largest shareholder Lord Ashcroft looms over the club. The sale of the club to a foreign cowboy, as was mooted in December last year, could halt all progress under South Herts own Braveheart, Malky Mackay. Tepid 12,000 crowds and a long term injury to former scrap heap turned  scrapping hero Jon Eustace aren't ideal either, but such woes are nothing on the level of seeing Ramon Vega carthorsing around Vicarage Road whilst picking up £35,000 a week and thus pale into insignificance.

Got the right manager?

Undoubtedly. Mackay has turned water into wine, transforming a hotchpotch of players with very little experience into genuine contenders for the play-offs. Mackay, who took over in June 2009, has fused the ethic of long serving players Lloyd Doyley and Adrian Mariappa with some adept loan signings in Boro's Andrew Taylor and Birmingham City's Jordan Mutch, who has recently returned to St Andrews. But it's only a matter of time until Mackay gets itchy feet and heads off to pastures greener ala Aidy Boothroyd and Brendan Rodgers. He's from Bellshill, just outside Glasgow, where former Scotland manager Craig Brown and Rangers assistant Ally McCoist were born, so in that sense, he'll inevitably go far.

Star player?

Hard to look past the division's leading marksmen, Danny Graham, who [geeky fact alert] in scoring against Derby in a 3-0 victory, became the first Watford player to score in 6 consecutive games since 1929. But to say that would ignore the sterling work of Scots terrier Stephen McGinn, the colossus that is Martin Taylor, who is slowly repairing his reputation post-Eduardo and pacy striker Marvin Sordell, who began the season like a rocket and has scored five in five of late.

But, rather than mention any of that, the media continue to talk about how the Neil Warnock is a antagonistic twat who has finally got his act together in putting together a team that can get out of the second tier. Whoop-de-doo.

Who would you like to sell in January?

Thankfully, Mackay has already done his best piece of business this January by shipping the useless Nathan Ellington out on loan to Preston. Watford fans much preferred it when he was in Greece but, if Lancashire is the furthest they can send him, it's going to have to do. The squad isn't big enough to cull from and will only be added to.

Who do you want to sign?

Loan deals for Spurs winger Andros Townsend and Andreas Weimann, who appears to be the Austrian equivalent of Kevin Davies, have already been penned and a further loan spell for Walker and Mutch are in the pipeline. Other than that, and since we couldn't afford a Mars bar let alone a big signing, I'd happily take Danny Seabourne off the hands of Southampton, who have a wealth of young defenders already, and Peterborough's lank haired George Boyd.

Best chant so far?

To the tune of John Denver's Annie's Song. We don't need Arshavin, When we got marvelous Marvin, Oh Marvin Sordell, Our scorer of goals!

With the pace of Cheetah, Oh he's gonna beat ya! He's marvelous Marvin, Marvelous Marvin Sordell!!

Best opposition player/team you’ve seen?

No one has outplayed us completely but Swansea at home went three up before we kicked into life and Derby away in October was pretty one-sided game. 4-1 flattered us a bit that day.

Biggest **** of the season so far?

The mainstream media, for not opening their blinkered eyes as to the success story currently being played out at Vicarage Road. We have one of the smallest budgets in the league, Graham Taylor is running the club crèche to save on costs (that one's a joke), we've a tiny squad full of lads fresh out of their A-Levels and the team is on fire. But, rather than mention any of that, the media continue to talk about how the Neil Warnock is a antagonistic twat who has finally got his act together in putting together a team that can get out of the second tier. Whoop-de-doo.

End of season prediction?

The pessimist inside me [the default setting for a Watford supporter] is missing out on a top six spot. But, deep down, I know Malkay and the team are capable of winning the play-offs.

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