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BLIND, STUPID AND DESPERATE
 
04/05: Reports:

League Cup Semi Final First Leg, 11/01/05, 8.00pm
Liverpool
versus
Watford
 
A series of surprises
By Mark Turner

Having found myself working in the North West on Tuesday night and not having been to a Watford game since Graham Taylor's last in charge, I took the opportunity of seeing 'my team' in the flesh.

Apologies first...as I have not seen the boys for three years (or is it four?), this report wont be packed with precise details on the players' performances (didn't recognise most, and could not read the names on the back from where I was sitting), but more impressions of a good night.

Managed to get to Anfield by 7.10 and had my first set of surprises:

1. It is amazing how many cars you can park in a front garden when you are charging 5 a go.

2. The Anfield gates were smaller than I expected - surrounded by Watford fans taking pictures, mind.

3. A Premiership club who deals with big crowds each week making a complete hash of the ticket pick-up at the box office - did not get into the ground until 7.55. Some seriously hacked off people still in the queue when I left...

4. Anfield is a SMALL ground. They need to move to a bigger stadium if they want to raise the sort of cash they need to compete.

Match starts, and I am between two burly gents of the scouse persuasion. Different to other footy fans I've met. Entirely supportive of a player in red providing he is trying hard and does not cock it up. Suffice to say they weren't very supportive in the first half. Liverpool were dreadful, Watford were very good...getting involved and in their faces when we didn't have the ball, patient and progressive when we had it....some more surprises then...

5. Clearly the only Liverpool player allowed to make a forward pass is Steven Gerrard.

6. Spaniards don't make tackles.

7. Germans only make sideways passes.

8. No matter who you are, a good cross into the box with people prepared to throw themselves at it causes mayhem.

9. Watford supporters sing louder and longer than Liverpool supporters. The away fans were sensational. Loud, supportive, funny without being rude and confrontational.

Second half is more of the same until Baros comes on....makes you think that if Liverpool lost Baros and Gerrard, they would be in big trouble. I was in line with the defence when Baros broke free and he was on side...the most disappointing thing was that there were four defenders waiting for the cross but Paul Jones' parry (wont call it a fumble) completely wrong footed all of them...and fell to the only bloke in a red shirt who could hit a barn door at ten paces.

Watford still had chances late on...looking for someone to bung a long throw into the box in periods where we were camped down in the corner and a little surprised that Danny Webber did not come on to frighten the living daylights out of the back four in the last ten minutes, but who am I to criticise the manager?

The boys played superbly. They should be proud of themselves. In fact, Liverpool would do well to lose Cinema-Filmstar or whatever he is called and think Icelandic...

One final surprise...

10. Watford can still win this...