FA Carling Premiership, 25/3/00
By Martin Blanc
Much talk of porridge since the last game, seven days ago. Remember that
game? When, for all but the last couple of minutes, the cry of "You don't
know what you're doing" could have applied to any or all of the twenty-three men on
the pitch? Whereupon we triumphed, since when the entire Hornets squad have
apparently been 'getting their oats' courtesy of Allan Smart's wife, fnaar,
So we gathered here today with keen appetites...but simply got a refined
version of last week's game. We ran and chased and made most of the
opportunities but nothing seemed to fall our way. The ball kept running to
Peter Kennedy's right foot, it was that kind of afternoon. So eventually he
had a crack at using the thing, made one rusty cross, sliced a shot over the
bar from about ten yards out, then put the foot back in storage until he was
replaced by a hungrier Perpetuini.
Elsewhere it was the same story. Smarty chested everything down nicely, laid
it off to...the first Spurs player to intercept whatever he was attempting.
And this is where it all broke down. For while Wooter could run a mile and
still only be a few yards down the road, whether he had the ball or not at
the end of his move sort of depended on how focused the Spurs players were.
And they weren't, mostly. Sure, we can take some credit - Steve Palmer
squeezed the life out of Iversen for a good while, and otherwise we were
pretty coherent at the back - but there's always going to be something doing
us in, it seems, and today, when we succeeded in dragging them down to our
level and had some kind of gameplan to take the points, when the ball was
all over the place and Ginola never looked like giving us a thrashing, it
was sheer outlandish fate that gave us the finger. Frustration prevents any
more poring over of what happened - but hey presto, we're one-nil down and
the game is up...because that means we've got to score three to win, if
you're feeling superstitious, because we haven't scored twice and won all
season (no, I don't think the Wigan debacle counts).
We came close to changing that, but fate, nerve, porridge - call it what you
like, we couldn't put the ball in the net a second time. "Oh, you miserable
sod, how can you overlook the first?" I hear you call. Well, since it was
the move the front line had apparently been trying to work all game, it was
a relief that it came off for them once at least. Everyone knew where
everyone else was, Wooter and Smart saw some space and filled it...it was
lovely. But they couldn't do it again, could they, even with the ever more
able Tommy Smith dinking about the box for ten minutes.
These are not bitter criticisms - we played okay. But my old foreign grandma
had a saying which, loosely translated from the original Ukrainian, means:
"The results don't lie." What an amazingly prescient woman.
Oh, and to those Watford supporters around me who, when Spurs fans departed
from our midst, muttered "The Yiddos have gone" - from another Yiddo who
thought we were on the same side, I'd just like to say "Hey, you ugly,
ignorant, repressed, pasty-faced scum - God bless Uriah Rennie. Black is
Beautiful." And watch out, I know where you sit.