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BLIND, STUPID AND DESPERATE
 
Player profiles:
Heidar Helguson
 
Position: Striker
From: Lillestrøm, Norway - £1.5m - January 2000
Career stats: Soccerbase
He is: A Centre Forward

Profile:

Watford have, as is widely acknowledged, progressed immeasurably during Graham Taylor's second coming, much as we did during his first. The indications of this are many... things we can see and things we feel as much as the club's public exploits.

Perhaps the clearest indicator of Watford's renaissance is represented in the forward line. The not too distant past contains the uncomfortable memories of the willing but watery Jamie Moralee, the loveable but immobile Devon White and the tearfully grim Mickey Quinn . Christ, it's only three years ago that we were desperate to sign Keith Scott. We never dreamed of signing a player like this.

Heidar's good in the air, right? On the end of so many crosses, headed goals in narrow defeats against Liverpool and Manchester United - only the Moonster comes close to attacking the ball this well in the current squad. But get this... he's good on the deck as well! Witness elegant finishes against West Ham and Arsenal, and his constant involvement in build-up play. Good in the air and good on the deck... in the days of Devon and Jamie just one of the two would have been more than enough.

Would things have been different if our first seven-figure signing had arrived last summer? If Coventry hadn't been panicked by GT's presence at a LillestrÝm game and splashed out on Runar Normann, giving the Norwegians the freedom to barter? Well, maybe, maybe not. At any rate, GT will have permitted himself a smile as Heidar's outrageous scissor-kick sealed City's winless away record on the last day.

Reservations? Well, it says something that Heidar's five goals prior to the City game all came in defeats. He doesn't dominate games yet; he's not really been frightening since his debut against Liverpool... merely fiercely effective. We've also seen a suggestion that he goes down a little too easily (not that being tapped on the head by a large Frenchman is much more acceptable than a full-blown butt).

However, six goals in fourteen starts in a season like last season is a mighty fine ratio to be getting along with - only Gifton in the current squad has anything comparable. With the tiredness which was evident in May alleviated by an overdue close-season, there's no reason to suspect Heidar won't get even better.

He can head the ball. And play on the deck. And he's going to get better. Things are definitely looking up.

Sorry, Dev. Matt Rowson
Last updated: June 2000