From: Manchester City - on loan - November 2000
Record (WFC total): Played: 2 (36(4)) Scored: 0 (4)
To: Manchester City - end of loan - December 2000
Career stats: Soccerbase
He was: Not to blame
So, roughly sixteen years after he last pulled on a Watford shirt, Richard Jobson was back at Vicarage Road. While he'd been
away, he'd commanded a seven figure fee when transferred from Oldham to Leeds, been called up to the England squad six
times, and been credited with saving Manchester City's Division One promotion season by Joe Royle. Not bad for a career
that had been constantly interrupted by knee injuries.
Having worked with Jobson at Watford and with England, Graham Taylor moved swiftly to bring him in as a defensive partner for
Robert Page when Darren Ward suffered a potentially serious injury. Now thirty-seven and falling down the pecking order at
Maine Road, he returned to Watford still looking lean and elegant, if greying on top.
He went straight into the side that had been undefeated in the fifteen First Division games since the start of the
campaign. We were promptly stuffed at home by Sheffield Wednesday, conceding twice direct from corners, including
an own goal by yer man. A few days later, we were beaten at Tranmere. Although Ward made a quick recovery to replace
Jobson after those two games, the sudden slump in form continued - at the time of writing, the Hornets have suffered
five consecutive defeats.
Certainly, against Sheffield Wednesday, you could've guessed that our two central defenders had probably been introduced to each
other an hour or so previously. Put simply, there was no marking at set pieces. In that respect, Jobson's presence did contribute
to the end of that long unbeaten run.
Nevertheless, it'd be incredibly harsh to place too much responsibility at his door. He performed well enough in the circumstances. Ideally,
we would've had cover for Ward within the squad, removing the need to introduce a stranger into a strong defensive
unit. Besides, it's fair to say that the team was showing signs of wear and tear before his arrival, and that more
familiar faces have made more significant errors during the run of defeats.
Not his fault, then.