A kind of surreal experience this but, in the end, quietly satisfying. A few random thoughts then..
A reduced 7,000 FA Cup crowd allowed The Witch, The Big Man and I a chance to get a seat bang in the middle of the Rookery for once. After plenty of games this season spent in a corner at the front, this was a nice change. Thought the atmosphere was ok too, although I haven’t attended a “home” game with such a small attendance since watching Derby play in the Third Division in the Eighties.
I know I’ve said this in a previous post but if the new East Stand gets built (or indeed, started) this season then I’m a monkey’s uncle. Not much progress happening there.
The result? Well, it was a win and, as we know now, it puts us through to a fourth round clash with a resurgent (and rather scary) Man City at the Etihad. We all went up, along with 6,000 Hornets, for the game last season and it was a great experience. Watford were easily beaten though. Not sure the game has the same feeling about it this season, given what’s happened so far. We’ll see.
The performance? Hmmm… I actually quite enjoyed it in the end. A bit scrappy to start off with and City had a couple of good chances to score but as time went on Watford actually got better and better. There was even some quite fluid passing at times. Some of it in the second half even reminded me of last season..
Deeney looked like he was getting back to his old self in the second half. Angella was really the standout player for me and I thought he was more comfortable playing on the right side of the front three. He went forward quite a lot too and it was usually to good effect. Fitz Hall looked very good in the middle, if he can only stay fit then I reckon there will be a lot more defensive solidity in the side. Iriney? Not my favourite player, of course, but I thought he did ok. Certainly made at least one decent tackle and a few decent passes. I wonder what defensive midfielder will be coming in next. Some guy from Uruguay? Eustace..?
Abdi. Great to see the Professor back at last, boy has he been missed. And what an ovation he got. Or was that for McGugan?
Anyway. It was important to get a win out of this, whatever happens in the next round. Onwards and upwards.