Reading this thread just brings home how differently we all see the games. My take:
In spite of a less than inspirational performance it would have been a travesty if we'd lost, and it wouldn't have been too much of a stretch to say that a 2-1 win wouldn't have flattered us - if it was a boxing match scored on points, our arm would definitely have been raised.
Opposition parking the bus
Not in my opinion, It was only in the latter part of the game that they sat back - largely because that's where we pushed them. Defending gallantly shouldn't be confused with coming for a point.
Was I the only one who saw their goal coming?
Not in the inevitable, West ham cock-up sort of way - but in noticing that the same situation had arisen four of five times in the first half - a Watford player having plenty of time to let fly from 20-25 yards on the edge of our box. They kept fluffing it - but eventually if you give them enough opportunities. A direct consequence of 4-4-2 IMO - and a central pairing of Noble and Nolan who really didn't do a good job of protecting the backline.
Complaints of booing seem a tad exaggerated - but the whole thing isn't what it used to be - Jeremy's Market Trader spiel before the game, the crappy rock opera music, people filming games on their iPhones - it's all a bit ****. Bloke next to me must have watched about 50 minutes of the game with his trips to the toilet, for a burger, for a drink and leaving early
It really ain't what it used to be.
Thought McCartney had a good game - superb goal saving clearance near the end - and that Tomkins and Faye eventually got to grips with Watford's forwards, and both showed some neat footballing moments. O'Brien struggled a bit. Green largely redundant.
Taylor was rightly subbed (contrary to the boos) - aside from two of three Hollywood moments he was ineffective. Faubert was worse - missed a sitter and played in some bizarre back to goal role all first half. He managed a couple of decent crosses second half but could easily have been subbed - worst I've seen him play all year. Nolan had a pretty decent first half - some good link play and won a number of 50-50s - but the moment he miscontrolled people around me were on his back. He disappeared second half and when offered the opportunity to create, chose the safe ball. The home crowd getting to him? Noble was awful for 30 minutes or so - gave the ball away repeatedly and was very exposed defensively. Gradually pulled his game around
Cole was the only one who showed anything - and he was his usual completely inconsistent self. Won most of the headers but his forward partners rarely got on the end of them, and played one exquisite reverse pass to put Noble in on goal in the first half, forcing a fine Kucszak save. Second half was a bit of a mare and he trod on the ball when given a clear goalscoring opportunity. Maynard was largely ponderous and ineffective.
The Subs and the Manager
Baldock flattered to decieve. Whilst he is nippy, he is shrugged off the ball constantly - the kind of performance Sears gets/got slated for.
Vaz Te and Lansbury however changed the game. Vaz Te's pace and Lansbury's passing got the team flowing. their introduction put us at 4-3-3 - and it isn't hard to imagine that if we'd started that way we would have won the game comfortably. Watford wouldn't have got their series of central midfield potshots to score and we'd have stretched them more.