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Aberystwyth_Hornet
01-04-2007, 10:26 PM
I’d been nervously anticipating the game against Chelsea since I discovered it was on Prem Plus and I realised I’d have time to travel home (from Aberystwyth on the Saturday) in time for the match. However, as much as I was looking forward to it, I was petrified at the thought of the scale of defeat Chelsea could inflict on us if we caught them on a good day, or if we continued our run of poor performances. Prior to kick-off I was concerned that I might over react to a poor performance and that any remaining positives I had towards Aidy, the team, and the future would be destroyed. As it was the club as whole, the players through their performances and the fans generating such a good atmosphere, made me proud to be a Watford fan. It was an even better experience because, somehow, my ticket was in the Rookery not in the Vicarage Road End which would no-doubt have been dominated (like against Arsenal) by young opposition fans.

Leaving Aberystwyth at 9.00 I was back in Berkhamsted by 2.00, earlier than expected which meant I could attempt to follow the first half of the earlier kick-offs. Unfortunately I no longer have Sky Sports News due to the Virgin/Sky dispute and BBC interactive was being stubbornly useless so until I left at 3.45 I watched a Rugby League match and saw the occasional Premiership score pop up. Pre Match Tension increasing I was just desperate to leave the house to get into Watford.

I got to the stadium 30 minutes before kick-off so spent quite a bit of time soaking up the atmosphere on the upper concourse (and no doubt our group getting in the way of a few people as well). Ironically I made my way to my seat just as the Z-Car theme began, personally I still think that tune should be used for the players entrance, because after the initial opening I don’t like it! A few minutes before kick off a Chelsea fan, stupid enough to wear his colours in the Rookery, was evicted a couple of rows behind me. The incident caused some entertainment and seemed to set up proceedings for the banter which would ensue throughout the game.

From the opening minutes it was evident that the players were up for it; but playing the current Champions at home and a couple of weeks before the F.A Cup Semi-Finals is what it should be all about for professional footballers at a club like ours. In fact we should have had a penalty in the 5th minute but Uriah Rennie proved he was going to be as hopeless as he has been in the past when refereeing our games. You can guarantee if the same thing had happened at Stamford Bridge the home side would have received a penalty.

Various other chances fell towards Watford players, Kabba’s overhead kick was unfortunately slightly central but Cech still did well to save. However as the first half progressed, Chelsea began to turn up the heat, and it seemed only a matter of time before that ‘blink and you’ve missed it chance’ would occur. The defence seemed dogged and relatively well organised, Stewart, Chambers, ****tu and Demerrit excelling. However they were all beaten when Drogba was left free in the box, but Ben Foster was alert and pulled off a fantastic save with his legs. It was worrying evidence that no matter how well we played, Chelsea could pull something out of nothing. Watford continued to attack when possible, a good tackle on Fat Frank allowed Rinaldi to attack. His amazing solo run was met with no reward but it excited the crowd who sang his name as a reward and the Brazilian certainly looks like he could become a very useful player.

The pressure was evidently getting to Chelsea as the second half progressed, unable to cope with out dogged determination, shots were off target and passes were going astray. Even Jose was getting frustrated as he attempted to have an ‘exchange of words’ with Boothroyd; he obviously never saw our ‘Chosen One’ take on Fitz Hall last season. The incident also (again) fired up the home fans and I’m sure over 17,000 fans joined in the chorus of ‘Sacked in the Summer’ followed by ‘Aidy Boothroyd’s Yellow Army’.

However to say Chelsea were not a threat would be very unfair, despite their mistakes, occasional individual brilliance caused a fair few worrying moments. From my view in the Rookery, I couldn’t quite work out how Chelsea hadn’t scored from a goal mouth scramble and even the Match of the Day highlights proved inconclusive. Though again Watford created a few good chances, Kabba should have had at least hit the target when left unmarked in the box, the miss seemed to affect him for a few minutes, as he was still seen shaking his head when the ball next went out of play.

Once the clock hit the 80 minute mark the nerves began to settle in, could we actually do the unthinkable, could we do the unthinkable unthinkable and nick it? From my view I thought we had when Francis missed a half chance from a corner. As the clock hit the 90 minute mark the players started instinctively defending deep, a divide then emerged between the fans around me, those singing, those biting nails, those shouting push out and the majority group attempting to do all three at once.

When the goal actually came, it was typical Chelsea, the type of goal they have scored against sides all season. A goal, as I’ve said before from nothing. Mahon made a tackle, the ball unfortunately fell to Shevchenko, the Ukrainian crossed the ball and Kalou found the net having beaten a combination of Demerrit and Chambers. No one was really at fault, it was just a moment of luck and quality. The goal evidently hurt the players, but they should be proud of their performance, for large periods of the game they made one of the best sides in Europe look ordinary.

Far from being soul-destroyed by the performance and result (like I’d expected) I feel optimistic; we might be going down, but if we battle like that in the remaining games we should pick up a couple more points. Many may rightly question why we haven’t played like that all season, but I prefer to think if we have a good end (to this mostly anti-climatic season) we can build momentum and start well next season.

Oh and don’t forget, we might yet get a chance to get Revenge on Chelsea, if we really are the famous Watford FC on our way to Wembley.

From http://thewatfordnest.blog.com/. Thanks for any comments as always

WatfordÉire
01-04-2007, 11:31 PM
terrible as always;)

PFCFitz,YellowArmy
01-04-2007, 11:51 PM
Good read!

By the way, what is meant by

the Z-Car theme began

Just curious...

Chewitt
02-04-2007, 12:01 AM
A pre-match song that is played in the immediate build up to the match. We used to run out to said song but unfortunately not anymore.

Aberystwyth_Hornet
02-04-2007, 12:01 AM
‘Z cars’ was a TV drama show back in the 1960’s. Since the 1980’s, for reasons other users might be able to explain, the theme tune to the program has been played when the players leave the tunnel and enter the pitch.

You might be interested to know that Everton also use the theme tune because it originates from a Liverpool folk song (Johnny Todd), and I think one of the ‘Z Car’ directors was an Everton fan.

PFCFitz,YellowArmy
02-04-2007, 01:17 AM
Thanks for the explanation.

I work for Nissan and here in the US we sell the 350Z, often simply referred to as the Z car.

Maybe outside the US as Fairlady Z? Do we have this in the UK?
http://www.nissanusa.com/img/vehicles/gallery/z/gal_02_med.jpg

berkshirehorn
02-04-2007, 10:51 AM
nice blog aberystwyth, summed it all up well.