With a run
stretching back six games, the poor start to the season
looks a long way away. In stark contrast, Watford have
yet to win a match, but have drawn five as Adie Boothroyd
tries to take the next step for the club after getting
promotion ... staying in the Premier League. There are
a lot of Watford fans who are hoping that the side will
click soon, as they are losing out on two points with every
draw they achieve, thus slipping behind the other sides.
But the chance
to play against a side who will try and play a bit of
football, Watford might fancy themsleves.
goalkeeping department, there is the experience of Alec
Chamberlain, who has been around for a long time and on loan
from Manchester United Ben Foster. The latter is a
good keeper, who benefited from a loan at Vicarage Road last
season paid dividends and he wanted to go back this season.
A good shot stopper, the inclusion of Mido (three goals in
two games) might give some aerial presence to test the
keeper. Chamberlain is an old school keeper, but with
age (he is 42), he lacks the speed of movement to get to
shots he used to.
has been fairly tight, with thirteen goals conceded in nine
games. American Jay De Merit made his own way over
here by starting off at non-league Northwood and he is a
strong central defender, a description that could equally be
applied to Clarke Carlisle, Malky Mackay and Danny Shittu.
All have a big size, a defensive mentality and a fair bit of
experience. This leaves former Leicester City man
Jordan Stewart, Lloyd Doyley and former Derby County and
Charlton Athletic Spurs supporter Chris Powell to contest
the full back positions. Powell is vastly experienced
and would probably get picked against Spurs, although Lennon
might fancy his chances against Powell. Stewart is a
pacy full-back, but he does get the wrong side of his marker
and get caught tackling across them, rather than side on.
Doyley has been at Watford since a kid and is a favourite,
but has failed to score for the club in all the games he has
played in and sometimes makes gaffes which cost the club.
French youngster Toumani Diagouraga has been on the
fringes of the side, but is not expected to play.
Athletic let Damien Francis go after he failed to make the
impact they thought he would, so the Addicks loss is the
Hornets gain. He is a strong presence in midfield and
also is good in the air from set-pieces. Anthony
MacNamee has been at the club since a youngster and he has
been in the side since 2000, but has not moved forward as
the club might have wished. Captain Gavin Mahon has
come on well under Boothroyd and is a ball-winner in
midfield, who has added a few different skills to his
repertoire. He likes to break forward and to pass up
to the forwards, so he has become a bit more of an all-round
player. Rising star Alhassan Bangura has stolen some
headlines over the last year with some pacy displays and
Matthew Spring is a former Luton midfielder, who has a good
range of passing and an eye for setting players up, but he
also has a fine shot from long range and set-pieces.
Former Norwich and Wigan wide man Albert Jarrett was signed
to beef up the squad, but has been sparsely used, although
he is a strong runner with the ball if he does play.
will be without their star striker Marlon King, the goal
threat is lessened a bit, but Darius Henderson can be a
powerful forward on his day. Unfortunately, he seems
to have been finding the Premiership a bit harder than the
Championship and is finding that the defenders will only
need an inch to nick the ball away from him. The other
shining light in the Hornets side is young Ashley Young, who
is a tricky, wriggly runner who can come from deep and has
scored a couple of goals, as well as has set up a couple of
goals. He will be the key man, with former Spurs
reserve Claude Seanla and young Slovakian Tamas Priskin
being ones for the future rather than thrust into the
Premiership spotlight. The return of Tommy Smith from
Derby County was hailed as a good signing, but he has not
scored yet. However, he has the ability to create a
goal out of nothing, as he will twist and turn his marker
and knows where the goal is. The other option the home
side will have up front is Hameur Bouazza, a 21 year
old Frenchmanm who has one Premiership goal to his name.
With the team
trying to play some football, unless you listen to West Ham,
who claimed that Watford tried to shut them out from the
start, the Hornets might be there for the taking. As
Spurs are just starting to hit their stride, with the goals
starting to go in, it could be a game that has come at the
right time for Tottenham. I expect Mido and Keane to
start, with Huddlestone continuing in midfield to anchor the
side and to spring attacks from passes from him.
Lennon might get a bit more of a run-out and he will create
some chances, which we need to put away. Ledley will
probably not be risked again, with Brugge waiting in
midweek, so Davenport and Dawson are most likely to start,
as Gardner has only just come back from injury, but will be
on the bench.
Watford will try and keep things tight after being taken
apart by Arsenal the other week, but Spurs should have
enough about them to come out of the game with a win, albeit
a narrow one.
: - Watford 0 Tottenham Hotspur
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