The Opposition View: Watford
By Jim Bonner
Updated Thursday, 17th November 2011
Mark Ferguson answers my questions ahead of Saturday's match.
Like Michael Appleton, Sean Dyche had no managerial experience before being named Watford manager. How has he done so far?
As our league position suggests, he hasn't really won over the fans yet. He hasn't been helped by losing three key players in Danny Graham, Don Cowie and Will Buckley but Dyche did have the chance to bring in a number of new players who haven't really impressed at the expense of our own bright promising youngsters.
Many fans feel we have an average squad of journeymen players who are very hit and miss and the quality of football on show has also been very poor - lump it up to the big man in Iwelumo and hope for the best really - only he's pretty hapless and our midfield is very slow!
If you were offered 21st position in the Championship now, would you take it?
YES! We never expected to be up near the top of a very competitive league but the last thing we need as a club on and off the pitch is relegation as crowds would fall once more and income revenues be decreased further.
Pompey fans are not adverse to problems with club ownership but it seems Watford have a spot of bother with Laurence Bassini. What exactly is going on?
You might have heard that Mr Bassini was the only person who made an offer to take over the club from Lord Ashcroft but fans became concerned when the man himself admitted he'd been made bankrupt before, and wondered why Bas wanted to get involved with the club.
However the fans were quite happy to give him a chance as he came out and gave some rough ideas/plans the ambition he had for the club on and off the pitch. Clearly a new stand and pitch weren't going to appear over-night but people wanted to know where he would get the money from.
On Tuesday, 8th November we had a fans' forum which Bassini was due to attend and naturally answer questions. However, he pulled out at the last minute citing illness (which, in fairness, given futher information appears to be a valid reason albeit he'd been unwell for 2/3 weeks beforehand so had time to inform the club and our supporters.)
Graham Taylor, who is the non-excutive chairman made some comments at the forum basically saying "how disappointed he was Bassini couldn't come" etc and it seems the owner took such words badly and kicked up a minor fuss about pulling out but that seems to have been resloved now.
Carl Dickinson and Jonathan Hogg both played for Pompey last season and weren't greatly received by our fans. How are they faring at their new home?
Dickinson started well but seems to have lost some form when it comes to defending. However, he does get forward and assisted a few goals.
Hogg is a tidy defensive player who I think could be a decent player with time.
What are this Watford team's biggest strengths?
Erm...well we aren't too bad defensively with the likes of Mariappa and Norsworthy who has just joined on loan doing well as a partnership. However, I feel Pompey fans' doubts about Dickinson are proving to be right as he's often caught out of position for goals.
What are the biggest weaknesses in this Hornets side?
Our total lack of pace out wide with Mark Yeates and Troy Deeney/Craig Forsyth and no real goalscorer apart from Marvin Sordell but even he seems a bit off his game somewhat having probably had his head turned when on England Under-21 duty.
Vicarage Road is one of Pompey's biggest bogey grounds so you must be confident of picking up three points on Saturday?
Despite the negative comments above we've done well in the last 2 games at home, collecting 3 points against Peterborough and Brighton but they were quite poor at the back.
I notice your away record isn't great so I'm not expecting much of a game quality wise.
Predict the outcome of the game.
I personally think we will see a dour 1-1 draw, which probably won't be ideal for either team.
|17 Nov 2011|
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