Spurs keeper Paul Robinson scores against Watford

It was the turn of Paul Robinson to be the benefactor rather than the victim of a fluke goal as he scored against Watford on Saturday. His 80-yard free kick bounced over the head of England rival Ben Foster. He might not be on Rogerio Ceni's level just yet, but it was his second goal. You can watch his goal against Watford below, and see the goal he scored for Leeds against Swindon after the jump.

Spurs keeper Paul Robinson scores against Watford continued

[Rob Parker]

March 19, 2007 in Funny old game, Tottenham Hotspur, Video clips, Watford | Permalink | Comments (0)

Classic Moments: Stretcher bearers make sure Pierre Issa's shoulder is sufficiently broken

Former Watford defender Pierre Issa must have known his luck was out after dislocating his shoulder in this fairly innocuous trip against Birmingham. But even he couldn't have predicted the stretcher bearers would then slam the same shoulder into the turf as he was being carried away. The moral of the story? Stretcher bearers should never borrow Rafa Benitez's shoes!

More stretcher bearer madness [Rob Parker]

March 8, 2007 in Classic Moments, Funny old game, Video clips, Watford | Permalink | Comments (0)

THE VOTE Who do you want to get relegated?

Around this time of the season I like to adopt one or two second teams to support in their relegation dogfights. I never like to see the three that get promoted go straight back down - and Reading have made sure that is not the case this season - but then you have to lose an established Premiership side. So who do you want to get relegated? Click below to see the candidates and choose who you would like to see in the Championship next season.

Manchester City Relegation outsiders. Level on points with Sheffield United, but with two games in hand. Don't think they will mess it up that much between now and the end of the season.
Sheffield United Relegation dead-certs have shocked a few people by sneaking up to 16th. Neil Warnock has brought colour to the Premiership, and I would like to see the Blades stay up.
Wigan Last season's Reading have been unlucky with some injuries, but their constant moaning makes me reluctant to offer any sympathy.
Charlton Alan Pardew has improved their chances of avoiding the drop considerably (relatively speaking, of course).
West Ham Overachieved last season and are as good as relegated already. And that's without any pending points deduction.
Watford I would love Aidy Boothroyd's side to get out of this one. They had some rough luck at the start of the season and their approach to life in the Prem has been excellent. It is difficult to see them avoiding the drop though.

Pick your three.

[Rob Parker]

March 2, 2007 in Charlton Athletic, Manchester City, Sheffield United, Vote, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (14)

Obscene season ticket prices to be slashed?

Money_4 News reaches us that Premiership chairmen are going to be forced into cutting 'obscene' ticket prices because fans have just about had enough of being the victims of daylight robbery every weekend, and as a result, football has reached a tipping point.

Two top-flight chairmen have expressed the same view, both of whom predict price cuts all round next season. 'It is a serious issue that has reached saturation point across the country,' said Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton. 'We feel duty bound to make a stance by reducing the cost for our season ticket holders, and I'm sure other clubs will follow suit next season and listen to public opinion.' But surely the tickets are inflated at the chairs' behest?

This weekend saw ManYoo fans protesting about the amount being charged to let their fans watch their side at Fulham. They were asked for a whopping £45 to watch their team, and that doesn't include travel and grub... although they hadn't got far to travel from Essex eh? Ho Ho Ho... I'll get me coat. A senior executive from another of the Premiership's 'big four' clubs told Observer Sport that prices could not go any higher. 'Officially we are monitoring the situation,' he said. 'But privately we have realised that ticket prices have reached their maximum, at least in the immediate future.'

These warnings come slap bang in the middle of an attendance slump. Despite an increased capacity at Arsenal and Manchester United, the average attendance is down from last year, and whilst the big four continue to sell out their games, the overall Premiership average is down by more than 1,000 year on year and now stands at 32,775, not including this weekend. What is causing fans to stay away? Well, once, you could watch the footy and not dent the wallet too much, and know exactly when you'd be going out. Basically, high prices and amended kick-off times to enable saturated TV coverage aren't encouraging fans to get down the ground. 

Of course, a lot of money is generated by the TV rights, which obviously help clubs to bring in new players and the like. That said, the Premier League negotiated a new £600million, three-year deal for overseas TV rights to the Premiership. Add the £1.7 billion Sky and Setanta will pay to screen matches in Britain, and the £400m for internet and mobile phone rights, and it seems scandalous that ticket prices continually increase. Each club will be getting around £900m per season (starting in August).

Apart from drops in season ticket prices, a group are also want away matches addressed. The Football Supporters' Federation want a fixed price for all travelling supporters. 'Away fans in England are unique. You would not get 5,000 Milan supporters travelling to Juventus. If prices were to stay in line with the Taylor Report's recommendation, then £15 would be a fair price for those who travel to watch their team.' The report, published in January 1990 in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, stated that 'it should be possible for seating to be £6'. With inflation, that would mean fans paying just £9.60 now, rather than the average of about £30.

So what's the answer? Well, looking at Germany's Bundesliga, the average attendance was approximately 40,000, which is superior to our league matches. In fact, it's about a quarter more fans in through the turnstiles, shouting for their team. German fans can buy tickets for as little as £10 or £15 for all games, and in some cases, terracing is being used, which gives a fan a feeling of real unity, as opposed to the sterile stadia over here. What is interesting is that the Bundesliga is renowned for its competitiveness, with many teams standing a chance of winning it. Should we look at the German model to fix our game? [Mof Gimmers]

February 26, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (2)

Watford fans to stick with lucky carrots for away matches?

Watford_carrots It has been a while since we dropped in on Watford blog site BHappy's Five-a-day away days. Basically for each away match the boys at BHappy choose a fruit or vegetable to smuggle into the opposition's ground.

Having worked their way through most of their local greengrocer's stock, the lads finally selected the lowly carrot for last week's relegation six-pointer against West Ham. And having emerged with the spoils at Upton Park, it remains to be seen whether they will stick with carrots for the FA Cup fifth round match at Plymouth on 10 March or rotate their stock once again! [Rob Parker]

February 20, 2007 in Funny old game, Watford | Permalink | Comments (0)

FA Cup Quarter Final Draw

Facup_2 So the Quarter Final draw has been made for the FA Cup and the big guns have been kept apart once more.

Middlesbrough or West Brom v Manchester United or Reading

Arsenal or Blackburn v Manchester City

Chelsea v Tottenham

Plymouth v Watford

The matches will take place on 10 and 11 March. Who do you fancy for a spot in the semis? How about Plymouth getting there? 

February 19, 2007 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, News balls, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford | Permalink | Comments (2)

Aidy Boothroyd rocks

Boothroyd3 At first, I wasn't convinced by Aidy Boothroyd. Maybe it was the silly yellow tie/black shirt combo, which made him look like a wacky snooker player. Either that or his relentless, 'can-do' positivity. We're not used to such attitudes from managers – we expect whinging, whinging and then more whinging.

However, I'm now warming to his chipper, World War-spirit (plus, he's ditched the yellow tie) and hope that Watford can pull off the greatest escape in Premiership history. After Watford's vital win at West Ham, the Boothmeister came up with one of the best quotes of the season: 'Coming into this [post-match] interview I was a bit unsure whether to play it down and be sensible. But then I thought no, sod it.'

Brilliant. Why can't more managers ditch the safe cliches and say what they're really thinking? It worked for Brian Clough and it works for Jose Mourinho.

Boothroyd also revealed his unusual training methods this week: 'We've had the snow this week so we've done very little training. We've built an igloo, and had a snowball fight so we might have to put the balls away in future and take the players to a snowdome instead.'

Aidy also admitted to building a 'large, Danny Shittu-sized snowman'. Quality.


February 13, 2007 in Watford | Permalink | Comments (1)

THE VOTE What did you think when you heard that Robbie Savage had broken his leg?

_42488079_robbiesavage203 Robbie Savage is one of the least popular footballers in England. He has girly hair, an Armani tattoo (form is temporary, class is permanent) and a knack of winding up opposition fans and players alike. Last night, during Blackburn's Premiership clash against Watford (the Hornets won 2-1), Savage broke his leg, an injury which may keep him out for the rest of the season. When you heard this news, did you allow a brief smile to pass across your lips, or did you immediately think 'Poor Robbie…'?

I'm no Savage fan – although I don't agree with many fans that he is a dirty player – but I do feel sorry for him, although perhaps not quite as much as I do for Rovers team-mate Andre Ooijer, who broke his leg last weekend, during his side's win against Man City.

January 24, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, News balls, Vote, Watford | Permalink | Comments (8)

Free travel to football matches

Wewillfollow_1 Fans who have experienced the thrill of an away match will know how addictive it is. The trip down, the pre-match pints in a strange pub, being in a strange ground. It's like a holiday with a football match stuck in the middle of it! However, loads give it a wide berth because they can't get a lift down to the games. Well, you needn't fear that any more.

A website called WeWillfollow aims to stop all that worry and hassle by allowing you to offer and request lifts to games home and away, and it’s completely free. Added to that, the site also has a ticket exchange for fans with a spare. It's all rather nice isn't it? To add to the community feeling, WeWillFollow also have a unique 'Exile List' for each club, so if you've drifted away from your club (geographically speaking) you can register as a member on the site and talk to other exiled supporters of your club. With a list of 1000+ supporters clubs too, you need never feel lonely and exiled again! Have a look and sign up with the site now!

January 22, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, League One, League Two, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Non League, Portsmouth, Reading, Scotland, Sheffield United, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

THE VOTE Is Ashley Young worth £10m?

_41421269_ashleynew270 UPDATE! Apparently Young has snubbed West Ham's offer! Ooh, get him!

The Guardian reports
that West Ham Utd have agreed to buy Ashley Young from Watford for £10m. Now, if ever there was an example of English players' worth being inflated to ridiculous levels, this is it.

Young is a £3m player, in my opinion. He's young (21) and has done well at Watford, but West Ham have paid way over the odds for him. I suppose he's a decent buy if he helps the Irons stay in the Premiership, but it makes little sense to pay £10m for an unproven winger; in fact, it reeks of desperation. Small wonder that Arsene Wenger never buys English.

Is there anyone out there who thinks this is a good deal?

January 15, 2007 in Vote, Watford, West Ham United | Permalink | Comments (11)