The second part of a look at Watford’s transfer dealings…
Watford’s longest serving player, Richard Lee never quite managed to get himself into the frame to be the undisputed number one keeper. Finding himself against Ben Foster, Richard Lee and Scott Loach amongst others, Richard played 92 games in 9 years and found himself blighted by one mistake in the Playoff semi-final against Hull, despite having had a stellar season by anyone’s standards. Bretford is Richard’s new club where I am sure he will acquit himself brilliantly.
Jon Harley, a product of the Chelsea youth system, played 75 times for the Hornets and was a formidable left sided player, running his socks off and becoming a cult hero in the stands. Always a good bet to give away a late free kick, gaining a yellow card and ultimately leaving us to concede a goal (maybe i’m being harsh) Jon was a heart on the sleeve player who will be sorely missed this season.
The first signing of Malky’s permanent reign, Scott Severin struggled from the outset to make a name for himself on the pitch and off it with the fans. On paper, the former Aberdeen captain appeared to be the perfect signing for a young squad, a steadying hand in amongst the youthful vigour the Golden Boys possessed last time around. Yet, he never asserted himself and soon outcast to the fringes, he found himself playing second fiddle to John Eustace who has since become a pivotal figure in the starting line up. A loan of length later and Severin finds himself leaving on a free to play for Scottish Cup Winners Dundee United. Unfortunate, but too slow and unable to adapt to the demands of Championship football, highlighting the gulf in class between English and Scottish football.
The thing I don’t get about Will is that his finishing was first rate, perhaps not Premiership quality, but certainly worthy of a top Championship side. Yet his lack of performances for the Hornets indicates he fell foul of poor attitude and unfortunate circumstance. Battling with Darius Henderson and Tamas Priskin for a striking slot can take it out of you, but his attitude on the pitch seems to have been the decisive factor in Watford’s decision to let him go. At Bristol Rovers Will can stretch his legs, be the main striker and fulfil his Rotherham potential. A loss, but on high wages, necessary.
Watford’s John Terry, a man with the club running through his veins. But, unfortunately, that was the only thing that was running. Jay joined a struggling Watford side in 2004 after impressing for Northwood Town in a friendly. Unlike Scott Fitzgerald, who took a similar path, Jay went on to become a key player under Ray Lewington, Aidy Boothroyd, Brendan Rodgers and Malky, becoming club captain in the process. His lack of pace was often, and correctly, misplaced for a never say die last ditch tackle attitude embodying the Watford spirit. A World Cup beckoned and the non-appearance of a suitable contract left Jay out of the Watford door and, at time of posting, clubless.
A player who promised so much, but ultimately delivered painfully little. Younger brother of England’s Ashley, a former Watford player famously, Lewis glimmered but never shone. An extended loan period at Burton Albion led to a permanent deal at the start of the summer and, I for one hope, to a successful professional career.
We have added to the midfield and found ourselves a left back who can call himself a left back – rather than Lloydinho who is for all intents and purposes a stop gap and should be on the right.
It’ll be interesting to see if Troy can forge a goalscoring partnership with Danny Graham to keep the Hornets up and fighting in the Championship, I believe he will come into his own next year, but will do just enough this term.
In all, I would argue, it has been a positive transfer window for the Horns. The most significant element being the retention of Scott Loach who was again called up as part of the full England squad for the game against Bulgaria.