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Jackett's Taylor-made Army
By Matt Rowson
...or "We all follow the Watford", or "Hello, hello, we are the Watford boys". This is what it's all about, this is being part of a team. And now and again those special moments when the crowd and the team celebrate together, like at Norwich at the end of last season, and you feel that these guys really do care as much for the club they are playing for as the supporters that pay to watch them.

That's not true of course. Well, not all of them, and not all of the time. For much as we all know that had we been blessed with the ability and the opportunity to play professional football, none of us would even contemplate ever playing for any other side but Watford whatever the incentive (vast shedloads of cash included), this isn't the case for the majority of the guys privileged enough to wear the yellow shirt.

Craig Ramage is a particularly good case in point. A year ago he was in awesome form, wreaking havoc amongst Division One's defences as we all wondered how it had taken so long for everyone at Watford to realise that we were at least as good as most of the sides sitting above us in the table. Craig was at the heart of the run to escape relegation and, in particular, he was always very involved with the supporters, waving fists in encouragement and support you always felt that he saw us as part of the team.

And look at him now. As much as it hurts, much as we would never admit this to each other or to ourselves, you know that he doesn't actually care about the club any more, if he ever did. And nobody has even offered him the shedloads of cash yet. I remember reading a Derby fanzine shortly after Craig joined Watford lamenting the loss of a player of undoubted class, but shrewdly, as it turns out, pointing out that the potential for Craig wrecking his career through his bad attitude was immense.

On the other hand, there are players in the Watford team (and in most teams) that display such a unwavering commitment to the cause that you almost feel that they do care as much as we do...Stuart Pearce at Forest is a good example, or Julian Dicks at West Ham.

We have a few of these players, "100%-ers", at Vicarage Road. But I find it incredible that the one guy who will always sweat blood is the one guy whose name is met with boos when read out before kick-off.

How much guts must it take to travel halfway round the world for a trial and, whilst in your teens, settle and adapt well enough to earn (yes, earn) a first team place. Richard Johnson may not be the best midfielder in the world. He may not even be the best midfielder at Watford. He may not have the ability that Ramage has. But he is the only player in the team who will keep fighting for the length of every game. Someone on the Website made the point of asking how many of our intolerably large number of efficient draws this season would have been achieved without Johnno's destructive effect on the opposition midfield...not many I'd suggest.

There are at least two good reasons for not booing Johnson at Watford games. The first of these is that, as you'll have deduced, it really pisses me off...but I've managed to suppress the urge to smack people in the mouth thus far. So the real reason is that Johnno wears a yellow shirt, and really deserves to.

However the season pans out (and at the time of writing it really could go either way), there have been several star performers...Kevin Miller, Robert Page, Stuart Slater, Tommy Mooney. But I'd urge anyone reading this who sympathises at all with the point of view that you shouldn't slag your own players, particularly committed players, to vote for Richard Johnson when the Watford Observer player of the year poll takes place.