Bryn's gone. Shame, I liked him.
The Icelander, although a little injury-prone, was fantastic last season in
quite a number of games. As soon as our new young manager was installed as
the best choice out of a cast of four, namely Aidy, Boothroyd, Betty and not
forgetting AB, our Bryn seemed destined to leave.
Now, I have no real idea why he has left. Sometimes I want to know;
sometimes I prefer to keep my naÔvety and not know, so as to preserve
something of a childlike hero worship of the place. But unfortunately, adult
life has dealt me rapidly increasing age and I really want to know why
because I need my security like all good middle-aged dullards. It
could be very, very sinister and I want to get out from under these covers.
I have read on our daily drivel factory more commonly known as the WML that
apparently Byrnjar Gunnarsson was so appalled at the handling of Ray
Lewington that he wanted to leave immediately. His being played at right
back by AB (who won by the way) in that strange run-in of last season could
point to that being true. Betty (who also won but some people don't like his
name so he has been ostracised) may have slapped his naughty boy botty and
told him, "You are a pro, lad, git ahht the-er and act laak it son" (he's
from Kabul by the way, so watch it). Or it could be that he was played at
right back to test his versatility and he failed the test. Probably
something in the middle with Aidy (second) sitting down with the Brynjar and
agreeing that if his heart wasn't in it, he could find himself another club
but would be welcome to stay and fight for a place if nothing came up. In
the overall scheme of things, it really doesn't matter; no, really, it doesn't.
Next week is a Fans' Forum. Fair enough, as long as the questions I want
answered are answered and answered properly, not like I am a kid, not
treating me like a flippin' idiot Simpson, Ashton, Boothroyd (got the shit
job), Russos and all the boss-eyed, hairy-eared, spotty, geeky, lily-livered, nose-picking, nasty little people
running my club, I hear you say.
Go easy on them.
Graham Simpson has dragged the club kicking and screaming from the Abyss of
the Vialli year. A year, so much trouble from one stupid, stupid, stupid
year. He does not have an enviable task trying to balance the wishes of the
fans over the need to generate revenue. It is possible that Lewington
leaving was because they really did have it on good authority that this
bloke at Leeds is the next big thing. Mark Ashton knew him, they may have
asked some trusted people. They may be wrong.
Lewington had a good coach in Terry Burton and it does seem that as soon as
Burton left we went into League freefall. The League Cup run was really fun
(much more fun than the FA Cup run in 2003) but I remember a similar
atmosphere for the Charlton cup game in the Abyss as we had against
Southampton. We, the fans of Watford, should also take some credit for the
atmosphere we can create at home nowadays, shame we can't do it more often
in the League, during the day, in January.
I never really felt that comfortable with Ray. I really can't put my finger
on why, I liked his honesty in certain situations but he was a mate of Ray
Wilkins. Maybe that's it. He had said earlier in the season that he knew he
would be sacked one day by Simpson. That statement is pretty negative and is
probably better left unsaid, even though it was honest and even prophetic.
Maybe the board wanted someone with ambition.
Was Lewington treated shabbily? In most walks of life, yes; in football, no.
His contract will be honoured by the club, it has to be. Was the sacking of
Lewington going against the "family ethos" - well, how do you do it? Football
is a cut throat game full of money-grabbing young men with older
ex-footballers, failed footballers and other shysters behind them. Being a
football club at all goes against many family ethos values, so perhaps we
should pack it in altogether. How ever soft and cuddly we would like to be,
in this world you have to appear ruthless sometimes. Whether you agree with
the club getting rid of Ray Lewington or not, the club thought he ought to
go, so they sacked him. If we were bottom of the table and almost down, would
it have been right to do it then? Where's the family ethos now? The club
wanted to relieve Lewington of the job, that is their prerogative; if you
don't agree, give them £10m and then you can tell them where they went
Nigel Gibbs has left the club against the wishes of the fans. I would
really, wholeheartedly and categorically, like to know why. Surely there was
something he could do. He had been a successful championship reserve team
manager. It appears to me that it was an Adrian Boothroyd decision.
The club may have missed a trick. If Boothroyd fails, we have lost a
possible steadier of the ship; if Boothroyd is successful, he could go on to
bigger things (like Moyes at Preston), and it would be nice to have someone for
continuity. The next manager should be being groomed now. It would have been
nice to have been Nigel Gibbs but would he have felt that his nose was being
put out of joint having a younger man before him? It was surely down to the
club that he left completely, even if Boothroyd wanted him out regardless.
They should been more in control. It is quite within Boothroyd's right to
decide his coaching staff. He has not rejected all the staff at the club but
I still can't understand why Nigel Gibbs went. I hope this is one thing
that can seriously be ironed out as it has become a chasm between board and
And as for the Watford Observer.
Why weren't the Watford Observer privy to the Nigel Gibbs story? Why is the
Observer suddenly not allowed privileged access when they have acted with
what appears to be integrity over the years? The board must be able to
accept criticism. Just because a paper says it does not make it right, but
they must be allowed free speech to encourage debate and both sides of the
story should be told so the club always has a right to reply. That is what I
thought we were all about, as a nation and world, let alone a small town
football club. Freedom of speech and not an old style Politburo
dictatorship. Nigel Gibbs should be at the forum, can't see it somehow.
Adrian Boothroyd is not a pariah, he seems to act with dignity and says what
he is going to do and does it. Or at least he has so far. The season starts
two weeks this Saturday and I for one am looking forward to seeing a group
of players commited for every game, good at defending, and I am hoping for
not a little flair.
But we've sold all our good players, haven't we? Well, I'm not so sure.
Commitment lasts longer than the odd Tuesday of heroics. The cup run gave a
lot of us a rose-tinted view of events, including me.
If the Boothroyd era fails, we are likely to be in League One (I don't
really care what it is called, it is still somewhere I don't want to be).
Relegation worries me more than any other thing related to this still
wonderful thing called Watford FC. Supporting your club is like a dodgy
relationship with a spouse or partner. They make you feel wonderful a few
times but most of the time you want to shout, scream and holler at them but
know you shouldn't really. But then you get so unbelievably frustrated that
you just stand up and scream and then everyone bursts into tears and loves
each other really. Or you split up. I hope we get a bit of marriage guidance
Domina: Forgive me for ever having mistrusted you, my darling. But you have
been a little distant these past twenty-nine years.