Two weeks ago, I left Vicarage Road with a sense of huge pride in the yellow football shirt I was wearing. Whilst the thoroughly uplifting evening did not heal the wounds opened by the ill-judged events of March, I felt that a sense of togetherness was being restored and that maybe, just maybe, the atmosphere and excitement of that evening could be re-created when the first ball is kicked in anger in early August.
Today, I am too angry to even bring myself to pull on my newly delivered yellow football shirt. I don't want to be seen wearing it - I am too embarrassed about what is happening at my club again.
Nigel Gibbs is Mr Watford. He is a man who has effectively devoted his life to this football club, first as a player, then as scout, coach and assistant manager. He is the man this football club should be grooming to become its future manager. Now, twenty odd years of experience has been tossed away in an instant. For what?
Is there a plan? If there is, then which part of it involves sacking the one person who has provided unstinting loyalty to every manager he has ever played under or worked with? If there is a plan, which part of it involves sacking the one person who provides continuity on the footballing side of the club? If there is a plan, which part of it involves sacking the one person who provides that stability that any successful organisation needs? If the plan is to alienate, disillusion, antagonise and upset the club's supporter base, then the plan is working fine and, in fact, has hit the jackpot this time.
There is absolutely no way that Nigel Gibbs should be featuring in the "Gone But Not Forgotten" library of this website. Yes, Nigel Gibbs represents the past but he should be holding the coaching structure of this club together as he represents the very fabric of what the club asks us to be every day - loyal. As supporters, we trust Nigel Gibbs as he represented the absolute model professional and had continued to demonstrate those strengths in his latest roles within the coaching set up. Supporters liked the fact that one of 'our own' was still a key player at our club, despite the mayhem going on all around him. Everyone felt safe in the knowledge that Nigel Gibbs, Mr Watford, was looking after our club.
Apart from those currently in power at Vicarage Road, apparently. To announce his departure with two of the briefest sentences wishing him well in his future career and thanking him for his service was just downright disrespectful, cowardly and disgraceful. The words used were the type of thing most of us would use in a leaving card for someone who works in another department and we don't know very well, for goodness' sake.
In addition, the attempt to hide this announcement amongst news of player signings displays an arrogance that is just inexcusable. Do those in power really think that a couple of new players will brush over this sacking and we will all think everything is all right? To try and fob us off with the reason that this was an inevitable result of bringing a new man in who wants to build his own team around him doesn't wash. This was the reason given, and subsequently criticised by our current chairman with hindsight, when Luther Blissett and Kenny Jackett were dismissed in the mad summer of 2001. So what is different this time? Nigel Gibbs should be part of that team, continuing to learn his trade from whoever he can before becoming the manager of our club.
I look forward to the day that Nigel Gibbs returns to this club - I am sure it won't be too long before the club has to go begging for him to come back in order to restore some stability to the coaching set up and to restore everything that he brought to the club in the first place.
So what happens now? Who knows what will be thrown at us next? Who cares? Who really cares any more? This football club seems determined to push the self-destruct button at every opportunity, and we all know that if you keep pressing those sorts of buttons, eventually it will all blow up in your face.
Perhaps Elton's concert should have ended with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" after all.