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Hall of Mirrors
By Ivan Veall
I have just returned from holiday in Australia, during which time the 'Orns have managed to throw away a decent-looking position against Leicester and played atrociously (I am told) against others at home. Perhaps I was missed; I know that we lost out to Liverpool as I would have been in Sydney and the team would not have felt right if Veally could not make it to Cardiff. Nonsense. We all know that it is nothing to do with the players and what they think or at least those that are capable of thought. It is the manager's fault and Lewington must go.

So here we are then. I can only reflect on some comments I have recently read on this website about the number of salaried officers that our Club employs and how this can look a little stilted in the light of the turnover of a Second Division football club. To contextualise, Manchester United are probably the biggest club on earth in terms of turnover, but that is only equivalent to a very large branch of Tesco for heaven's sake! I have never seen extensive news coverage of bakery dilemmas or downturn in baked beans sales. Watford's turnover is less than some individual players' earnings. Some of these are conspicuously less successful than our outgoing manager. However, he is to blame for the lack of collective responsibility by the guys on the pitch. True, he has the job of organising them to perform for every game that they are selected, and if he is truly not up to it then surely that will become apparent sooner rather than later.

Football is a strange game by comparison to rugby or cricket, for example, in so far as it often throws up the occasion for little clubs to beat big clubs. In rugby or cricket, the likelihood of a first class county being beaten by a minor county is very small; likewise in rugby, a Premiership side is highly unlikely to be troubled in any way by a First Division or lower club. Watford have started to rekindle some of the old giant-killing fun from days gone under Ray Lewington but without any of the accompanying fun in the league. Financially, we will have benefited from our two Cup runs in three years and sadly this has only gone to try and create a clean sheet on which to carry on. We all probably think to ourselves, "Which would be preferable? A solid top ten in Division Two side or a flaky up and downer who are renowned giant killers?" Personally, I want a bit of both but more importantly I want to see some bloody initiative from players, responsibility from players, visible displays of knowledge, commitment and experience from players. Sod the bloody manager; he will always be a whipping boy or occasionally the genius who constructed the fall of Rome.

Lewington seemed to be good solid bloke. Proper football guy, good heritage, track record and all that. Nothing too spectacular but nothing to put you off. "Safe" is probably a good word to describe him and his appointment. I have been perfectly happy with most aspects of his tenure, apart from the number of decent players who have gone (Tommy Smith being my biggest personal annoyance) and the strange knack that most of them seem to have had to show the ability regularly elsewhere that we saw intermittently, or, particularly in the case of GNW, to shake off what seemed to be career-limiting injuries. But now he is gone and I have to say that I am disappointed but not surprised. Maybe he should have had until the end of the season? We will never know.

However, my point is this: how much responsibility do the players have for his departure? Were they dissatisfied by his management and made their feelings known? Do the club feel that some of the younger resources should be brought through more? Will Batman get to the sinking Vicarage in time? In a world where things like football have very little perspective, I feel that perhaps we should recognise some alternative points of view and draw on these where possible or relevant. Watford FC now have a very interesting choice to make and we all watch with interest as to who will be appointed and how this will affect our club. Personally, I hope for someone who has a passion to deliver a product to paying onlookers that motivates us to want more. I did not really get that with RL but more importantly, I am not getting it from the guys he was tasked to manage.

Perhaps Heidar ought to apply.