Well, we're approaching the final furlong of an interesting season and it
does seem peculiar to me how reactions to our success can differ so widely.
Or maybe it doesn't. Human beings are diversive creatures at the best of
times and football supporters more diverse than most. I think basically it
comes down to the fact that you can never keep a fan happy. You can see
your team play ten wonderful games of football and the attitudes of most are
postive and happy. You then see one truly awful performance and you get
more comments on that single game than the ten previous put together. Do I
sound irritated by that? Well, you're right - I am.
Your average fan has a very short memory. Never remembering the bad times
and never truly thankful for success. It reminds me of a situation a few
years back when John Beck was in charge of Cambridge United. If memory
serves me right, he took them up from the old fourth division into the second in a
few seasons and was also actually doing quite well in the second. Cambridge
hadn't experienced this type of success before, but then things started to
go wrong. They got a few injuries, lost a few players through transfers and
the side plunged down the table. The fans got on the manager's back and he
was sacked/resigned/whatever? Where are they now? Back in what was the old
fourth division. I wonder how many Cambridge fans wished they hadn't been so
negative and rather enjoyed what was a rare bit of success for their team.
And here lies a problem which affects many teams, none more so than Watford.
For the majority of our history we have been a lower division club. Until
Graham Taylor took over in the late seventies we had only ever tasted the
heady heights of higher division football once. In the late sixties we
ventured forth to the old second division, only to slip quietly back to the fourth
with not so much as a whimper. But having now had the smell of success in
the top flight, an FA Cup final and a run in Europe, many fans who have
known nothing else, and some of those who have, seem to think we should expect
Now don't get me wrong, I want Watford to be successful as every fan does.
However, I don't see the need to get into this very Premiership panic that
seems to fill many fans hearts. People want instant success. Promotion
every season, and basically you are kidding yourself to feel it can happen.
Every once in a while there is an unusual story of how a small club rises to
the big time and shows the more established clubs that there is life in the
lower reaches of the football league. We have done, so have Wimbledon,
Swansea and also our great rivals from up the road. But such things are not
So it saddens me to hear all these people say that we must spend, spend, spend
if we want to be successful. Many teams have gone broke, or nearly broke
taking this attitude.
But success comes in many forms.
Unless we are very lucky we will never win the Premierhsip league title.
Ditto goes for either of the cup competitions. Though we probably have a
better chance with them due to the unpredictable nature of the cup. So what
can we look forward to? Very simply, seasons like we are now having.
Winning the Second Division title, or winning the First Division title.
Like life, there is an order to things. We can dream and hope for little
miracles, but they only come around once in a while. We have had ours, and
we may have to be very patient if want to have another one. So let's enjoy
this season for what I hope it will be, a championship winning one. It may
not have been pretty at times but it has so far been successful. At least
we are likely to be winning more silverware than Spurs this season, or
Crystal Palace, Everton, Swindon, Port Vale, Birmingham.....