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Supermodel Superficial
By Paul Goldsmith
Getting promoted to the Premiership is a bit like me going out with a supermodel. At first, everyone is patting you on the back and congratulating you on achieving something so above your station in life. You're waking up in the middle of the night at having to pinch yourself that it's really happening to you.

But inevitably, it's unlikely to last. Firstly, you become aware that many people just can't get their head around the fact that you're with the supermodel. They cast doubt on your right to be there by her side. Gradually, you come to realise that everyone will do anything they can to prise her away from you.

Soon, the actual dynamics of the relationship start to go awry. Unlike your normal "Championship" girlfriend, this lady is a real narcissist. She's the type who wakes you up in the middle of the night to ask you to tell her how beautiful she is. It's rarely an equal relationship, with her inconsistent behaviour leaving you feeling constantly insecure.

In the end, you get dumped, or you dump her, whatever happens, it's a bit of a relief when it ends, and you just want to go out with normal people again.

Does this mean that I'm upset that Watford got promoted to the Premiership? No. I think it was an absolutely outstanding achievement. I love the fact that so much money will be pouring into our coffers. I'm looking forward to seeing those Premiership stars come to Vicarage Road.

And yet....and yet....when the final whistle blew in Cardiff, however loud I cheered I could feel myself filling up with a sense of foreboding for what was about to become of us. I hate to admit it, but I turned to my mate next to me, and said "We better enjoy this, it could be the last time we see Watford win for a while."

See, my second least favourite season as a Watford fan over the last 10 years was easily our 1999-2000 Premiership season (the only reason it's not my least favourite is the Vialli fiasco). Why? Because it wasn't any fun. We saw our team lose. A lot. We saw our team play very well sometimes, retaining possession of the ball for the majority of the match and then losing by the odd goal to a piece of genius from the opposition. Other times, we saw our team dismantled miserably. No-one who was at Wimbledon (5-0), Villa (4-0) or Spurs (4-0) will forget the feeling of helplessness.

Also, we saw our team on the wrong end of some horrific refereeing decisions and performances, with the only criteria appearing to be used to decide a close call being which was the bigger club with the most money. We were the victims of cheating and diving and the lack of sportsmanship that you can see every week on Match of the Day.

So, that's what we are looking forward to. If it wasn't for the fact that we appear to have a genius as our manager I might be even more concerned. But still, there are certain things I hope I never see all season:

Unrealistic expectations - we need to face the fact that history suggests we are favourites to go back down. That doesn't mean we definitely will, but there is a likelihood this season could be one of frequent losses and at worst a challenge to beat Sunderland's points total from last season. We could do a Wigan as well, but my point is that we should set our expectations realistically so that if the season isn't going well people don't start acting stupid. In our last Premiership season some idiot went onto the pitch half-way through and ripped up his season ticket. If someone does that this season – however it is going – I will need to be held back from performing a citizen's arrest.

"Boothroyd, get your cheque-book out" – Another chant I pray I don't hear. This occurred during the last Premiership season around half-way, and maybe, just maybe, the fans had a point. But it also showed an alarming lack of trust in the manager. Graham Taylor had earned our trust, you would imagine, yet still people wanted him to spend more money. We have to trust our manager now, because he of all people should have earned our trust. Already there are rumblings about the lack of incoming transfers this summer. I have to point people to the fact that we signed Malky Mackay, Clarke Carlisle and Matthew Spring well after the season started just before the end of August. The closer we get to the end of August, the more of a buyer's market it becomes, and we should take advantage of that. Through this, we should remember to have Watford's next five years at heart, not just one. If we do get relegated we mustn't be saddled with bad contracts or debts. The trouble is that the new fans we'll pick up this season will just be used to the normal Premiership answer to any problems – splash the cash. Not an option for us.

"Boothroyd Out" – I was horrified at the way Sunderland collapsed into a bout of self-immolation last season. They had a man at their helm who had taken a bunch of no-names into the Premiership on a tiny budget and when it didn't work out, they sacked him. This season, I hope Wolves finish above Sunderland, just to show them how stupid their behaviour was. It goes back to expectations, but when Adrian Boothroyd took over, we finished two points above relegation. If at worst we begin 2007-2008 amongst the favourites for the Championship, that is a great turnaround after only two seasons. Whatever happens, every day that Adrian Boothroyd is our manager, we are blessed with one of the best managers in the country.

Cheating and Diving – Although the football that you see is undoubtedly better in the Premiership, I am not looking forward to the type of players we will be up against. I don't want to lose games because Cristiano Ronaldo or Arjen Robben threw themselves on the floor just because Lloyd Doyley looked at them. I'd rather be beaten by their sublime skill.

‘Big Club' Referees - In our last Premiership season, it started as early as our second game. Graham Taylor noted that Jeff Winter was referring to all of the Sunderland players by their first name, and giving all his decisions against Watford. Again, if we're going to lose, I would like it to be fair and square, not because every decision made by referees is based upon which club is bigger and has more money.

I accept that I seem pessimistic, but I'd rather admit to being honest and realistic. I thought we'd be lucky to avoid relegation last season, and here we are in the Premiership. So this season I am predicting the same result.

I look forward then to seeing everyone at the Carling Cup Final and on the EasyJet flight to our first UEFA Cup game at the start of next season!