LATEST EPISODE: Back To The Future

For the December 2014 podcast, Jon, Jason and Mike head to Royston, to see Watford in the 2nd Round of the Herts Senior Cup! The boys discuss (and try to figure out why) the hornets have had 4 straight defeats. They chat to Head of Academy Chris McGuane and, captain on the night, Tommie Hoban.

Email us: podcast@fromtherookeryend.com

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Your Danny vest message

On two occasions this season Danny has used the power of the vest to express how he is feeling. And. Wear a Vest for Danny Day is all about expressing your thanks to Danny Graham and the boys for all their hard work this season. Especially Danny with all the wonderful goals he's scored this season. You may have already of read our guide on how to make a Danny Graham vest, but you might not sure what to write on it.

Don't panic! Here are a load of ideas...

Born in Gateshead, Made in Watford

Goal-den Graham

Danny, Champion of the World

Lloyd of the dance

I love Lloyd, Lloyd loves me

We’ve only got two Taylors

In Malky we trust

Marry me Malky!

Danny Graham: the golden boy with the golden boot

Och aye, we love Malky Mackay!

Sean Dyche ate my car exhaust

Buckley’s too good for you


Of course you can borrow the original vests Danny made himself. And here are some vest that we made earlier. Please feel free to copy, adapt or use as inspiration for your own vest.

Inspried by a tweet from @dantendler

Danny and a list of all Watford's all time greatest strikers.

Danny is big on tweeting and very good at coming up with a #hashtag. Here is one with the biggest hashtag of the moment. Why? Because quite simply Danny is #winning.

You can't beat a good pun on a vest.

The simplest of all the vests... it comes straight from the heart.

If you have any ideas of your own and want to share with everyone else then please make a comment below. Check back over the next few days as we will add more ideas for messages as we get them.
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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

How to win a SIGNED DANNY VEST

As you can see from our pictures, Danny Graham is fully behind Wear a Vest for Danny Day. And he is so keen for you to get involved that he has offered up a prize! One lucky hornets fan will receive a signed Danny Graham vest, modelled by Danny in the pictures on this page.

Here's a close up:


To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is take a picture of you in your vest on the day and send it to us!
Email your pictures to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com

OR

Upload them to our facebook page - facebook.com/rookeryend.

The winner will be chosen at random from all the entries on Friday 6th May.

Good luck and show us ya vests!

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How to make a Danny vest

With Wear a Vest for Danny Day now under a week away, many of you might be asking "What's the best way to make a Danny Graham Vest?

Well, here is the From The Rookery End guide to making a Danny Graham inspired vest - Cue the "Vision On" music and calming voiceover!

1. Print out your message onto a A4 sheet


You can write straight onto the vest with no guide or stencil. But if you aren't sure on how big your writing needs to be then this is a great way to space it out. An A4 size sheet either in portrait or landscape is about the right size.


2. Place your print out inside your vest near the neck line


As you can see we've used a ironing board to help hold the vest in place. It also keep the back of the vest out the way and it gives you a good work surface at a manageable height.


3. Get a marker pen and slowly draw/trace your message onto the vest.


As you write you'll probably feel the material start to gather up - so take it slow. You might find it helpful to hold small sections of material between two fingers. Straight lines seem to be the easiest to do as you can do nice long strokes. Curves need to be done with short ones. TIP: One idea for when you print your message out - USE CAPITAL LETTERS.


4. And there you have it one finished Danny Graham shirt


You're now ready to show your thanks to Danny and the rest of the Watford boys at Wear a Vest for Danny Day - Saturday 30th April 2011 at Watford vs QPR.

For more information and find out what the day is all about please look at our dedicated page. You'll also find details on how you can win a EXCLUSIVE signed Danny Graham vest.

Oh and remember Podcast 11 is out now. Download it via iTunes or listen on-line fromtherookeryend.com
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Monday, 25 April 2011

Lloyd 300


Lloyd Doyley has reached a momentous landmark. Today at Leicester vs Watford he makes his 300th start for the club. He's been with the club for 18 years, arriving aged just 10 to play for the academy.

Next season is his Testimonial Year and we at From The Rookery End will be celebrating his time as a Hornet. He recently tweeted asking for your ideas. So if you've got any ideas then please send them in. Comment below or send us an email podcast@fromtherookeryend.com.

And maybe we should also come up with a new song... or at least sing this one in tune!



Jon

PS - Thanks to @aidanjay89 for doing the photo - AMAZING work!
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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Summer Holiday


The end of the football season is very nearly here so Mike explores some of the ways in which you can spend those football-free months.

Summer, such as it is in England, is almost upon us. Good news for lovers of BBQs, music festivals, lazy evenings in the garden and the sun. (The planet, not the newspaper.) The onset of summer isn't greeted quite so enthusiastically by one part of the population however. For us football fans the summer months are a twilight zone, a never ending barren wasteland, devoid of the highs and lows we are treated to when following the Hornets.

Whilst nothing can beat the excitement of seeing Lloyd Doyley inch ever closer to his second goal, marvelling at the running style of Martin Taylor or taking evasive action from the latest John Eustace long range effort, there are alternatives. Consider this your 'From the Rookery End' summer survival guide.

Now I know this won't sit well with some of you, but I'm a cricket fan. I once played in the same team as Andrew Strauss you know. I taught him everything he knows. Perhaps. Anyway, the best thing about cricket isn't playing, it's watching, because a day at the cricket is in effect an all day picnic. Yes, it's great to see some of the sports greats in action, especially if you are at one of the most iconic sporting venues in the world like Lords, but the chance to sit in the sunshine, talk nonsense to those around you whilst munching pork pies and supping ale from 11am to 6pm really deserves your consideration as a football alternative this summer.

Still not convinced? Well, England fast bowler Steven Finn is a big Watford fan (listen out for him interviewed in Podcast 11!) so you could head to Lords and sing Watford songs at him? I'm sure he'd appreciate it.

As well as sport I love music, although if you were to steal my iPod and have a look through it, you may disagree. One of the main musical events of the year takes place on a farm in Somerset towards the end of June. That's right, my second summer suggestion is the Glastonbury Festival. Now, like most right minded folk, these days I watch the madness unfold via the excellent TV coverage, and whilst the bands obviously vary from year to year, one thing has remained constant. At the front of the main stage, there is always a huge pole with a Wolves flag proudly flying from it. I don't know about you, but I think Wolves have had their day. That should be a Watford flag obscuring the view of millions! Fellow Hornets – you know what to do.

Need more persuading? A quick perusal of this year's Glastonbury line up will reveal some household names, U2, Coldplay and Elbow amongst others. Delve a little deeper however, and on the dance stage you will find an act named simply 'Devlin'. I'd urge all Watford fans to get a good view for that one - if he's as good a musician as he was a midfielder, you should be in for a treat!

The final suggestion is a bit radical, so prepare yourself. After the last home game of the season we could all go home and forget all about football for the summer. Go on holiday. Sort out the garden. Get a new job. Switch off from the beautiful game completely.

I know, I know. It's impossible. Especially as a Watford fan.

At the time of writing I'm hugely pleased with the way the season has gone, and am proud of what the team, the management and the backroom staff have achieved this season. Watford have often been in the headlines for all the right reasons, and in comfortably retaining our Championship status have achieved what most fans identified as our goal for 2010/11. There may well be testing times ahead though, with the financial position still not clear and a whole number of challenges facing the club such as redeveloping the East stand, relaying the pitch and trying to keep hold of our best players. As fans our summer challenge is clear. Recharge the batteries, give the vocal chords a rest, but most importantly of all, remain loyal, remain proud and remain supportive of the club in whatever way you can. The football season will be back before you know it.

Come on You Horns!

FTRE PODCAST 11 is out now. Download it for free via iTunes or listen on-line at fromtherookeryend.com.

Hear our interview with coaches Sean Dyche, Alec Chamberlain and England Cricketer (and Watford fan) Steven Finn. Plus a song for Martin Taylor and Phil Brown goes into the the jungle for I'm a Stupid Football Manager GET ME OUT OF HERE!


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Saturday, 23 April 2011

PODCAST 11: The Business End


With four games left in this season Jon, Mike and Jason chat about the 'business end of the season. We look back at Watford's 2 points from possible 12 in the games against Coventry, Hull, Norwich and Leeds. Plus get reaction to the Barnsley home win.

Interviews this month come from two former Watford players turned coaches. We talk about life as part of Malky's management team with Assistant Manager Sean Dyche and Goalkeepeing Coach Alec Chamberlain. We also chat to an England International, well international cricketer. Mike caught up with England Fastbowler (and life-long Watford fan) Steven Finn.

Phil Brown goes into the I’m a Stupid Football Manager Jungle where Danny and Martin have a special trial for him and and there’s a song - don't groan they all come from the heart, if not the an in tune voice box. This one is for Martin Taylor and it's a Beyonce song.

To listen to the podcast go to iTunes or listen on line and download on fromtherookeryend.com.

COME ON YOU HORNS!

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Friday, 22 April 2011

The ticket price tightrope...


Manchester City are in an FA Cup Final first the first time since 1981. That’s thirty years ago you know. In that same period, Watford have appeared in four Semi’s and one Final. Not bad for a club so small in comparison is it? Perhaps cash can’t buy everything after all. It can of course make life easier though, and boy, could Watford use some pocket money right now.

It was therefore going to be a tricky decision when setting Season ticket prices this year. The club is reliant on Season ticket sales as an important part of their income, but as we all know, there is life away from football and that life is becoming increasingly expensive. Making the prices appealing enough to persuade people to part with their cash, whilst also covering costs and making a profit is a financial balancing act, but with the announcement of the 2011/12 prices, it looks like our club have pulled it off.

First things first. My ticket is going to be more expensive. Such is life. Everything is more expensive. Petrol, beer, food and left sided defenders are all more costly than they were a year a go, so why should my ticket not be subject to a small rise? I’ll take it on the chin and get on with it. Look elsewhere though and it’s all good news. Families, young adults, students and Under 16’s will all be paying less for their 2011/12 Season Ticket.

I’ve gone on record as saying how pleased I am that Watford have seemingly recaptured the family ethos that has served the club so well in the past. Successful events such as the ‘At Your place’ evenings and family friendly occasions such as the pre-season open day are a clear illustration that the club know how important the next generation of fans are. The decision to cut season ticket prices for youngsters and those with children confirms this commitment to them.

It would have been easy to put in place an across the board price rise, which I’m sure is what will have happened at many other League clubs, but despite the ongoing and well publicised need for funds at Vicarage Road, in reducing prices the club have chosen to be brave, making football at The Vic accessible and affordable for the future generations of Hornets and their families.

We operate in an overcrowded catchment area – Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, and the seemingly unstoppable QPR are all options for football fans living in and around the Watford area. In offering reasonable prices, Watford may well find that families can no longer afford trips to the Emirates or Stamford Bridge. If one additional family comes to Watford instead of West Ham, the club will have succeeded.

In isolation, the price of a season ticket may seem like a relatively mundane thing to get excited or passionate about, but it’s about viewing it alongside the other initiatives the club has been involved in, looking at the prices together with the other commitments and efforts the club have made. It’s about the long term, the bigger picture. I can see it, I’m sure you can and I’m delighted to say that I think our football club sees it too. You have to live for the now, but you also have to plan for the future. After a few painful lessons, it looks like Watford are doing just that.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the season ticket prices. Will you be renewing? If not why not? Will you be buying a Season Ticket for the first time? Is there anything else the club could have done to make season tickets more affordable and accessible? Let us know what you think by leaving a message below, or dropping us an email at podcast@fromtherookeryend.com

Come on You Horns!

PODCAST 11: THE BUSINESS END IS OUT ON SUNDAY 24TH. It includes our interview with Sean Dyche, Alec Chamberlain and England fast blower Steven Finn (who also supports the horns).

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

DANNY'S ON BOARD WITH WEAR A VEST DAY


Against all odds it's been a season to savour. Tipped by all and sundry to be relegated, it looks like we are only just going to miss out on the play-offs. Along the way have seen some memorable team performances, some fantastic individual ones as well as goals, goals, goals! Worth celebrating don't you think? Well we at From the Rookery End think so – and Championship leading scorer Danny Graham agrees!

The last home game of the season will see us entertain QPR and whilst it looks like they will be having a promotion party of their own, as we told you back in March, we see no reason why we shouldn't have some fun too. So, in a bid to show our support and appreciation for the efforts our boys have put in this year, this fixture is to be the first ever...


'Wear a vest for Danny Day!'
Saturday 30th April - Watford vs QPR


As you will have noticed, our very own hotshot striker Danny Graham loves getting his message across by scribbling a few words on his vest and revealing it to the world after scoring. Well, now it's our turn!


We want to show Danny and the team how much we have appreciated their efforts this year, and what better way to do so than by donning a Danny style vest!

All we are asking you to do is:

1) Find a vest - look in your draws (maybe your Dad's) or pop to Primark - £3.50 for 2.
2) Find a fat felt tip pen
3) Write a message of support or thanks to Watford or your favourite player on the vest.
4) Wear it to the Vic over your Watford shirt on April 30 for the QPR game!

As you can see from our pictures, Danny Graham is fully behind it and he is so keen for you to get involved that he has offered up a prize! One lucky hornets fan will receive a signed Danny Graham vest, modelled by Danny in the pictures on this page. And here's a close up:


To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is take a picture of you in your vest on the day and send it to us! Email your pictures to podcast@fromtherookeryend.com or upload them to our facebook page - facebook.com/rookeryend. The winner will be chosen at random from all the entries on Friday 6th May.

This is a great chance for us all to say thanks to our Hornets heroes, so get it in your diary. 30 April 2011. Wear a vest for Danny Day! Be a part of it.

The Takeover: Time to talk

As the season draws to a close and summer takes the place of spring, it's not just the weather that is hotting up. The takeover of the club by Laurence Bassini hit a major new milestone over the past couple of days, with the quantity of shares he owns going over the 90% mark.

This figure is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, it means that those who have so far decided not to sell their shares, no longer have a choice. Mr Bassini now has a right to purchase all remaining shares. Secondly, this means that Laurence Bassini is now in sole control of Watford Football Club. He's our new owner. In my eyes, this means that we as fans now have the right to start expecting answers.

Let's be clear about this – Watford needed a new owner and a fresh injection of cash. We have been surviving, but only just. The long term future of Watford has been precarious for some time and there have been precious little offers to help us out. Mr. Bassini and his associates have been the only apparently credible solution to our ongoing financial woes.

Takeovers are complicated things and I'm sure I'm not alone in accepting that whilst negotiations are going on, it's hard for the parties involved to discuss plans in any detail. With the acquisition of over 90% of the shares, this is no longer an issue. Laurence Bassini has what he wanted – control of the club. Now it's time to tell us, the fans, how and when he is going to achieve what he told us he will.

The new pitch. A re-developed East Stand. Completing the half finished building work at Vicarage Road. Not things that can happen overnight, but things that Mr Bassini has openly said will take place under his ownership. Good to hear. What will be even better to hear is how and when.

Negotiations have been taking place for some time now, affording plenty of time to finalise plans so that work could commence, or at least a timeline approved and communicated. I don't know about you, but if I bought a football club that I was going to help out, stabilise and improve, I'd want to tell the world exactly how I was going to do it. I'd certainly want to tell the fans – my new customers.

So far, we've heard precious little. An interview in the Watford Observer some months ago outlined broad plans. An open letter in the same paper got a response from Mr. Bassini which asked for patience. Well, patience we can do. If we are told that the East Stand will be complete in the summer of 2012, we'll wait. If we are told the pitch will be relaid before the start of next season, that will be fine. If there are reasons that mean that the remaining work a Vicarage Road can't take place until 2015, well OK. We'll wait. We just need to know. Patience is all well and good, but we need to know exactly what we are waiting for in order to exercise it.

We as football fans are generally a pretty understanding bunch. Up and down the land, we come back week after week, travelling the length and breadth of the country, buying tickets and replica shirts regardless of how our team performs. This commitment shouldn't be misinterpreted though. We come back because we care. We come back because we are passionate. Fans don't just invest their money into football clubs, they invest emotion. They invest their souls. We don't actually expect much in return, but we do expect to be treated with respect and honesty.

Businessmen are busy. Especially ones who buy football clubs, and I'm sure none of us expect daily updates as to what is happening at WD18. However, businessmen also understand the power and the importance of the customer, so I'd be surprised and slightly alarmed if our new owner didn't find the time to tell us what he has up his sleeve in the coming days. Watford is his club now and as Hornets fans, we're very keen to get acquainted.

I'm not saying that we should panic or worry; we're supporters of the club and we should continue to do just that. Let's just hope that Laurence Bassini realises the importance of explaining to us exactly how he is going to do the same.

In his letter to the Watford Observer, Mr. Bassini wrote that 'actions speak louder than words'. Well, the time for action is surely upon us.

Come on You Horns.

Mike

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Monday, 18 April 2011

90 minutes in another man’s shoes

Unfortunately for my family, I’m addicted to sport. If the chance arises to go to a sporting fixture of pretty much any type, I’ll be there. Spare speedway tickets? Go on then. Your friend can’t make it to the ice hockey with you at the weekend? Sure thing, count me in. A day at the darts? Yes please. You get the picture. With this in mind, it was with some excitement that I took delivery of two tickets to Sunday’s FA Cup Semi Final between Bolton Wanderers and Stoke City, courtesy of a competition run by the excellent website Back Page Football.

My brother Andy is equally indiscriminate about the sporting events he attends (he went to Stevenage V Aldershot on Saturday!), so he was only too happy to join me on a slightly random jaunt to Wembley stadium. It quickly became apparent that we weren’t going to be the only neutrals there that day – a family of four were on the same train as us, proudly clutching Club Wembley passes. As a relatively new father, I have quickly adopted the famous Dad trait of talking to absolutely anyone and quickly engaged the Wembley bound family in a brief chat. I asked the kids who they thought they would win. ‘Dunno’ came the response, ‘Who’s playing?’

Andy and I don’t profess to be world authorities on football, but we did at least know which teams were taking part, and we were in agreement that the game would be a close and hard fought affair. ‘I fancy penalties’ Andy had said with a slightly macabre grin. Luckily he didn’t bet on it…

I’m a nightmare at Watford matches. Like you, I want them to win every game. Desperately. Let’s just say that when I’m engaged in watching Watford, I can get a little…intense. It was therefore nice to be able to look forward to a game of football that meant nothing to me, but meant the world to the other 80,000 odd people in attendance (The Club Wembley family the notable exceptions!)). I was looking forward to watching the game with a bit of detached impartiality. I was looking forward to being able to soak up the pattern of play without worrying about how long was left and who was going to win. I was looking forward to sampling the atmosphere without feeling the need to help generate it.

We were to be Bolton Wanderers fans for the day. Firstly, the (excellent) tickets were in the Bolton section, and secondly, the legendary and slightly unhinged ex-Hornet Paul Robinson would be starting at left back for the Trotters. Despite having nailed our proverbial colours to the mast, it quickly became very apparent that we were at someone else’s party. As we waded through the discarded beer cans en route to the ground, the excitement was palpable. ‘Lucky sods’ Andy muttered as we passed group after group of bouncing, chanting fans. ‘I wish we were here with Watford’.

Inside the ground, Wembley looked magnificent in the April sun. Whatever the rights and wrongs are of playing Semi finals at Wembley, as the 4pm kick off approached I can guarantee that every person in that stadium was glad to be there and excited to be a part of it. Whilst Bolton had failed to sell their allocation (instantly banishing any lingering doubts that I was denying a Bolton fan a ticket), there wasn’t a seat to be found in the Stoke end of the ground and by crikey they didn’t half make a din. I’m sure I’m not alone in having mixed feelings towards Stoke fans, but give them their due, they generated an extraordinary atmosphere.

The teams strode out and in a bid to feel part of it, my brother and I struck up a chant of ‘Robbo! Robbo!’ I waved at him too. He didn’t wave back. ‘Good lad’ I thought; ‘he’s focussed’. The game got underway and there was no denying it, I was excited. FA Cup Semi Finals are big games in their own right, but even more so when the two participants are so infrequently involved in games of such magnitude. This was definitely going to be good.

And of course, if you support Stoke City, it was good. It was better than good. It was extraordinary. After half an hour the game was well and truly over, in truth, it was probably done and dusted after 17 minutes when Robert Huth was the unlikely man behind a 20 yard strike into the bottom right hand corner. As Stoke shot after Stoke shot resulted in Stoke goal after Stoke goal, the day took on a surreal feeling. As the red and white end of the ground partied, things quickly unravelled around us in amongst the Wanderers fans. Fights broke out amongst fellow supporters, the initial excitement quickly punctured by the reality that was unfolding in front of them – clearly too much to take for a small minority. Some fans had seen enough after half an hour and began their long journey home early. Others hurled abuse at their hapless team. The majority sat in stunned, disbelieving silence.

All the while Andy and I were trying to convince each other there was a way back for our adopted side. ‘If they can nick one before half time, they’ll be back in it’ we suggested. We were desperate for the tight, competitive game we had forecast to come to fruition. Having seen these sorts of games before though, we both knew that there was only ever going to be one winner.

If I’m honest, disappointment was the only emotion I could muster. I wanted to feel sorry for the Bolton fans, and to a degree I did, but really I just felt sorry for myself. The game we’d seen wasn’t the one that we’d expected – I felt like hitting rewind and start the game again. Once more from the top Bolton, this time with feeling… I’ll come clean to experiencing a flicker of sympathy when the disconsolate fan next to me broke his 2nd half silence. Two words were all he could muster. ‘I’m ashamed’.

It was an interesting experience and if offered the same ticket tomorrow, I’d take it again, but it brought something into sharp focus for me. A realisation that has provided me with some empathy for those around me who struggle to understand my lifelong obsession with watching Watford home and away. Neutrals want to be entertained. Supporters just want to win.

The mood on the packed trains away from Wembley mirrored that of inside the stadium. Stoke fans jubilant, Bolton supporters tired, drained and numb. It was on the train that I finally made some sort of personal connection with the days events. A few seats in front of me sat a Stoke fan. He was alone, and in his sixties. He said nothing, contendedly staring out of the window, no doubt gleefully recounting each of Stoke’s five goals. Then his phone rang. He took the call and listened. It was obviously a friend or family member calling to offer their congratulations and as he recounted his version of events, there was a quiver in his voice. He was so excited, so proud, so happy about what he had just seen that he was close to tears. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I recognised the feelings he was experiencing. The feelings that only sport can provide. The feelings that only those with an emotional and physical investment in their team will ever enjoy. The feelings of a true football fan.

This man was happy and that was all it took. I was happy too.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

SENT TO COVENTRY


Here at FTRE towers we were delighted to hear from a talented fellow Hornet called Michael who runs the excellent Regista blog. Michael sent us his views on his first trip to the Ricoh Arena to see Watford come unstuck against Coventry and also talks about our hopes for the rest of the season.

With another defeat (this time to Hull City) since we played Coventry, it looks like Michael’s feeling that we’ll miss out on the play-offs will come to pass. However, whilst there are points to play for, we are still in with an outside shot at the play-offs. Hours before we kick off against promotion candidates Norwich City, how do you think the rest of the season will pan out? If we do miss out on the play offs, can the season be termed a success? As always, we’d love to hear from you. Now, it’s over to Michael. Enjoy!

“A visit to the Ricoh Arena isn’t regarded as one of the most alluring away days in the Championship. But, with Watford four points off the playoffs and with only eight games to go, there was a strong incentive to make the trip. Watford are not the sort of team you expect to see winning away, but it was difficult to suppress the view that this was three points for the taking.

This was my first visit to Coventry’s new home and the stadium itself is hardly a sight to set the pulse racing; another out of the box, motorway friendly football ground surrounded by car parks. For a relatively new ground it struck me that the Ricoh Arena already looks quite shabby, a cut-price stadium with low-spec fittings. Of course, that shouldn’t affect the atmosphere, but something is clearly missing.

It should have been a gripping encounter, given the importance of the fixture to both teams, but from the moment I pulled up in my car there was a surreal feel to this fixture. Watford had a decent away following doing their best to generate some noise, but it never felt like the fans of either club were really involved in the game. As for the players, this wasn’t the bright, incisive Watford we have enjoyed watching this season. Even so, the Hornets did waste several clear cut chances and hit the woodwork, but apart from a brief spell at the start of the second half, they never really got hold of this game.

A deflating defeat then, but where does this leave Watford’s season? We still sit four points from a play off spot, but Reading have a game in hand, and with games against Norwich, Leeds, Leicester and QPR to come, an extended season is looking a lot less likely than it at 3pm on Saturday.

On the positive side, we are involved in four matches that have could have a huge effect on the promotion shake-up, both for Watford and their opponents. After a successful season this is the type of challenge Watford fans can look forward to, instead of dread.”

You can read more of Michael’s work at http://www.regista-blog.com/ and remember, if you would like to contribute something for the site or have any feedback on the podcast, do get in touch by emailing us at podcast@fromtherookeryend.com

Come on You Horns!

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Saturday, 9 April 2011

FRIENDS IN FAR FLUNG PLACES



Mike is delighted to discover family members he never knew he had...

Another Richard Johnson screamer, Aidy Boothroyd beating up Fitz Hall, Pierre Issa being dumped off his stretcher, Harry Hornet marrying Harriet, Lloyd Doyley scoring. A lot of the best things about watching football happen when you are, well, watching football. Not all of them though...

One of the most enjoyable things about being involved with the podcast (From the Rookery End, Episode 10 out now!) is that we get to hear from fellow Watford fans from all over the world. Co-presenter and self confessed geek Jon has a little gadget that tells us the Country in which downloads are taking place and we have been delighted and amazed to learn we have reached listeners in Norway, Sweden, Brazil and Australia to name but a few. We also have two lovely listeners in Denver, Colorado. How do we know they are lovely? Because we've met them.

Curtis and Geoff got in touch with us after hearing the podcast and told us that they were heading over to England for their annual fix of football. Geoff (originally from New Zealand) was doubly determined to get his fill, taking in five games in five days, including Watford's wins against Sheffield United and Ipswich. We managed to catch up with the chaps after the Hornets had swept aside 9 man Sheffield United (sandwiched between Geoff's visits to Leatherhead and Stoke City!).

We recorded a segment for the podcast, but it quickly became apparent that the occasion warranted more than a ten minute chat outside a windswept Vicarage Road. And so it was that 30 minutes later we found ourselves getting stuck into a few beers in the legendary West Herts Sports & Social Club – the original home of the Hornets. Manchester United were playing Arsenal on the big screen, but there was only one topic of discussion. Watford.

It transpired that all of us had seen some sport in our time; test cricket, the NFL, international rugby and football, basketball, World Cups and Olympics - all played in some of the world's most impressive stadia, but it was clear that nothing inspired or excited any of us like match day at Vicarage Road. Each of us taking great pleasure recounting our favourite game or goal, whilst furiously debating our chances for the rest of the season.

It may have been the continual flow of beer making me sentimental, but as we swapped stories and memories it occurred to me that what we were experiencing was exactly what football is about. The nauseating Sepp Blatter loves to talk about the ‘football family’, by which I suspect he means people that pay lots of money to be involved with the sport. Well, whilst Sepp was busy counting his Swiss francs, we were enjoying the real meaning of the phrase. We were chatting with people we’d only known for hours, but these were people with shared passions and dreams. They felt like old friends already. They felt like part of our family.

Of course it wasn’t just football that had brought us together, it was Watford. How rewarding and magical to realise that it isn’t just those that were born locally or live in the environs that recognise supporting Watford is the correct course of action. A New Zealander and an American had the option to support any club in the world, but they tried the Watford way and were hooked. Despite being thousands of miles away, these guys feel every tackle, foul, goal, win, loss and draw as keenly as if they were sat in the Rookery with us today.

There are others of course. Thousands of us spread across the globe, unbeknown to each other but inextricably linked through our support of the mighty Hornets. As you read this, people in places like the USA, Australia, Brazil and even Scotland will be going to extraordinary lengths to make sure they follow our progress against Hull this afternoon. You know the real beauty of it? One day you’ll probably meet one of them, and your personal football family will have another member. It’s good to be a Hornet.

Come on You Horns!

This post was first published in the matchday programme of Watford vs Hull City on Saturday 9th April 2011.

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Friday, 8 April 2011

FTRE: OPEN LETTER TO MR B


Dear Mr B

Today (Friday 8th April 2011) The Watford Observer published an open letter to you with some really big questions about your takeover of Watford Football Club. We'd really like you to answer these questions.  We want this takeover to happen and then for things at the club to settle down. The points and questions that The Watford Observer have brought up are very important to Watford fans and having answers for them will make us all feel a little more comfy. We've had a few turbulent years and we really want a stable club that can get itself sorted 100% and continue to grow on and off the pitch in the coming years.

Plus... I guess the major reason we want you to answer the Watford Observer questions is because we want you and Mr Thomas to be our big interview on our 2011-2012 pre-season podcast in July and we don't like doing interviews that are too serious. We really want the interview to be lots of fun. We want to get to know the two of you both in and out of football and find out your big, and small, dreams for the club that you own, and we all love.

So if you ca get these question out of the way we can have a lot of fun when we meet up in July.

COME ON YOU 'ORNS!!!

Jon, Mike and Jason - From The Rookery End

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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

DON'T VOTE FOR SAVAGE

Robbie Savage is up for an award, and we can stop him winning!


Some of you might have read our blog post from a few months back about how Robbie Savage doesn't like Watford fans. Why? Well he says it's because we laughed when he broke his league at Vicarage Road in 2006 whilst playing for Blackburn. However we to know it was a broken leg. He was just another opposition player who got injured. And being a man with a reputation for being an idiot he left himself open for abuse when he gets injured.

Have a listen to when Mike called up 606 to say how proud he was of Watford. He did quite well until Robbie turned it into yet another self centred conversation about his views on football!

Mike vs Robbie - 606 Oct 2 2010 by From The Rookery End

Last week the radio industry announced the nominees for the Sony Radio Awards. The 'Sonys' are the Oscars of the radio industry and Robbie Savage has been nominated for the Rising Star Award. The award is "the only people’s choice award which celebrates new radio talent".

ROBBIE CAN NOT WIN THIS AWARD!

So please click HERE and do the right things and vote for Ronnie Wood.


He is a legend of Rock and Roll and the other guys nominated are unknowns and will never get enough votes to win.

VOTE FOR RONNIE... and what every youdo ... DON'T VOTE FOR SAVAGE!

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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Musical Statues


I had a bit of a chuckle to myself when I heard that Fulham were to have a statue of Michael Jackson put up outside Craven Cottage. Al Fayad had originally got it made to put outside Harrods. Unfortunatly he sold that corner shop and the new owners said they didn't want it anywhere near their shop. So AF found a tenuous link that MJ went to a Fulham game once so putting it was fine to put it out of the ground.

As you can see in above picture it is terrible and it becomes quite clear why the new Harrods owners didn't want it. Firstly, I didn't expect it to be in colour. I thought it would be made of brass. And I thought he might be in an iconic pose from one of his groundbreaking music videos - he's not.

Now, I am a big fan of statues. The Sir Bobby Moore statue at Wembley is brilliant and it is something that people want to have their photo taken with when they visit the stadium. I think we need a similar statue to Sir Bobby at Vicarage Road... but of who and what will they be doing?

So post us your ideas below - who do you want and what pose are they in?


Jon

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