5 Things We Learned: Watford v Bolton Wanderers

Jan Kruger

Elliot Turnbull made the trip down to Watford this weekend, and he took a lot of notes.

1. Vicarage Road is missing a stand. As I entered the ground and went out onto the terrace for my usual ‘pitch inspection’ I couldn’t help but realise that something was missing. As I looked around perplexed by this I started to try and put my finger over what was missing and then I realised that the rubble, debris and the inconspicuous digger that lay before me used to be the east stand. This made the stadium comparable to one that you’ll find in the Skrill Premier and led to great amusement in seeing Dougie and his team perched on make-shift dugouts for the duration of the match.

2. We're looking very impressive defensively. The back four were faultless on Saturday and limited Watford to only one clear shot on Andy Lonnergan’s goal. Every header or 50/50 was won by a Bolton player and Watford could never find that decisive pass through them. From start to finish their second consecutive clean sheet away from home was never in doubt. The defencive duo of Matt Mills and Tim Ream worked a treat and I’ll be hoping to see a lot more of them over the Christmas period.

3. Watford fans wear Udinese scarves. Before my trip to Vicarage Road I was aware that there was a strong link between the clubs through the chairman but not to this extent. I was sat next to a man who was proudly displaying his scarf and he wasn’t the only one!

4. Fat Frank is fearless. As always Frank made the trip down south and continued his tradition of supporting the whites while being half-naked. Despite the temperature being bitterly cold and the chances of catching hyperthermia extremely high he managed to de-robe and was joined by another 886 Bolton fans in making some noise. Our away support this season has been terrific with the fans getting right behind the team for the full match. This might be why our away record is particularly impressive...

5. Manuel Almunia couldn't catch a cold. The former Arsenal keeper had a mare on Saturday. After his early collision with Beckford he was low on confidence and this was seen in our goal as he comically dropped the ball through his legs and into the path of on-form striker Jermaine Beckford. He’s come a long way, from playing in a Champion’s League final against Barcelona, to having a clanger against Bolton in the championship. Apparently this isn’t the first time Almunia’s cost Watford this season and at half time Jonathon Bond was brought on as a replacement. He was brought off due to an ‘illness’.

I would like to thank Watford for their hospitality, but more importantly - thank you Manuel for the 3 points.

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