Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tommy Smith and other animals

I'm a bit older now. A bit calmer. I don't swear quite as much at match officials, and my goal celebrations are slightly less enthusiastic than they once were. Even Neil Warnock doesn't wind me up that much any more.

So, with my new found sense of calm, I have been quite proud of the sanguine way in which I have accepted Watford's current financial plight. Despite the never ending tales of black holes in accounts and player departures, I have continually been able to find the positives and maintain some sort of optimistic excitment.

Even now, as the Tommy Smith saga looks to be drawing to a long overdue conclusion (1.8million toReading is the latest) I am hopeful that we'll be able to plug the gap somehow.

It's the thought of his unveileing at the Madjeski Stadium press conference that sees me regress into an angry young man. The thought of his smug face, grinning for the cameras as he puts his arm round our Tommy Smith.

I don't blame Tommy, he'll be on more cash, and I don't blame the board as we need the money too. It's just a shame it had to be Reading. It's a shame it had to be him.After considering this saga though, it occurs to me that in this age of super rich footballers, distant, aloof and detached from both reality and us fans,  it isn't actually that hard to keep the public on your side.

Take our friend Mr Rodgers. His comments before leaving for Reading were just hopeless. His talk of integrity blown wide apart by his tastelessly hasty departure up the M4. At best his words were ill advised, at worst they made him a bare faced liar. Watford fans, while not entriely surprised, rightly seethe.

Weeks later he opens his mouth again, to proclaim that "Tommy wants to join us". Presumably it was only after this quote hit the press he realised he isn't allowed to talk to contracted players without permission.

Two examples of opening mouth before engaging brain.

Now we all know that Smith has been the subject of transfer speculation for some time now. But what has Tommy done? Tried to engineer a move through the media? No. Discussed it in public? No. He has kept quiet, and it is for this reason that when he returns to Vicarage Road in a reading shirt he'll get a standing ovation. Rodgers thought he was clever enough to open his mouth and conduct his business through the media. Something tells me he will be afforded an ever so slightly different reception.

Tommy will get the new me.  I am most definitely saving a bit of the old me for Brendan Rodgers.


  1. great article, I am just hoping that if he goes then he only goes for a season and comes back home..... Aren't Newcastle after him as well????

  2. The Watford Observer have reported that Newcastle are indeed in for him, and there have been other whispers about Ipswich and QPR being interested too.

    However, I think it has become pretty apparent that Tommy doesn't want to leave the area, and with this in mind I'd suggest a move to Newcastle would be unlikely. having said that, he was a magpies fan as a boy...

    Either way, it needs to be sorted so that we can all get on with our lives!

  3. Great blog , Mike - will follow your 'regular' updates and see what you're doing on Twitter too.

    From 606 I think your Watford memory stretches back a bit further than mine but then I had the misfortune to have been brought up in Luton!

  4. Good one RookeryMike.

    So many of us share your sentiments.

    Of course the missing bit is the fact that to all intents and purposes Brenda came to Watford without knowing the true facts about our finances.... hence the delay in signing his contract I guess when he arrived. Then he found out he had no money and was going to have to offload best players etc for this season.

    I don't blame him for jumping ship. I think he is clealry naive though at best as he is encountering the same financial strictures at Reading.