Tuesday, 29 March 2011


On From The Rookery End Podcast 10 we talk about who we think is going to be named Watford's Player of the Season. We put forward a few different players, but if we are being honest only one man is going to win it - Danny Graham. He'll be out on the pitch on the last game of the season to get his award and we at From The Rookery End thought it would be good to say thank you in a slightly 'different way' inspired by the great man himself.

Here's our proposal... WEAR A VEST FOR DANNY!

On SATURDAY 30TH APRIL 2011, at the WATFORD VS QPR home game we want to make it WEAR A VEST FOR DANNY DAY. As many Watford fans as want to need to pick up a white vest, a black felt pen, write a personal message on it and then wear it over the top of their Watford shirt to show Danny how much we love him.

You can hear our interview with Danny on Podcast 10 as well as a special advert for his unique vests.


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Saturday, 26 March 2011

PODCAST 10: 52 Points and Beyond

Podcast 10 - 52 Points and Beyond by RookeryEnd

With Jason drinking beer in Prague Jon and Mike are joined by Mike's brother Andy to chat about Watford FC's season now we've passed Malky's magical 52 points.

You'll hear our interview with both Danny Graham and Adrian Marriappa. And we've caught up with Watford Ladies captain Cori Daniels to find out about the Lady Hornets. On top of that there's a special song for Lee Hodson and we've got details on Danny Graham's latest non-football venture!

We also meet Curtis and Geoff, two Hornet fans from Denver, and find out about how someone from the other side of the world become Watford fans. And of cause there is lots of chat about Watford's results in March and what might happen in the last 8 games of the season.

And some of you might remember Andy from this moment at half time at the Middlesbrough home game this season!

There are plenty of ways you can listen...

You can download and listen to the podcast via iTUNES. It's also the place to subscribe so you get all future From The Rookery End podcast straight to your computer. If you use a different podcast catcher to iTunes then you can use the RSS Code - http://feeds.feedburner.com/rookeryend.

It's also possible to listen on-line right here on fromtherookeryend.com by simply click play on our player at the top of this page.

AND you can also download the podcast direct to your computer by clicking your right mouse button HERE and clicking 'Save As'.


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Monday, 14 March 2011

If it ain't broke, don't fix it

Mike Parkin, Host of Watford FC podcast ‘From the Rookery End’ explores whether or not the rules of football need a shake up…

They are the most powerful group of people in football. An exclusive few who hold within their hands the power to change and improve the game we know and love. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you not the Junior Hornets, but the imaginatively titled International Football Association Board (IFAB).

This merry band meet twice a year, presumably just down the corridor from the dubious goals panel, and are the only body in the world with the power to change the laws and rules of football. These are powerful people indeed. It’s therefore no surprise that there is great interest in their meetings and discussions, after all, there is much to debate at the moment; Does the offside rule need further clarification? Is the experiment with five officials working? Should goal-line technology be introduced? It is up to the IFAB to decide. Well, decide they did. They decided to focus on more pressing issues…

What could be more important than goal-line technology I hear you ask? I’ll tell you. The snood. Yes, the IFAB have banned the snood. The correct decision of course, but is discussing the latest fashion disaster to befall football really the best use of these guys’ time? To give them credit, they did discuss using ‘vanishing spray’ – a spray used by referees to mark out ten yards at dead ball situations, the spray disappearing after 30 seconds or so. Clever eh? However, short of banning silly scarves and arming officials with spray paint, the IFAB seem unwilling to change any rules. Therefore, it’s clearly up to me to investigate a few potential changes.

Anyone who keeps an eye on American sport will have noticed that the NBA was in town recently, with the New Jersey Nets playing the Torronto Raptors in two games at London’s O2 arena. The second of these contests was an extraordinary affair, the Nets finally winning 137-136. They had to battle through three periods of overtime for their win though, the scores level after normal time and two additional periods of five minutes overtime. There is no such thing as a tie in the NBA, even if it takes 3 lots of extra time to settle it. Now, I’ve seen Watford games where it would have taken three extra seasons to break the deadlock, but would abolishing draws improve football? It would certainly encourage more positive tactics, no more boring games with away teams playing for a draw – with no such thing you’d simply have to play for the win and who wouldn’t want to see that?

Along with negative tactics, time wasting is another aspect of the game that irritates. Again, could we learn from our American friends? In the NFL (American Football’s National Football League) the game clock is stopped when the ball isn’t in play. Why couldn’t we do this in football? When the ball goes out, the clock stops and is restarted when it’s back in play. If a player is injured, stop the game clock. Goal? Stop the game clock whilst the team that have scored celebrate for 5 minutes. This way there would be no time wasting and perhaps more importantly, would do away with the inexact science of injury time – allowing fans and players to be confident in exactly how much time is left.

As for goal-line technology, well, if it’s good enough for cricket and tennis, two sports which have successfully embraced this technology, then why isn’t it good enough for football? Frank Lampard’s un-awarded goal in the World Cup surely made a mockery of any remaining arguments against.

While we’re at it, I would introduce a ten match ban for diving (personally I think a jail term would be suitable, but I’m willing to be lenient), a sliding scale of fines for poor performance in interviews (£1,000 per ‘Ummm’, £5,000 per cliché etc.) and a lifelong ban and deportation for Craig Bellamy, Wayne Rooney and Marco Gabiadinni. Job done.

I’m sure I speak for everyone (apart from perhaps Roy Keane) in saying that the other thing I’d love to see banished from the game are bad injuries, and would like to take this opportunity to say get well soon to one of Watford’s best performers this season, Stephen McGinn. All Watford fans wish you a full and speedy recovery.

Come on You Horns!

This post was originally published in the Watford vs Sheffield United programme on Saturday 12th March 2011.


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Thursday, 10 March 2011

Troy Deeney - The Stats

Troy Deeney doesn't seem to have been a popular signing by all Watford fans, and I'm not sure why.

He works hard, but compared to Danny Graham and Marvin Sordell and all their goals, it's easy for fans to diss him. Add to that the fact we actually spent money on him, I think fans expect more of a return. Anyway, I noticed his return coincided with the Millwall win and his absence seemed to coincide with our resent bad run. So I did some digging (thanks soccerbase for making this slightly easier) and this is what I found.

Average points per game when Deeny has featured - 1.68. When he's not played - 1.
He has featured in 25 games, in which we gained 42 points. That total would have had you 6th in the table after that many games this season (which ironically was exactly where we were!!).
For the games in which he didn't feature, 10 games, 10 points. We'd have been 20th in the table.

So is he that influential? Is it unwarranted stick from the fans? Is it pure coincidence? Am I really sad for working all this out or are they interesting stats?



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Sunday, 6 March 2011

We Can See You Sneaking Out

If you’ve watched Match of the Day recently, you’ll have seen that the cameramen and producers have a new favourite shot. As soon as a home team concede a goal or two, the camera will cut to members of the crowd leaving their seats, whilst the commentator confidently tell us that ‘Plenty of people have seen enough, they are streaming towards the exits’. In fact, they are probably either heading to the toilet or for an overpriced pie or watered down beer, but since several Newcastle fans were seen (understandably) departing St James’ Park before their team came back from 0-4 down to grab an unlikely draw with Arsenal, the ‘early leavers’ have been brought firmly into the spotlight.

It’s not a new phenomenon. The Emirates and Old Trafford begin visibly emptying at the 75 minute mark, supporters of such successful teams clearly being more concerned with being stuck in traffic than they are with getting value for their expensive match ticket. Wembley is always far from full come the 90 minute mark and the the Vicarage Road end exits, clearly visible form my position in the Rookery, are always open early to allow deflated away supporters to leave the scene of their teams demise quickly.

You can’t really blame those supporters who leave a bit early with their team in a hopeless position, but of course it only takes a second to score a goal, so it’s a gamble to miss any part of a game no matter how hopeless the perceived situation. How many Watford fans will have missed the Gary Porter inspired comeback against Bolton in 1993, having given up and gone home with the Hornets 0-3 down after an hour, only to miss a hat-trick from Porter and a Ken Charlery winner? How many Liverpool fans will have to live with the haunting knowledge that they missed their team win the Champions League in 2005 after giving up and leaving the stadium with the reds on the wrong end of a 0-3 score-line? More than will admit it I’m sure.

Whilst we’re on the subject of admissions, I suppose I better come clean. I’ve left a game early. Two actually. Alright, alright, I know us proper fans are supposed to stay until the end, but sometimes, very occasionally it’s all too much to cope with. One such occasion was a home fixture with our old friends Crystal Palace. It was last season and both the Hornets and the Eagles were embroiled in a nerve shredding relegation scrap. Watford were above Palace in the table and a win would have all but secured our safety for another year. I was confident we’d get a decent performance, even if we didn’t get the win we craved. In the event, the performance got the result it deserved and I was well on my way home by the final whistle blew on a 3-0 defeat.

Whilst I left that particular debacle through choice, my first early departure was thrust upon me and it has bothered me ever since. It was an away game with Reading at their old Elm Park ground and my brother and I had cadged a lift with a school friend in his rather exotic convertible car. A trip to an away match with the roof down. What fun. Unfortunately the fun ended pretty quickly after the game began and Watford found themselves 4-0 down. Our driver for the day had seen enough and decided we should leave. As passengers, we had no choice but to meekly surrender and as we trudged away from the ground we heard a weary, slightly hollow cheer. Watford had scored. My brother and I looked at each other, each as cross as the other at missing a Watford goal. Missing this one has proved increasingly infuriating as whilst it was a mere consolation, it was also the first professional goal for a young Kevin Phillips.

More recently I was sorely tempted to leave the home fixture with PNE prematurely. At 0-2 down it was a miserable night and a miserable performance. I stuck with it though and eventually was rewarded with a spirited comeback and a well earned point. I learned a lesson at that game. Stick with it, and usually you’ll be rewarded. With the team enduring a torrid run of form, that’s exactly what we need to do. Stick together and stay strong to the end. This team will come good – we need to make sure we’re here when they do.

I’m still glad I left that Palace game though…

Come on You Horns!

This post was originally published on Saturday 5th March 2011 in the Watford vs Millwall Matchday programme. A game that Mike watched to the bitter end.


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