Watford are a surprisingly good side, Grayson insisted in all his pre-match interviews. Don’t under-estimate them, they’re on a good run.

The bottom line is that we have played another relatively poor team and we’ve performed badly against them again. This isn’t a Championship thing: it was the same in League One. And this isn’t an individual thing: from Prutton to Clayton, we’ve been through enough centre mids to know that it’s a tactical thing.

I’m not going to get too deeply into those tactics. I could move little circles around a green screen for an hour, but only the SkySports generation would be interested. Simply put, I reckon we’re playing too defensively and paying too much attention to the opposition.


Yes, defensively. When we lose to these easy teams, it’s almost always with a 4-4-2. The strikers could be Andy Keogh, Michael Ricketts or Jermaine Beckford; if you don’t get the service you can’t score the goals. The wingers, too, rely on short passing from the full-backs and the centre-mids to get going. That’s the trouble, the centre-mids aren’t getting into these games.

At Vicarage road it was Pugh and Clayton. At Griffin Park two years ago (if I remember right) it was Howson and Doyle. The official line then was a “sodden pitch” that “cut up quickly”; the line from Tsar Bates’ Radio on Saturday was a “sloping pitch.” @EmptyUK summed up:  

“Eddie Gray sounds.. hammered. Just listening out for the chink and clang of a hip flask. #lufc #twitterwhites”

But the reality is that we’re facing teams whose only weapon is athleticism and who will look to go route-one given half an opportunity. Our answer isn’t to throw on Bradley Johnson as an attacking midfielder to grab the initiative (especially this season, since he’s gone), it doesn’t seem to even be to play 4-5-1 to allow the two centre-mids to defend against this battering-ram of a team, and an attacking centre-mid of whatever style  to keep them on the back foot. It’s to sit back and invite them on to us.

In that scenario, there’s only one winner and it’s not Leeds. In 2009 Max Gradel replaced the injured Snodgrass on the wing, the prolific Jermaine Beckford struggled for supply. We weren’t a poor side.

It looks ominous. We’re a great young, enthusiastic team when we go forward, but we seem to be constantly worrying about making mistakes. We slip up and there’s another scapegoat: Beckford, Naylor, Johnson; Kisnorbo, Becchio, Howson. We’re changing formation match after match, we’re changing the team around in the most bizarre of fashions. Attacking dynamo Nunez overlooked in favour of a 4-4-2 with Keogh and Becchio together. We’re only a mouthy Scottish munchkin from Villa and a non-entity from Spurs off the same problems we found ourselves in last season.

We’re good enough to play confident football. We’ve played Scum twice since our two relegations. Once we reacted to them, ended up scared to pass within ten feet of a red shirt and lost heavily; Once we set out to play our own game with confident, athletic, physical players and beat them 1-0.

So from now on, damn the torpedoes: let’s obliterate these b*stards and get promoted.

-An original article written by Gryff, mental age 10, in orange Crayola.