Is right now the best time in our history?

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Diamond, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Yes, even better than 84 when we made the FA cup final, (when it used to be an honour to play at Wembley).

    Can you name a time when it was better to be a Watford fan than right now? I'm struggling. Why is right now so good?

    Ownership: Is there a better set of owners at any club in the country? We average 20K at home games yet are one below the top 6 in the toughest league in the World. They took no sh*t from Silva, fired the **** and then went after Everton. Brought in Gracia and some wonderful players now look at us. The connection with the fans is as good as it's ever been.

    Cup Run: Home quarter final to come, very winnable, Zaha baiting will hit fever pitch, it's going to be a good day. Even in the League Cup we got to play Tottenham away in MK, when will that happen again?

    League Form: Spectacular 5 goals away from home in the Prem. On 40 points with how many of them away from home? Seen us win at Burnley, Wolves and Palace this season just on my travels.

    Past Managers: One just got his backside handed to him and one is about to. The timing is perfect. Silva isn't going to last the season which will be worth a celebration in itself.

    Next 2 away games: To the top 2 in the league, Liverpool and City. People are even giving us a chance at Anfield, how mad is that?

    Home Atmosphere: Lets face it, until the 1881 came along it was dire. Now, as we saw against Everton it's superb. I imagine against Leicester it'll be even better due to Rodgers coming back. Against Palace we've even organised a singing area. It's going to be a fortress.

    Stadium: This is what gives right now the edge over the early 80's, the place is looking good. It's February and we've got grass, that would be enough for me but the stadium continues to improve.

    Media: We beat Spurs and they didn't turn on us. Recently they've even started to begrudgingly give us credit, (which never happened under GT).

    Locally: Waiting list for ST's and all the kids around here are happy to be seen wearing their Watford colours. Man U, Chelsea & Liverpool shirts seem to have disappeared off the scene. Every week someone's asking me to get them Watford tickets.

    Convince me otherwise.
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  2. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    Everything you said is correct but as was mentioned previously, the Pozzos have got us from the Championship to 7th in the Premier League with a Cup semi final in seven years. In the same period under SEJ and GT we went from bottom of the 4th to runners up in the 1st, got to a Cup final and rocked across Europe.

    For me the 80s still shades it.
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  3. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    A lot of that is correct. Still think the period in the 80’s was a better period IMO.

    The one thing I think you overstate is the atmosphere. It’s definitely better than it was in the 90’s and early 00’s and credit has to go to The 1881 for their efforts which have been done all off their own back - that being said, days like Everton have hardly been the norm really. If we could get it like that every week then all the better - but it’s not. That should be the challenge.
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  4. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Not for me.

    For me it was definitely the first of season in the old First Diviion for me, and finishing 2nd, qualifying for Europe.

    That 2nd place finish was the culmination of a meteoric rise from the bottom of the league to the top under EJ and GT.

    When we were still in the 4th Division, I remember EJ being on a variety show or something on TV and he mentioned that he expected us to be in the First Division within a few years, and everyone laughed.

    I remember working as a police officer on the touch line just in front of our fans at White Hart Lane, and we won 4-1, (or was it 5-1, maybe). I was so unable to contain my excitement and as the goals went in I was jumping up and down. My embarrassed boss, after about 75 minutes, sent down two colleagues who said that I had been moved outside the ground. I was gutted but as they got me outside, they bundled me into the back of a police van out of public view.

    Getting where we are, from the 2nd Tier, just doesn't compare in my opinion.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  5. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    It was 5-1, I was at the game and it was glorious - Danny Thomas scoring the best own goal I've ever seen.

    I'm kind of torn as those first 3 seasons in the top flight were incredible - runners up, Europe and a cup final.

    However, that felt like a more level playing field, whereas now we're competing with several Money FCs - so the achievement is up there with 80s.
  6. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    I agree in some respects, but without the TV money, income was from the attendances our 20k v 60k (it had been only about 5k in the 4th) and the world-wide marketing ability of the Man Utd's, the Liverpools, etc. Our manager came from Lincoln City, our players mostly came from lower league or came up with us. To me, it didn't seem a level playing field.
    Happy bunny likes this.
  7. Hornet4ever

    Hornet4ever WFC Forums Last Man Standing Winner 2018/2019

    I think you have to put it into the wider context of how football actually was in the respective eras.

    80's was more old school authentic & meteoric. That will never ever be surpassed no matter how high we can potentially go from here.

    Unfortunately for a club like us once you have 1 seriously over achieving season the statistical likelihood is it will go downhill from there. Look at Burnley/Leicester as recent examples. Unsustainable. Unless you have the deepest pockets.
    Happy bunny likes this.
  8. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    I'm not disagreeing, the TV money changed the landscape in terms of billionaire owners coming in and bankrolling and FFP doesn't seem to be enforced. So in the 80s the clubs had to be run within their means without being underwritten as much.

    So I agree the 80s edge it for me yet the journey (apologies for the use of this word), going from administration to where we are now, reminds me of the 80s and the spirit of the club.
  9. Diamond

    Diamond Squad Player

    Very hard to argue with that, except to point out how quickly it unraveled when GT left the club. One season and we were gone. Now that can't happen.
  10. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    That 10 year period from 1977 to 1987 was the best time ever to be a Watford fan. 3 promotions, League Cup semi final, FA Cup final, European football, runners-up in the old first division.

    Since the Pozzo's took over, this is by far the next best period in the club's history and it's still ongoing. The direction we are going in could overtake past achievements, but most of what we did from 77-87 were firsts for the club, which carries a bit more weight in the mind.
  11. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Oh yes it can. In those days it was all eggs in one basket with the skill of GT. But it's still the same now. If Pozzo sells up, it can go south just as quickly. Currently we are only as good as our owner, whereas in the past we were only as good as our manager. Change the key element and it all falls apart very quickly.
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  12. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    I think it depends on your age. The 77-87 period was obviously fantastic, mainly as there were many firsts and considering where we came from. I first started following Watford in the 83-84 season when I was 7, being at the top table I knew no different, I was young and didn't understand where we come from or couldn't understand the quality of players we had at the time.

    I hit 43 in a couple of weeks, and for those to have experienced the rise from Div 4 and appreciated it would have be almost 10 years older than me. Therefore for a large proportion of support these days are the best days.
    dynamo380 likes this.
  13. Cassetti's Beard

    Cassetti's Beard Squad Player

    Look at how far we've come!
  14. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    We still need to win something.
    If we win something then that is the best period.
  15. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    Elton made the wrong choice for the replacement - i'm not going to name him as he should never be mentioned.

    With the squad GT left us, the right manager could have taken us on.
  16. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    There's always been monied football clubs.. relatively speaking.
    In the early 1900's MUFC were known as "Moneybags United" and Arsenal became known as the "Bank of England club" in the 20's/30's.
    I recall Spurs as being regarded as the first club to really capitalise on marketing potential in the early 80's.. with an extensively stocked club shop and skyrocketing admission prices to pay for that flash stand they built.
    When we came up to the top flight the record transfer fee was £1.5m paid for Bryan Robson. Our record signing at that time was, i think, 250 grand for Gerry Armstrong. So some clubs were paying six times what we were for players.. about the same as now actually. Some (most) clubs were also paying wages far in excess of what we were. I recall the runners up game in 83 when the grand a week kenny Dalglish was marked by £25 a week Paul Franklin! Ok he was on a YOP scheme at the time but i doubt many other clubs had players in the first team with such deals.

    It would be interesting to see the relative turnover of football clubs from bygone days.. but i wouldn't be surprised if the gap wasn't too dissimilar to the modern age.
  17. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    The Pozzo’s won’t be around forever. What is most important to me is that in the period that they are here, whether that be 2 more years or another 20, that we win a trophy.

    Periods like the one we are having now need milestones. That comes in the form of silverware for me. Top 4, Top 6, Best of The Rest...all magnificent achievements for a club like ours if you reach them. But all come and go...winning a cup is history and can’t be taken away.
  18. Lloyd

    Lloyd Reservist

    I think establishing a club with Watford's resources in the Premier League - which, don't forget, is 'the best league in the world' - is a fantastic achievement. I'm not sure it beats going from the 4th division to (almost) top of the 1st in (almost) consecutive seasons and (almost) winning the FA Cup though
    Happy bunny likes this.
  19. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Agreed. The 1977-86 period was ridiculous when you think about it.
    Given I missed all the mid 70's crap, started watching when we were 8th in Div 4 in '77 and we were top 2 games later, the timing was absolutely perfect for me !
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Reservist

    It was brilliant. I don't think what Taylor achieved will ever be repeated by anyone
    Happy bunny likes this.
  21. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    I was lucky enough to see a reasonable amount of the GT era first time round and I do feel as though that period of our history is still the best but we are certainly in the process now of catching up with that time. We have a lovely looking ground (could do with being bigger), an award winning pitch, a very level headed coach, some of the best players I've ever seen in a Watford shirt, excellent owners. We are 7th in the league and in a cup quarter final. There is a lot to love from this period in our clubs history not better than the GT era just yet. Win the FA Cup would go someway to changing that though
  22. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    Atmosphere was better in the 80s and yeah our stadium was crap compared to now so was everyone elses.
  23. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    I think now is a great time to be a Watford fan..
    As opposed to earlier this month when the general consensus was that we were a boring football team grinding out results and being regularly saved by our goalkeeper!
    You know what they say though.. one decent away win at Cardiff is a long time in football.

    But honestly.. yeah, great times bettered only by the 1980's (for now anyway)
    zztop likes this.
  24. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    This season has been good till now. I don't think it defines the last three seasons we were treading water nor the season before that when we were ripping everyone a new one or indeed Zola's first when our heartbeat went up for the first time in a couple of decades. Sexy football at the Vic just didn't happen.

    It's in Gino's hands, and grasp even, to make his tenure be the most successful in our history. To date SEJ still has that accolade.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  25. Happy bunny

    Happy bunny Cheered up a bit

    I was about to write "No. Next question" when I opened the thread and found it was about Watford not the UK.

    GT's first coming is still the best for me. Expectations were far lower as we'd never been within sniffing distance of the top flight (and no experience of anything other than a brief struggle in the second tier), we had an inspirational manager and a glorious attacking team; and off the field, we had Caroline Gillies whose marketing skills were far ahead of anyone else's, and Oli Phillips at the top of his game, writing with knowledge and passion about his club.

    Today's Watford is a good second place - but will it last as long, given the short shelf-life of head coaches and the risk of appointing a dud next time?
  26. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    It has.. but you wouldn't have believed it reading our post match threads earlier this month. Actually from the new year people haven't been so impressed with the performances.. while acknowledging we were getting results.
  27. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    Thinking this on a bit, Elton can be surpassed as our best ever owner, can GT lose his crown as our best ever manager? Well no, not in the sense that managers are nearly consigned to history but he was also head coach so could he ever be displaced as that? I can't envisage he can, even if we win the Champions League.
  28. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    We get complacent and always want more than we have. We won't really value this era properly until we are back struggling in the championship and being beaten by the rabble up the road.
    RookeryDad likes this.
  29. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    In my lifetime, I can only think of us doing what we have did after EJ and GT joined us. After previously spending only a few years of our history in the 2nd tier of football, we rose from the bottom and maintained our position in the top two tiers of football, ever since. It is unique.

    I think.
  30. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    If Javi goes on and wins silverware and qualifies for Europe, hangs around more many years and is part of the community ethos there's no reason why he can't later be seen as our best ever. GT is unique in our hearts and would never be replaced as best ever emotionally but from an achievement factor he can.
  31. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    In that scenario you are absolutely correct. Except we both know it won't happen.
  32. Many individual achievements exceed wahat happened in the sixties, seventies and eighties, but beating Man U at OT as a third div team will take some beating, as will holding them to a draw at OT when they were the best in Europe, or beating Liverpool resoundingly in the QF, or playing in the final, or even that first win at Anfield.

    Those things can't happen for the first time ever again, but they can be exceeded. In terms of experience, it has been fantastic under the Pozzos, but we need to go one better to really say it has been gone beyond what Elton and the Worksop Godchild achieved, IMHO.

    In terms of how the club is positioned to progress, it is a different story. Never have we been in better shape or more secure, or, to be honest, better led as a professional club across the board, and that the club considers our heritage and the ideals set out by SEJ and GT to be core elements of our identity and drivers towards future our goals, makes now the best time in our history.

    We have had better moments (some of which will never be bettered) and fantastic times, but right now its the future that looks brightest.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  33. zztop

    zztop Eurovision Winner 2015

    Yes, it was the wrong choice, definitely. But he who should not be mentioned did almost as well as GT with Wimbledon, who were non league in the mid 70's, I think, and went up to the 1st tier almost as quickly.

    I think some managers, including GT to an extent, do exceptionally well best faced with positive challenges, such as trying to get promotion against the odds. They may not be as technically accomplished as others, but they get the players minds right so they can overcome those challenges. That is the sort of manager I prefer as they continue to amaze and astound. That's how I saw his first stint. It was breathtaking.

    Others may be technically better, but don't have a clue when it comes to man-management.

    I think Gracia is a bit of a compromise between the two, and is probably a better bet for consolidating our position in the Prem.

    Not sure where Silva slotted in.
    hornetgags likes this.
  34. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Yes when it was announced that GT was leaving and ******* was replacing him I remember feeling fairly confident they'd picked the right man. Young, had been incredibly successful, instilled a great team spirit etc. Scratch below the surface though and it was never going to work....
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  35. luke_golden

    luke_golden Space Cadet

    I’d be surprised if Javi lasts much beyond next season, if even that.

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