Is right now the best time in our history?

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

  1. Meister

    Meister Administrator Staff Member

    Is right now the best time in our history
    Well, I quite enjoyed a week last tuesday.
    The piri piri shop on the corner managed to get the chips crispy without burning them and the wings were not undercooked having just enough spice that I knew I'd eaten something hot by the time I'd finished them. There was no queue either.
    Diamond likes this.
  2. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    I never knew Arsenal were the ‘Bank of England’ club. I always understood it was Sunderland but apparently that was in the 40s. The epithet was also applied to Everton in the early 70s. Ha ha ha ha!
    Happy bunny likes this.
  3. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    One slight correction to the original post: we weren’t hated by all the media in the 80s. It was specifically the press, mostly located in London of course, and at that time many journalists were Spurs fans who had grown up with the ‘61 double team. Watford winning at WHL was beyond the pale for them. TV at the time quite liked us, hence the sort of features we see clips of before home games.
  4. vic-rijrode

    vic-rijrode First Year Pro

    The late 70s and early 80s was peppered with wonderful games (mostly, it has to be said, evening games under the floodlights). Some games that spring to mind are: Man U away, Stoke (no cramp at this club), Southampton (souvenir ball point) and Nottingham Forest (European Champions!) at home in the League Cup, L*t*n in the FA Cup and, of course, Kaiserslautern in the Uefa Cup. They seemed to be so special and you walked away from Vicarage Road feeling that a GT team could beat anyone - Liverpool included. It was all so fresh, vivid and yet even dreamlike coming so soon after the dross of defeats at Aldershot, Rochdale, Torquay, Hartlepool and Cambridge Utd (1-4 and 0-4 in successive seasons!).

    I wonder whether our younger fans have quite the same feeling about beating Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man U., Tottenham that I had after a "Special Night" at Vicarage Road. Distance lends its own perspective, but there was magic back then that seems, on the face of it, to be somewhat missing these days. Or perhaps I am just an sentimental old git.
    Happy bunny, Ray Knight and Teide1 like this.
  5. Sliva is a slot. A lady slot.
  6. ST1968

    ST1968 Academy Graduate

    You may well be a sentimental old git but I found this post resonating with me virtually word by word. Diamond made a persuasive argument but for me following Watford in those days certainly was 'magic' on many many occasions, just like the Leicester playoff game in the modern era Oh for another night in the pond....
  7. Guy

    Guy Squad Player

    It's great that the good times have returned but for me the ability to beat the really big clubs made the 80's the best for me. Beating Arsenal home and away year after year and beating Spurs 5.1away and Man U at home 3 days later takes a lot of beating.
    Supertommymooney and Happy bunny like this.
  8. No it’s not the best time. Before global warming was invented we used to be able to drive to footie in v8 cars. Back then cigarettes were good for you and everyone used to smoke a pack of 20 every match. That was back before AIDS was invented as well but then that’s another story....
  9. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Reservist

    I can only echo these sentiments. The L*t*n 4-3 game in the Cup is still the most exciting I’ve been to.
  10. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    One thing we can all agree on - it's never boring lol!!!
  11. Moosegasm

    Moosegasm Academy Graduate

    For me john barnes leaving was the biggest factor. impossible to b relegated with him in the team.
  12. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Honourable mention to Furphy.

    Promotion, then the Cup run.

    A GT prequel.

    Personally, the Pozzo surge has worked beautifully for my sons. They had 4 ‘hanging on in quiet desperation’ seasons pre Pozzo so they earnt their membership & fully appreciate what’s happening now.

    Great bond to have with them.

    If we’re still in the Prem in 4 years, with young talent coming through & attracting seasoned CL pros, then the Pozzo decade will be remembered by Hornets forever.

    Finally, have we overlooked the Edwardian period?

    That reggae boy kit was far & away our best.
    Lionel Fessi and Moosegasm like this.
  13. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Also, the quality of the goals this season has surely been the highest ever.

    The GT system was hugely effective & JB & Cally did dazzle but the technical proficiency this year has been breathtaking.

    We never put together 36 passes in a game under Keen.
  14. Moosegasm

    Moosegasm Academy Graduate

    In terms of what has already happened the EJ GT era was much better. Those lower league cup victories against man u (home and away) 4-1 forest and 7-1 southampton coming back from 5-0 down on aggregate. Kaiserslautern home & Levski Spartak Sofia away, 84 cup run (coming back from 2-0 down away to luton in the 3rd round) 2nd in the league. Barnes, Johnstone, McClelland, Luther and possibly Coton were all better than any Pozzo era players. However, dont forget our meteoric rise was bankrolled by a rock star to the tune of £1.5m. A fortune in those days and we were able to buy several players who proved to be too good for the lower leagues. It was a fairy tale backed by Elton's fortune. Maybe comparable to Bournemouth now. Also despite Elton's money, GT, luther et al, the main reason we got into the top flight, cup final and Europe was John Barnes. He is one of the most gifted players ever to play in England and was instrumental to our success.
    The difference between then and now is the future. It was impossible to replace Barnes and Bassett, haunted by the ghost of GT, was doomed to failure. This time round we aren't dependent on one player or one manager. Instead we are dependent on Gino. As long as he stays we should prosper. The medium term future is much better under Gino than it was under EJ & GT. We may not be hitting the same heights as the 80s right now but incrementally we are building a longer, more sustainable future. If 2 out of Lukebakio, Peñaranda, Cucho, Pedro & the baby Serb come good then maybe it'll be like the 80s all over again. Either way those of us who have seen both eras are just so incredibly lucky to experience two golden periods in our lifetimes. We really are so remarkably fortunate to have lived this dream twice over. I doubt itd last long if Gino walked away so its very much a case of enjoy it while it lasts and hope it goes on for as long as possible.
  15. V Crabro

    V Crabro Reservist

    Just to add a sense of perspective we didn't win every game in those halcyon days. I remember coaxing my old Viva up the A1 to see us get a 5-0 thrashing at Roker Park in April '80. Kenny Jackett and Steve Terry made their debuts that day. The following week, in the last game of the season we stuffed Burnley 4-0 at the Vic and Nigel Callaghan made his debut......

    That first season back in the second tier was tough, but with the new talent coming through under the guidance of GT, the next season we were competitive and at the end of the following one WFC was in Division One.
  16. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    There was no such thing as " top six " clubs back then, we were fortunate to beat Arsenal, and Spurs and Man U regularly and even Liverpool in the last game of our debut top flight season to finish runners up. Chelsea and Man City although in the top flight at the time were relegated and playing in the "second division" whilst we enjoyed six seasons in the elite!

    All clubs were capable of beating each other and often did,something which can't really be said today. The biggest change is the media side of the game, in the old days, you had to buy a copy of the Watford Observer if you wanted to find out what was going on, nowadays it's on the internet as soon as it happens, this beefs everything up with who said, did, didn't do what, written about and spoken about just to keep the circus going!

    Players have too much power, and earn to much money relative to everything else. The only reason they are paid so much is because Sky pay so much. It's been going on since the Premier League started !

    As has been mentioned before we haven't reached the heights of the 1984-1989 G.T. Seasons but those of us who have lived through both are very very lucky, it won't last forever, so we must saviour it whilst it does!
    Supertommymooney and Ray Knight like this.
  17. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    Bottom line I was 12 when we played our first game in the top flight and I loved every second until *******...I mean...the one who shall not be named...came in and dropped Coton which is a mortal sin - if I were religious.

    Since the Family, took over, I've loved pretty much all of it (Leeds at home and Palarse at Wembley probably being the low points - as that team was amazing to watch and Zola will always have a place in my heart) and deserved to go up.
    folkestone orn likes this.
  18. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    Whilst it’s not quite the same, we stand a fighting chance of finishing in the highest position possible this season, ie 7th.

    The only season we have done that previously was 83. Liverpool in that period were very possibly the best English team ever.
    Ray Knight likes this.
  19. RookeryDad

    RookeryDad Squad Player

    I suppose Elton was a brilliant, glamorous, buccaneering enthusiast.

    Whereas Gino is a hard, businesslike pragmatist who runs football clubs for a living.

    Elton was pretty much the biggest star in the world & came from 3 miles down the road.

    Gino is reclusive & could have bought Charlton instead of us.

    No competition in a beauty parade but there is much more sustainability in Gino’s approach.
    folkestone orn and Ray Knight like this.
  20. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    It's hard to compare the GT era with the modern era. Back then we were a lower league team, but we had one of the biggest music stars in the world as owner. He was bankrolling us and almost certainly would have helped convince some of the players we signed to come on board.

    Everything is so much more competitive now and we're not being bankrolled by an enormous global star. For the most part, the club is standing on its own two feet (co-operated scouting system aside) and operating within its own means. Football is a much more competitive and contested business now - the professionalism of the business aspect game has been honed significantly. It's much more difficult to gain a competitive advantage; practically every club has access to technology, analysis and modeling now that even the top teams didn't have in the past. Diet and conditioning actually factors into things now. Everything is measured and while it's hard to get ahead of rivals on those fronts by innovating, it's incredibly easy to fall behind if you get it wrong. The "skill floor" for entry is incredibly high.

    It's easy to formulate an argument for one period versus another.

    But personally, I'm done deliberating whether or not the GT era or the Pozzo era is more impressive. I just consider myself fortunate to support a club were both have happened. Most clubs have never experienced either scenario (although in a nod to GT and Elton, it should be noted that without them there would not have been any Pozzos).
    Happy bunny likes this.
  21. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

    Is 'Bottom line...' the new 'end of'?
  22. hornetgags

    hornetgags McMuff's lovechild

    Yes...end of.
    RookeryDad likes this.
  23. PhilippineOrn

    PhilippineOrn First Team

    Having slept on this I still feel GT will never be replaced as our Best Ever Manager/Head Coach but I do retract SEJ as our best ever owner.

    All our achievements aside, Watford was SEJ's hobby and he bailed once he got bored. For Gino it's his vocation, his full time job. We peaked in 84 under SEJ and GT, seven years on from 77. We are seven years into the Pozzo tenure. Let's see if the seven year itch repeats itself.

    (I'm not rewriting history, I know GT and SEJ both came back, twice, to save the club, Watford are in their souls, I probaby doubt Gino would do the same when and if he bails).

    I could add were it not for the groundwork layed during the 70s and 80s Pozzos may never even have considered us.

    We are in a good place right now but the season isn't over yet. We haven't won the cup, let alone get to the final nor have we even finished top half and we aren't in Europe. If Gino is to be believed and is truthful for his being in it for the long term then, with the benefit of hindsight, this very well could be the best time in our history. I know GT and SEJ would want it so too.
  24. I was happy back in the EJ/GT era, it was quite an achievement climbing the leagues like we did and great to live through. However, I am equally happy with our current status.

    One thing I would like to mention is that some people have mentioned the part money plays in the success or otherwise of a team and seem to be suggesting our rise back then had little to do with it. Well it has to be said that EJ's MONEY was a big factor in our rise through the leagues back then, not that I am complaining about it or belittling what we achieved, just pointing out that money did help.
  25. Horn of Bletchley

    Horn of Bletchley Academy Graduate

    Great post
  26. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    I think you're being a little harsh on SEJ. He is a fan, like us, who cares deeply about the club. Gino is a businessman, and we are an investment. We have a mutual interest with Gino as good results and performance on the pitch suits both of us. However the minute a good business deal comes along to sell, he will sell. They are not running the club for the fun of it or a love of WFC, any longer than it suits them financially. Nothing wrong in that and as i say it suits us both, but i doubt they will be listening into radio/tv commentaries from the other side of the world after we are sold. I don't think the SEJ/GT fairytale will ever be bettered but the current situation is better than any of us could have hoped for and we need to enjoy it while it lasts. Entirely possible that Gracia is sacked 15 games into next season and we are relegated ! It's very tough to complete with the Leicester's, WHU's, Wolves, evertons of this world when they sign players every window that we can only dream of signing. The management skill required to level that playing field is immense and tough to repeat year after year. We need to enjoy this season even if we end up somewhere between 9th-12th !
    Moosegasm likes this.
  27. Burnsy

    Burnsy Squad Player

  28. Ágætis Byrjun

    Ágætis Byrjun First Year Pro

  29. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Yesterday was the best day in our history. Hope you all enjoyed it
  30. tonycotonstache

    tonycotonstache Reservist

    For stability. Now.

    For over achieving and excelling. 80s
    Happy bunny likes this.
  31. GoingDown

    GoingDown Pizza & Figs

    Indeed. To be sharing a pitch with the likes of Liverpool twice a season is the stuff dreams are made of.
  32. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    Perhaps next season they will allow us to share a bit more than the 10% of the pitch they have allowed us this occasion.
    Happy bunny likes this.
  33. Moosegasm

    Moosegasm Academy Graduate

    I ain't sharing my bitch with the likes of Liverpool mate, no way!!
  34. vic-rijrode

    vic-rijrode First Year Pro

    We did that in 1969-70 and won one.

    Look it up!
  35. Stevohorn

    Stevohorn Watching Grass Grow

    Pinner to Watford? I make it 4 miles :)

    On the subject of Elton bankrolling us. It's no doubt true that without his money we would not have seen the rapid rise that we did. But it wasn't like he just threw money at the club.
    Famously Elton asked GT on their initial meeting what he thought it would cost "to get to Europe" GT apparently answered "“Well, I don’t think you’ll get much change out of a million pounds” Elton put his hand out and said let's give it a go.
    In the event we spent 750 grand on players to go from the 4th to the 1st. During our rise up the divisions the first £1 million pound transfer fee was paid and the £1.5 million barrier was reached a short time after. So some clubs were spending double what it cost us to get to the top flight on a single player.
    Elton also forked out for much needed ground improvements during this time.. Not exactly sure what that would have cost but was probably near to what we spent on players.
    To be fair Elton wrote off this money.. declining the offer of the club paying back his loans. If i remember correctly the total he wrote off was near to £1.5 million. Not an insubstantial amount back then but also the cost of one Bryan Robson or a Steve Daley.
    Knight GT and RookeryDad like this.

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