The Player You Most Regret Leaving Watford…

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Optimistichornet, Jun 10, 2022.

  1. wfcSinatra

    wfcSinatra Predictor Choker 14/15

    Vydra, thought he was going to tear the Prem a new one. Still don’t see why he had to leave.

    Was gutted when Danny Graham left, loved him but it was understandable at least.

    Marlon King bloody hurt too.
    The Voice of Reason likes this.
  2. Victory Road

    Victory Road Academy Graduate

    John Barnes, as above. Gutting. Daylight f’ing robbery. It’s been more than 30 years, but when you ask the question, there’s the answer. Yes, you can have your favourites (and I’m still angry with/baffled by the Will Hughes debacle fwiw). But this was JOHN BARNES. John Fxxxing Barnes! one of the best players of his generation. Not just one of the best players to play for Watford. But one of the best players that played for Liverpool during an era when they WERE the best. And during an era when they were able to buy the best. FFS, Trevor Francis cost Forest £1m almost 10 years earlier, so let’s get this in perspective. £900k is nothing in transfer money now, but it wasn’t gonna buy you the greatest player, even then. It was only about 5 years before Alan Shearer sold for £15m.

    Liverpool somehow got our prized asset, one of the finest players in the world, John Barnes, for less than a million, and it was the end of an era.

    He was always destined for a big club. But is there another transfer that can leave Watford as bereft as that? We’d been punching above our weight for a little while, but here was the off field moment that firmly put us back in our place. It was seen as a bargain for the big club, even before he took to the field and became an Anfield legend. But for us, there was no real compensation in that fee, and no amount of smart scouting could make up for the giant hole that was left on his exit.

    And to make matters worse, he really liked it at Liverpool. We’re just a footnote in his book. A quirky start to a glittering career. But if the money is good, he’ll come back and lead the rookery to sing Rocket Man for a bit of film that ends up on the cutting room floor.
  3. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    Not sure if the worst ever but to me Abdi leaving signified the end of an era. The first few years under the Pozzos were brilliant. Exciting, exotic players, owners could do no wrong and just a really fun time.

    When Abdi left it was the final departure of that first influx and it all felt a bit more functional and businesslike afterwards. Following football is supposed to be fun and those early years under the Pozzos were just that. There were so many great characters as well as good footballers in that time - Abdi, Cassetti, Forestieri, Munari, Battocchio, Angella to name a few.

    And Abdi was my favourite type of footballer - not quick, not strong but brain working faster than anyone else on the pitch in the Championship and technically superb.
  4. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    It was honestly a really good fee at the time for a player of his experience and divisional status. We did pretty good off Young.
  5. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    It was honestly a privilege to watch him at times. Was brilliant for us.
  6. Heidar

    Heidar Reservist

    Robbo. Should have been a one-club man but for our finances at the time.
  7. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    Yes it was far more than was expected and Aston Villa said at the time they thought they had paid too much, however after a few months they were happy as he turned into a great signing for them!
  8. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    That was all part of Bassett’s idea of having his own players, you could add Wilf Rostron and Kevin Richardson
    To that list and we ended up with Mark Morris, Steve Talboys (RIP) and Tony Agana!
  9. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    WFC4ever you said this re Darren Bazely, however it was his choice to leave a team promoted to the Premier League and remain in the Equivalent of the Championship, only one reason for that, Money! Now a senior coach in New Zealand, after ending his career there, has had a good career
    wfc4ever likes this.
  10. domthehornet

    domthehornet Moderator Staff Member

    Demerit or Eustace.
  11. K9 Hornet

    K9 Hornet Border Collie Dog

    Pollard was a hard working winger that GT bought from York City a few months after I started supporting the club. I used to love watching players like him and Bobby Downes, (and a bit later Nigel Callaghan), playing really wide and taking people on. He was only there for a couple of years and was still in his mid-twenties so I really thought he was going to be a fixture for years. I read somewhere later that GT said he was the one player from that era that didn't fulfil his potential but I thought he was great.

    Like you with Helguson I suppose, transfers in and out seemed to have more significance when you're young and fervently following every bit of club news. Back then, the Watford squad that GT built was easy to like and get emotionally attached to. Nowadays it barely registers when we sign someone as I'll never have heard of them anyway.
    Optimistichornet likes this.
  12. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    His return match against Leicester is probably one of my top ten highlights of being a fan.

    Miss the days when we had players who cared as much as we did.
  13. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Didn't two of those come back on loan during the late 90s?
  14. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Completley unfair too. Hess is one of the most honest and decent characters in football and had given us tireless service. He deserved his chance to ease into management, which was why he chose Gillingham.
  15. wfcmoog

    wfcmoog Tinpot

    Hogg. Was gutted when Villa recalled him only to immediately send him on loan to Huddersfield.
    luke_golden likes this.
  16. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Goes to show what bad advice can do to a players career. I'm confident if he stayed with us after the play off disappointment his career would've ended up differently. His finishing was some of the best I've seen in a Watford shirt and his finishing stats are still great for Burnley (shame he doesn't fit their team at all). Would have him back in a heartbeat.
  17. wfc4ever

    wfc4ever First Team Captain

    Yes - that is that I meant.

    He probably regretted that decision as Wolves stayed stuck in the Championship.

    Think he has worked in Canada too.
    Teide1 likes this.
  18. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    very true in your last paragraph. thankyou for the information on pollard by dad had never really spoken about him, I have heard all about the days of barnes, Jenkins, blissett and Callahan but had never heard of him. I’ll ask him if he remembers him next time.
  19. Optimistichornet

    Optimistichornet Penguin Assassin

    that goal where he celebrated in the net…gives me shivers still!
  20. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    Gary Penrice I think did but not the other two
  21. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    Mo Johnston. Never been more gutted although would like to have seen Forestieri have a go at the Premier League
  22. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    Interestingly the season we stormed the 4th division (GT's 1st season) we were only beaten at home once early on by none other than York City with Brian Pollard playing a starring roll, G.T. obviously saw enough in that performance to buy him later!
    K9 Hornet likes this.
  23. MarlonsCellMate

    MarlonsCellMate Reservist

    Sordell a notable mention. I felt he was our only goal threat at the time.
    I think we were away at Millwall the night he was sold and thought we were doomed without him.
    hornmeister likes this.
  24. wfcSinatra

    wfcSinatra Predictor Choker 14/15

    Just a horrible agent, pushed for a move to West Brom too soon, then we kicked him out. Then someone recommends BURNLEY for him to end up of all places. Horrible mismanagement of his career, he has to take some of the blame as his own man but his advisors are truly terrible.

    Agreed with you on the finishing, he had a wobble the Zola season but he had a quick release and trigger which was beautiful. Not many strikers I’d put above him when it came to that assured feeling that the net was going to bulge when he was one on one with a keeper.
  25. Dorset-Orn

    Dorset-Orn Academy Graduate

    Slightly off subject, but does anyone recall a goal scored about 25 years ago at Twerton Park vs Bristol rovers (possibly Penrice).?
    They played the ball around the back, knocked to their keeper and before he could clear it our player made up ten yards stuck a diving leg out and blocked the ball back into the net...
    Unbelievable goal.
  26. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    Yes but a young player by the name of Deeney scored along with Garner (never hear much mention of him) that night to earn 2-0 win, Sordell never recovered from being sent to Bolton which is well documented!
  27. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    Yes. I was there and the player who scored was Lee Nogan.
    Dorset-Orn likes this.
  28. WillisWasTheWorst

    WillisWasTheWorst Its making less grammar mistake's thats important

    The difficulty with this question is that Watford will always sell valued players to make ends meet, so a top player leaving is never going to be a surprise and therefore not so much of a disappointment. It’s when you feel players might have stayed a bit longer that it’s more of a blow, so I’m surprised no-one else has mentioned Danny Graham. At the time we had little else in the team and he guaranteed a good number of goals.
    wfcSinatra likes this.
  29. K9 Hornet

    K9 Hornet Border Collie Dog

    Yes - I even think the great man mentioned that himself. Think they beat us 3-1 ...
    Teide1 likes this.
  30. Sort of OK

    Sort of OK Reservist

    This. When one of our strikers goes through on goal you generally get a bit expectant (although maybe not with some!), keep everything crossed, pray etc.... With Vydra you start celebrating. Best finisher we've had since Mo Jo, whose stay was also all too brief.

    Agree with many that have been mentioned so far, strangely less so those that moved to an obvious step up (even with a crap fee) because who wouldn't progress themselves. However the one that left a gap in my heart which has yet to be filled was Almen Abdi, absolute quality and a gent.

    HH very closed behind.
    wfcSinatra and Jersey Hornet72 like this.
  31. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Holton, Currie, Scullion, Eddy, Billy Jennings, Luther (at the time it was gutting & we had no idea he'd be back in a season), Barnes....after that I stopped having 'heroes' as such amongst our squad, so few departures have affected me in quite the same way.
    hornetmaster and hornetfan like this.
  32. lowerrous

    lowerrous First Team

    The question the thread is posing doesn't really work, as "regret" refers to sadness over something which you personally have either done or failed to do and therefore would have rather done differently.

    None of us in the thread would have been able to done anything differently to stop these players leaving Watford, so therefore it's not something you can regret. It would only really make sense if you asked it to the Pozzos, Giaretta, Duxbury, Giraldi etc.

    It should be worded more along the lines of: the player you most wish had never left Watford; or, the player who you felt the most gutted about when they left Watford.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2022
  33. Teide1

    Teide1 Squad Player

    I agree, a waste of time having favourite's as you know before long they could well be picking up larger pay slips elsewhere, and we are left with the players no one else wants, especially in this " treat players as commodities" world we live in!
  34. Since63

    Since63 Reservist

    Probably also affected by getting older with greater responsibilities and the way the Bassett 'season' smashed all the club-supporter connection that had been built up over the previous years.
  35. Klein Lust

    Klein Lust Uber Keine

    Gary Penrice. During one of the few bleak Vicarage Road fixtures I watched, Penrice was class.

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