Saturday, 4 December 2010

Conclusions from Vicarage Road

Watford3-2Leicester
(HT 2-0)
Eustace 15
Buckley 23
Graham 85
Gallagher (pen) 51, 69





  • Watford's tactics with the pitch paid-off (for them). There were questions before the match about the grass on the Vicarage Road pitch being left to grow long and it seemed, certainly in the first half, it was a tactic that worked well for the Hornets. The Foxes quick, fluid play was stifled as they were bogged-down and slipped over time and time again on the worst pitch so far visited this season, allowing Watford to capitalise early in the game. What it created in the first half was a scruffy stop-start affair not conducive to good attacking football.
  • This was definitely Sven's darkest hour. This first 45 minutes was certainly the worst performance from Sven Goran Eriksson's Leicester City side since he took over. Certainly, his team were not aided by conditions at Vicarage Road (see above), but they nonetheless put-in a poor performance today. A very frustrating afternoon for the 2,000-strong travelling Foxes fans, even with a ballsy fightback in the second half that just fell short.
  • Slow starting cost us... again. Too many times this season, Leicester have lost games in the first half after starting the game poorly. Today once more we were slow to respond to Watford's attacks.



Winners
Kyle Naughton
Naughton again proved a canny loan signing as he was able to attack the Watford wing in the second half and got the Foxes back in the game after his cunning ball into the hand of Andrew Taylor resulted in a penalty which Paul Gallagher duly converted. Another solid performance.


Paul Gallagher
Anonymous for most of the first half, Gallagher stepped-up to take the penalty and proved his selection valid when he fired home to give the Foxes a lifeline. That he followed that up with a fantastic free-kick to level the score is remarkable and he should be commended for his perseverance. His second half reliability should stand him in good stead.

The Fans of Leicester City
For a sixth of the crowd at a mid-season Championship clash in appalling weather to be from the away side is a great statistic for their club. That this game was not a local derby but a two-hour trek from home for most fans makes that astonishing. The commitment of the Leicester City supporters this term rightly deserves credit.

Watford F.C.
Used conditions to their advantage to nullify any possibility of the visitors taking points home, attacked well and defended equally admirably. A good performance from the Hornets.



Losers
Chris Weale
A farcical slide-over from the Bristolian after twenty minutes gifted McGinn an open target which he could not fail to hit. Whilst his decision to come out, attack the ball and lead his defensive line was the correct one, he did not deal with the threat and paid the price. A poor error from a keeper whose position will surely come under more pressure if and when Kirkland regains fitness.

Jack Hobbs
It was Hobbs' failure to deal with McGinn's attack that put Weale in the unenviable position that led to Watford's second. Hobbs' performance today was typical of the majority of those in blue shirts as Watford steamed through the heart of the Foxes defence time after time. If Vitor is to be fit for a sustained period of time, Hobbs will once again be finding himself warming the substitute's bench.

Andy King
A quiet game from the Welshman today that ultimately saw him replaced by Matt Oakley. A return to the side for Oakley could see the 21-year-old stripped of the captain's armband, but in reality it is hard to see where Oakley would fit into the current midfield.


4-3-3
Three across the middle didn't work for the Foxes this afternoon as the midfield became overstretched for much of the early passages of play and allowed Watford to attack straight through the centre of the park. Ultimately, this was Leicester's downfall this afternoon.

Lloyd Doyley
Just for being the only player in the Football League to be named after a posh persons' tableware decoration. 
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