Watford piled even more pressure on Gordon Strachan with a comfortable 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough at Vicarage Road on Saturday which was Watford’s first home win of the season.
Watford started the game in high confidence after a 6-1 away win at Millwall – a quality clearly lacking in David Wheater whose backpass was woefully short allowing ex-Boro trainee Danny Graham to take the ball round the young and inexperienced goalkeeper, Josh Steele, and slot the ball in to an empty net. This goal was scored 17 seconds in to the match. I then checked the early goal stats, and this goal was the fastest goal of the season so far.
Jordon Mutch then got his second goal for Watford after making the loan move from Premier League outfit, Birmingham City. This goal was from a well taken corner from Don Cowie where the ball was headed out and Jordon Mutch hit it sweetly on the half volley giving Josh Steele no chance in the Middlesbrough goal. This goal was absolutely superb.
Danny Graham got his second goal after a lovely, free-flowing move by Watford ended with Don Cowie cutting it back from the by-line for an easy tap in for Danny. This proved too much of a blow for the pre-season promotion favourites to recover from. The game was finished after just 30 minutes. Middlesbrough did get a goal back after an own goal from the much improved Adrian Mariappa. However, this was only a consolation goal as there was about ten minutes to go.
So, were Watford excellent or were Middlesbrough terrible? I feel that Middlesbrough made Watford’s performance look better than it really was due to Middlesbrough being poor. I’m not taking anything way from Watford’s performance and all credit to them for taking advantage of a lacklustre Boro defence.
Middlesbrough have brought in quite a lot of players and most of them are Scottish or are from Scottish clubs. I personally think that there is a gulf in quality between The Championship and the SPL. Though I will admit that Kris Boyd and Scott McDonald are goalscorers and top quality players, but they still haven’t set the league alight.
Middlesbrough didn’t ask a lot of Watford’s defence so I can’t really say that Watford’s defence have improved. I might be able to say if the defence has improved after Tuesday’s game against Swansea City.