In the first of a three-part series, Sports Editor Anthony Matthews selects his top six Watford defenders since the start of the 1996/97 season

My top six Hornets defenders - plus one

My top six Hornets defenders - plus one

First published in Latest Sport
Last updated
by , Group Sports Editor

Come up with a list of my top six Watford defenders since the start of my Hornets-reporting days coincided with Kenny Jackett’s first league game in management at Dean Court (as it was then), Bournemouth, in August 1996. It seemed a simple enough idea at the outset.

Then I decided to throw the question out on Twitter to make sure I hadn’t inadvertently overlooked anyone. Half-a-dozen quickly seemed too limiting but I’ve stuck by my original intention.

The starting point for a list of defenders needs to be players who can, well, defend. But this isn’t about technical ability alone. I wanted players who bring or brought more to the table – character, passion, commitment, longevity where possible and a desire to respond to adversity.

Some or all of these traits, to varying extents, were or are displayed by Gabriele Angella, Clarke Carlisle, Marco Cassetti, Neil Cox, Marcus Gayle, Sean Dyche, Malky Mackay and Adrian Mariappa among others but here are the six I’ve opted for:

This Is Local London:

Jay DeMerit

First on the list due to the alphabet but the selection that caused the most deliberation. But the now Vancouver Whitecaps player got the nod because his story was so appealing a film was made of it. After coming over from America, DeMerit played for Northwood in a pre-season game against the Hornets and was subsequently signed by Ray Lewington. Watford were rewarded with six years service during which the USA international became skipper and, perhaps most memorably, scored the opening goal in the play-off final success at the Millennium Stadium.

This Is Local London:

Lloyd Doyley

The current ‘Mr Watford’ who’s had more managers at Vicarage Road than most players have in their entire careers. The majority have tried to cast him aside but have quickly realised the error of their ways because the popular 31-year-old remains a strong and consistent defender. Doyley is seven appearances short of breaking into Watford’s all-time top five and, if he can remain fit, maintain his form and keep getting new contracts at Vicarage Road, he will be in with a chance of breaking Luther Blissett’s all-time club record.

This Is Local London:

Nigel Gibbs

Legend is a term banded about too frequently but it thoriughly applies to this man. But for injury, ‘Sir’ Nigel would be Watford’s all-time record appearance maker, although he does hold the record for most starts. It should be recalled that Gibbs was released by Graham Taylor at the end of the 1995/96 campaign, but he came back for pre-season, proved his fitness, earned a short-term deal, which was to be extended and missed only one game in the season under Jackett. That was the measure of the man, as was his trademark consistency. The manner in which Gibbs’ career at Vicarage Road was ultimately ended remains a disgrace but that is a distasteful episode I’ve no desire to revisit in the context of this list. Put simply, one of Watford’s all-time greats.

This Is Local London:

Robert Page

It can be argued Watford have had better defenders in the past 18 years but for passion, commitment and leadership qualities ‘Pagey’ has to be included. His Hornets honours read captain of the second division winning team of 1998, captain of the victorious Wembley play-off side 12 months later and Player of the Season in the Premiership the season after that. That’s some three-year CV.

This Is Local London:

Steve Palmer

Before Almen Abdi came along, Watford had another ‘Professor’. Palmer could have made it onto my list of top six midfielders (more of that next week), but he gets the nod as the other half of that superb central-defensive axis alongside Page in Taylor’s second time at the helm. A player who personified the word selfless, you knew exactly what you’d get with Palmer irrespective of what position he was asked to play. A superb reader of the game, Player of the Season for the Division Two title-winning campaign only to be foolishly let go in my opinion when Gianluca Vialli took charge.

This Is Local London:

Paul Robinson

Remember those moments when ‘Robbo’ was about to launch into a challenge, closing your eyes and thinking ‘don’t do it, Paul’? But you knew full well that he would - and normally did. Take that edge away though, and you wouldn’t have had the same player. Totally committed, passionate and the ideal man to have in the trenches when the chips were down. But a player doesn’t make more than 250 appearances for his home-town club – and more than 650 in total – unless he is good at his job. And that is why ‘Robbo’ is still going strong in the second tier of English football at 35. As for his career yellow-card count? It now stands at 157.

This Is Local London:

And one extra...Filippo Galli

Let’s be blunt, Vialli’s season had few redeeming features. But amid the over-paid mediocrity frequently served up, we were fortunate to be treated to a 38-year-old in the twilight of his career who broughthis own brand of Italian defensive style to Vicarage Road long before Cassetti and Angella landed in this corner of south-west Herts. Galli oozed class, natural authority and it didn’t take long to see why he had won five Serie A titles and three European Cups in a glittering career. He knew when to get the ball down and play and when not to but could also scrap when necessary. The former AC Milan defender only made 28 starts for Watford but I, for one, remember him fondly. Filippo Galli was cool.

All pictures: Action Images.

Comments (35)

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3:32pm Sat 24 May 14

VOReason says...

If this list is for predominantly service and commitment I have few arguments

But ability would be way down the list with most.

In fact

My 6:

Mackay
Galli
Angella
Page
Marriapa
Robinson


I'm working to your timeframe, mcClelland was the best in my lifetime, Neil cox deserves a place but I'm struggling to find room and I loved cassetti
If this list is for predominantly service and commitment I have few arguments But ability would be way down the list with most. In fact My 6: Mackay Galli Angella Page Marriapa Robinson I'm working to your timeframe, mcClelland was the best in my lifetime, Neil cox deserves a place but I'm struggling to find room and I loved cassetti VOReason
  • Score: 3

4:47pm Sat 24 May 14

UAFhornet says...

Id go for the following and this includes Mooney as he played left sided CB under Taylor for half a season when we won the league 1 title.

Robinson
Galli
Mooney
Angella
Doyley
Foster
Id go for the following and this includes Mooney as he played left sided CB under Taylor for half a season when we won the league 1 title. Robinson Galli Mooney Angella Doyley Foster UAFhornet
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Sat 24 May 14

harrowboy says...

Interesting that both of the previous two posters have Galli high on their list.
I have been watching the Horns since 1961 and for me he is the classiest player ever to pull on the shirt, and lets not forget he was persuaded to play on by Vialli after initially announcing his retirement. Probably the only good thing to come out of Vialli's reign. Tremendous player who always found time to play the right ball/tackle and probably a better reader of the game than Bobby Moore. We were indeed privileged to see him at in the yellow shirt.
Interesting that both of the previous two posters have Galli high on their list. I have been watching the Horns since 1961 and for me he is the classiest player ever to pull on the shirt, and lets not forget he was persuaded to play on by Vialli after initially announcing his retirement. Probably the only good thing to come out of Vialli's reign. Tremendous player who always found time to play the right ball/tackle and probably a better reader of the game than Bobby Moore. We were indeed privileged to see him at in the yellow shirt. harrowboy
  • Score: 8

5:21pm Sat 24 May 14

grahamwfc says...

As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6
As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6 grahamwfc
  • Score: -4

5:38pm Sat 24 May 14

mellow yellow says...

grahamwfc wrote:
As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6
Seriously??
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6[/p][/quote]Seriously?? mellow yellow
  • Score: 9

5:49pm Sat 24 May 14

grahamwfc says...

mellow yellow wrote:
grahamwfc wrote:
As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6
Seriously??
Absolutely
[quote][p][bold]mellow yellow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6[/p][/quote]Seriously??[/p][/quote]Absolutely grahamwfc
  • Score: -3

6:08pm Sat 24 May 14

Goldenboy1960 says...

VOReason wrote:
If this list is for predominantly service and commitment I have few arguments

But ability would be way down the list with most.

In fact

My 6:

Mackay
Galli
Angella
Page
Marriapa
Robinson


I'm working to your timeframe, mcClelland was the best in my lifetime, Neil cox deserves a place but I'm struggling to find room and I loved cassetti
I agree McClelland was majestic and CLASS and the best we have had.

Out of those listed it is very difficult to pick one. But for me Malky was immense in the Promotion season, not just doing the defensive work, but in the opposition box too. At 35 the way he got up and down the pitch was magnificent and he also led the team when things got tough. A true leader, captain and professional who knew his job inside out.
[quote][p][bold]VOReason[/bold] wrote: If this list is for predominantly service and commitment I have few arguments But ability would be way down the list with most. In fact My 6: Mackay Galli Angella Page Marriapa Robinson I'm working to your timeframe, mcClelland was the best in my lifetime, Neil cox deserves a place but I'm struggling to find room and I loved cassetti[/p][/quote]I agree McClelland was majestic and CLASS and the best we have had. Out of those listed it is very difficult to pick one. But for me Malky was immense in the Promotion season, not just doing the defensive work, but in the opposition box too. At 35 the way he got up and down the pitch was magnificent and he also led the team when things got tough. A true leader, captain and professional who knew his job inside out. Goldenboy1960
  • Score: 5

6:10pm Sat 24 May 14

ralear49 says...

Vince McNeice . Oh, too early?
Vince McNeice . Oh, too early? ralear49
  • Score: 3

6:19pm Sat 24 May 14

hemelhorn87 says...

I'm sorry and I don't want to be "that guy" but people putting Angella in their list after one season, and after an awful season defensively (as a team) is shocking! The guy can play i'll give you that but boy does he lack that something that Jay, Malky, Taylor had which was a bit of solidarity.

Doyley
Demerit
Williamson (yes, he was that good)
Robbo
Malky
Taylor

my first game was in 2002 hence why there's no Page, Palmer etc.
I'm sorry and I don't want to be "that guy" but people putting Angella in their list after one season, and after an awful season defensively (as a team) is shocking! The guy can play i'll give you that but boy does he lack that something that Jay, Malky, Taylor had which was a bit of solidarity. Doyley Demerit Williamson (yes, he was that good) Robbo Malky Taylor my first game was in 2002 hence why there's no Page, Palmer etc. hemelhorn87
  • Score: 1

6:31pm Sat 24 May 14

harrowboy says...

ralear49 wrote:
Vince McNeice . Oh, too early?
If you want to go that far back what about Sammy Chung & Terry Mancini?
However I suspect our (then) boyhood memories have blurred the reality. I suspect most of the guys from the 60/70's would struggle to get in League 2 teams these days, especially when you take into account the fags & beer they consumed!!
[quote][p][bold]ralear49[/bold] wrote: Vince McNeice . Oh, too early?[/p][/quote]If you want to go that far back what about Sammy Chung & Terry Mancini? However I suspect our (then) boyhood memories have blurred the reality. I suspect most of the guys from the 60/70's would struggle to get in League 2 teams these days, especially when you take into account the fags & beer they consumed!! harrowboy
  • Score: 0

6:49pm Sat 24 May 14

mkhornet says...

All those named are excellent players but none get anywhere near the one and only John McClelland, pure class on legs!
All those named are excellent players but none get anywhere near the one and only John McClelland, pure class on legs! mkhornet
  • Score: 12

7:08pm Sat 24 May 14

grahamwfc says...

Mariappa
Williamson
Hoban
Robbo
Galli
Mariappa Williamson Hoban Robbo Galli grahamwfc
  • Score: 1

7:21pm Sat 24 May 14

mellow yellow says...

mkhornet wrote:
All those named are excellent players but none get anywhere near the one and only John McClelland, pure class on legs!
Agreed. None any finer in all my time watching Watford. Imagine he and Galli alongside one another...
[quote][p][bold]mkhornet[/bold] wrote: All those named are excellent players but none get anywhere near the one and only John McClelland, pure class on legs![/p][/quote]Agreed. None any finer in all my time watching Watford. Imagine he and Galli alongside one another... mellow yellow
  • Score: 4

7:24pm Sat 24 May 14

3.45 t-crew says...

'Big Bad' John McClelland for me,had a knack of poking his foot between strikers legs and nicking the ball,class act.the other 5?? Ian Bolton,Galli,Robbo,S
immo and just for not letting anyone get around him much,lloyd Doyley.!! worst ever that swiss cheese Vega.had a knack of falling over when out of position and i swear one time he scored in front of the rookery the whole end gave him the bird.
'Big Bad' John McClelland for me,had a knack of poking his foot between strikers legs and nicking the ball,class act.the other 5?? Ian Bolton,Galli,Robbo,S immo and just for not letting anyone get around him much,lloyd Doyley.!! worst ever that swiss cheese Vega.had a knack of falling over when out of position and i swear one time he scored in front of the rookery the whole end gave him the bird. 3.45 t-crew
  • Score: 2

1:35am Sun 25 May 14

LSC says...

One word: Wilf.
Never seen a more committed player in all my years watching Watford. Perhaps not the most gifted in his touch, perhaps a little headstrong.
But in my years as a season ticket holder, you wanted his name on the team sheet.
One word: Wilf. Never seen a more committed player in all my years watching Watford. Perhaps not the most gifted in his touch, perhaps a little headstrong. But in my years as a season ticket holder, you wanted his name on the team sheet. LSC
  • Score: 6

1:36am Sun 25 May 14

LSC says...

Bah mis-read the dates!
Bah mis-read the dates! LSC
  • Score: 0

6:54am Sun 25 May 14

VOReason says...

In the timescale Anthony Matthews refers to, picking a best 11 is tough, especially right back (unless you love doyley) or up front (so many). Loanees cause all sorts of problems with all last season's crew plus cleverley foster landsbury Mitch etc etc so I'm excluding them:

So it's:

Almunia (yes I know but I'd say better than Chamberlain)
Marriapa (cheating a bit here as he was better at c/h)
Page (c)
Mackay
Robinson
Johnson
Ramage
Young
Smith
King (I know but the best we had in last 20 years)
Helgurson

Leaves out:

Mooney
Graham
Deeney
graham
Rosenthal
Slater
Abdi (would have been in on last year's form but was on loan)
Forestieri
Nielson
Spring
galli

Maybe I'd swap nielson for ramage as king Craig's best days in yellow had passed by 1996


.
In the timescale Anthony Matthews refers to, picking a best 11 is tough, especially right back (unless you love doyley) or up front (so many). Loanees cause all sorts of problems with all last season's crew plus cleverley foster landsbury Mitch etc etc so I'm excluding them: So it's: Almunia (yes I know but I'd say better than Chamberlain) Marriapa (cheating a bit here as he was better at c/h) Page (c) Mackay Robinson Johnson Ramage Young Smith King (I know but the best we had in last 20 years) Helgurson Leaves out: Mooney Graham Deeney graham Rosenthal Slater Abdi (would have been in on last year's form but was on loan) Forestieri Nielson Spring galli Maybe I'd swap nielson for ramage as king Craig's best days in yellow had passed by 1996 . VOReason
  • Score: 0

7:12am Sun 25 May 14

SJM...laugh at luton says...

Lloyd Doyley...no way,great guy,100 percent man,ability 20 percent at most.

Paul Robinson...headless chicken.

Nigel Gibbs...average player in good team for a few season,looked very poor when Watford started to Decline.

Robert Page...average at best.

Neil Cox...great player,would get into today's team.
Lloyd Doyley...no way,great guy,100 percent man,ability 20 percent at most. Paul Robinson...headless chicken. Nigel Gibbs...average player in good team for a few season,looked very poor when Watford started to Decline. Robert Page...average at best. Neil Cox...great player,would get into today's team. SJM...laugh at luton
  • Score: -7

9:23am Sun 25 May 14

Sealegs says...

grahamwfc wrote:
mellow yellow wrote:
grahamwfc wrote:
As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6
Seriously??
Absolutely
For the very reason you give for detesting him Graham, I would not give him any honour whatsoever. The judgement should be based on an all-round assessment, not just his playing abilities and for that reason he is in the top 6 ****s as far as I am concerned.
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mellow yellow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: As much as I detest him for refusing to play Mike Williamson has to be in the 6[/p][/quote]Seriously??[/p][/quote]Absolutely[/p][/quote]For the very reason you give for detesting him Graham, I would not give him any honour whatsoever. The judgement should be based on an all-round assessment, not just his playing abilities and for that reason he is in the top 6 ****s as far as I am concerned. Sealegs
  • Score: 2

10:23am Sun 25 May 14

allgood says...

Anthony's list just shows all our best defenders were from a previous era.
McClelland, Sims, Bolton, Rostron, Bardsley etc no wonder we were one of the best sides in the country at that time.
Anthony's list just shows all our best defenders were from a previous era. McClelland, Sims, Bolton, Rostron, Bardsley etc no wonder we were one of the best sides in the country at that time. allgood
  • Score: 3

1:47pm Sun 25 May 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

Wot no Vega? lol
Wot no Vega? lol Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 2

1:49pm Sun 25 May 14

Hornets number 12 fan says...

John McClelland one of the very best defenders ever to grace the VIC!
John McClelland one of the very best defenders ever to grace the VIC! Hornets number 12 fan
  • Score: 2

3:15pm Sun 25 May 14

mellow yellow says...

Hornets number 12 fan wrote:
John McClelland one of the very best defenders ever to grace the VIC!
Not one of. THE.
[quote][p][bold]Hornets number 12 fan[/bold] wrote: John McClelland one of the very best defenders ever to grace the VIC![/p][/quote]Not one of. THE. mellow yellow
  • Score: 3

3:58pm Sun 25 May 14

cliff46 says...

harrowboy wrote:
Interesting that both of the previous two posters have Galli high on their list.
I have been watching the Horns since 1961 and for me he is the classiest player ever to pull on the shirt, and lets not forget he was persuaded to play on by Vialli after initially announcing his retirement. Probably the only good thing to come out of Vialli's reign. Tremendous player who always found time to play the right ball/tackle and probably a better reader of the game than Bobby Moore. We were indeed privileged to see him at in the yellow shirt.
I've been going to the Vic since 1957 and I absolutely agree with you harrowboy.
[quote][p][bold]harrowboy[/bold] wrote: Interesting that both of the previous two posters have Galli high on their list. I have been watching the Horns since 1961 and for me he is the classiest player ever to pull on the shirt, and lets not forget he was persuaded to play on by Vialli after initially announcing his retirement. Probably the only good thing to come out of Vialli's reign. Tremendous player who always found time to play the right ball/tackle and probably a better reader of the game than Bobby Moore. We were indeed privileged to see him at in the yellow shirt.[/p][/quote]I've been going to the Vic since 1957 and I absolutely agree with you harrowboy. cliff46
  • Score: 2

6:09pm Sun 25 May 14

Paul Gadd says...

Big John Mac- how we could do with a young version of him now
Dan Shittu- man mountain, goal scoring defender
Lloydinho- the black 'zidane'
Rob Page- hard as nails
Mapps- top player 'pards' tried to buy for a bag of chips
Gibbsy- 110% commitment to the cause

COYH
Big John Mac- how we could do with a young version of him now Dan Shittu- man mountain, goal scoring defender Lloydinho- the black 'zidane' Rob Page- hard as nails Mapps- top player 'pards' tried to buy for a bag of chips Gibbsy- 110% commitment to the cause COYH Paul Gadd
  • Score: 1

8:49am Mon 26 May 14

No Wheels says...

thoriughly?
thoriughly? No Wheels
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Mon 26 May 14

Scullion says...

Alan Garner.... The fonz. Majestic player
Alan Garner.... The fonz. Majestic player Scullion
  • Score: 0

5:16pm Mon 26 May 14

soulfulhornet says...

Within the time frame given by Anthony Matthews, I think I would go for, in no particular order:

Filipo Galli - possibly the classiest player ever to don the golden shirt. It is a shame we only got 28 games from him, but it was a privilege to see him play for us. When in Milan, I saw Baresi and Rijkard for AC, Galli was every bit as good as those legends. Awesome!

Paul Robinson - the hardest player in that timeframe and Watford through and through. Paul became a better alround player under Vialli. It is amazing he is still playing given his 100% effort every game. He is one of GT's type players - you don't worry if we give his all in every match. He just did.

Malky MacKay - not the quickest, but a leader good in the air and his long passing created lots of opportunties for Marlon. The kind of player we need now.

Robert Page - another leader who as a very young captain got 2 promotions, and one of the few players that did themselves justice in the Premier League for us. One of Vialli's biggest errors was to get rid. Him alongside Galli, Robert would have been even better thereafter.

Neil Cox - another fine player, who could play across the back four. His management of the pay cut showed his committment to WFC as did the way he played when transfer listed. Whole hearted and honest.

Adrian Mariappa - the sixth selection more difficult, but Adrian has matured into a fine consistent performer. Not the biggest at central defender but read the game well. Met a Palace fan recently who says he has been outstanding under Pulis - keeps his game simple, does not get flustered - no different from as he was here. All those consecutive games does not happen by chance.

Outside of the 1996 onward time frame the best is John McClelland and Nigel Gibbs not that far behind. Colin Foster , Pat Rice, Ian Bolton (bar Glenn Hoddle and Paul Davis the best longpasser of ball in the early 80's imo) and Steve Sims were pretty useful too.

McClelland turned the 1984/85 defence around with his deceptive pace, timing of his tackling and reading of the game. Nigel - the best man marker I have seen at WFC, Paul Simpson, Gordon Strachan et al never got a sniff if Nigel was put one on one with them. And who trained the same qualities in Lloyd Doyley in the reserves - yep Nigel Gibbs.


I forgot how many great defenders we have had - shame we still concede too regularly though.
Within the time frame given by Anthony Matthews, I think I would go for, in no particular order: Filipo Galli - possibly the classiest player ever to don the golden shirt. It is a shame we only got 28 games from him, but it was a privilege to see him play for us. When in Milan, I saw Baresi and Rijkard for AC, Galli was every bit as good as those legends. Awesome! Paul Robinson - the hardest player in that timeframe and Watford through and through. Paul became a better alround player under Vialli. It is amazing he is still playing given his 100% effort every game. He is one of GT's type players - you don't worry if we give his all in every match. He just did. Malky MacKay - not the quickest, but a leader good in the air and his long passing created lots of opportunties for Marlon. The kind of player we need now. Robert Page - another leader who as a very young captain got 2 promotions, and one of the few players that did themselves justice in the Premier League for us. One of Vialli's biggest errors was to get rid. Him alongside Galli, Robert would have been even better thereafter. Neil Cox - another fine player, who could play across the back four. His management of the pay cut showed his committment to WFC as did the way he played when transfer listed. Whole hearted and honest. Adrian Mariappa - the sixth selection more difficult, but Adrian has matured into a fine consistent performer. Not the biggest at central defender but read the game well. Met a Palace fan recently who says he has been outstanding under Pulis - keeps his game simple, does not get flustered - no different from as he was here. All those consecutive games does not happen by chance. Outside of the 1996 onward time frame the best is John McClelland and Nigel Gibbs not that far behind. Colin Foster , Pat Rice, Ian Bolton (bar Glenn Hoddle and Paul Davis the best longpasser of ball in the early 80's imo) and Steve Sims were pretty useful too. McClelland turned the 1984/85 defence around with his deceptive pace, timing of his tackling and reading of the game. Nigel - the best man marker I have seen at WFC, Paul Simpson, Gordon Strachan et al never got a sniff if Nigel was put one on one with them. And who trained the same qualities in Lloyd Doyley in the reserves - yep Nigel Gibbs. I forgot how many great defenders we have had - shame we still concede too regularly though. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Mon 26 May 14

soulfulhornet says...

SJM...laugh at luton wrote:
Lloyd Doyley...no way,great guy,100 percent man,ability 20 percent at most.

Paul Robinson...headless chicken.

Nigel Gibbs...average player in good team for a few season,looked very poor when Watford started to Decline.

Robert Page...average at best.

Neil Cox...great player,would get into today's team.
Sorry can't agree. Nigel Gibbs was much better than average, though from 1996 he was in the twilight of his career after several career threatening injuries. In the 80's this man's reading of the game, his timing of the tackle and his denial of space to the opposing winger, several of whom were much quicker than him was text book defending. Make the opposing player play to your strengths not his hardly does Nigel justice, but it was true.

And for Taylor to bring him back in an unfamilar wing back role having released him speaks volumes as GT was the most honest and brutal manager as regards letting players go. He learned that from Bob Paisley, yet still he brought Nigel back in a new role. I trust GT'sjudgement over either of ours.
[quote][p][bold]SJM...laugh at luton[/bold] wrote: Lloyd Doyley...no way,great guy,100 percent man,ability 20 percent at most. Paul Robinson...headless chicken. Nigel Gibbs...average player in good team for a few season,looked very poor when Watford started to Decline. Robert Page...average at best. Neil Cox...great player,would get into today's team.[/p][/quote]Sorry can't agree. Nigel Gibbs was much better than average, though from 1996 he was in the twilight of his career after several career threatening injuries. In the 80's this man's reading of the game, his timing of the tackle and his denial of space to the opposing winger, several of whom were much quicker than him was text book defending. Make the opposing player play to your strengths not his hardly does Nigel justice, but it was true. And for Taylor to bring him back in an unfamilar wing back role having released him speaks volumes as GT was the most honest and brutal manager as regards letting players go. He learned that from Bob Paisley, yet still he brought Nigel back in a new role. I trust GT'sjudgement over either of ours. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 0

7:58pm Mon 26 May 14

bornyellow says...

Shame we cant go back further....In recent times I did like Shittu, he was a bit freelance, but in the 80s we had McClerland, Sims, Terry, and a versatile Bardsley who could go on the wing...then there was Ian Bolton....I wonder there value if playing today........its hard to say who was the best as time changes...abit like saying would Tyson beat Ali in Boxing but that 80s team will live in my heart forever....The best Manager is Graham Taylor, the best defender is John McClerland...MID..Le
s Taylor and the best of the best is Luther Blissett...That was my era....Shame the youngsters never had the memories we did......COYH..
Shame we cant go back further....In recent times I did like Shittu, he was a bit freelance, but in the 80s we had McClerland, Sims, Terry, and a versatile Bardsley who could go on the wing...then there was Ian Bolton....I wonder there value if playing today........its hard to say who was the best as time changes...abit like saying would Tyson beat Ali in Boxing but that 80s team will live in my heart forever....The best Manager is Graham Taylor, the best defender is John McClerland...MID..Le s Taylor and the best of the best is Luther Blissett...That was my era....Shame the youngsters never had the memories we did......COYH.. bornyellow
  • Score: 0

9:24am Tue 27 May 14

VOReason says...

bornyellow wrote:
Shame we cant go back further....In recent times I did like Shittu, he was a bit freelance, but in the 80s we had McClerland, Sims, Terry, and a versatile Bardsley who could go on the wing...then there was Ian Bolton....I wonder there value if playing today........its hard to say who was the best as time changes...abit like saying would Tyson beat Ali in Boxing but that 80s team will live in my heart forever....The best Manager is Graham Taylor, the best defender is John McClerland...MID..Le

s Taylor and the best of the best is Luther Blissett...That was my era....Shame the youngsters never had the memories we did......COYH..
We could if the author of this piece was a born and bread watford fan. Sadly he is not.
[quote][p][bold]bornyellow[/bold] wrote: Shame we cant go back further....In recent times I did like Shittu, he was a bit freelance, but in the 80s we had McClerland, Sims, Terry, and a versatile Bardsley who could go on the wing...then there was Ian Bolton....I wonder there value if playing today........its hard to say who was the best as time changes...abit like saying would Tyson beat Ali in Boxing but that 80s team will live in my heart forever....The best Manager is Graham Taylor, the best defender is John McClerland...MID..Le s Taylor and the best of the best is Luther Blissett...That was my era....Shame the youngsters never had the memories we did......COYH..[/p][/quote]We could if the author of this piece was a born and bread watford fan. Sadly he is not. VOReason
  • Score: 0

10:44am Tue 27 May 14

Boosey says...

Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley?
Then hope for set pieces and penalties!
Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley? Then hope for set pieces and penalties! Boosey
  • Score: 0

10:58am Tue 27 May 14

VOReason says...

Boosey wrote:
Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley?
Then hope for set pieces and penalties!
Mcclelland long throw, malky flick on, Sims bullet header ... Job done!
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley? Then hope for set pieces and penalties![/p][/quote]Mcclelland long throw, malky flick on, Sims bullet header ... Job done! VOReason
  • Score: 0

12:43pm Tue 27 May 14

mellow yellow says...

VOReason wrote:
Boosey wrote:
Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley?
Then hope for set pieces and penalties!
Mcclelland long throw, malky flick on, Sims bullet header ... Job done!
McClelland did actually play as a striker for parts of his career, I believe.
[quote][p][bold]VOReason[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Being defensive minded and if possible would Beppe's team read something like, Cox, Marriapa, Robinson, McClelland, Hoban, Rostron, Demerit, Malkay, Sims, Bolton and Bardsley? Then hope for set pieces and penalties![/p][/quote]Mcclelland long throw, malky flick on, Sims bullet header ... Job done![/p][/quote]McClelland did actually play as a striker for parts of his career, I believe. mellow yellow
  • Score: 1

4:57pm Mon 9 Jun 14

holtonian says...

I hope you are joking about Galli.
I hope you are joking about Galli. holtonian
  • Score: 0

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