“Think Watford, think dreary Home Counties town on the railway line to, er, Milton Keynes”
No, no that’s won’t work.
“Think Watford, think George Michael”
No. Let George rest in peace. He was a far greater man than people gave him credit for at the time.
“Think Watford, think Graham Taylor”
No. Let Graham rest in peace; the last bit applies equally well but he’d want us to move forward with balls from the sky.
“Think Watford, think sunshine”
Now you’re talking. If we’re going to put Watford FC back on the football map we need something that people can universally identify with like… hornets. At least the yellow bits in the shirts give us a good starting point.
Watford’s advertising agency have struggled with this brief for some time now, just as the town’s inhabitants have struggled with an influx of sharp-suited men wearing sunglasses in the Hertfordshire winters, not seen since the heady days of the 1980s.
A big difference this time, though, is that rather than having names like Taylor or John at the helm we have had to get used to Flores and now Mazzarri. The advertising agency struggled with this a bit as Flores only really rhymes with Doris and Mazzarri is probably closest to a Ferrari – which most of these clever people wish they owned and no doubt would have done if they’d started their careers thirty years earlier.
Unfortunately, Flores was known by lots of names such as Enrique and Sánchez so, obviously, everyone settled on ‘Quique.’ Many people who love football (and Sam Allardyce) thought that ‘Quique’ was doing a pretty good job at Watford. The 3.0 home win over Liverpool was a particular highlight last season, only downgraded by the shocking revelation this week that ‘can’t defend; won’t defend and it’s my ball and we’re going in for our tea’ school of defending has been enshrined in a new plaque in the players’ tunnel at Anfield: ‘This is Anfield, so no need to worry.’
Unfortunately, ‘Quique’ also forgot that the club was owned by Italians – The Pozzo Family – who decided that the Spanish Conquest was part of history, sacked ‘Quique’ and sold their stake in Granada to a Chinese businessman – isn’t that what everyone does these days?
In place of ‘Quique’ they brought in one of their own. No, not Harry Kane (though his proficiency at free-kicks and corners could mean there is more to him than meets the eye) but Walter.
“Walter is a good old-fashioned English kind of name. Think Raleigh, think Winterbottom…”
Um, he’s Italian. This is a real problem for us. He kicked off at Sampdoria and nearly won quite a lot at Napoli. We must be really careful here; take off those rose-tinted spectacles and think! Southern Italy: cue violins, lemons, Marlon Brando…
Even the Watford CEO, Scott Duxbury, said: ‘Walter has been the target of a number of approaches for his services, so we’re delighted to secure him as Head Coach here at Watford.’ So, the Pozzos obviously made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“Surely Troy Deeney doesn’t take any notice of that kind of thing – he’s more of a tea with two sugars kind of striker than freshly-pressed tomato juice?”
Have you seen him play lately? If ever a striker needed caffeine… Nobody is safe. Mazzarri is now looking for ‘individuals’ and, it’s even worse than that, he likes the colour blue… and was successful with a 3-4-3 formation at Napoli. Remind you of anyone?
“Yes, but the players coming in aren’t Italian. M’Baye Niang’s from France and Zárate’s from Argentina.”
And what colour appears in the national team shirts of Italy, France, and Argentina? Blue is the colour, I tell you, and Watford is the name.
“That doesn’t work, though – any more than it did against Stoke in 1972? Italy/Blue/3-4-3 – football fans will never associate this with Watford; I mean, it’s not quite London is it?”
Do you know what the worst bit is?
“Zola isn’t coming back is he?”
No, he’s got new blues of his own. There is a strong rumour around (well, I saw something on Instagram) that Watford are about to change their nickname to ‘The Bluebottles.’
“Don’t they feed on dead animals?”
Indeed. Where is the future strapline in that?