Cardiff 1 - 2 Watford. Comment

Last updated : 03 November 2022 By Paul Evans

If you asked supporters of all twenty four Championship sides to name the club they disliked the most in the division, I reckon that City would be at, or close to, the top when the votes were counted.


I say that because I believe there would be a lot of anti Welsh votes in there and, as we were being told a few years ago that Swansea were many peoples second favourite Premier League side, the large majority of those votes would be cast for us.

After all, I’ll say it myself as a Cardiff fan, most people would find what has been the traditional Swansea style in recent years to be far more attractive to watch than the physical, power based, long ball stuff we’ve played in the last decade or so.

Obviously, I’m not going to vote for my own team in most disliked vote and, for most of my life, the notion that I’d vote for Watford would be too daft for words. After all, I’ve always thought of them as a family club that have been underdogs who have successfully punched above their weight.

In fact, I had a sneaking regard for the Hornets for much of the last fifty years or so, but not any more, not under their current ownership.

The most obvious reason for my dislike of the current regime (that seems an appropriate word to use when talking about the current owner) is their ludicrous hiring and firing of managers, but there are other things which put me off them as well.

Another reason why City may pick up so many votes in that most disliked club poll is that they may think there was something dodgy going with Vincent Tan owned Belgian club Kortrijk when it came to the signing of Kenneth Zohore back in 2016. However, that’s really as nothing compared to Watford.

Apparently, Hassane Kamara who played at left back tonight for Watford at Cardiff City Stadium was originally signed by them for around £3 million from Nice in January of this year, then sold to Udinese (also owned by Watford owner Gino Pozzo) at huge profit seven months later, before being loaned back to Watford again.

I long gave up trying to keep track on the make up of Watford teams because of the continual moving of players between them, Udinese and Pozzo’s other club, Grenada, and thought that if I had been a Watford supporter for as long as I’ve been a City fan, I would probably have given up on them under this owner.

However, after having set out why Watford are among my least favourite clubs these days, I must now say that they were worth their 2-1 win tonight and that I enjoyed a lot of their football. Indeed,   there were even four or five in their team whose names I recognised from their previous visit to Cardiff in early 2021 – that’s something I’ve been unable to say about Watford for some time.

City played better tonight than they have done in many of their matches this season and actually scored early as part of a fast start which caught the visitor’s cold. They also finished the game strongly (although that may have had something to do with Watford sitting back after going ahead), but the middle fifty minutes of the ninety belonged to the visitors as they had too much power and skill for us.

A slick, skiddy surface contributed to the quality of a game which I’d rate as the best at Cardiff City Stadium so far this season, but it had nothing whatsoever to do with the three goals that were scored, all of which were straightforward headers from corners.

Yes, I’ll repeat that, all of the goals were headers from corners. Therefore, we’ve finally managed to get our first headed goal from a flag kick in our eighteenth match of the season – normally we’d have four or five, at least, from that source by now.

There were just nine minutes gone when an unmarked Cedric Kipre nodded in Joe Ralls’ corner from six yards out and, with more than eighty minutes to play, you had to think that this would be the game where we scored more than one at home for the first time this season.

It was not to be though, despite the efforts of Jaden Philogene who was clearly City’s man of the match.

There have been plenty of times when our defenders (in particular centrebacks) have been winners of that award, but they couldn’t be tonight because they conceded two pretty poor set piece goals of their own. The first of these came nearly half an hour after our opener when Francisco Sierrielta headed in Ken Sema’s corner.

In truth, the goal had been coming and the same could be said about the winner when it arrived, slightly fortunately, five minutes after the break when Ismaela Sarr glanced in another Sema corner with his shoulder.

City came closest to equalising when the last of a series of mesmerising runs by Philogene helped to set up Sheyi Ojo, but Watford keeper Daniel Bachmann was off his line quickly to block the substitute’s shot.

In the end though, Watford held on for a third straight win and, on this form, look capable of continuing their yo-yo existence of recent years by returning to the Premier Division again.

As for City, it would seem that Saturday’s win was sufficient to extend Mark Hudson’s “interim” management for at least another ten days or so.

In fact, with Hudson revealing that Dean Whitehead, formerly of Stoke Sunderland and Middlesbrough among others, is the new coach that has been talked about almost since Steve Morison left, the interim manager’s hold on his job seems stronger despite four defeats in our last five games.

Whitehead the player who have been a great addition to this squad as he was a midfield operator good enough to have played a lot of his football in the Premier League. As a coach his record is more mixed with plenty of jobs in a short period of time, but his last job, at Turkish club Beziktas, suggests he has something to offer us.

Whitehead, who worked as a coach at Huddersfield with Hudson, joins us with the job designation of first team coach, but cynics among the fanbase may well think we’ll see him managing us pretty soon..