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No closing the Watford gap

Chris Kamara - Chris Kamara Posted 25th October 2007 view comments

Watford are the runaway leaders in the Championship and some may think I'm being a bit premature, as it's only the end of October, but I would say the title race is all over bar the shouting. Everybody else is playing for second spot now.

I'm not usually one for predictions, especially so early in the season, but the way they have been playing just leads me to believe that they can't be stopped.

They had a tough time of it last season but they have continued to knuckle down and that is their strength: they have a great work ethic.

Henderson: firing Watford back to the big time

Henderson: firing Watford back to the big time

Aidy Boothroyd chose not to gamble and bring in lots of players last January and although they were relegated he has now been able to strengthen the team. Even though they sold Ashley Young, £9.6million was an offer they couldn't refuse from Aston Villa.

They also sold Hameur Bouazza and that was also too good an offer to turn down and let's be honest he wasn't pulling up that many trees for Watford, so Aidy would have felt that he could've replaced him.

The supporters were great last season, they didn't get upset and there was no discontent. They weren't saying 'oh we want to get rid of Aidy Boothroyd - he's taken us as far as he can' - there was none of that nonsense.

Chris Kamara
Quotes of the week

Live Championship action
Charlton v QPR
12.15pm, Saturday, Sky Sports 1
Burnley v Southampton
5.15pm, Saturday, Sky Sports 1
Crystal Palace v Watford
7.30pm, Monday, Sky Sports 1

The Hornets have a tremendous team spirit which Aidy has worked on. If you change that and bring in a player on double or triple the wages of other players in a desperate bid to stay in the top flight, then you can lose that togetherness in a squad.

Rebuilding

Aidy probably doesn't like to hear this but I think he realised that last season he was going to build for this season. He realised the team wasn't strong enough to stay in the Premier League.

He gave it a go and had a lot of hard luck along the way because they were in with a shout of getting results in virtually every game they played but ended up losing more matches than they should have.

And he has now rebuilt for this season and they are well placed now. All credit to Boothroyd.

He's taken to management like a duck to water - he was a surprise choice in the first place but you have to give the Watford chairman, Graham Simpson, and the board credit for giving him that opportunity.

Aidy is a thoughtful manager, he is very thorough, determined and professional. And his man-management is sensational: no player has said a bad word about him and that shows how good he is.

Team spirit

The thing I admire about his team is that they are exactly that - a team. Every player is part of a unit. They have certain individuals who will gain plaudits - Marlon King of course and Darius Henderson who was named Player of the Month for September.

But none of them are any bigger than the team and that will stand them in good stead.

Henderson has responded in the best way possible from a disappointing season in the Premier League last year - by scoring goals.

A couple of clubs came in for him but Watford didn't want to sell. He could have thrown his dummy out of the pram, but he didn't, he decided to sign his contract even though he was on the bench.

But he got his place back, started scoring and hasn't stopped. The partnership with Marlon King looks great and Nathan Ellington is there as back-up so everything is going according to plan.

The one blip was the Leicester game where they lost 4-1 - I guess Aidy will allow his players that one.

Financially they have sorted everything out and now they are in a healthy position. And you have to give credit where credit is due to everyone at Watford Football Club - from the top to the bottom.

The supporters as well - they were great last season, they didn't get upset and there was no discontent. They weren't saying 'oh we want to get rid of Aidy Boothroyd - he's taken us as far as he can'. There was none of that nonsense.

I think it will take a major disaster now for Watford to slip up between now and the end of the season. I don't see that happening.

Do you agree with Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him your questions here

Kammy answers your questions...

Dear Kammy, I'm a Bolton fan and I'm a little bit worried about all this speculation linking us with Gary Megson. He did a great job at West Brom but what has he done since? How comes all of a sudden he's an amazing manager? I heard he is even now known as the ginger Mourinho! Chris I would like to know your thoughts. Jamie, Bolton.

KAMMY REPLIES: Gary was my assistant at Bradford and I knew what I would be getting when I asked him to join me at Valley Parade. I knew he was a top bloke and he then proved to be a great coach. I think he is probably as surprised as anybody else about the attention he has been getting in the last week. He found it hard getting back into the game after leaving Nottingham Forest at the start of 2006. He was linked with a lot of jobs but nothing was happening until Leicester came calling. He took that job without a contract to try and get back in and show Milan Mandaric that he could be successful. But nothing in football surprises me. But he has been at Leicester for only nine games and suddenly he is linked with a Premier League club. And jobs in the Premier League are hard to come by. There are people who have worked their socks off in the football league for years and years and been successful yet their only route to the Premier League is if they get a club promoted. So this would be the exception to the rule. But that's football. Gary knows his stuff, he is a good coach and it looks as though Bolton realise that and want to give him an opportunity.

Hi Chris, What about Plymouth eh? An amazing job Olly is doing for the Pilgrims - up to fourth in the Championship now! Are we over-excelling ourselves or do you think Olly can keep us going up, up and up to the Premier League? Simon, Devon.

KAMMY REPLIES: You don't over-achieve in the football league any more. The players take you to where you want to be and you end up where you are because of what you've got. So Olly is by no means over achieving. The trick is to enjoy the success while you can. It's a long hard season and a place like Home Park is difficult to go to and get a result. So that stands them in good stead with the start that they've had just to keep pushing. He is a top manager and long may that continue. He can bring success to Plymouth because what a catchment area they have there if they get to the Premier League. They wouldn't be out of their depth and there would be a full house every week. Plymouth are one club who you can't say don't deserve to be up there.

Hi Kammy, I am an ardent Colchester United fan, and after the loss of Cureton and Iwelumo I didn't have much hope for this season. However, given the form shown by Yeates, Platt, Lisbie, and Sheringham I am expecting another mid-table finish. That would be two in a row, and would give us the kind of belief that we can push for a play-off place. Do you ever see little Colchester gracing the Premier League? Pete, Clacton.

KAMMY REPLIES: They lost the top scoring partnership in the Championship in Cureton and Iwelumo as you mentioned Pete, which was a real massive blow. But George (Geraint Williams) has just got on with it and seems to have brought in some decent replacements. Sheringham was a fantastic signing - many clubs steered clear of him because he has obviously got big ambitions to stay in the game for a long time when he finally stops playing. But George isn't worried about that; he's more concerned with the club being successful while he's the manager. And Micky Adams is doing a good job alongside George. He knows he is a number one and he will be again in the future but in the meantime he will no doubt continue to do well at Colchester and for George to get him as his number two when Mick Harford left was a great move. George is a quiet and thoughtful manager and Micky shoots from the hip so they compliment each other nicely. I'm pleased for George and realistically anything above mid-table would be fantastic - that's their aim and despite losing in the derby match to Ipswich on Tuesday, they're on course for that.

Email Chris Kamara here

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