Current aim is simple for Watford

First published in Sport by

I sometimes yearn for a simpler age.

I'm sure a lot of other people do too - in particular those like me who are young enough to have become fully immersed in the technological advances that have happened over recent years, while old enough to (just!) remember a time when things were very different.

A fair amount of my time is spent playing Battrick (an internet-based cricket management game with about 7,000 players), Hattrick (an internet-based football management game with about 700,000 players) and the FA Premier League Fantasy Football (where I have somehow managed to be 2,505th out of 2.7 million participants).

Luckily, most of this managerial activity takes place while travelling to and from work or other engagements, rather than infringing on my spare time at home, due to being carried out on my mobile phone. I also use my mobile to help me "connect and share with the people in my life" on Facebook, which, rightly or wrongly, seems to have become the default way of keeping up with most people's news. A number of my friends, though, are not members, and even of those who are, some have said that they would much rather go back to letters, phone calls and meeting up as the ways to sustain a friendship.

And so it was that last Saturday I met my friend Dave in the pub before Watford's game against Reading. A confirmed non-Facebook user, despite occasional invitations from his friends, I was able to find out about his recent family trip to New Zealand for the Christmas and New Year break by the simple, old-fashioned method of sitting down and talking to him over a drink.

During the game, it was hard not to escape the feeling that the Sky TV presenters were also yearning for a simple life, as trying to make their viewers think that this was an game high on quality would have been a very difficult task. There was little to choose between Watford and Reading in a scrappy game, but the manner of our defeat showed that we clearly missed the guile of Michael Kightly and the presence of Jonathan Hogg. We also missed a couple of thousand fans, who probably chose to watch the game on television rather than brave the sub-zero temperatures, and some of the atmosphere that they would have helped create.

Leaving the ground, I overheard a group talking about Twitter comments that had already been made about the game. But in an increasingly complex and instant world, it's simple to step back and see Watford's primary target for the rest of the season - 20 points from the remaining 20 games to stay in the Championship.

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