Q&A Special - Watford Fan on Keith Andrews Row

  • January 08, 2015 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/07dab

With Keith Andrews seemingly on the way out at Watford, a Hornets supporter gives us the lowdown on his disappointing spell at Vicarage Road.

Reports on Thursday suggest the Republic of Ireland international's loan deal at Vicarage Road is set to be terminated, with MK Dons taking up the remaining six months of the arrangement until his contract at Bolton expires at the end of the campaign.

In our latest edition of Q&A, we have spoken to Kieran Callanan from our friends over at Vital Watford (@VitalWatford). We asked Kieran about Andrews' on-field performances, the reason behind his omission from the squad, as well as whether he has any chance of forcing his way back into Slavisa Jokanovic's squad.

Q: After a successful loan spell at Brighton & Hove Albion last season, Keith Andrews' arrival at Vicarage Road was met with an air of optimism. How has he performed during his time with the Hornets?

A: To be perfectly honest, he was a very useful addition to the squad. He was kept out of contention for some time through injury, but when he did come in he showed he has more than something about him at this level.

There are a couple of stand out moments when I look back on his time here. First, there was a goal at home to Huddersfield Town that put us 3-2 up shortly after we were reduced to 10 men. It was a great header, and that set us up to a 4-2 victory despite being a man down. Second, there was a beautifully weighted chipped through ball for Matej Vydra to bundle in at home to Millwall. http://youtu.be/X6n9AUdiQoA?t=19s - lovely.

Overall, he's a good option to have in the middle of the park. He's a smart player who keeps it simple at the right moments and has that, shall we say, professional instinct. (By this of course I mean he knows when to stop an opposition attack in its tracks.)

Q: Injury kept Andrews sidelined throughout September and October, but he returned to the side until being ousted by manager Slavisa Jokanovic at the end of November. What went wrong?

A: With other players fit, it looked like Andrews had been dropped for tactical reasons.

He played in our 1-0 away defeat at Ipswich, then started again at home to Derby in the following match. We lost 2-1, with Andrews coming off for Gianni Munari, who had been in and out of the side a little due to injury. Munari looked excellent off the bench, and was at the heart of everything we did right in the final 25 minutes.

Andrews then missed the game at home to Cardiff, which was lost, and appeared on Sky Sports the following week covering our eventual thrashing of Fulham. He mentioned that he didn't know why he wasn't in the match day squad, and also stated that he thought it was also unfair on his teammate Joel Ekstrand to be out of the squad altogether.

Q: Andrews recently revealed he had been placed on gardening leave, several weeks after being banished from the training ground. He spoke of an issue that he wasn't able to comment on - are there any clues from your end of the country as to what's happened?

A: Though it's still unknown what exactly the 'incident' may have been, it's clear that Jokanovic made some choices that made Andrews pretty angry. Namely, loaning in Adlene Guedioura from Crystal Palace and putting him ahead of Andrews in the pecking order.

Jokanovic responded to Andrews' talk on Sky Sports pretty quickly, stating in the local paper that he was 'not here to make friends', and he had very good reasons for leaving both Andrews and Ekstrand out of the squad. We have several loan players at the moment, and only five are permitted in the match day squad. As such, with the homegrown quota having to be fulfilled as well, hence Ekstrand's dropping, Jokanovic said that he had to make sure he struck the right balance.

By the sounds of it Andrews wasn't prepared to be dropped for another loanee, probably because he felt more like a permanent Watford player given he is in his final year of contract with you. He also cited his willingness to help the team rally together with the loss of a few head coaches at the start of the season as a reason why he felt he should be given more of a chance than he has been.

Q: Bolton have made it clear that Andrews won't be recalled in January. If they can't negotiate a loan with another club, what does the future hold - could Andrews work his way back into Jokanovic's plans, or will he simply sit counting his wage for the next six months?

A: I don't know what will happen, but it sounds like Jokanovic believes Andrews has done something unprofessional and unfair, and of course Andrews believes Jokanovic has acted unfairly and unprofessionally. Time will tell, but the local media have made it sound like that's it for Andrews at Watford.

It's an interesting one because he seems like a very straight-talking guy, a player who has a lot of experience and so on, but he's had these little spells out of the game seemingly because of off-field matters. I'd certainly like to know more, but it does just sound like Andrews has decided to give Jokanovic a piece of his mind following being dropped, and Jokanovic has decided that Andrews' reaction was over the top.

We can't judge Andrews' reaction even if this is the case though, because we don't know what he actually did in response to being dropped. We'll have to wait for Keith or Slavisa to write their memoirs for that!

Burnden Aces would like to thank Kieran for taking the time to answer our questions. You can read more of his views by following him on Twitter - @VitalWatford.

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