Football: Wolves flaunt Taylor legacy

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Watford 0

THE WATFORD manager, Graham Taylor, achieved some sort of revenge over his old club but grinding out this goalless draw in the Black Country, which the snow at the start of the second half turned into distinctly bleak country instead, was cold comfort for most .

However, as his side had lost 2-0 to Wolves at Vicarage Road in August, Taylor was not slow to point up how his Hornets had improved in the intervening months. Charitably, Taylor did not start highlighting where Wolves have gone wrong since that game, as they have slipped to 11th in the First Division, while Watford are on the fringes of the play-offs in seventh.

Taylor managed Wolves for a largely unhappy 18 months from March 1994, as he carried over to Molineux the stigma of failing to take England to the World Cup that summer. And although he failed to get Wolves promoted, his legacy, unknown at the time of his departure, was to get Robbie Keane to sign his first contract at the age of 14. Keane, a Republic of Ireland international but no relation of his compatriot and Manchester United namesake Roy, was the focal point of virtually every meaningful move by his side. With 14 goals to his name this season, despite nearly two months out injured, Wolves' hopes of reaching the play-offs lie with him.

Taylor was extremely modest afterwards about his part in signing and nurturing Keane, admitting only that he, on the advice of others, ensured the prodigy joined the club. But despite the praise being lavished on Keane, there is no evidence it is distracting him from his work, as he dropped deep to pick up the ball and time after time ran out to the flanks to chase passes hit over the top of Watford's solid defence.

Keane's selflessness nearly paid off just before the break when his cross found Carl Robinson but the unmarked midfielder volleyed over the crossbar. Then, seven minutes into the second half, Keane hit a low shot from 20 yards that was pushed around the post.

Although Watford do not possess a striker of Keane's quality, they nearly returned south with the reverse of that August scoreline, as Watford forced Wolves' goalkeeper Mike Stowell into two smart saves. The first, after 10 minutes, when Peter Kennedy hit a curling shot to Stowell's near post and then with 67 minutes gone, Nick Wright's cross was deflected and goalbound but the keeper palmed it away to safety.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: (4-4-2): Stowell; Atkins, Muscat, Richards, Curle; Gilkes, Robinson, Osborn, Gomez (Corica, 70); Keane, Flo. Substitutes not used: Simpson, Connolly.

Watford (4-4-2): Chamberlain; Bazeley, Page, Palmer, Iroha; Kennedy, Hyde, Easton, Wright (Daley, 87); Smart (Mooney, 82), Gifton-Williams. Substitute not used: Bonnot.

Referee: Brian Coddington (Sheffield) Bookings: Wolves: Muscat, Robinson; Watford: Smart.

Man of the match: Keane.

Attendance: 23,408.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Recruitment and Sales People wanted f...

Recruitment Genius: Multi Skilled Engineer - Electrical / Mechanical / Maintenance

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A multi-skilled engineer with a...

Recruitment Genius: Electronic Service Engineer - Television & HI-FI

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Engineers for field & bench ser...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Designer - Award Winning Agency

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...

Day In a Page

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada