Aidy Boothroyd – England's Next Football Manager
Seven things you probably do not know about the Premiership's youngest manager, the dynamic but likeable Aidy Boothroyd of Watford.
1. Rejected by lower league clubs Wycombe and Oxford as being too young and inexperienced, Aidy was always given his chance by relegation-threatened Watford in the Championship in April 2005.
2. Saved them from recourse with a late run of victories, then surprised the whole footballing world by claiming that he would take little Watford, from the forgotten backwaters of Hertfordshire, to the Premiership within three years.
3. Always a supreme optimist, and very confident in his own abilities, even Aidy must have been surprised to take the Hornets to the top flight of English soccer in his first full season of management.
Magnificent victories over suggested larger clubs and book favorites such as Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Leeds United (in the play-off final) took Watford to the promised land during an exciting finale to the season. Even the Sky TV cameras were forced to cover these matches for live transmission such was Aidy's staggering progress with his Golden Boys.
4. Aidy wrote on the back of a cigarette paper when finally appointed by Watford, "Championship Manager; Premiership Manager; International Manager" in true Ricky Tomlinson style! To have fulfilled the first two in his first fourteen months of professional management is utterly amazing. Who would now bet against him succeeding in the third!
5. Told after the Hornets 2-1 away win against bitter local rivals Luton that he could walk into any bar in Watford that evening and not have to put his hand in his pocket, he responded with his broad Yorkshire accent and keen sense of humor , "I come from Bradford lad, I do not buy drinks"!
6. Failures as players often succeed as managers. Aidy had to retire from playing at the tender age of 26 with a bad leg injury after an undistinguished career. Now he is optimistic, almost to the point of arrogance. "We were the bookies favorites for relegation last season, and we will be promoting. We will be the bookies favorites for the drop again this season, but we will not be relegated, I guarantee it", he claims. Who would bet against this confident, aggressive young man being the next England manager?
7. He will take Watford to further heights yet, but he is ambitious. Even Watford fans who were slow to be convinced when "Aidy Who" was appointed, now admit he is an icon, a local god. They are convinced he will follow in the footsteps of another Watford great, Graham Taylor, and eventually take over the England hot seat. Taylor could not keep Watford in the Premiership for longer than their one year year to date, back in 1999. Boothroyd will keep the Hornets up, however, for he has guaranteed it! The cigarette pack stated "International Manager", so if England dither, there are always opportunites in the UK or Europe. Steve MacClaren, you have been warned!