Erm… so… David Mirfin. This one didn’t quite work out. The centre back arrived in July last year with promise – mainly that the ‘Mighty Mirfin Power Ranger’ pun might be wheeled out at some point – and also because he came with a solid if unspectacular reputation. And thus he was, just not as solid as the other centre backs at the club. Mirfin made 4 starts in total for Watford, with one sub appearance, all in the first half of the season, none of which we won, with a cumulative goals conceded total of 12. We won’t pile all of the blame for that on Mirfin – we must remember that the whole team was fairly woeful last October, when he made all of his league outings. But he didn’t quite look up to it.
When Martin Taylor got injured, it was decided that two senior centre backs was not enough for a team that seemed destined for a relegation battle, and Nyron Nosworthy was acquired on loan. Fans were not expecting much from NyNoz, but it became clear very quickly that he was now the predominant big, strong centre back at the club, and that Mirfin would have to settle for a place on the bench. Which he did, until his loan to his beloved Scunthorpe in February.
Mirfin always seemed like a nice bloke, a good pro, but was a bit too slow for this level, and was often caught a bit out of position. Far from a disaster, but not the best of cover options, he will be looking to reignite his career at his old club, whom he joined today after his contract was mutually terminated, and at 27, he’s got plenty of time to do it.
With the arrival of One Size Fitz Hall, Watford are left with a central defensive corps of: Nosworthy, Taylor, Hall, Bennett and Thompson. Both of the latter are very promising players. Thompson has looked very good in his occasional outings for the first team, and Bennett, though he is perhaps a bit erratic with the ball over the top, has deserved far more first team action than he has had. When the ball is bouncing around in the area, I would rather have Bennett throwing his body in the way than any other player at Watford, his bravery and anticipation is second to none. These two can also cover at full back, of course. Their days of reckoning are coming, however, and sooner or later they are going to have to force their way into the team. In Taylor, Hall and Nosworthy, Watford have an adequate group of starting big men, but could very well be exposed to speed if two of the three are played together. This flaw could be the two youngsters’ way in, but could also be a downfall of Watford this year. But I digress, with those three ahead of Mirfin, he was never going to see any match time this season, so he has left and we wish him well.