After what can only be described as Troy Deeney’s worst season since the start of his Watford career, questions have been raised over the quality of his contributions on the pitch and a possible decline in his passion for the football club. The intensity of the Premier League, and the manner in which that has put a dampener on his performances, seem to have left Troy in a rut that he constantly fails to escape from. Perhaps now, after eight years of incredible service, we have finally reached the demise of the Deeney era — and here’s why.
All Talk, No Walk:
As far as Deeney’s concerned, this season has been eventful to say the very least. He has stirred fanbases with his comments off the field, most notably questioning Arsenal’s bottle with his famous ‘cojones’ remark. The man from the Midlands has clearly acquired a habit of boosting his own ego off the pitch — ironic, given that he is in fact a humble man — but fails to deliver when match day rolls around.
Deeney was crucial to the successes of our inaugural season in this Premier League stint, forming an enterprising partnership with Odion Ighalo as the pair carried Watford to 13th in the table by the end of the campaign. He also played a vital part in keeping us up last year, scoring 10 goals in a team deprived by their manager’s tactics of any form of attacking prowess. In 2017/18, though, the stats aren’t so kind to Deeney. He’s only scored 5 goals to date, 3 of those coming from the penalty spot. His shots tally is currently considerably lower than in the previous two seasons. Watching Deeney every week, I’ve recognised that he is winning far less aerial duels than he used to, and this is reinforced with just a 41% rate of aerial duels won. If he’s not scoring enough, you’d still expect him to contribute to goals directly or indirectly. Given his physique, Troy’s best means of doing so would be to win headers and hold the ball up, yet he’s not pulling it off.
It remains to be debated whether or not Deeney is good enough to start every week in the Premier League. After all, he still boasts a record of one goal every three games — if he could maintain that for a whole season we’d be in a far better place.
Not so Captain Fantastic:
In addition to his words between matches, Troy has begun to show signs of irresponsibility during games. The best example of this is his discipline; he’s let the team down by picking unnecessary fights with opposition players, and his actions on the pitch have amassed a tally of 10 games in which the club captain has been unavailable due to suspension.
Deeney can be friendly with the opposition, too. He’s chatted heartily to his opponents on numerous occasions when Watford have been behind, in need of a leader to lift them back into the game. All this makes you wonder if Troy still holds as strong a passion for the football club as he used to.
A Lost Connection with the Supporters:
“Most fans see a different game to the players, and I am not being rude when I say that. Most fans will sit there and say ‘he should be doing this or that’, but they can’t do it and that is why they’re fans”
Those are another controversial set of words uttered from Deeney’s mouth, surreptitiously implying that football fans can’t have a valid opinion on the game because they were never good enough to make it professionally: a dreadful generalisation of one of the biggest communities on the planet. It cannot be confirmed if this was directed at Watford fans or football supporters in general, however, it’s hard to imagine what went through his head when he decided that would be a good thing to say.
It is rather surprising that a Premier League player producing subpar performances every week has the bottle to shift the blame onto his most loyal fans. Understandably, Deeney’s comments were taken sourly by the Watford faithful, whose relationship with their club captain seems to worsen as each game passes by. A large number of fans are beginning to lose patience with Troy’s lack of impact on the pitch, while others believe his untouchable position within the hierarchy is comparable to that of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, holding back the progression of the football club.
Could this be his last season at Vicarage Road?
In short, yes, it very well could be. Things aren’t quite working out for Deeney at the moment and, though the club are still competing at lofty heights, he is hardly to thank for that and is enduring his darkest spell in a Watford shirt. Nevertheless, there are plenty of teams that would be happy to have him in their ranks. His current price tag is excessive for a player of his ability due to the club’s fidelity towards him, however, if Deeney wished to move on, things would be changed entirely in that regard.
A move to the midlands seems likely — it is where he grew up and he still lives there today despite playing for Watford. Troy’s boyhood club was Birmingham City, although given their current predicament he may consider that to be a step too far down in the footballing pyramid. Aston Villa are another option in the area, but a move to West Brom would be perfect for Deeney. They will be competing in the Championship next season and he would be a huge asset in their mission to bounce straight back to the top flight. He may not be good enough for the Premier League itself, but he would certainly be capable of firing a team to promotion from the second tier. Plus, Deeney would work well in their system and, being from Birmingham, would be able to relate to the club and its fans which could help him on a psychological level.
The fact that this could be Troy Deeney’s last season at Watford should be embraced. He needs to be supported more than he ever has been, remembering what he has achieved while in Hertfordshire, in the hope that he ends his Hornets career on a high. And if this isn’t the end, I’m sure many Watford fans will be pleased on a sentimental level.
Whatever the future holds, nothing will change his status as a legend of Watford Football Club.
What do you make of these thoughts Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!