Watford striker Troy Deeney silences his critics as he shows last season was no fluke

Picture: Dave Peters

Picture: Dave Peters

First published in Latest Sport by

Troy Deeney believes he has silenced his critics. Like he said, scoring 20 goals for a second consecutive season – in a team which has struggled at times – is no fluke.

Only Manchester United and Port Vale scored more goals than Watford during the regular 2012/13 season, as the Hertfordshire side netted 85 – 13 more than any other Championship team.

With strike partner Matej Vydra attracting a lot of the attention, both from the media and the opposition, Deeney was arguably allowed more space last year.

But this time around, Deeney has often ploughed a lone furrow. Fernando Forestieri has excelled in a withdrawn position but Deeney has been the focal point for his team and defences.

And Watford’s expansive and free-flowing football from last season has become more conservative. The Hornets are still the fourth highest scorers in the division but they have netted 12 goals fewer compared to this stage last season.

By his own admission, Deeney has not performed at his best during the whole of the current campaign. Yet he has still managed to score 20 goals in all competitions for a second consecutive season – a feat not achieved since Luther Blissett in 1983.

“It’s a massive step for me because it means people can’t say last season was a fluke,” said Deeney, a player who has yet to provide a dull interview during his four years at the club.

“I scored 20 last season but we were riding high and some people were saying it’s only because I was in a good team. Now, we’ve had an OK season and I’ve still scored 20 so, in my eyes, it’s silenced a lot of people.

“Last year I scored 19 in the league and one in the play-offs. This year I’ve got 19 and one in the FA Cup. I’ll be disappointed if I don’t better last season’s tally now, with eight games to go.

“I’ve got a family who never let me rest, so I’ve got to hit 25 now. The aim was to hit 20 and anything above that is a bonus.”

Deeney is a proud man. But not too proud that he can't acknowledge learning a few tricks from last season’s top scorer Vydra, who netted 22 in all competitions.

The Birmingham City fan’s first goal against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday had a touch of the Vydra about it. Through one-on-one, he remained composed and calmly shot earlier than expected to catch ex-England international Chris Kirkland off guard.

Deeney said: “Some cheeky so-and-sos called it a toe-poke, I’ve given him [Kirkland] the old shimmy.

“For a big guy, I can move my upper body a bit, just maybe not my lower body. I gave him the shoulder and, as he went one way, I just tucked it in, so happy days.

“I’ve been working on one-on-ones and last season we had the best one-on-one finisher that I’ve ever seen in Matej Vydra so I picked up things off him. I’m not too proud to say that.

“We’ve got good goalkeepers here and I ask them ‘what don’t you like?’ and they give you more information. I’m always trying to learn. Thankfully it worked on Saturday.

“To score past a very good goalkeeper, it’s always pleasing.”

The 20th of the season came soon after. A reactive finish after the initial effort was blocked.

Deeney was described at the “complete player” by his head coach at Hillsborough.

When asked if the striker was frustrated not to have scored a hat-trick, Beppe Sannino replied, in English: “Deeney is a very good man and a very good professional player. I am happy with the two goals if Deeney scores the other in the next game.”

One journalist asked the experienced coach how Deeney compared to the other strikers he had worked with.

“He is a good player – a complete player. He has everything in terms of physique, technique and tactics. He can be an assist man and he can be a good finisher.

“I wish him a fantastic career, even if Watford still needs him [in the Championship].”

Comments (8)

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2:13pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Harry's Bar says...

A vastly improved player from the one we signed from Walsall. His first touch is now very good, he can see a pass and he's got a hammer of a shot. Could still improve his heading and not the quickest but physically strong and rarely gets injured.
A vastly improved player from the one we signed from Walsall. His first touch is now very good, he can see a pass and he's got a hammer of a shot. Could still improve his heading and not the quickest but physically strong and rarely gets injured. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 6

8:01pm Fri 4 Apr 14

WessexLad says...

Harry's Bar wrote:
A vastly improved player from the one we signed from Walsall. His first touch is now very good, he can see a pass and he's got a hammer of a shot. Could still improve his heading and not the quickest but physically strong and rarely gets injured.
The problem with Deeney's headers lies in the quality of the cross. Basically, we're too slow getting them in, so that when they finally arrive Deeney is closely marked and can only make a standing jump. Then, its very difficult to get either power or placement to beat the goalkeeper.

Hornet's wing backs are often given plenty of space, but waste it by holding the ball up. They should practice first or second touch crosses aimed into space for Deeney or Ranegie to run onto.
[quote][p][bold]Harry's Bar[/bold] wrote: A vastly improved player from the one we signed from Walsall. His first touch is now very good, he can see a pass and he's got a hammer of a shot. Could still improve his heading and not the quickest but physically strong and rarely gets injured.[/p][/quote]The problem with Deeney's headers lies in the quality of the cross. Basically, we're too slow getting them in, so that when they finally arrive Deeney is closely marked and can only make a standing jump. Then, its very difficult to get either power or placement to beat the goalkeeper. Hornet's wing backs are often given plenty of space, but waste it by holding the ball up. They should practice first or second touch crosses aimed into space for Deeney or Ranegie to run onto. WessexLad
  • Score: 1

8:55pm Fri 4 Apr 14

David:-) says...

I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.
I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend. David:-)
  • Score: 2

9:02am Sat 5 Apr 14

Mark-H says...

David:-) wrote:
I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.
Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.
[quote][p][bold]David:-)[/bold] wrote: I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.[/p][/quote]Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team. Mark-H
  • Score: 1

9:08am Sat 5 Apr 14

Mark-H says...

David:-) wrote:
I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.
Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.
[quote][p][bold]David:-)[/bold] wrote: I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.[/p][/quote]Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team. Mark-H
  • Score: 0

9:09am Sat 5 Apr 14

Mark-H says...

Argh, apologies for the double-post...site said there was some kind of error?! Please look at this Wobby.
Argh, apologies for the double-post...site said there was some kind of error?! Please look at this Wobby. Mark-H
  • Score: 0

2:00pm Sat 5 Apr 14

1234566789 says...

Mark-H wrote:
David:-) wrote:
I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.
Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.
He was playing out on the wing or coming off the bench at that time though. His improvement must be put down, at least in part, to actually playing up front!
[quote][p][bold]Mark-H[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David:-)[/bold] wrote: I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.[/p][/quote]Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.[/p][/quote]He was playing out on the wing or coming off the bench at that time though. His improvement must be put down, at least in part, to actually playing up front! 1234566789
  • Score: 0

8:31pm Sat 5 Apr 14

Mark-H says...

1234566789 wrote:
Mark-H wrote:
David:-) wrote:
I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.
Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.
He was playing out on the wing or coming off the bench at that time though. His improvement must be put down, at least in part, to actually playing up front!
I agree that actually playing up front has had an impact, but let's not forget that he wasn't scoring enough/at all to justify a place up front ahead of Sordell or Iwelumo/Garner (talk about progress, I can't believe I just typed that) at the time. It all changed when Sordell went, and then with the prison sentence. Anyway I'm delighted we're reaping the benefits of a vastly improved player these days!
[quote][p][bold]1234566789[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mark-H[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]David:-)[/bold] wrote: I didn't realise Deeney had any critics that needed silencing? He's a top pro and Watford legend.[/p][/quote]Not for his first two seasons he wasn't! If I remember correctly, at one point his scoring record stood at something like four goals in 65 games (if that), he didn't score for a full calendar year, and some scamps edited his Wikipedia page to include "...and is definitely the worst signing Watford have ever made". At that point the £500,000 transfer fee looked a huge waste of money for a club that existed hand-to-mouth. Remarkable to go from that to an indispensable part of the team.[/p][/quote]He was playing out on the wing or coming off the bench at that time though. His improvement must be put down, at least in part, to actually playing up front![/p][/quote]I agree that actually playing up front has had an impact, but let's not forget that he wasn't scoring enough/at all to justify a place up front ahead of Sordell or Iwelumo/Garner (talk about progress, I can't believe I just typed that) at the time. It all changed when Sordell went, and then with the prison sentence. Anyway I'm delighted we're reaping the benefits of a vastly improved player these days! Mark-H
  • Score: 0

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