Why Troy Deeney Should Be in Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 England Squad (Seriously)

“I’m not going to be one to tell Mr [Arsene] Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason that they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty. I have to watch what I say, but it’s [having] a bit of cojones...a bit of nuts. Whenever I play against Arsenal, I’ll go up and think ‘let me whack the first one and see who wants it.'”

Troy Deeney - 14 October 2017

After Watford came from 1-0 down to dramatically claim a 2-1 win over Arsenal back in 2017, Troy Deeney shared the above quote with the world. It was pure entertainment worthy of the Greatest League in the World™. 

Far too often in modern-day football, viewers are left listening to footballers provide the most mundane interviews, repeating scripted 'it's all about the team' answers. This is not the case with Deeney - he is a man of brutal honesty, on and off the field.

As he sat down for his interview with BT Sport, the striker was first asked how he felt after making such an impact in his 27 minutes on the field. In response, he referred to himself as the 'big battering ram', before admitting that he 'did alright for a change'. As Deeney continued, he went on to reveal the real reason why Arsenal lost the tussle. 

They lacked cojones. As a result, Deeney explained that as soon as he entered the field, he told himself to 'whack the first one and see who wants it'. 

He went on to say: "I came on today and jumped up with [Per] Mertesacker - I didn't even have to jump, actually. I nodded it down, the crowd got up...and they all just backed off. For me as a player, I just think 'happy days'. That's my strength - if you're going to let me do my strength against you, you're going to have a tough afternoon."

Hector Bellerin,Per Mertesacker,Troy Deeney,Richarlison de Andrade

Give 'em a whack and see what happens, eh? It may not be pretty. In fact, it certainly isn't, but can be effective. 

The ​Watford captain admitted it himself, his strength is using his body to make his opponents uncomfortable. The thing about Deeney is, no matter whether or not he ends up on the winning side, the opposition's defence will always know they have been in a game. He is a professional nuisance. 

And this is the exact kind of player the England squad needs.

A Plan B attacking option to take the bull by the horns and be the bull in the china shop...someone with the 'cojones' to fight for every 50-50 and to impose himself on the game. 


Under normal circumstances, the 31-year-old would probably be nowhere near a call-up to the England first team but these aren't normal circumstances.

The Three Lions are facing a right-on-cue injury crisis ahead of Euro 2020 and options in attack are scarce. 

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford is still out of action and it is not yet clear whether he will be able to participate, and if he is, how fit he will be. It is a similar situation with Tottenham striker and England captain Harry Kane.

Tammy Abraham's ability seems to be dwindling with each passing week, while all the REd Bull and Skittles in the world can't seem to drag Jamie Vardy out of retirement for one last job.

That leaves Danny Ings and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Be honest, who would you rather see battle Sergio Ramos at the near post - those two or Troidini?


Deeney has six league goals in 16 starts for Watford so far this season, having spent the early parts of the campaign on the sidelines through injury.

Sure, it's not a spectacular record, but he has five in 13 league appearances since Nigel Pearson was appointed, while he has also contributed two assists to go with that, as the Hornets have fought back against near-certain relegation. 

The absolutely-no-nonsense forward never shies away from a challenge, no matter how daunting the task. And this was once again made evident as he scored once and assisted another during Watford's stunning 3-0 win over Liverpool.

With the Reds renowned for producing some remarkable comebacks this season, Vicarage Road remained anxious with the score at 2-0. But following more fine work from Ismaila Sarr, Deeney was on hand to produce a deft finish to make it 3-0 and put the game to bed.

The captain led by example - and that example was find the weak link in defence and bully him into submission. 

​Deeney said after the game: "[Virgil] Van Dijk is a class act. For me, one of the top five defenders in the world and he is tough to get anything from. So you try and pick on weaker of the two.


"I knew he [Lovren] wanted to fight me and that’s my game. So if you want to try and fight me you’re going to be in for a tough night. He did that for the first goal and I rolled him and we scored."

This is the same Troy Deeney that revealed in November 2018 that he hates facing Van Dijk. He acknowledged that he's too big, too strong and too good on the ball, while.......he also smelt fantastic and had great hair. 

He told BBC Radio 5Live, as quoted by ​Football London: “I’ve said it many times, I hate him. I hate going up against him.

“He’s too big, too strong, too quick, too good on the ball, loves fighting, a good head of hair. One of those guys that sprays on his top as well, so it smells lovely! When he runs past you, it’s like ‘I can’t catch you, but…”

He can't catch him, but...

Now, that's the kind of player we need in the England squad. He finds players' and team's weaknesses (normally related to physicality) and exposes them. 

Imagine 'the battering ram' going up for a ball with [insert European defender of your choice here], sitting him down and feeding a pass through to Raheem Sterling or Jadon Sancho out wide. The young forward grabs the goal, but the crowd recognises the Watford man's efforts. 

Deeeeney, Deeeeney, Deeeeney rings out around the stadium. 

Make it happen, Gareth.

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Source : 90min