Troy’s story shows dif­fer­ence in class


The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

IF I was Gian­franco Zola, I wouldn’t pick up the phone be­tween now and the end of Au­gust. Not with a player like Troy Deeney on his books. He has to be the best striker in the Cham­pi­onship now. Last year, he didn’t start play­ing un­til Septem­ber when he came out of prison for af­fray. He was just get­ting him­self sharp, get­ting his con­fi­dence in front of goal.

Now, he looks the com­plete pack­age. He’s big, he’s strong, he scores all dif­fer­ent kinds of goals. He works his guts off for the team. And he’s a clev­erer player than peo­ple give him credit for – he’s very good at see­ing a pass.

You saw it all in Wat­ford’s 6-1 win over Bournemouth last week­end – it was an ex­cep­tional per­for­mance from the lad.


He’s ready to make that step up to the Pre­mier League and Wat­ford will be des­per­ate to hang on to him be­cause they wouldn’t be the same team with­out him. If they want to chal­lenge for au­to­matic pro­mo­tion, Deeney is key.

On the other side of the coin, what a rude awak­en­ing for Bournemouth, who won their first game 2-0 and matched Wat­ford first half.

Un­for­tu­nately, they found out the hard way that, when you step up a level, ev­ery mis­take you make is bru­tally pun­ished.

I re­mem­ber I took Notts County up from the Third Di­vi­sion to the Sec­ond, then straight up to the top flight.

We weren’t far away, but we were al­ways out of our depth.What we found – and I’m sure the play­ers at Yeovil, Bournemouth and Don­caster will say the same – is that you no­tice a huge dif­fer­ence in the abil­ity of strik­ers.

In the lower leagues, strik­ers need a few chances to score a goal. In the Champi- on­ship, they might need only one. Bournemouth’s de­fend­ers won’t have faced any­one like Troy Deeney last year.

When that third one went in, I’m sure Ed­die Howe wanted to get off home. He prob­a­bly knew they were done for. But his play­ers chased the game and ended up get­ting picked off.

If the top teams have a bad game where they ship two or three, they just shut up shop and think ‘Right, let’s start again next week’.

That was a bit naive by the Cher­ries, but they dis­played enough prom­ise to show that, if they can tighten up and stop mak­ing silly mis­takes, they can be a force to be reck­oned with - as they showed yes­ter­day against Wi­gan.

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

Win of the week goes to Derby beat Brighton who don’t 2-1 away. I still fancy them for Nigel Clough the top six, but tent has to be the man­ager in most con­sis­cut costs, the league. sell his He’s had to he gets best play­ers. no real fi­nan­cial Ev­ery year, never moaned. back­ing, but Other man­agers he’s gone to the Press might and said have they were about how dis­ap­pointed Just not be­ing given this sum­mer, this or that. ap­pointed he must have to lost John been so dis­right-back Bray­ford, – es­pe­cially the young down the when he looks road and sees £2.5m on one For­est spend­ing player. But he’s on with his job, just got squads built com­pet­i­tive year af­ter year that’s a and great credit to him.

DEADLY: Wat­ford’s Troy Deeney scores Wat­ford’s fifth goal against Bournemouth

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