“Troy Deeney for England” is what I proudly suggested the other day in my Euro 2016 England starting XI. I boasted his inclusion as excitedly as if Troy was my own blood brother.
My friends soon quashed my theory with taunts along the lines of being deluded or obsessed and generally being another biased football fan. Yet these glory supporting friends of mine have missed some key aspects, so let me know what you all think…
Here are nine reasons why Watford’s number nine is the footballing choice for me:
1. Troy’s past
A well documented past has seen Troy stigmatised for a troubled time, particularly his early years at Watford having served a two-month prison sentence. As fans; we embraced his error and in a somewhat turn of events, we as well as the club, stuck by him, accepted it as a mistake and accepted that he is human after all. Troy came back with something to prove and he hasn’t stopped since 2013. His past isn’t one I would advocate, but it is one I admire in terms of his ability to come back stronger than ever, more focused and even more humbled. Many would have totally derailed, he could have easily have been another flop in the footballing world. His story is deeper than this though, he is not just trying to resurrect his prison past, but he is also supporting his family, for whom he cares dearly and often dedicates results and personal triumphs to. His story; if successful with England, can be used as an example of positivity to show that anything can be achieved with the right attitude.
2. Troy’s personality
Vibrant is an understatement. He is a character who has presence in a room; you know when Troy is around! It has a knock on affect on others. Quique Flores described him as “an amazing personality”, a person everyone needs around. Surely a must have attitude within an England squad which is already burdened with egos.
3. Troy’s age
At 27-years of age, this number is significant because it is an age where strikers are close to their prime. Troy is in the perfect physical condition for the summer trip to France.
4. Troy’s reputation
It is growing by the day, and is finally bigger than just the Watford Observer! He is known nationally, and has recently been credited highly by Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker. This growth in reputation over the last season could have had an adverse affect on a players’ performance, however Troy has only got better and is proving he can cope with the unrealistic pressures we put on the England Squad.
5. Troy can combine
Many, many people will argue that Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane, Danny Welbeck, Charlie Austin and Theo Walcott may be better suited to the role. Yet I am not looking at those strikers as competition; Troy is a number ten by trade, he is the link. A player who will seek to provide non-stop. A player that provides consistently, need I say more about Deeney and Odion Ighalo? Deeney’s competition for me is in fact Rooney; yet my question is, how much does experience really matter internationally in a game of football when both players are already established Premier League players?
6. Troy’s a natural leader
He is our captain, yet he is humble and would easily fit in under the leadership of an England captain. I remember both Slavisa Jokanovic and Flores explaining how Deeney is a superb listener, one who is always willing to adapt his game, not only for his development, but to suit the tactics of the squad. I think his leadership would only reinforce the strong natured characters that are needed when playing internationally.
7. Troy is traditional
It is always refreshing when you hear a player talking about all of the wonderful things that most of us love; our family, our friends and our children. All are gifts of true wealth. It always ‘rings’ with me a sound of a grounded player who has his priorities correct. Of course he has a flashy car like the next player, but he has made constant comments that keeping himself grounded is crucial for his own success and development. He comes across well and I think he would help restore the reputation of English football players by being more in the limelight.
8. Troy’s a natural goalscorer
Since 2010, Deeney virtually boasts scoring one goal every three games. That’s a staggering amount; he has already amassed eight goals in his first bash at the Premier League as well. He is not just a provider, but also an astute finisher who works hard on this aspect of his game.
9. Troy and the media
Possibly my weakest point in terms of why he should play for England, yet it’s one which has value in bridging the gap between the fans and the players. Troy is the kind of man who will sign hundreds of shirts and be the sort of man who will tweet his followers regularly. He plays for the fans as much as he does the badge. It’s another refreshing aspect in a man who hasn’t forgotten where he came from.