Troy Deeney admits that Watford took turns kicking Wilfried Zaha yet it is only Rafa Benitez who is facing any punishment.
Zaha called, rightly, for more protection from referees from cloggers like Deeney who think the only to deal with skillful players is to kick them.
Ahead of Newcastle’s match last weekend, Benitez was asked about Zaha’s comments and pointed out that the ref that, day, Andre Marriner, had a bit of a habit of sending off Newcastle players but he hoped it would be ok. It wasn’t, Benitez was charged by the FA for his comments despite the stats backing up his claim. The Newcastle manager accepted the charge and has been fined.
Deeney, though? He can say what he wants.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Deeney said: “You take it in turns kicking him. I know no one wants to hear that, but you go, ‘You hit this time, you hit him the next time’.
“You don’t have the same player tackle him because you know you’re going to get booked.”
Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Vicarage Road earlier this season. Zaha’s frustrations are easy to understand having watched Aaron Ramsey, Eduardo, and Abou Diaby all crippled because of teams’ belief that Arsenal ‘don’t like it up ‘em’.
As long as the officials in the English game are happy for its key traits to sold as ‘pashun’ and ‘commitment,’ they will continue to place more importance on crunching tackles than protecting players.
“I know for a fact (opponents are out to hurt me),” Zaha said, “but I just don’t know what to do any more. Do they need to break my leg before anyone gets a red card?”
Watford are currently 6th in the Fair Play table after picking up 14 yellows and one red this season. West Ham top the table with 21 yellows while Manchester United are second with 13 yellows and a league-high three reds.
Arsenal are in 9th place with 13 yellows while Liverpool are 15th with 10 yellows, Chelsea 16th with eight and Spurs 17th with the same number. Manchester City have picked up the fewest cautions in the division so far this season, sitting in last place with just six yellows in seven games.