Troy Deeney, by his own admission, doesn’t like Arsenal, but it’s bordering on obsession now.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates his side's 2-1 win in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates his side’s 2-1 win in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Speaking to TalkSport, I’m not entirely sure why the Watford striker, who has ideas above his own ability, was talking about Arsenal. Arsenal haven’t played them since September and they aren’t due to play them again until mid-April. Deeney has played for neither club

“Everyone knows me and Arsenal don’t get on too well,” he said.

“But I think there has a steeliness that has been brought in and there are goals throughout the team.

“They have different styles of play now and can play with the two boys up front that are always going to score goals and give you something to build on.

“But football works in six-month periods between transfer windows and they are going to have to go again.

“Look at how transfer windows they are behind the big boys. They are probably six, seven or eight behind the big boys. That is just being realistic.

“I know people are saying it is a massive improvement but that’s only on what they had last year.

“But they are still behind the likes of Man City and United, not just in spending but in the quality they have brought in.”

Nobody who watches Arsenal with any regularity will tell you they don’t need a load of players, that’s very true. Unai Emery needs a few windows to stamp his mark on the side and get rid of the deadwood still at the club.

But are we really just going to let Deeney say that Arsenal are so far behind Manchester United, a side they sit three points above in the league?

Things are far from perfect at Arsenal but I wish the media would stop giving airtime to idiots who just let words fall from their heads without actually thinking about them.

Troy Deeney has scored five goals in 18 games this season. Maybe he should think about that instead of obsessing about Arsenal and why England aren’t picking him.

Earlier in the season, Deeney hit out at England for selecting Danny Welbeck even though the forward was hardly getting any game time for Arsenal at the time.

Speaking before he helped his side draw 1-1 at Fulham in a game they should have won, Deeney told Sky Sports, “I respect his [Southgate’s] decision, perhaps because I did not count on it. I think you should earn something like that, so four matches is not enough to be invited to the English team.

“I thought it was interesting that he said that I was good enough for Watford and not for the English team.

“That means that someone who plays at a smaller club and does not have a certain style is not eligible for the national team. With all due respect for Danny Welbeck, he does not play and is selected. Is it still about which club you play with?

troy deeney
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates his side’s 2-1 win in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

“On my thirtieth birthday, I looked in the mirror and was startled a bit. It was the first time I looked at my body and was not happy with it.

“For this season I was written off and people called me fat, so I thought: I’m going to show you. I just have to be mentally stimulated. If that is the case, I can do everything.”

Stats don’t often tell you all you need to know but if we’re talking goalscorers then goals on the board is, ultimately, the only metric that matters. Given Deeney’s comments, it should follow then that he has been outperforming Arsenal’s chaotic frontman regularly.

Deeney had two goals and one assist in six matches at the time of his comments. He had played a total of 539 minutes. Danny Welbeck had two goals in four games despite playing only 121 minutes.

Last season Welbeck scored 10 and assisted one. Deeney scored six and assisted three. The season before that, Welbeck scored five and assisted four in just 1,094 minutes. Deeney scored 10 and assisted five in more than three thousand minutes.

Over the course of their careers, Welbeck has scored or assisted a goal every 170 minutes while playing for a top-six club in Arsenal or Manchester United.

Deeney, who has actually played 36k minutes to Welbeck’s 18k, has an almost identical rate but his games have usually been played at a much lower level in the Championship, never mind Europe (141 goals, 62 assists, direct goal involvement once every 169 minutes v 67 goals, 39 assists with a direct goal involvement for Welbeck of 170 minutes).

Arsenal's English striker Danny Welbeck (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner after scoring the team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League group E football match between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 20, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP)
Arsenal’s English striker Danny Welbeck (R) celebrates with Arsenal’s Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner after scoring the team’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League group E football match between Arsenal and Vorskla Poltava at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 20, 2018. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP)

Not only has Welbeck experience at the top level that Deeney does not, the Arsenal man has 16 England goals and four assists. In fact, Welbeck scores or assists at a far better rate for country than he does club (116 minutes).

I’m not saying Welbeck is a great striker, he’s not and probably shouldn’t be selected even when he’s fit. But I certainly wouldn’t turn to Deeney as a solution, regardless of what he thinks of himself.

A Watford player since 2012, apart from a gap listed on his CV as a ‘career break’ that was actually a spell in prison for kicking a man in the head during a pub brawl, Deeney has not been selected by England at any level.

Perhaps what is more telling is that he has not represented Jamaica either, a country he could have featured for. Was he holding out for an England shout? It seems he was, revealing in an interview that he rejected Jamaica’s calls twice in the hopes of a Three Lions call.

Surely it was clear to him long ago that that wasn’t going to come and with Jamaica, he could have experienced international football. If he had the cajones, of course.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.