Watford manager Javi Gracia doesn’t know why Troy Deeney was sent off against Arsenal so I thought I’d explain it to him.
The intent from Troy Deeney was clear. He’d even told us about it before the game. The only surprising thing was that Craig Pawson reached for a red card so early in the game. All too often, thugs like Deeney are allowed to spout whatever nonsense they want in the press and then kick with impunity when the whistle goes.
Not this time.
Speaking after the final whistle, the Hornets boss said, “I don’t agree, but I respect the referee’s decision.
“It is maybe a yellow card, but red card? I don’t understand why the referee did it.
“I prefer not to speak only about that. He (Deeney) hasn’t got to explain anything to me, I could see the play and I could see the contact with his arm but never with his elbow.
In Gracia’s mind, it’s only a yellow because Deeney didn’t make full contact despite clearly intending to and saying previously, “I have to watch what I say, but it’s [having] a bit of cojones, is what I’ll say. Whenever I play against Arsenal, I’ll go up and think ‘let me whack the first one and see who wants it.”
That’s exactly what he tried to do but this time he met a referee and linesman wise to his nonsense.
Although these comments from Deeney get all the airtime, it’s not even the only thing he’s said.
Speaking in September before Arsenal’s home match against Watford, but after a game against Crystal Palace, Deeney told BBC 5 Live, “You take it in turns kicking him [Zaha]. 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.”
No action was taken against him for those comments at the time however the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez was charged for saying that the referee likes to send off Newcastle players, despite the stats backing him up.
Watford are currently 19th in the Fair Play table on the same number of points as United who sit in bottom place.
They’ve actually had 64 yellows this season to United’s 61, but only have three reds to United’s four.
Only Newcastle United have committed more fouls than Watford in the league this season.