Saturday 24 June 2017

'Brum' fan Deeney rubs salt in Villa wounds

Aston Villa 2 Watford 3

Watford's Allan-Romeo Nyom (left) and Aston Villa's Scott Sinclair battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park
Watford's Allan-Romeo Nyom (left) and Aston Villa's Scott Sinclair battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park
Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes is stretchered off after sustaining a head injury during the match at Villa Park
Watford's Troy Deeney celebrates scoring his sides third goal of the game during the match at Villa Park
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

As if being adrift at the bottom after the worst start to a season in Premier League history were not enough, Aston Villa's black Saturday brought a painful reminder of what might have been as Troy Deeney headed the winner for Watford.

The Birmingham-born striker was invited for a trial at Villa as a teenager but by his own admission could not be bothered to attend.

"My brother was here from age six to 20," Deeney said. "He was always the footballer and I was always one of the lads. I was more interested in chasing girls at the park. It was meant to be four days. I turned up for a game on the last day but I wasn't really interested."

Deeney (27) instead played for his local team, Chelmsley Town - by day working on a building site - before he was spotted by Walsall, who in turn sold him to Watford, where he scored more than 20 goals in three Championship seasons and now has four in the Premier League.

Having grown up a Birmingham City fan, Deeney said scoring in front of the Holte End was "better than a dream". He added: "I got quite a lot of grief from the Villa fans. But it's good fun. I'm big and ugly and I can take it."

Villa's five points match Swindon in 1993-94, Sunderland in 2005-06 and Queen's Park Rangers in 2012-13 for the worst return from the opening 14 matches since the Premier League began.

New manager Rémi Garde remains insistent Villa can still survive. "On how we played I cannot say that we are dead," he said. "But I am not silly. I know every game we don't win it becomes more difficult."

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