If Troy Deeney has had a better weekend then we’d like to know about it.
If there is one place a boyhood Birmingham City fan wants to score a goal then it’s in front of the Holte End at Villa Park. It’s the stuff all blue noses dream about. He can now tick that one off the bucket list. It makes it even sweeter when you are the captain of the opposition, when it turns out to be the winner and when it brings three precious Premier League points.
He then enjoyed the bragging rights over his Villa mates and took the pats on the back from his fellow blue noses when he headed to Chelmsley Town afterwards to celebrate the win. Boy would that pint have tasted sweet. It would have been cause for double celebration when he found out his younger brother, Ellis, had been part of the Worcester City side who beat Brackley Town, 2-0, in the FA Trophy. The good news didn’t stop there.
A practitioner in the art of boxing and a big pal of Anthony Joshua, Deeney used his knowledge to back Tyson Fury big time to beat Wladimir Klitschko in the heavyweight showdown in Dusseldorf. Not content with taking Villa to the cleaners he then took one bookmaker to the cleaners, judging by this tweet.
Deeney has known enough lean times to be able to celebrate the good but you wouldn’t find him getting to the top of the mountain and then spending too long admiring the view. He was back in the gym at UCL in London Colney, first thing this morning. What did Gary Player once say about the harder you work?
Given the physical shape Deeney is in right now those Villa fans shouting abuse at him were either brave or stupid.
“They were giving me a bit of grief and I was winding them up,” Deeney said. “They were giving me quite a bit when we were running the clock down but I’m big enough and ugly enough to take it. I call my mates who are Villa fans ‘associates’. They messaged me in private before the game to say, ‘We are not friends today, we are going to give you grief’. That’s fine by me.”
Deeney had the last laugh on a club who released Ellis in 2011 and where he enjoyed the shortest of trials.
“It was supposed to be four days but I turned up for one,” he said. “My brother was there from six until 20. He was the footballer. I was one of the lads and more interested in chasing girls at the park.”
Now Villa are chasing Deeney’s Watford. They are 14 points adrift of the Hornets and in dire, dire trouble.
“We have got our own mini league and feel Villa are in that,” said Deeney. “We can easily lose three or four games quickly in this league so we are not naive enough to think we are safe. There are a lot more games to go.”
They are running out fast for Villa. No Premier League team has ever had fewer points after 14 games. It is hard to disagree with those who feel one of the three relegations spots are already taken.
“I am a Brummy lad so I don’t want any Midlands team not to be doing well,” he said. “If Villa don’t [do well], I won’t be crying. If I didn’t score [today] and they won, it would have been a bad weekend for me. I scored and we won so it was a bad weekend for them.”
Wasn’t it just.
*Additional reporting by David Anderson