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Vinnie Jones: “Odion Ighalo reminds me of Luther Blissett”

Vinne Jones said last week’s win over West Ham United was the finest ever performance he has seen by a Watford team and that Odion Ighalo reminds him of Luther Blissett.

Jones, who was born in the town 50 years ago, is a lifelong Watford fan and has watched every home game this season from the directors’ box. He followed the team home and away before his playing career took off and was at Old Trafford when Luther Blissett got the winner there in 1978.

“I watched them last week and that was the best I’ve seen them,” said Jones when speaking on Goals on Sunday. “The whole family has watched them for years throughout the divisions. I was at Manchester United when Luther scored two but that [against West Ham] was the best game I’ve seen Watford play. They were awesome against West Ham.”

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Vinnie Jones with Steven Finn and Sam Robson at Vicarage Road

Jones has sat and admired the partnership of Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo, one that has yielded nine goals this season.

“This kid Deeney has been fantastic,” said Jones. “He’s not got so many goals this year but his work rate is unbelievable. He’s coming deep and setting them up. Just look at the assists he gets. Ighalo is just one of them, he’s bangs them in. He really reminds me of Luther.”

Jones, who is often seen at Bedmond Football Club, Centurion Golf Club and has a house in Garston, revealed he came close to signing for his hometown club in the summer of 1987 when Dave Bassett tried to take him from Wimbledon with him.

“He tried to sign me at Watford,” Jones said. “I met him and Elton John but Sam (Hamman, the Wimbledon chairman) wouldn’t let me go. But I wouldn’t have won the FA Cup had I gone there. When you see me throwing the cup in the air towards the crowd at Wembley, that was for him [Bassett].”

Bassett was one of Watford’s least popular managers, facing the difficult task of following Graham Taylor after he left for Aston Villa. He returned to the club’s payroll in 2006 when he was paid as an advisor to Aidy Boothroyd who used to go to his house in Stanmore to pick his brains.

“If you look at the players Watford have signed they have played in La Liga and Serie A,” said Bassett, sat alongside Jones on the sofa with Chris Kamara and Ben Shepherd. “For me they are certain to stay up as there is a lot of experience there.”