Jose Manuel Jurado is back in full training and in contention to feature against Stoke City on Saturday – and the playmaker’s captain feels his worth to the side has been shown during his six-game absence.
Jurado missed the games against Crystal Palace, Leeds United, Bournemouth, Manchester United and Leicester City with a calf problem and was an unused substitute against Arsenal on Sunday. Up until Watford plundered two goals in 13 memorable minutes at the Emirates, one of which was completely out of the blue, the Hornets had struggled to unlock opposition defences in a five-game run that saw Deeney become the only Watford player to find the back of the net.
“He [Jurado] is a bit like Valon,” said Deeney. “You don’t appreciate what he does until he’s out of the team. A lot of people look at his stats, no goals and no assists, but his box-to-box play is quality. He can slow the game down, he can speed it up, he brings a different dimension. The three or four games he played as a No 10 I thought were his best games. He’s a good player. Technically, he’s very good. At the back end of this year and definitely next year, you’ll see the best of him. In my first 18 months here people were willing to pay for me to go back to Walsall, so it [the criticism Jurado has been getting] is just one of these things.”
Deeney monitors a lot of what is said on social media about him, his team and his teammates.
“Some fans are very intelligent and some are naive and think only about short term,” he said when we asked him about some of the flak Jurado has received. “It’s what they [the players] are doing now they are interested in. I saw somebody digging out Obbi Oulare the other day. He’s played two games, he’s 19. It’s football and you have to learn to deal with it but people don’t see the mental side of it. If he [Oulare] cared about what everyone put on Twitter, he’d be thinking, ‘My Watford career is over already’. You are always going to get fans calling for guy who is doing well in the 21s. Alex Jakubiak should have replaced me, someone said the other day.”