Troy Deeney’s outside hopes of making the squad for Euro 2016 appear to be fading after he missed out on selection for Roy Hodgson’s England squad for two friendlies later this month.
Watford’s captain had been on the radar of England’s head coach who watched him in action against Bournemouth and Leicester City. Hodgson presumably would either have been at the Emirates on Sunday or had Ray Lewington watching Deeney produce a masterful performance against Arsenal. However, it’s not been enough for Deeney to make the 24-man squad for games against Germany (Saturday, March 26) and Holland (Tuesday, March 29), with Hodgson opting to recall the fit-again Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck.
But with games in May against Turkey and Australia, plus a friendly in June against Portugal, Hodgson has not closed the door on the likes of Deeney.
“I’d be foolish to put barriers in place,” said Hodgson this morning. “We have been working since the World Cup with a large group of players. I’m happy enough with the way things have gone. It will be a tough ask for people to break in, and anyone who breaks will take place of someone who has been doing it for the last two years. A player outside of this squad could easily have been included in this squad; there are still five or six weeks of the season so let’s leave the door open.”
Quique Sanchez Flores has pressed Deeney’s claims for a call-up this season but has been conscious not to push too hard and come across like he is picking Hodgson’s squad for him.
“I said everything I can say about one player,” said the head coach this morning. “For us he is very important, an amazing component of the squad, the leader and he is playing really well. I don’t like to tell [Hodgson] about Deeney every single time as it seems like I want to advise him. I respect Hodgson a lot. He has the right to pick the best players in his squad. He is representing English football very well.”
Deeney, who arrived for training this morning at around 9.30am, told us last week he would have been the first one to arrive at St George’s Park, which is just 29 miles from where he grew up, had he been called up by Hodgson. Deeney said he was “annoyed” at playing out of position in front of Hodgson against Bournemouth but he softened his stance last week.
“I do as I’m told,” Deeney said. “I wasn’t supposed to be playing on the right but the way the game panned out meant I ended up being at right midfield. If you have a chance to impress the England manager, you would. It’s just one of those things. My season won’t depend on one or two games Roy Hodgson has been at. He may have been to more, I don’t know. I’m going to keep working, keep my head down. I’ll let everyone else talk about the England situation. I’m just flattered my name is even being mention in the same category as the other lads.
Former England captain Terry Butcher felt Deeney was in with a shout of selection when previewing the announcement of the squad on Sky Sports News.
“I think Troy could be an option,” he said. “I think he is unlucky as there are a lot of players in that centre forward position. Troy Deeney has had an exceptional season and he is a very good player, I just think there are a lot of players ahead of him who have done well for Roy in qualification and previous tournaments, and I think Roy is very loyal to his players. I don’t think Troy will be involved but I could be wrong.”