Quique Sanchez Flores had to placate a ticking Troy Deeney at full-time in the centre circle at Anfield on Sunday.
Deeney largely barked his way through the 90 minutes against Liverpool, giving Almen Abdi a volley for his delivery from a corner, moaning at Sebastian Prodl about a long ball forward, criticising Craig Cathcart for his execution of a throw-in and then sounding off at referee Lee Mason after Martin Skrtel climbed over the back of him and caught him on the head. And that was just in the first half.
Deeney’s reaction, or lack of one, spoke volumes when Odion Ighalo, in scenes reminiscent of Old Trafford, opted to shoot on goal down the inside right channel in the second half when certainly Steven Berghuis and possibly Deeney were better placed. He turned away, had his hands on his hips and looked like he was biting his tongue.
Sanchez Flores shook hands with Jurgen Klopp at the final whistle and then made a beeline for his captain.
“It’s sad,” said the head coach. “He was fighting a lot and playing really well. He wants the level from everyone as he expects from himself. I need to explain to him that we are building as a team, that we are building on our mistakes and that teammates can make mistakes. It is good he cares but this is not the time to be sad. We are just promoted and it important we keep perspective.”
Rene Gilmartin is a big pal as well as a teammate of Deeney. They go down to Anthony Joshua’s gym together and do boxing training on a Wednesday in Finchley. Gilmartin knows Deeney better than most after they shared a dressing room at Walsall.
“I can have a guess what Deeney and Flores were talking about,” said Gilmartin on BBC Three Counties Radio. “Deeney wants the same commitment he puts in. He wants to see it from everybody. He expects it from his teammates and rightly so.”