Troy Deeney is a glass half full type of person. In fact he’s renowned for it. But you wouldn’t have blamed him if his glass was empty at Alexandra Palace on Sunday afternoon. There is, after all, nothing like a good boisterous night out at the darts to forget about the slings and arrows of life and get things out of your system. Not that Deeney has got much to worry about in life.
He’s got a doting wife, two lovely children, drives a Lamborghini and probably has more money than he knows what to do with. The level of support at the Stadium of Light last weekend for the terminally ill Bradley Lowery would have put his troubles in front of goal very much into perspective. But Deeney wouldn’t be human if his barren streak wasn’t bothering him a little bit. You don’t get to 99 goals for a single club without being driven by that feeling only born goalscorers get every time the net bulges. For the record, it’s been ten games (well, nine and a bit really) or 738 minutes in old money since Deeney scored against Bournemouth.
“These are moments that can happen for a forward to have in his career,” said Mazzarri who knows a thing or two about coaching forwards having worked with Edison Cavani, among others. “He was unlucky against Everton because he had chances to score and didn’t,” said the head coach with a particular nod to the one that dropped invitingly over the head over Seamus Coleman at the far post. “These are moments that for a striker can happen. Maybe he’s feeling the pressure of the 100 goals but, for us, it’s just important he plays for the team and then scores. I’m not sure if it will be good for him to have had a rest or not, we will see.”
Deeney had his mini rest against Manchester City but there is a poll on WFC Forums debating whether Mazzarri should make the biggest call of the lot and leave out the captain on form, especially in the wake of the Sunderland game which must rank as one of his most ineffective displays in a long while.
Mazzarri and his staff have watched old footage of Deeney from a couple of seasons ago and noted how he’s more of a target man and link player these days rather than the mobile forward who used to get in behind defences. The head coach seems to think the captain would benefit from a rest and is set to give him one the minute Stefano Okaka and Isaac Success show signs of being able to string together a run of injury-free games.
“It’s possible in a season you can have one player that cannot be 100 per cent,” said Mazzarri this week. “This is what happens to him now. If had we more changes, then for sure, all the players would be in form. This is why we want Okaka and Success back. We suffered a lot when they are out.”
If you include the party-pooping 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday, Deeney went ten games without a goal last year but that was nothing compared to the 35-game drought he went on in 2010/11. He scored all of Watford’s three goals against Palace last season and another on Boxing Day would do nicely and get a real monkey off his back.