Watford’s Troy Deeney scores amazing goal from missed penalty
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And the Birmingham striker warned Championship defenders to expect an “elbow in the dish”, as he vows to belatedly make his mark at St Andrew’s.
But the 34-year-old admitted if he had only played his cards better as a younger man, he would have hung up his boots by now.
Deeney, who has the club badge tattooed on his calf, grew up supporting the Blues and got a hero’s welcome last August on signing from Watford.
But it turned into a frustrating season as boss Lee Bowyer overlooked him often, and he scored just four times in 22 games. Deeney, who bagged 47 Premier League goals for Watford, has worked hard on his fitness this summer.
He said: “Football can eat you up, and you genuinely think, ‘Am I s***? Am I not that good?’. When you are not playing, you start questioning yourself.
“You are seeing the team lose, you are not playing, and you are being told you are the problem from the outside. One and one normally equals two… but how are we getting 13 here?
“I take it to heart because I am local. It is a hard one to sit there and swallow it.
“But I am excited for the new season now. We need to roll our sleeves up, get the elbow grease out and start elbowing people in the dish.
“What better feeling is there than proving people wrong? It’s good to be back and having fun.”
Bowyer was shown the door at the beginning of this month. New Blues head coach John Eustace and Deeney used to be Watford team-mates, and the forward is determined to make his old friend’s reign a success, despite the backdrop of limited funds and a potential takeover.
Former Argentina forward Maxi Lopez and businessman Paul Richardson have put down a deposit to buy the club, and are completing due diligence.
However, a buy-out is unlikely to be done in time to deliver a summer spending spree.
The emphasis now is on nurturing youngsters such as Jude Bellingham’s brother Jobe, who turns 17 in September. Deeney added: “I know a great deal about football. I made all the mistakes in the world.
“If I knew then what I do now, we would all be a lot richer, a lot happier and I probably would have called it a day at 34.
“These days I just try to guide the younger players. Jobe is unbelievable. I don’t know what the Bellinghams feed their kids but I need the recipe.
“I feel sorry for Jobe at times, because Jude will continue to do unbelievable things. Jobe has that pressure and expectation from himself to be best at everything.”
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