Forthright, unflinching, amiable and about as down-to-earth as it’s possible to get in the upper echelons, Troy Deeney has proved once again why he is a Premier League footballer apart.
In an exclusive interview with The Times, the burly striker was asked for his take on a variety of subjects, beginning with his contentious status as a ‘big man’:
Can you do me a favour and mention how small I am? Everyone goes, ‘Oh Troy Deeney: big target man’, but I’m only just 6ft. Chris Smalling is 6ft 4in. I’m a dot next to him.
Next came his fractious relationship with former Watford coach Walter Mazzarri:
I hated football for about 18 months. It did my head in. I never saw eye to eye with Mazzarri. He tried to sell me in the January, which I didn’t like, and I just had enough of all the pussyfooting around.
And a reflection on his addictive personality:
If I did drink, it wouldn’t be one or two drinks. It would be 15. Then you’re pissed and you go for a kebab. You don’t get a vegan burger, do you?
Towards the end of interview, Deeney was asked whether he had any regrets about the “lack of cojones” comment he made about Arsenal’s defence last season.
The striker’s response was a peach:
No. Because it was my opinion. But because it wasn’t the usual PC ‘Credit to them, they were unlucky’ comment, people didn’t know how to react to it.
I’m probably quite old-school, the last of that generation. As humans we’ve got to be able to say what we think and take the good with the bad.
Too many people just want to be told how great they are. Just be happy with yourself.
We’ve all got flaws. I’ve got a big head and teeth like a shark. So what? It is what it is.
You can’t argue with that.
That’s what Pies enjoy about Deeney – when you hear him speak you feel like you’re actually hearing Troy Deeney’s opinion, not some utterly inert non-response from the Ladybird book of Basic Media Training.
We suspect an enjoyably brusque post-football career in punditry definitely beckons.