Marco Silva Tapping Up Complaint

Discussion in 'The Hornets' Nest - Watford Chat' started by Squibba, May 15, 2018.

  1. Levon

    Levon Squad Player

    You can hear Troy Deeney coming, his voice booming as he walks down a corridor at Watford’s training ground. He arrives with a toothy grin and a bone-crunching handshake and immediately dominates the room. He fits a certain archetype — “the biggest target man in the Premier League,” as Pep Guardiola lauded him on the touchline at Vicarage Road last season.

    He laughs at the portrayal. “Can you do me a favour and mention how small I am?” he says. “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. And someone described me as ‘angry’ the other day. Do I really come across as angry?”

    Hmm. Occasionally, Troy, yes. Aggressive is the better word, even if these days his off-pitch demeanour is a good deal softer. “Yeah, aggressive, maybe,” he says. “That’s only because I’m not as good as others technically, so I have to bully them a bit.”

    Smalling and his Manchester United team-mates know that they are in for a rough ride tomorrow evening. Watford have started the new season with a bang under Javi Gracia, winning their first four Premier League games, and Deeney is in rampant mood, scoring goals, winning battles and thriving on his reputation as the big, bad, belligerent centre forward who terrorises opposition defenders.

    It is all quite a contrast to the previous couple of seasons, in which Deeney admits that he struggled for form, fitness and, at times, motivation. He turned 30 in June, feeling overweight and insecure about his future. It had been a painful period for one of the Premier League’s more engaging characters. Something was going to have to change.

    “I hated football for about 18 months,” he says. “It did my head in. I never saw eye to eye with Walter Mazzarri [their coach during the 2016-17 season]. He tried to sell me in the January, which I didn’t like, and I just had enough of all the pussyfooting around. I’m the type of guy who, if I’ve got a problem, will say, ‘This is my problem. Can we fix it?’ And he would say, ‘Yeah, yeah, we’ll fix it, no problem.’ But it just carried on the same way and I couldn’t stand it and I felt out of love with it for a time.

    “On top of that, there’s all the social media stuff. You score one week and it’s, ‘Look at Troy, he’s great, he’s back to his best.’ Then you lose the next game and it’s, ‘He’s ****. Get rid of him.’ I was struggling with that, struggling to find a balance in terms of what’s what.”

    Deeney is not talking about the kind of depression that Marvin Sordell, his former Watford team-mate, spoke so eloquently about this week, but he feels that finding and retaining the right mental balance is a never-ending battle in professional sport. “I’ve been lonely, sitting in my house or driving home, thinking, ‘Is this really worth it?’ ” he says. “People only see the glitz and glamour of it and they’ll say, ‘You’ve got a great job and all this money. How dare you have a problem?’ I’ve not felt how Marvin felt, but I wasn’t happy for a long time, particularly the season before last. I started to drink more. And because I’ve got an 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?

    “I wasn’t happy with how I was last year. I felt heavy. I got injured seven days into pre-season. I got fit, but Stefano Okaka was flying and we had bought Andre Gray and I had gone from being the main man to being third choice. When I did play, I was chasing here, there and everywhere and doing too much. There was the uncertainty with Marco Silva, where he was trying to implement certain things but then we as a group, myself included, were thinking, ‘But you don’t want to be here . . .’ There were a lot of factors, but people were writing me off and I started doubting myself. As a kid, at 18, 19, you think footballers are finished when they turn 30. I’m thinking back to that and thinking, ‘Maybe I am getting too old.’ ”

    Turning 30 brought it all home to Deeney. He felt overweight and unwanted, which was not far from the truth at the time; had the right offer arrived in June, before the start of pre-season training, Watford would certainly have considered it. “I was getting linked with other teams and previously I would get a call or a message from the club telling me, ‘Don’t worry about that nonsense,’ ” he says. “But that didn’t come and I was like, ‘Oh . . .’ Then you look on Twitter, again, and people are saying, ‘Get rid of him.’ And you think, ‘Right, you bastards. I’ll show you.’ I’m stubborn like that. When I’ve got something in my mind, I’ve got to do it.

    “I started working with my own trainer, a psychologist, my own nutritionist, my own chef who preps the meals for me and delivers them three times a week. I’ve lost a stone and a half since June 29. Coming back from pre-season in Austria, the manager and the people at the club saw the change in me and it was like, ‘Troy has got his head right.’ I don’t think it was ever about whether I was good enough. It was more about whether the motivation was there.”

    This raises certain questions because in recent years Deeney had always seemed like one of those players whose fierce commitment has set him apart. He has spoken previously of how the various reality checks in his life — from being a highly rated but extremely wayward teenager, who thought the idea of being a professional footballer was “just a laugh”, to the death of his father in 2012 and his imprisonment the same year after being found guilty of affray — have helped him to discover a supreme motivation to be the best that he can be.

    Deeney says, though, that staying “level”, as he puts it, is not as straightforward as we might imagine. His psychologist, who counselled him after his father’s death, has helped him improve his focus. “It’s more performance-related now, how to get in the zone,” he says. “I know I can be triggered into being in the zone. I’m finding out how to do that for myself, but also how to switch off. He helps me be ‘normal’.”

    In some ways, Deeney, having put his dark past behind him, has become an everyman footballer. He gives 100 per cent on the pitch — when he is in the zone — and speaks his mind off it. Does he regret saying last season that Arsenal lacked cojones and had allowed him to bully them? “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.”

    He calls himself old-school, but there is also a modern focus on sports science and, in particular, video analysis. “I’m always watching games,” he says. “I think I’ve watched the Tottenham game back eight times. The Burnley [one] 25 times. I’m not only learning about myself. I’m learning about the movements Andre makes and studying upcoming opponents, looking for weaknesses, working out how to play against them — little things like the runs you might make, whether to come short or not, how to close them down. I watch so much football. I’m a bit of a weirdo like that.”

    It seems to be working this season. His performance in the 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur was enough to reignite talk of a possible England call-up, though Gareth Southgate appeared to kill that once and for all this week. “Yes,” Deeney says. “I found that quite interesting.” Go on, Troy. “He was asked specifically about me and his response was something like, ‘Troy is great for Watford, but not great for what we’re trying to do.’ Fine, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. At least he answered the question. Like I said, it’s interesting.”How does that make you feel? “How can I answer this?” he says, suggesting that he might stop just short of speaking his mind this time. “Me personally, I’ve kind of given up on that dream. It’s not going to happen unless there’s a major crisis and someone who plays for Cheltenham gets injured. I might get a game then. I do respect his opinion because that’s his vision of where he wants to go and when you look at what he did at the World Cup, you have to tip your hat to him.”

    But . . . “To be honest,” he says, “I just thought that comment of, ‘He’s great for Watford, but not for what we want,’ I thought it was downplaying Watford a little bit really, like we’re just some small team. I just think what it says as a message is that unless you’re a certain mould of player or play in a certain way, don’t worry about playing for England. That’s what I took from it. Striker-wise I don’t know what he wants. It can’t be mobility and getting around and scoring goals because at the minute that’s what I’m doing. But I do get it. I understand the decision. I’m not going to bed thinking, ‘I can’t believe I’m not in the England squad.’ ”

    The latest Watford resurgence gives Deeney plenty to focus on. He enthuses about Gracia — his human touch, his attention to detail, his physical and tactical work with the squad — and feels that it helped that, for the first time in four years, they have begun a new season with the same manager who ended the previous campaign. “The last time we had that was the promotion year [2014-15],” he says. “That was Beppe Sannino and he left after three or four games. We had four managers that season and we got promoted.

    “I’m sure it must look unstable from the outside. If I wasn’t involved in it, I might think, ‘That club is absolutely crazy.’ But when you’re involved in it, you see how it keeps working from one season to the next and the club keeps growing and you want to remain a part of it.”
     
  2. toffeeblue9

    toffeeblue9 Academy Graduate

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the distinction you and Burnsy are making and I can see your point of view on it, but I have an issue with making things up as you go along. If the PL want to implement rules which distinguish between player tapping up and manager tapping up, that's fine, but you can't just ignore the rules and do it anyway - that precise mentality is why we are in the daft situation we're in with the whole tapping up stuff anyway.
     
    Burnsy likes this.
  3. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    A fine is more likely but a deduction of some points could be the difference between a few places in the final table and therefore less prize money.
     
  4. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Great interview, and certainly revealing. He's now gone on record saying that the players didn't believe in Silva because of the Everton saga. We all suspected it, but now it's on record so we all know for sure, without any debate.

    Makes a good observation about Southgate, that the door is closed for the majority, unless you are a young promising player at a high profile club. From the outside, that's the way I see it also.
     
    Optimistichornet and Markoa$ like this.
  5. toffeeblue9

    toffeeblue9 Academy Graduate

    Pickford and Maguire were in the England XI this world cup

    To be fair to Southgate, I think that for the first time he picked an England side based on the way he wanted to play, rather than the "best" eleven players he had, which is a welcome deviation from the last 15 years or more. I digress...
     
  6. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    Exactly my point. I think Everton know they are guilty of wrongdoing but as you quite rightly point out, they can happily take their guilt and ask what rule they have broken?

    One would suspect that Everton will apologise, be fined (and be quite accepting of that in the name of drawing the matter to a close) and the PL will draft a new interpretation of tapping-up in their rule-book with clear distinctions over players and managers.

    There’s a caveat however - what if Moshiri refuses to comply? What if he doesn’t hand over his phones etc? I’m sure the PL could be seen to act upon that.

    This will get messy and drag-on for some time to come yet I think.
     
  7. I think the problem may stem from the normal practice being that once you have been called out on it and threatened with official action, you would usually desist. From the little we know, Everton appear to have been persistent beyond the conventionally accepted bad behaviour. Even at the time we seemed to be allowing some tolerance of the approach. It seems to me, and it is pure speculation, that Moshiri may have gone beyond the realms of "honour among thieves"; yes we all do it, but we don't take the mickey. And may subsequently find his club paying for it.
     
  8. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    Thing is, I don’t think the way Watford play is dissimilar to Leicester. And Chilwell, Demari Gray and Vardy have all been included. Southgate effectively shutting the door on Deeney was clumsy and short-sighted IMO. For a manager who has so few homegrown options, it was a strange comment.
     
  9. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    It is odd
    and condescending towards little old Watford.

    What happens if we finish top this season and Deeney gets the most goals in the league. (unlikely I know)
    Still a no from him?
     
  10. Levon

    Levon Squad Player

    Refusal to co-operate with the governing body you've agreed to work under is probably an PL offence in itself. If they refused to co-operate with the PL's investigation, then the League could go so far as to suggest they have no business competing in it.
     
    424TheBeautifulGame likes this.
  11. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    If Hughes and Chalobah, once fit, make an impression then I think it would be odd if they never get called up. However I suspect the Chalobah probably will given he was called up just before his injury and was training with them before the World Cup, but mainly because he has Chelsea on his CV. If Hughes plays better than last season it would be a travesty if he doesn't get called up but only having Derby and Watford on his CV will count against him.
     
  12. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Southgate's comments were patronising towards Watford, but clearly Deeney is not his type of player. If Fat Sam was still there, I'm sure he would now be considered.
     
  13. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    To be fair (and this is probably a discussion for a different thread seeing as it’s off topic) but Hughes did play a lot for Southgate in the U-21’s and even captained then I believe. I think Hughes will get called up this season based on the public and media desire to see more creative CM’s in the squad. The drawback to any call-up’s and appearances though is it becomes much harder to hold on to the player.
     
  14. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Keyboard Warrior Staff Member

    heaven forbid we go off topic
     
  15. The undeniable truth

    The undeniable truth Squad Player

    I suspect that it's more that his age is against him. Southgate is all for bringing in youngsters and watching them develop. TD at 30 ish would have been unlikely to feature for more than a season or two and I don't think that's the way Southgate works. We should have no problem in qualifying for the next 2 competitions and if he can do it while developing youngsters, they will be "men" by the time the competition starts.
     
    Unhappy bunny likes this.
  16. Classic post on Everton forum - Moshiri has got years of experience in top flight football after his time at Arsenal - what experience do Watford's American owners have? :eek:
     
  17. Bring Back Standing

    Bring Back Standing First Year Pro

    But your question specifically stated 'over the last year or two'. I wouldn't deny that we've had a couple of shady characters in charge of the club over the years - the previous owner being a prime example - but I wouldn't say the Pozzos fall into that category. Football is their business, they know how to run a club and achieve a modicum of success - you just have to look at what they have done for this club over the last six years both on and off the pitch, not to mention with the pitch. In spite of continual media (and pundit) speculation, I'd say that they do it in a manner that is more honest than most.

    So, returning to your original question, I'd still say none.
     
  18. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    The whole Raffaele Riva thing was still stupid as hell though we have to admit. Although it was said that the Pozzo’s knew nothing about it, it was still done on their watch.
     
  19. Bring Back Standing

    Bring Back Standing First Year Pro

    True - and he resigned. Or, given the media habit of referring to our managerial resignations as sackings, maybe, when they found out, the Pozzos did the right thing by sacking him? The actions of an honest boss for my money...
     
  20. Steve Leo Beleck

    Steve Leo Beleck Squad Player

    It's all very well Everton fans saying tapping up happens all the time but surely there's a sliding scale? There's a huge difference between a one off approach to test the water and a systematic effort to destabilise and bully another club into bending to their will.

    The fact that Watford felt it necessary to issue a cease and desist letter and the statement when Silva was sacked suggests that this wasn't a run of the mill slightly sneaky approach.

    I'm glad the inquiry is going ahead. The more time that Silva is consulting with his lawyer and getting interviewed by the QC, the less time he's able to focus on the training ground and the less likely he is to ever actually come up with a system for defending set pieces.
     
  21. jw-

    jw- Reservist

    I hope his lawyer is better at organising a defence than him, otherwise he's looking at a life sentence.
     
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  22. Levon

    Levon Squad Player

    One thing I don't get is how some Everton fans seem to be scoffing at the idea of an investigation. I am guilty of the occasional butcher's at the Everton forum, and while I would normally say that you shouldn't worry if you have nothing to hide, with them it seems to be the other way round: 'we have nothing to hide, so don't bother investigating'. It seems like they're trying to discourage an investigation (to the extent that mere fans on chatrooms can do), but also their seemingly-favourite citation from Everton Twitter of the claim that we 'tapped up' Silva when he was at Hull is to me a suggestion of the belief that the PL will think "yeah, you did this, but they did it too, so I guess it balances out". I can't see why else they'd bring it up. I get the impression that maybe they believe deep down that there are grounds after all.
     
  23. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    Before any investigation on Watford's approach for Silva while he was at Hull can take place, a formal complaint would have had to been received by Hull City. This clearly did not occur so there is no case to answer. Everton can say what they like, but it isn't being investigated and they have no jurisdiction on the matter.
     
  24. Otter

    Otter Gambling industry insider

    It's scouse mentality though, "No officer I didn't steal that car so you don't need to take my fingerprints."
     
    Clive_ofthe_Kremlin likes this.
  25. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

    I agree Gino should be given the benefit of the doubt over the matter. But it still wasn’t a good look to anyone and it certainly didn’t enhance our reputation within the game IMO.
     
  26. Levon

    Levon Squad Player

    Even if there was a complaint from Hull, it wouldn't have any bearing on this case. Everton seemingly thinking two wrongs make a right.
     
  27. Unhappy bunny

    Unhappy bunny Squad Player

    Great spot, Toffee. Interesting that there was a 3-decade gap after 1931.

    On thst basis I reckon a 10-point reduction would be fair. And Silva required to be Harry the Hornet for the rest of the season. We've got a vacancy, and if we want him we'll get him
     
  28. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team

    I think Silva would happily take on the roll as Harry Hornet, but after a couple of months he would put down his drum sticks and force through a move to become Mr Toffee.
     
  29. Hornpete

    Hornpete Reservist

    But am I more or less guilty than you, if I steal a set of hub caps off you that you stole off a little old lady?
     
  30. Arakel

    Arakel First Team

    Why would you reward Silva by letting him put on the hallowed Harry the Hornet costume?

    Silva required to be the L*ton mascot for the rest of the season. I seem to remember that it's a dog turd.
     
  31. Mollyboo

    Mollyboo Academy Graduate

    I don't wish any further punishment for Everton. To my mind they've suffered enough by having Silva as their boss - anything more than that is just too harsh.
     
  32. Bring Back Standing

    Bring Back Standing First Year Pro

    Or he could head off to the MLS. Philadelphia Union's mascot Phang seems rather appropriate for him...

    Phang the snake.JPG
     
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  33. Forzainglese

    Forzainglese First Year Pro

    Surely, the 'illegal approach' that is being mooted here is that clubs ask the individual if he's interested before they go ahead with a continued approach. Pretty much a first step in due diligence, nothing more and nothing to get up about. I imagine Everton did this and I believe then made an above-the-board offer (or offers) to allow them to make an approach, but they were told 'no'. The practice should then be to desist.
    However, it was pretty much an open secret that Everton continued to approach Sliva, despite knowing it was illegal. And they (and Sliva) were extremely persistent. Watford's complaint would be that it was against the rules to conduct such an operation AND that it constituted deliberate disruption of another club's business when conducted at that level. Any quantification of disruption would presumably be notional, but the principle would have been established.
    Without knowing anything about company law, I wonder if Watford would then feel able to pursue a case in the legal courts (sue 'em for damages, in other words).
     
  34. Forzainglese

    Forzainglese First Year Pro

    I think he's just being polite about Troy. Perhaps he doesn't think he is quite good enough but doesn't want to go public saying things like that. You have to be as much a politician as a coach to manage England. Also Troy's age may go against him - Southgate looks to be very keen on building a young squad for the future.
     
  35. Burnsy

    Burnsy Reservist

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