Watford manager Nigel Pearson has slammed prime minister Boris Johnson for a ‘lack of leadership’ amid the spread of coronavirus in the UK. The government on Thursday moved onto the ‘delay’ phase in its battle against COVID-19 – but controversially decided not to close schools or ban large-scale events, unlike several countries across Europe.
Nigel Pearson said “I don’t think we had any great leadership last night listening to the prime minister, I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership and clear message in terms of what was said in that press conference.We are trying to be proactive ourselves and hopefully the Premier League will make strong decisions based on what is right for everybody in the game. We have to be mindful that this problem, this worldwide problem is not going to go away, it’s going to run its course, it’s not something we can stop and, we, in the football industry, have a responsibility to ourselves and each other that the wellbeing of everybody concerned is taken care.
Nonetheless, the Premier League and the EFL have both been suspended until the start of April, joining most sporting events worldwide, following the news that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus.
In an exclusive interview with the Times, Troy Deeney has opened up about the therapy he has been taking to fight mental issues, his drinking problem and the eventual imprisonment that he faced.
Troy Deeney said “It had gone to once a month but I’ve upped it to weekly recently because I’ve stripped down so many layers,” he says. “The more layers you take down, the deeper it gets. And I haven’t been good at dealing with my emotions, with feelings, so I am trying to get into that layer now which is very tiring. And some tears come with that but it’s what I need to do to be a better parent and better partner. Football is my life, I give everything to it, but I have 50 years after that to be a parent, hopefully grandparent, and partner. I want to be a nice guy, a good guy. I didn’t cry at my Dad’s funeral. I was in that whole ‘men don’t cry’ thing. It genuinely grates me to cry. But I cried for the first time in about five years last week. I had an issue with drinking that I didn’t know, not the deep root cause of it. When I heard, it triggered something, a way I had never thought about it. Denial. I thought I drank because I didn’t deal with death. But it’s way before that. It’s uncomfortable to go there but if you can’t be uncomfortable you aren’t going to grow. People do lose the human being behind the footballer. If your brother is in trouble you look after him. It might not be right but should we really expect him to be a role model in those circumstances? I hate the word ‘role model’ for the way it gives people a sense of entitlement to say ‘now you must behave better than me’. I don’t believe that one mistake will define you. Will it hold you back and hamper you? One hundred per cent it will, so you have to work harder, if not two hundred times harder, than the other person going for the job.”
Deeney was also confident of the fact that Watford will be able to survive the drop under the guidance of Nigel Pearson and wants to end his professional club with the hornets.
Watford CEO Scott Duxbury has come out in support of the Premier League’s decision to suspend fixtures until at least the weekend of Friday, April 3, following the coronavirus outbreak.
Scott Duxbury said “First and foremost, our concern is for the wellbeing of everybody connected with our club; players, staff and supporters, Our actions in recent weeks to take extra precautionary steps reflect the fact that this has always been our priority; something our Head Coach Nigel Pearson reiterated fully at this morning’s press conference. We will continue our usual lines of communication with our supporters, providing the most up-to-date information possible.”
Watford has also announced the postponement of the ‘Mariappa’s Ten Men’ function due to the coronavirus outbreak. The event, organised to celebrate each of Adrian Mariappa’s ten seasons as a professional with the Hornets, was due to take place next Wednesday (March 18) at Shendish Manor Hotel.
Hungarian midfielder Daniel Tozser has lifted the lid on his exit from Watford in 2015. Explaining why he left Vicarage Road, the midfielder has played down suggestions that he joined Queens Park Rangers for monetary reasons.
Daniel Tozser said “It is very simple. I wanted to stay at Watford in 2015. I even had a chat with Quique Sanchez Flores who asked me to stay but the president had other ideas and for whatever reason he did not want to give me a contract. He didn’t offer me anything so that was it. I left for QPR but like I said many times, in football you see a lot of strange and different things so nothing should surprise you. But that is the past now and I am over it. Watford was a fantastic time and I am really going to think only in a positive way about Watford even if I was forced out. But it is life.That season (2014/15) I was also the one with the most appearances at the club. I am proud of what I have achieved with them and my Watford memories are great.”
Tozser initially joined the Hornets on loan from Genoa in January 2014 before making the move to Hertfordshire permanently. And although he played a big part in the club’s promotion-winning campaign in 2014/15, he claims he was deemed surplus to requirements by the hierarchy and, like Gabriele Angella, never got the chance to play in the Premier League.
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