Watford captain Troy Deeney will be shelved for three matches after receiving a violent conduct charge from the FA for a scrap with Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen where the Watford man was caught grabbing Allen’s face.
In the 94th minute of Watford’s 1-0 loss to Stoke City last weekend, a physical battle between Deeney and Allen in the penalty area boiled over after the whistle, for which both men received yellow cards. However, video after the fact caught Deeney gouging Allen’s cheek with his thumbs, which the FA deemed harsh enough for a violent conduct charge.
Deeney has since accepted the charge and will not appeal.
The two men ended up face-to-face, and a large scuffle ensued, during which it appeared that Deeney also managed to shove Ryan Shawcross to the ground.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes explained that his player was angry because he expected Deeney to send the ball back to Stoke in a sporting manner after the ball was put out of play for an injury. Instead, Deeney attempted to deliver a cross into the box with his team down a goal.
“Clearly we kicked the ball out and the right thing to do in the spirit of the game is throw it back,” he said. “Deeney, the captain of the club, should know better but he shaped to play it into our box and that’s why Joe reacted. More often than not those situations get revisited by people in authority and decisions are made as a consequence.”
Allen laughed off the incident, explaining that he probably should know better than to pick a fight with a player of much larger stature, “It was handbags really and there was nothing to it. I like Troy, he’s one of the good guys, he’s a really good player and it was nothing personal. He’s a big guy and we were both laughing – I knew I was beaten in that situation, but I have a bit of a bad habit of picking the wrong fights!”
Deeney will miss games against Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle and will return for a game against Manchester United at Vicarage Road. Andre Gray will likely get the bulk of the work up front in Deeney’s absence, already playing alongside the Hornets captain in regular deployment.