1 week ago

Deeney: “We've All Got To Stay At Home”

By Kevin Affleck

Club legends Troy Deeney and Luther Blissett have urged parents to keep their children at home and reconnect as families as the country bids to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Deeney, a father of three, has been alarmed at the minority who are ignoring the government guidelines about staying at home unless it's to buy basic essentials, to exercise or to fulfil a role as a key worker.

“We've all got to stay at home and follow the government guidelines,” he said. “How many more warnings do we need? They said they'll pay 80 per cent of wages and people are still going to work. It's going to have to go like Russia where if you go outside, it's five years in jail.

“Some are seeing it as a bit of a jolly up and it's a shame because it could affect so many. You've got to hope people see the curve in Italy and Spain and get [the severity] of it.”

Deeney understands it is difficult to keep children cooped up now they are off school, especially now the weather is taking a turn for the better, but knows the longer the rules are flouted, the longer this lockdown will remain in force.

“The worst thing that happened was when it came out that [the virus] doesn't affect the young so they are like, 'I don't care'. 

“But it has been nice to see families became together again. I think we have gone away from that. I've never seen so many people walking or taking the dog out. There has definitely been a family feel that has come back. Maybe this situation might make people step back and go, 'Do you know what, I'm putting too much emphasis on work and not my family and real life stuff.”

Blissett, who made a record 503 outings for the cub, scoring a record 186 goals, said it's time to evoke the spirit of the club's greatest ever manager.

“On the back of what Graham Taylor said, it's family first, football second,” said Blissett. “That should never change especially at this particular time. I'd also like to say a thank you to all NHS workers and other essential workers that do their job as without them, we'd be in a state.

“Sunday's briefing by Boris Johnson was quite poignant as I could see he was struggling to say to everyone, 'Look, you're not listening. I'll have to enforce it if you don't get on with it.' What we saw at the weekend was disgraceful, with everyone going out having parties. This is the single most deadly thing we've ever had to deal with. We need to adopt the spirit of back in the war when we looked out for, and after, each other. We need to take every precaution and respect each other's space.”

1 week ago

Cozzi's Classics: The Managers Part 2

Alan Cozzi has been Watford FC's full-time photographer since 1997, capturing iconic and historic moments at the club through the lens of his camera.

In the second instalment of a regular series taking a look at the stories behind classic photos from his archives, Cozzi talks us through his most memorable pictures of the second batch of managers he photographed as the official club snapper, from Sean Dyche to Slaviša Jokanović...


Sean Dyche

“That's the first picture I took of Dyche as manager and that pic, in front of the club crest and him in his suit, sums up his demeanour. He carries himself with a certain amount of authority and a certain presence. He was no-nonsense.”

“This was classic Dyche, ready to work. A 'let's go' type of attitude. He didn't mess about and just loved being out on the training pitch. He was fantastic to work with and nothing was a problem for him, but he didn't suffer fools. He had an air of authority, like 'don't mess with me' without actually saying it.”

Gianfranco Zola

“I like the contrast of these two pics of Zola. The first is after the play-off final defeat and he's consoling Alex Geijo. That was classic Zola, putting his arm around players. They loved him and he loved his players. He was a gentleman.”

“Here you have got a smiley Zola at the start of the next summer in Italy. He loved being out on the training pitch and it didn't take long for that smile and optimism to be back on his face. That football was some of the best I've ever seen.” 

Beppe Sannino 

“With every new manager, you watch his movements to see what he's like, how he does things and how he expresses himself. From the moment Sannino walked in, his hands were like a windmill. He never stopped gesticulating and it was never a struggle to get pictures of him. With some managers and coaches you'd be out there two hours trying to get pictures, but with him you were done after 10 minutes.”

“He was a typical Italian and very sartorially elegant. This was one of him suited and booted at Vicarage Road against Reading and being typically passionate. He was a larger than life character and you almost had too many pictures of him sometimes.”

Óscar García

“I only got 100 pictures of him split across three events: the day he turned up, a game against Hemel and a training session. This was from the friendly game against Hemel. He never got started really, but seemed nice enough.”

Billy McKinlay

“I got even less pictures of McKinlay. This was a frame of him in what was obviously one of only two games in charge. He looked really happy to finally get the chance to be a No. 1 after 10 years as an assistant, but it just wasn't to be.”

Slaviša Jokanović

“He came across as a really dour character, a really serious football person, but when I look back there are more pictures of him than I recall so perhaps I'm doing him a bit of a disservice. This one was back at the training ground after we had beaten Brighton and got promoted. It was the first time I had seen him loosen up.”

“This was the annual team picture from that season and players usually want that shoot over and done with in 30 seconds flat. But Jokanović was happy to pass the time and have a quiet word with Lloyd and enjoy the moment.”


Read Cozzi's Classics: The Managers Part 1 HERE and keep an eye out for the next instalment in the series, coming soon.