Watching Football is not more important than keeping your loved ones safe

Can Deeney Save Football? By Dan Smith

Many have ‘reportedly’ expressed their concerns about returning to Football in this country, but Troy Deeney is the first professional to publicly speak out about refusing to train. When I say publicly, I don’t mean Sky inviting a player on Zoom to ask their opinion. Deeney decided to go all over media to make his voice heard.

So not quite the statement the Premiership put out yesterday insisting their 20 clubs were all behind ‘Project Restart’ Those who make money might be, but maybe players are not listened too, they are just puppets told to dance when owners want their millions?

I guess it would be a PR blow if they included Deeney’s misgivings. He’s not a big enough name to change things on his own, but he’s still a captain.

It’s funny how Watford banged the drum about neutral venues not being fair. They argued that not playing at Vicarage Road would harm their chances of beating relegation (even though there wouldn’t be a crowd) yet apparently they are happy for their leader to miss training?

What happened to the ‘integrity’ they preach? I guess what stadium you play at makes you money, when the welfare of your skipper does’t?

My hope is that now that one person has spoken out, others will feel more comfortable to do the same.
We can only take Deeney’s word for it, but he insists that there are more of his peers than you might imagine that are really not happy with going back to work in June. They don’t see the point sharing how they feel, because they believe they will be dismissed as greedy footballers, and told to ‘get on with it’.

To clarify he’s happy with Stage 1, which consists of respecting social distancing with a coach 2m away. That’s essentially what you can do at a park (although parks now are filled with groups of 10 having a barbecue).

it’s Stage 2 and 3 he had asked questions about, with his concern being that no one can answer them. Stage 2 is 5-6 players now joining in, essentially building up weekly till the whole squad is interacting with each other.

Deeney’s concerns are based on having a 5-month-old with breathing problems. Similar to Abraham living with his dad who is asthmatic. The law of averages say they won’t be the only two with these complex situations.

From day 1 of this Pandemic, it’s been a useful social experiment. There are those who can listen to their government and there’s others with a sense of entitlement. I see people refusing to respect a rule of only 5 individuals at a time in a shop, or go to the beach just to say ‘look at me’. I know those who have driven miles just to see a friend, when they wouldn’t have bothered had they been allowed.

So, there will be fans who only see Football coming back and will be blinded by that.

Many examples exist where people’s moral compass is different when it comes to Football compared with daily life. So, some, including on Justarsenal, will argue ‘you earn thousands a week so get back on that pitch.’ However rich you are though, nothing is more important than your loved ones.

It’s an employers responsibility to make a workplace safe. Guidelines say there are certain jobs you simply can’t do at the moment; some things are not realistic right now. Trust me if you went to your GP and explained your family was high risk, not one employer could force you to leave your house.

So, the idea that a man gets verbally abused online for wanting to protect his baby just because his wage is big? Wow… Human values shouldn’t change just because you can’t wait a little longer for sport to resume.

You wouldn’t hammer that person if we were chatting about a Coffee Shop. Nor if you have been affected by this virus would you see sport as crucial. It’s only those who think these things wouldn’t happen to them who only see Deeney as a striker not a human.

Just remember that, over 30,000 thousand families have dealt with deaths in the last 2 months and you are crying because you haven’t seen a ball kicked since March.

6 players have tested positive in the Premier League testing results. That supports Deeney’s stance. At the moment it’s only Troy Deeney, but Deeney speaking out, combined with how many players go into isolation will only encourage more players to find their voices. The odds are stacked against Deeney as well as time. Yet if he encourages the right player…

The right player, with the big social media following, the lucrative sponsor, the influence in the dressing room, could yet stop this restart.

Never thought I say this about Deeney, but he deserves a medal.n Deeney Save Football?

Dan Smith


  1. Sue says:

    Dan.. I never thought I’d see myself defending the guy, as it’s well known I’m not his biggest fan 😆
    Yes and 3 of the positives are from Watford….He said he’s had nothing before and that he’d rather have his money taken off him. He has also spoken of losing close family members, so keeping his son safe is more important than ‘a few quid in his back pocket’
    Good on you, Troy… everyone would follow suit if in the same boat.

    1. Admin Martin says:

      No, they would not Sue, in fact tens of thousands per day are isolating themselves from vulnerable family members. You think he is the only footballer with a vulnerable member of his family? There is zero risk to his child if he self isolates.

      1. Sue says:

        Isn’t that what all this hoo-ha is about?? People slating him for not training? So he self isolates to protect his child – and rightly so… and I hope others do the same, as believe it or not, Martin, I don’t think he’s the only footballer out there with a vulnerable family member!!

        1. Admin Martin says:

          He is not self-isolating from the vulnerable member of his family though is he and I reckon you are right Sue, there will be other footballers that will refuse even without a vulnerable family member. I am almost certain that there will be one Arsenal player who I do not need to name that will refuse. It is simply the character of some people.

          1. Sue says:

            Yes but his only port of call, after leaving his house, should be his workplace, having knocked that on the head, he’ll be staying indoors with his wife to care for their baby. He shouldn’t have to isolate away from his child if he hasn’t left his home up until now??
            Sorry for the ramble, probably doesn’t even make sense haha, but I’m on a break and pushed for time!

  2. Grandad says:

    Behind TD 100%.

  3. SueP says:

    I do have the utmost sympathy and respect for TD regarding the love and care he is showing for his young son who is vulnerable. It is his choice and at some point he should consider taking unpaid leave.

    Regarding his concerns about safety, there a couple of points I would make.
    1. Life is not risk free.
    2. By taking tests and self isolating from his family for the duration of the season he could play for his team, earn a living and lead Watford to safety or relegation. This would apply to all players, including BAME players whose risk is greater.

    It should not be too much of a hardship for Deeney to self isolate, although not exactly a preferred choice. However, top class cricketers go off to the other side of the world for weeks on end leaving wives and families at home. The same could be said of oil rig workers, migrant workers, the 3 groups of the armed forces to name but a few.

    I am in no rush for football to return – far from it. Quite what would happen next season, I have no idea other than I am writing this in the perspective of finishing this season only. The vast majority of us have stayed at home and done our bit to help the health and care workers tend to their patients during the pandemic.

    My concern is that now the nation is slowly recovering from the dreadful effects of the virus, there will be other challenges that face us which could quite easily be far worse than the disease itself. At this stage, ignoring the economy for a minute, there are thousands of citizens at risk from not surviving heart attacks, strokes, lack of cancer treatment etc. Dentists are shut, hospital appointments for non urgent but important health issues are on hold. Fighting Covid will come at a terrible cost to our physical and mental health.

    Economically, it is an absolute disaster, and now that cases are falling, a return to some degree of normality is essential otherwise this country, and a host of others may never fully recover.

    Football resuming is just one aspect of getting back to some degree of normal life. I fully appreciate that a lot of self distancing will become the norm, and I adopt this approach when walking the dog, going to the supermarket and now, luckily for me, getting in a round of golf.

    The hospitality and retail industry will have to find a way to operate, and football and other arena sports will too. It won’t be the same for a long time to come but if we sit at home and wait for a miracle cure, we might be indoors for a very long time.

    I have not written this in support of greedy owners or the PL losing money.

    1. Dankit says:

      Top comment 👍
      Mind you all your comments are always on point ..

    2. Sue says:

      He has said he’s happy to not be paid!

      1. SueP says:

        I know, Sue
        I am not having a crack at Deeney, he as a grown man can make his own decisions for his family and his finances.

        1. Sue says:

          Exactly that… and I really don’t understand what all of this has created.

          1. SueP says:

            I firmly believe like you that TD should do what he thinks is best for his family.

            I was trying with my post to put into some perspective that at some point we have to find a way forward for us all and certainly not just football, as this disease is with us for a while yet.

            I do believe that for football to return at present it can only happen if all the players isolate completely from families and loved ones for the duration of the competition.

            I can’t imagine that next season could operate under such stringent rules, but for those who want this season played out, rather than the other options, then I see no other way.

            Also, how the season could be completed if enough players opted out, lord only knows. I was up for voiding it completely, but I know that is unpopular

          2. Sue says:

            I was all for voiding the season too, but let’s face it that was never an option!!
            Btw how is your husband doing? All good, I hope.

          3. SueP says:

            Hi Sue
            Thanks for asking
            As we are in a rural village he does take the dog out but that’s it. Lucky we’re not still in London on that front

          4. Sue says:

            Good, glad to hear it. A relation of mine wasn’t told to shield like your husband, but did receive a letter saying he was at risk, trying to keep him inside is an absolute nightmare!!

          5. SueP says:

            sorry Sue,
            Just picked up your message.
            Shielding is very difficult if you don’t feel unwell. Mine doesn’t – his problem is all down to the drugs he takes for arthritis and high blood pressure and 99% he feels fine. I don’t envy you having to deal with your relation if he/she feels well but is at risk

  4. Robert Acedius says:

    This is a NONE discussion. It’s NOTHING to discuss. For more reasons than one. First of all: Non of us – on this site – are involved here, in this particular case. It ain’t a business of any of us. It’s Troy D:s affair, and I think personally his standpoint is the only decent. Good Man. And from a principal point of view: Who cares about a ridiculous event (a so called sport) were “grown men” running there ass*s of after a round thing on a green field of grass for almost nothing? Just to kick that stupid thing inside two sticks – when it’s a matter of Life and Death. We are living history in the spring of 2020. Believe it or not, the whole human race is under attack. And just talking for myself: I’m scared as sh*t!

    1. Admin Martin says:

      So screw the hundreds of thousands employed directly by clubs and millions indirectly because a millionaire cannot bare to be away from his family for a few weeks. Good job he was never called up to represent his country at a world cup, he would then have been away from his family for up to six weeks but he cannot do that now? give me strength

      1. Dan says:

        6 weeks ?
        He’s English ….more like 6 days lol.

        1. Sue says:


    2. Robert Acedius says:

      CORRECTION: their ass*s off. Sorry! I’m almost Norwegian, you know.

      1. Admin Martin says:


    3. jon fox says:

      Bravo Robert. A humane and much appreciated post. It is no one elses busines what TD decides and no one, not even admins on this site have any right to try dissing him for sensiblY and humanely putting his familys safety first.

      Bravo Deeney, bravo Robert,

      1. SueP says:

        I firmly agree that Deeney can quite rightly make those decisions regarding what is best for his family, but on this basis he really should be considering his future career in football. ‘Football’ cannot guarantee his or his family’s safety unless a vaccine or other effective treatment is developed. The same applies to us all, as we are all at risk.

        I am not talking about the rights or wrongs of completing the season, but as an exercise, self isolation within the 20 PL teams for the duration would pose no risk to TD or his family. All would have been screened well in advance, during the remaining games, and afterwards. while completing a quarantine period. Each player could then go back to their families and isolate at home together or however they see fit. I reiterate an earlier point that I made, that other professions and sportspeople spend long periods apart from families. It goes with the job. All those that want a true ending to the season would get it.

        Expecting every PL player to quarantine themselves for next season would be ridiculous and I have not a barking clue what would happen to the future of football going forward.

        1. Dan says:

          Unless someone does something hire a prostitute , go to a house party , drive to miles t o , hire a stripper for birthday , go for kick about in park , have car washed …..all happend in last two months

          1. SueP says:

            I’d be surprised if Arteta allowed the players who he was quarantined with to do any of the things that you put forward. They would be a happy band of fellow players and coaches playing Bingo or having an evening on the Karaoke machine during their down time

          2. Dan says:

            Sue I agree
            But you think going back to training this week would be the one week they all respect rules and some havnt

        2. jon fox says:

          Sue you surely cannot have it both ways? You now appear to be arguing against your several previous posts when this topic has come up. Don’t you also think it is up to Deeney and he ALONE to make decisions regarding his and his familys health and future? I cannot imagine he has not given thought to the point you raise and nor have those like me who think it far too soon to decently resume just yet. I think you would be well advised to decide WHAT you really think ,as I REPEAT YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS.

          SEEMS TO ME YOU HAVE CHANGED YOUR VIEWS AND IF SO, THEN AT LEAST HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY SO. IT WOULD NOT BE THE FIRST TIME ANYONE HAS CHANGED THEIR VIEWS IN THE LIGHT OF EVENTS and I too have oft done so, when evidence alters . But NOT on this subject, not remotely. I cannot believe that it is honourable or decent, let alone not safe either, to resume while just yesterday 400 plus DIED in Britain. CAN YOU THEREFORE CLARIFY YOUR CURRENT POSITION ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU THINK WE SHOULD NOW BE RESUMING TRAINING FOR GAMES A MONTH OR LESS AWAY? If you have, I will respect your change of heart but will disagree with you.

          1. SueP says:

            I have no desire to fall out with you over this at all. I feel that I have made it very clear that if TD doesn’t want to return then that is his choice, and others can do the same. It will eventually be up to the various clubs to decide on what action they take in the longer term.

            I am only responding in a way that reflects how the government is changing the guidelines. At present, I can go to the coast for the day or play a round of golf. Before that, I religiously followed all government guidance to slow down the spread of this disease. Because tentative steps can now be taken to kick start the economy and our lives, the government and their science advisers have stated, with the proviso that its is safe to do so , that schools and football can start. Other businesses are starting up again. If the PL accept that football can resume safely then who am I to say that it is wrong? If all the protocols and quarantine can be observed then I do not see it as an issue. If players are going back home to their families during the games then in my opinion, football has not started safely and should be halted. The time frame for restart should be gauged on safety.

            I don’t think that I am sitting on the fence. I enjoy playing golf safely and so do countless thousands of golf addicts around the country. I genuinely do not feel that this makes me or them immoral while there are still deaths occurring. I know it is a difficult subject to negotiate, especially as the deaths are not yet as low as we would all want them to be. I wasn’t being disrespectful to the dead or the ones who may yet succumb. I was only putting across a view that football can or could restart if quarantine is observed. It has only ever been an observation.

            All the way through the debates over the weeks, I have strongly felt that the season should have been scrapped when it was clear that deaths were rising and it wasn’t being contained. Everyone had their own views and suggestions on how to the end the season. I still stand by my preference. End the season and pretend it never happened. I know this is not popular, but that is where I stood then and do now.

            I hope that I have managed to explain my stance.

        3. jon fox says:

          Sue P thanks for clarifying your position. At least now I know!

  5. AndersS says:

    So true, well written.

  6. Jah son says:

    Until I see a player who is on the winning end refuses to play then and only the. Troy’s decision is political. The thousands who have to isolate from their parents in homes have to deal with it but can Troy stay away from his family for the greater GOOD. Troy will get what’s coming to him always been a loud mouthed man.

  7. Jah son says:

    Man’s hiding behind his baby lol what if ozil pulled a string like that ha ha. Oops he’s one of us Dwl.

  8. ThirdManJW says:

    As I keep saying, how many will die through the chain of infection from influenza when the flu season arrives? Will Deeney self isolate then as well to protect the vulnerable? Will he down tools, and not go to work? Will be very interesting to see the language he uses, and his actions in about 6 months time.

    1. jon fox says:

      TMJW, you are in a minority of one, yourself on here, in failing to realise a disease which has a vaccine cure is not the same as one which does not and which is hugely more contagious and deadly, despite your false claims. I have
      thus drawn my own conclusions about your reasoning abilities. Therefore I see no point in engaging with you ever again.

      1. ThirdManJW says:

        The FACTS are that even though there is a flu vaccine, it doesn’t work for everyone. IT IS A FACT!!!!! Not only that massive fact, there are millions that won’t even have access to the flu vaccine.

        Do you accept those facts jon fox?

        Finally, ad probably the most obvious question is – if there is a vaccine for the flu, and heard immunity, and we’re not to worry about it, then why do thousands upon thousands die every year from it then?

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