Watford players discuss the recent row with management

Almunia and Deeney on players and management row

Almunia and Deeney on players and management row

First published in Sport Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Group Sports Editor

Manuel Almunia and Troy Deeney have had their say on the argument between the Hornets' squad and the club's management last week.

A row broke out between members of the Watford squad and the management in the build-up to Saturday’s match after the club told the squad they wanted them to train two weeks beyond the final game of the season.

Awful performances against Derby County on April 26 and Charlton Athletic three days later led to the club cancelling the team’s day off on Wednesday of last week.

Head coach Beppe Sannino questioned the Hornets players’ passion and commitment after the two demoralising displays and along with cancelling their day off, the club’s senior management decided they wanted the squad to train longer than initially planned after Saturday’s season finale.

In most cases, teams come into training for a couple of days after the final match of the season for testing and meetings.

On Wednesday, Sannino told the players the club wanted them to train for two weeks after the Huddersfield Town match on Saturday, which was a week-and-a-half longer than stated previously.

Watford’s players are contracted until June 30 and the senior management believed their request was fair. A source told us the club believed the extra training time would be a positive as it may have helped the squad forget about their torrid end to the season.

But the perceived punishment led to an angry reaction from some of the players – some of whom already had holidays booked.

It was subsequently decided the players would train until today (Friday), which was longer than initially planned but a week less than the club had wanted.

Captain Manuel Almunia explained the players’ position, saying: "The players did what everyone in their jobs do and that is plan their holidays, that is what we have done for the last 20 years (the length of Almunia’s career so far). You have to book flights and arrange things.

"But the club decided they wanted us to train longer. We gave our opinion to the club and the manager and we agreed to stay [longer] this week.

"So we are training this week and I think the lads are doing well."

Watford’s players return for pre-season on June 23, in six weeks time, and Almunia continued: "Last season was a long season because of the play-off final, so our holidays were shorter. We’ve also not had many days off in a row this season because we’ve played a lot of games as the World Cup means the competitions have to end earlier.

"So that’s the reason we were talking to the club, we were giving our opinion."

Top scorer Troy Deeney played down the incident this week.

He said: "Not much happened, it’s the same kind of thing that happened 40 times last year but nobody asked questions because we did well.

"It was an argument that lasted ten minutes. It was done and dusted and we’ve cracked on.

"Everyone is here and everyone is back out training. The guys who missed Saturday due to injury are back now and there are a couple who can’t train yet and they’ll stay a little longer to get themselves fit.

"It’s fine though. We’ve got a couple of test days and then everyone can go on holidays and relax. We all know we’ve got to come back and be better next year."

Comments (25)

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12:14pm Fri 9 May 14

andyandyandy says...

So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances?
Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.
So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled. andyandyandy
  • Score: 5

12:38pm Fri 9 May 14

HornetJJ says...

andyandyandy wrote:
So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances?
Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.
They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it!
[quote][p][bold]andyandyandy[/bold] wrote: So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.[/p][/quote]They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it! HornetJJ
  • Score: 16

12:52pm Fri 9 May 14

Sealegs says...

andyandyandy wrote:
So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances?
Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.
Good point! It would interesting to know exactly when they booked their flights!
[quote][p][bold]andyandyandy[/bold] wrote: So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.[/p][/quote]Good point! It would interesting to know exactly when they booked their flights! Sealegs
  • Score: -3

12:53pm Fri 9 May 14

Sealegs says...

HornetJJ wrote:
andyandyandy wrote:
So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances?
Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.
They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it!
That was only the week before...
[quote][p][bold]HornetJJ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]andyandyandy[/bold] wrote: So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.[/p][/quote]They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it![/p][/quote]That was only the week before... Sealegs
  • Score: 5

12:56pm Fri 9 May 14

andyandyandy says...

HornetJJ wrote:
andyandyandy wrote: So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.
They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it!
Obviously booked once we were out of it? and how do you work that out? seeing as its "obvious"
[quote][p][bold]HornetJJ[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]andyandyandy[/bold] wrote: So had we have made the play off's what then for the booked holidays? Maybe that explains the dire performances? Better make sure they didnt make the play oof's or that flight to Dubai might have had to be cancelled.[/p][/quote]They were obviously booked once we were mathematically out of it![/p][/quote]Obviously booked once we were out of it? and how do you work that out? seeing as its "obvious" andyandyandy
  • Score: -1

1:00pm Fri 9 May 14

Hornet Cornet says...

I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 40

1:12pm Fri 9 May 14

mellow yellow says...

Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
Are you being entered?
[quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]Are you being entered? mellow yellow
  • Score: 9

1:13pm Fri 9 May 14

Paul Gadd says...

This lot need the extra training.......half of them arrive unfit
This lot need the extra training.......half of them arrive unfit Paul Gadd
  • Score: 13

1:16pm Fri 9 May 14

Ramageland says...

The Huddersfield display does not fit my definition of 'cracked on'. 'Gave up and put in a protest display' would better got the bill.
The Huddersfield display does not fit my definition of 'cracked on'. 'Gave up and put in a protest display' would better got the bill. Ramageland
  • Score: 24

1:17pm Fri 9 May 14

Ramageland says...

Ramageland wrote:
The Huddersfield display does not fit my definition of 'cracked on'. 'Gave up and put in a protest display' would better got the bill.
*fit the bill !!
[quote][p][bold]Ramageland[/bold] wrote: The Huddersfield display does not fit my definition of 'cracked on'. 'Gave up and put in a protest display' would better got the bill.[/p][/quote]*fit the bill !! Ramageland
  • Score: 4

1:45pm Fri 9 May 14

garston tony says...

In any other job if someone assumed they could knock off when they were contracted to work and go on holiday without asking they'd probably face a disciplinary, possibly the sack if they actually went. I get being asked to stay on a couple of weeks after the season ends is unusual but if their contract says the club can ask it then the club can ask it and the players are wrong to complain because they made the wrong assumption.

This spat along with recent displays does leave a sour taste in the mouth and a question mark over the players themselves. I hope TD is right and the WO is making a mountain out of a mole hill
In any other job if someone assumed they could knock off when they were contracted to work and go on holiday without asking they'd probably face a disciplinary, possibly the sack if they actually went. I get being asked to stay on a couple of weeks after the season ends is unusual but if their contract says the club can ask it then the club can ask it and the players are wrong to complain because they made the wrong assumption. This spat along with recent displays does leave a sour taste in the mouth and a question mark over the players themselves. I hope TD is right and the WO is making a mountain out of a mole hill garston tony
  • Score: 8

1:46pm Fri 9 May 14

garston tony says...

Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
Its car crash tv, absolutely awful but cant help watching. Anyone for a bearded Austrian lady?
[quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]Its car crash tv, absolutely awful but cant help watching. Anyone for a bearded Austrian lady? garston tony
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Fri 9 May 14

bristol hornet says...

I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months.

Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader.

Malky and Beppe could make quite a team?

Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season.

We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us.
I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months. Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader. Malky and Beppe could make quite a team? Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season. We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us. bristol hornet
  • Score: -17

3:35pm Fri 9 May 14

JohnnyBarnes says...

I like Deeney's comments. I think he's got a pretty level head on his shoulders. "Yes, we had a disagreement, but it's in the past and we're concentrating on football now" - can't argue with that. It's far healthier to air problems straight away and get them sorted.

I love Almunia, but would personally make Deeney captain. He seems to me to be a very good leader - and popular within the group as well.
I like Deeney's comments. I think he's got a pretty level head on his shoulders. "Yes, we had a disagreement, but it's in the past and we're concentrating on football now" - can't argue with that. It's far healthier to air problems straight away and get them sorted. I love Almunia, but would personally make Deeney captain. He seems to me to be a very good leader - and popular within the group as well. JohnnyBarnes
  • Score: 14

4:06pm Fri 9 May 14

srfc says...

would of expected more from Almunia (or maybe not cause he's out of contract) and Deeney. The fact is players would of booked holidays well before we were mathematically out of the play-off's which is wrong and if correct is positive evidence that the club has too many free loaders. Apart from all that the players are missing the fact that they are apparently contracted until 30th June which is still 6 weeks away so why are they moaning. I hate all this, we have good stable owners, a manager who loves the club and fans (or so he says only time will tell) but players who clearly are not all pulling in the same direction, clear the cr*p get back to the core!!!
would of expected more from Almunia (or maybe not cause he's out of contract) and Deeney. The fact is players would of booked holidays well before we were mathematically out of the play-off's which is wrong and if correct is positive evidence that the club has too many free loaders. Apart from all that the players are missing the fact that they are apparently contracted until 30th June which is still 6 weeks away so why are they moaning. I hate all this, we have good stable owners, a manager who loves the club and fans (or so he says only time will tell) but players who clearly are not all pulling in the same direction, clear the cr*p get back to the core!!! srfc
  • Score: -4

4:10pm Fri 9 May 14

mickallen57 says...

The fans on this site have not been far off the mark .Posts constantly bemoaning the loss of a leader on the pitch like Hogg or Eustace .It is refreshing to know that the players feel the same way . It sounds as if another talking point (or lack of it ) is Beppes' lack of English. I think Beppe a decent man and he was close to securing a play off place before the slide into holiday mode. However I think he may be sacrificed at the expense of another two manager season. We have a talented squad ,if we can keep Troy and Toszer on board and sign a focused Matej Vydra and a John Eustace we could do it. I can't wait for the new season , happy hols to all the players COYH
The fans on this site have not been far off the mark .Posts constantly bemoaning the loss of a leader on the pitch like Hogg or Eustace .It is refreshing to know that the players feel the same way . It sounds as if another talking point (or lack of it ) is Beppes' lack of English. I think Beppe a decent man and he was close to securing a play off place before the slide into holiday mode. However I think he may be sacrificed at the expense of another two manager season. We have a talented squad ,if we can keep Troy and Toszer on board and sign a focused Matej Vydra and a John Eustace we could do it. I can't wait for the new season , happy hols to all the players COYH mickallen57
  • Score: 2

4:13pm Fri 9 May 14

SAHornet says...

mellow yellow wrote:
Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
Are you being entered?
He said song contest, not crappy poem contest :-)
[quote][p][bold]mellow yellow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]Are you being entered?[/p][/quote]He said song contest, not crappy poem contest :-) SAHornet
  • Score: 5

4:17pm Fri 9 May 14

andyhooked says...

The possibility of the play-offs went some time back I have mixed feelings about some of the players wanting to get away and get back home. For example, Marco missing his family in Italy. The whole thing has been badly handled but perhaps Sannino wanting to lay the blame off onto under performers and saying to the Pozzos the Italian equivalent of "It aint my fault gov"?
The possibility of the play-offs went some time back I have mixed feelings about some of the players wanting to get away and get back home. For example, Marco missing his family in Italy. The whole thing has been badly handled but perhaps Sannino wanting to lay the blame off onto under performers and saying to the Pozzos the Italian equivalent of "It aint my fault gov"? andyhooked
  • Score: 2

5:41pm Fri 9 May 14

Bonser Out says...

Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
I'm waiting to see how many points Russia get from all their cold war friends.
[quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]I'm waiting to see how many points Russia get from all their cold war friends. Bonser Out
  • Score: 2

5:51pm Fri 9 May 14

allgood says...

bristol hornet wrote:
I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months.

Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader.

Malky and Beppe could make quite a team?

Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season.

We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us.
Strange that news of Malkys settlement broke around the same time as rumours Big Sam is on his way out of West Ham.
[quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months. Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader. Malky and Beppe could make quite a team? Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season. We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us.[/p][/quote]Strange that news of Malkys settlement broke around the same time as rumours Big Sam is on his way out of West Ham. allgood
  • Score: 3

8:37pm Fri 9 May 14

grahamwfc says...

allgood wrote:
bristol hornet wrote:
I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months.

Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader.

Malky and Beppe could make quite a team?

Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season.

We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us.
Strange that news of Malkys settlement broke around the same time as rumours Big Sam is on his way out of West Ham.
Perhaps we can get BIG SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]allgood[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bristol hornet[/bold] wrote: I know he had to grovel to get his financial settlement from the evil Vincent Tan at Cardiff, but Malky is NOW AVAILABLE for the first time in six months. Come on WFC, move quickly and get him back before Norwich nip in and get their former skipper and promo leader. Malky and Beppe could make quite a team? Malky would probably prefer his own team, but I know for sure he would have us up in the promo mix next season. We have had the "awesome foursome" of Brendan, Dycle, Jackett, and Warburton. Now is the time to make it an "awesome fivesome" by bringing back Malky who still lives in the area, and has a lot of fond memories of his first stint with us.[/p][/quote]Strange that news of Malkys settlement broke around the same time as rumours Big Sam is on his way out of West Ham.[/p][/quote]Perhaps we can get BIG SAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! grahamwfc
  • Score: -3

10:06pm Fri 9 May 14

Hornet Cornet says...

mellow yellow wrote:
Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
Are you being entered?
Yes, I am entering for Austria. I seem to have forgotten my razor again
[quote][p][bold]mellow yellow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]Are you being entered?[/p][/quote]Yes, I am entering for Austria. I seem to have forgotten my razor again Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 1

10:35pm Fri 9 May 14

Hornet Cornet says...

SAHornet wrote:
mellow yellow wrote:
Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
Are you being entered?
He said song contest, not crappy poem contest :-)
My poetry is highly prized I'll have you know.

How's the biltong over there? Been a while since I was out that way

HC
[quote][p][bold]SAHornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mellow yellow[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]Are you being entered?[/p][/quote]He said song contest, not crappy poem contest :-)[/p][/quote]My poetry is highly prized I'll have you know. How's the biltong over there? Been a while since I was out that way HC Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 1

10:35pm Fri 9 May 14

Hornet Cornet says...

Bonser Out wrote:
Hornet Cornet wrote:
I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest
I'm waiting to see how many points Russia get from all their cold war friends.
douze pointes
[quote][p][bold]Bonser Out[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hornet Cornet[/bold] wrote: I don't care any more. All I am bothered about is the Eurovision song contest[/p][/quote]I'm waiting to see how many points Russia get from all their cold war friends.[/p][/quote]douze pointes Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Mon 12 May 14

1987Hornet says...

srfc wrote:
would of expected more from Almunia (or maybe not cause he's out of contract) and Deeney. The fact is players would of booked holidays well before we were mathematically out of the play-off's which is wrong and if correct is positive evidence that the club has too many free loaders. Apart from all that the players are missing the fact that they are apparently contracted until 30th June which is still 6 weeks away so why are they moaning. I hate all this, we have good stable owners, a manager who loves the club and fans (or so he says only time will tell) but players who clearly are not all pulling in the same direction, clear the cr*p get back to the core!!!
I think the performances for the last few games were dreadful. They probably booked their holidays when they knew we couldn't get into the playoffs and also think it led to the last few poor performances but IN DEFENCE of the players (and although a lot of people view football as an easy job) they should be allowed time to relax and recover before another pre season. The majority of the UK working force get 22-28 days holiday a year and work 5 days a week. They 'work' weekends and holidays and get sporadic days off. Mid May to Mid June is their '28 days' holiday period that they don't get to take for the other 11 months. I can sympathise that when the club tries to take 2 weeks of that you'd get a bit p*ssed off!

Like I said the performance weren't good enough but physical training for 11 months solid and the mental toughness need to be a professional sportsmen takes it out of you. My brother is a professional athlete and its not as easy as people think.

Hopefully owners, management and players have learnt from this season and we'll be premiership bound come this time next year!
[quote][p][bold]srfc[/bold] wrote: would of expected more from Almunia (or maybe not cause he's out of contract) and Deeney. The fact is players would of booked holidays well before we were mathematically out of the play-off's which is wrong and if correct is positive evidence that the club has too many free loaders. Apart from all that the players are missing the fact that they are apparently contracted until 30th June which is still 6 weeks away so why are they moaning. I hate all this, we have good stable owners, a manager who loves the club and fans (or so he says only time will tell) but players who clearly are not all pulling in the same direction, clear the cr*p get back to the core!!![/p][/quote]I think the performances for the last few games were dreadful. They probably booked their holidays when they knew we couldn't get into the playoffs and also think it led to the last few poor performances but IN DEFENCE of the players (and although a lot of people view football as an easy job) they should be allowed time to relax and recover before another pre season. The majority of the UK working force get 22-28 days holiday a year and work 5 days a week. They 'work' weekends and holidays and get sporadic days off. Mid May to Mid June is their '28 days' holiday period that they don't get to take for the other 11 months. I can sympathise that when the club tries to take 2 weeks of that you'd get a bit p*ssed off! Like I said the performance weren't good enough but physical training for 11 months solid and the mental toughness need to be a professional sportsmen takes it out of you. My brother is a professional athlete and its not as easy as people think. Hopefully owners, management and players have learnt from this season and we'll be premiership bound come this time next year! 1987Hornet
  • Score: 0

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