Deeney and Austin … The Premier League’s most feared strikers

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If there are two strikers who have had to work to get into their current position, then it’s Troy Deeney and Charlie Austin. The two have paid their dues in the lower divisions of English football at clubs such as Walsall and Swindon respectively and have rightly earned their chance to strut it amongst the big boys. However, despite not the most glamorous of footballing backgrounds between them, the two are currently the most feared strikers in the Premier League.

The question has always been with some strikers, can they cut it in the Premier League ? Many in the past have struggled to replicate the form they showed in the Championship resulting in some experiencing a massive fall from grace. These lads are the exception; scoring goals has proved easy for them. Not only that, but they might just be the most important players to their respective teams. Take Deeney at Watford. He has played 220 competitive games for the Hornets scoring 99 goals in a 6 year period for the club and is considered by many a true legend. He gives his all every week and is capable of moments of magic like his finish during Watford’s 4-2 win at West Ham. There was talk of him leaving Watford over the summer with Leicester interested and you can see why. A classic number 9 with a fine touch and brilliant finish to match and for Watford’s sake, you hope he stays fit this season because he will play a big part in any success they have.

Whilst Austin may lack the physical presence Deeney has and the status at the club, as he only has 14 senior appearances to his name, when it comes to scoring goals, there a few better than the former QPR man. Many forget that before his move to the South Coast, he had experienced a season in the Premier League before. It was with QPR only 2 seasons ago and whilst his team were relegated, Austin did everything in his power to stop that exact outcome. Managing 18 league goals in the 2014/15 season, and in a team as average as that QPR one, Austin received praise from many for his ability to score goals with relatively poor support from those around him. After their relegation, it was a shock no one made a move sooner but eventually he got his return to the top-flight and after a slow start, he finally looks like the striker so many teams have come to fear.

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Austin managed 18 league goals for QPR during the 2014/15 season

These two are goal-scorers there is no denying it. Sadly their talents continue to be over-looked. Gareth Southgate’s squad was fairly similar to that picked by Big Sam only a month earlier and that is perhaps the problem. The strikers picked were Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy. Bar Rashford, who rightly deserves  a place in the squad, the other three are struggling for form. With only 2 league goals between them this season, you wonder what made Southgate believe they deserved a spot. This particularly applies to Rooney and Sturridge who can’t even get in their respective teams. I find it strange that two in-form English strikers playing week and week out can’t book a place in the squad. Surely if Deeney and Austin continue to net so freely like they are, it is only a matter of time before they get that call.

Watford surprise package of Season ?

Watford enjoyed a superb season back in the premier league last year and if not Leicester’s heroics, they might have got the credit they deserve. The departure of manager Quique Sánchez Flores over the summer raised doubts over whether their stay in the premier league would be over after only 1 season. However, the signs over the last few weeks suggest Watford could be sitting pretty in the top half of the summit of English football.

Many people were shocked by the loss of Flores over the summer and even more were shocked about the appointment of Walter Mazzarri. Un-able to speak much English, not the first nor the last manager, and not carrying the most successful of CV’s, many believed he would struggle to fill the void left by Flores. Based on the opening results against Southampton, Chelsea and Arsenal, these doubters many have been correct. On the other hand, Watford will feel that especially in the Chelsea game, they deserved more. Let us not forget that is a manager who has little experience of England and was managing a squad predominantly made up of new faces. Whilst many feared for Watford, the manager and player’s never lost faith and this has been apparent in the dismantling of West Ham then Mourinho’s United.

Last week against West Ham, many believed that after going 2-0 down early on that the Hornets were in for a long afternoon. How wrong they were. Mazzarri’s men showed the character and desire that all team’s should show when they go out on that pitch, the perspective that it is never over till it is over. Scoring terrific goal’s, helped by shambolic West Ham defending, and playing with a swagger associated with their opposition that day, Watford ran out 4-2 winners and it’s no more than they deserved.

If that performance was good, then their humiliation today of United was even better. Forget about the problem’s United had, Watford were by far the best team on the day. In the first half at times they hammered the United defence and created numerous chances and if for better finishing, they could have gone in 3 or 4 up. Even in the second half when United marginally stepped it up, they dug in deep and got what deserved before scoring one of the team goal’s of the season through Zuniga.

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Zuniga celebrates his first goal for Watford against United during the 12 o’clock kickoff

Now let us not forget the tough start Watford have had. West Ham and Southampton away and then United Chelsea and Arsenal at home, Mazzarri’s men deserve huge amounts of credit because many thought they might come out of all those games with 0 points but they have managed 7 and now sit in the top half amongst the big boys. They might not perhaps do what Leicester did, I’m not sure anyone will, but they will feel that with the way they are playing, anything is possible.