Clinton Morrison heaped praise on Watford attacker Troy Deeney and namedropped West Ham captain Mark Noble in his glowing verdict to help highlight how important the forward is to the Hornets.
The Sky Sports pundit stated that Deeney reminded him of Noble due to his leadership skills and explained he thought Watford missed Deeney massively and implied it was a reason for their struggles this season.
“Obviously I think they’re missing Deeney massively,” said Morrison on Sky Sports’ The Debate (22:55, Tuesday, October 8th).
“I think it’s not only what Troy brings on the football pitch, but it’s what he brings off the football pitch and also when he’s there and he can talk to you when you’re not having a good game.
“He reminds me a bit of Mark Noble when you need those captains and leaders in there, and what he brings… he is powerful.
“When it’s not going right, you need to have your captain to have a go at you and move it on, so I do believe they’re missing him massively.”
The Hornets currently sit bottom of the Premier League after not winning a game yet this season, and Morrison clearly believes they would have fared better if Deeney had played more.
The 31-year-old has only played twice this season, with a knee injury currently keeping him on the sidelines. (Source: Transfermarkt)
While Morrison opted to focus on Deeney, he is completely justified to namedrop Noble in his verdict in order to highlight how important the Hornets forward is, as everything he said about Deeney could be said about the West Ham midfielder.
After all, if Manuel Pellegrini couldn’t call on Noble, due to injury or suspension, the Hammers would notably miss him and be worse off for him not being available.
In fact, you can argue this has already been proven this season.
The 32-year-old missed the Hammers’ first two games of the season, the 5-0 loss to Manchester City and 1-1 draw with Brighton, then he returned to the team and the club’s results improved.
After the draw with the Seagulls, with Noble back in the team, the Hammers went on a five-game unbeaten run in the league, winning three matches in the process.
The Hammers captain has notably impressed due to his skills on the field, he has maintained an average pass completion of 85.9% and averaged 1.3 tackles per game (Source: WhoScored), but has also been an asset due to his leadership skills and his experience after all he has played 356 times in the Premier League.
This unbeaten streak was ended by Crystal Palace at the weekend, but it can’t be a coincidence that the Hammers have looked better having Noble to call upon compared to the opening two matches of the season.
So with that in mind, perhaps the Hammers would be closer to the bottom of the table and struggling like Watford have without Deeney if Noble had missed more games.
This is turn means Morrison is probably right to compare the two Premier League stars.