Troy Deeney hinted that he may have played his last game for Watford with the Hornets suffering relegation from the Premier League after a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal on the final day of the season.
Managerless Watford needed a victory at the Emirates and a favour from West Ham, if they were to stand any chance of avoiding relegation. However, they made the worst possible start after Craig Dawson’s clumsy tackle on Alexandre Lacazette gifted the home side a penalty inside the opening few minutes.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang duly dispatched the ball from 12 yards and set Arsenal on their way to a ruthless opening 33 minutes. The Gunners scored with all three of their opening shots on target, with defender Kieran Tierney’s deflected effort beating Ben Foster, before Aubameyang’s showstopping bicycle kick from close range seemingly put the game beyond Watford.
However, the Hornets mustered a spirited fightback with Deeney pulling a goal back from the penalty spot following David Luiz’s foul on Danny Welbeck just before the break, and the former Arsenal striker then got the visitor’s second with his 66th minute close-range effort giving his side hope. The Gunners though held on for all three points, with keeper Emiliano Martinez keeping them ahead with a superb reflex save to deny Welbeck.
Captain Deeney was the last man off the pitch for Watford and cut a dejected figure as he trudged off to the dressing room. The Birmingham-born striker is a genuine legend at Vicarage Road, having scored 124 league goals for the club over the last decade.
The 32-year-old reflected on his anguish at seeing his club drop down from the top flight, before hinting that his ten year stay with the Hornets could be coming to a sorry end.
“This is a reflection of the whole year. Not quite been good enough. Heartbreaking for the people who work behind the scenes and we feel sorry for them,” Deeney told Sky Sports.
“I will take the stick on social media but the harsh reality is people will lose their jobs because we haven’t been good enough.
“As a club and as a community, we will go again. Ultimately we have not been good enough, no point dancing around it.
“The whole top to bottom will do an audit and reassess. It is not just us. It is part and parcel of football.
“We can’t say we got it right because we failed. The bigger thing for fans and people at clubs because they will be here longer than players. They will be hurt and annoyed. I don’t know if this will be my last game for Watford. You front it.
“I will be having a knee operation next week. Clubs can go in different directions and players can. If that is my last game, I am happy I went out on my shield. I am a simple man. Did I go out and do everything I could, yes, was it good enough? No.
“Things happen in football. I have been here 10 years, if it is my time to go, it is my time to go.”