Man United legend on Deeney's send off against Arsenal
Deeney was shown a straight red card after just 11 minutes of play for flinging his arm into Lucas Torreira's face. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given the Gunners the lead and the Watford captain was send off a minute later after appearing to catch the Arsenal midfielder with his forearm. Neville believes Deeney overstepped the mark as he made feelings known to the fourth official as he made his way down the tunnel.
"He’s trying to lead but it’s just a stupid thing to do. The linesman’s got a great view of it, he’s thrown his forearm into the face of Torreira. I think 15 years ago you’d probably say he’s not done a lot wrong, in the 2019 Premier League he’s got nowhere to go," Neville said on Monday Night Football.
The 30-year-old has been a vocal critic of Arsenal and in particular, their mentality in the past, stating after a 2-1 win for Watford against them in October 2017 that they lacked ‘cojones’.
Deeney's previous comments
"Whenever I play Arsenal, I’ll go up and think, ‘Let me whack the first one and see who wants it."
Neville believes that Deeney’s past comments about Arsenal might have influenced the referee’s decision by suggesting that they are savvier to footballer’s comments in the modern game.
"These referees now are aware of previous confrontations, previous statements that had been made ‘you just have to whack them, you just have to do this’. I think Troy Deeney’s gone out with the intent that he’s going to mess these centre halves about, mess this Arsenal midfield about, they’ve just conceded a goal and he basically oversteps the mark. ‘It’s a fine line between being a leader and just going over the line."