June 6, 2023

Birmingham City striker Troy Deeney has defended Cesar Azpilicueta after the Chelsea captain confronted follwing their loss to Arsenal on Wednesday night.

The Blues were beaten 4-2 by the Gunners at Stamford Bridge with Azpilicueta having a mixed game, scoring Chelsea’s second goal but also conceding a late penalty having fouled Bukayo Saka.

After the final whistle, the skipper was seen confronting a home fan after something was shouted at him and although what was said is unknown, it was followed by a heated exchange between the player and a group of supporters.

‘The Chelsea fans were probably just fed up with that one game and how they expected their side to beat a young and less-expensive Arsenal team,’ Deeney wrote for The Sun.

‘But I can understand why Azpilicueta was having a go back at them.

‘Players think, “Hold on, when we were winning a few weeks ago, things weren’t that bad and you weren’t calling us names and now, because we are on a bad run, you are turning on us?”.

‘That is probably why Azpilicueta responded the way he did. It was more frustration that Chelsea haven’t had an awful season and now their integrity is being questioned.’

Former Watford captain Deeney understands completely what Azpilicueta has gone through, having also had his own recent run in with fans following Birmingham’s 6-1 defeat away to Blackpool on Monday.

‘It is a tough situation but certain characters — like Azpilicueta and myself — we handle it a bit differently to most, let’s put it that way,’ the Birmingham captain added.

‘You have to be respectful and professional. Predominantly, it is just about listening. If you talk through their frustrations and get them to calm down, you end up having a decent conversation.

‘All fans want to do is let off some steam. But when you are going through bad times you are expected to answer every question and tell them how it will all be fixed within a week.

‘But, while I may share certain frustrations, I definitely can’t take away all of their problems with the click of my fingers. There are some things you just cannot answer for.

‘Fans may ask, “Why isn’t a certain player playing? Why are we playing a certain formation?”.

‘All that stuff is well above my pay-grade. All you can do is listen and say, “I hear your points. I will pass them on”.’


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