Arsenal blew a 1-0 second-half lead at Watford on Saturday after missing multiple chances and then conceding a stoppage-time winner to Tom Cleverley. The Hornets equalized on a debatable penalty, then bullied Arsenal late on.
After the match, Watford striker Troy Deeney joined BT Sport’s Premier League Tonight, and was refreshingly frank with his assessment of the day’s opponents. He was pretty harsh too.
“I’ve heard [Arsene] Wenger’s already [saying] that’s the reason they lost,” Deeney said. “I’m not going to be one to tell Mr. Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason they lost, and it wasn’t because of one penalty.”
When asked what that reason was, Deeney said, “I have to watch what I say on TV, but, having a bit of cojones, I think the word is. Having a bit of nuts.”
“Whenever I play Arsenal, I go up and I think, let me whack the first one, and let’s see who wants it,” he continued. “And I come on today, jumped up with [Per] Mertersacker – didn’t even have to jump actually – nod it down, the crowd gets up … and they all just backed off. So for me as a player, I just go, well, happy days.”
Deeney later expanded on his criticism, saying Arsenal lacked the ruthlessness of a team like Manchester City. “I don’t think there’s many teams, elite teams, that would have the chance that [Mesut] Ozil had and be so naive, and just nonchalant with it,” he said. “With the finish,” he clarified. Ozil was one-on-one with Heurelho Gomes in the second half with the score at 1-0, but failed to put his shot past the Watford keeper.
Deeney went on to say: “We’re looking at Arsenal like, ‘We can beat you.’ We don’t go there with that aura, that fear anymore.”