Troy Deeney says Arsenal lost to Watford because they lack "cojones"
"I have to watch what I say, but there's a reason for the loss and it wasn't because of one penalty."
Troy Deeney didn't hold back when assessing why Arsenal lost to his Watford team on Saturday evening, saying their lack of "cojones", rather than a contentious penalty decision, cost them.
Per Mertesacker scored in the first-half for Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger's side looked on course for a comfortable victory until Watford changed their approach in the final 30 minutes.
Marco Silva brought on Deeney and the home side went more direct. Watford were then awarded a penalty after 71 minutes and their captain slotted it away. Arsenal failed to find a winner, and were punished by Tom Cleverley's injury-time goal. Silva's side moved to fourth in the division and Wenger was left cursing the referee's decision to award a penalty against his team.
Following the match, Wenger - of course - hit out at the referee.
"It is a scandalous decision, but what can we do about it? Nothing," the Arsenal manager said.
"We can talk and talk and talk. At the end of the day they scored. It was not a penalty, it was a creation of the referee. The decision is wrong and that's it. And it came at an absolutely important time for them. No penalty, no goal."
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However, Deeney refused to accept Wenger's view that the referee cost Arsenal. The Watford captain said that the Gunners lack "cojones", suggesting that he detects a lack of fight and courage from Arsenal whenever he plays against them.
"I've heard Wenger's already blaming (the penalty) as the reason for why they lost," Deeney said on BT Sports show Premier League Tonight.
"Well, I'm not going to be one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there's a reason that they lost and it wasn't because of one penalty.
"I have to watch what I say, but there's a reason for the loss and it wasn't because of one penalty. I have to watch what I say but it's having a bit of cojones, I think the word is, having a bit of nuts.
"Whenever I play against Arsenal, I'll go up and think, 'Let me whack the first one and see who wants it'. I came on today and jumped up with Mertesacker - I didn't even have to jump, actually - I nodded it down, the crowd gets up, 'yeah we've got somebody who can win it,' and they all just backed off.
"So, for me as a player, I just go, 'happy days', because that's my strength, and if you're going to let me use my strength against you, you're going to have a tough afternoon."
Martin Keown then interjected and started waffling about Barcelona and Arsenal's players being "too technical" - ignoring the fact that footballers can possess both technical ability and courage, or "cojones". Thankfully, Robbie Savage didn't get a word in.