If ever a jibe came back to haunt someone , Troy Deeney of Watford, was paid in full when Watford faced Arsenal in their much anticipated clash on Sunday. Arsenal found their ‘cojunes’ and the net three times in the process as they finally took three points in a premier league game.
Deeney , to add insult to injury had a crucial penalty saved by Petr Cech.
Football rarely spares blushes , it tends to compound and magnify them. A misplaced word or misguided comment can follow a player or manager around like bad smell , not just for months, but for years.
So Deeney may have to endure a few more uncomfortable days after his infamous ‘Cojunes’ comment
, when results against Arsenal don’t end favourably. Arsenal supporters have suddenly found plenty to cheer about. They’ve seen their team win twice in four days ,score five goals without conceding and virtually eliminate AC Milan from the Europa league.
Cech’s clean sheet gave the much maligned Arsenal goalkeeper his 200th record but this doesn’t obscure the fact that his form has been terrible of late and that he is , in fact , in decline.
His penalty save appeared to roll back the years as he dived low to his right to prevent a Watford revival . How Deeney must have wished that Cech had suffered one of his off days. After the save ,all he could do was bow his head , rub his hands together in annoyance and try to ignore the sound of laughter and ridicule.
That save sparked a riotous reaction from the crowd , one normally reserved for a winning goal in a cup final and any smugness that Deeney had left in reserve simply ebbed away.
Arsenal took the lead when Mustafi took to the skies with a free header from a pinpoint Ozil free kick. Ozil has now clocked up his 50 assists quicker than any other player in just 141 appearances , beating Eric Cantona in the process.
However , it wasn’t all plain sailing however , Watford had chances to get back on terms before Mkhitaryan gave Aubameyang the chance to show off his party piece somersault and add a slice of theatre and gymnastics to the occasion.
I have no doubts personally , that Aubameyang and Lacazette will get goals a plenty next season , together or separately , if a few key additions are added to prop up the other end. Who knows , it may even offer the prospect of a decent challenge in the process but that’s too early to contemplate after such a difficult season.
Fears that Ozil and Mkhitaryan can’t play in the same side are ill advised and premature as both settle into their collective rhythm but it would appear that Arsenal have just doubled their options to provide assists. Mkhitaryan even managed to get on the score sheet after a generous pass met him as he advanced towards the Wayford goal courtesy of Aubameyang.
It’s quite ironic that Arsenal and Spurs have suffered a change in fortunes. An inexperienced Spurs were bounced out of the Champions league , whilst Arsenal managed, somewhat surprisingly, to almost guarantee their passage into the next round.
Wenger was a man under unbearable pressure
but he even had the capacity for a smile yesterday. Perhaps it was out of genuine relief that things seem to be improving for the better and that for now , at least , the calls for him to leave have subsided.
Arsenal now look forward to Thursday , knowing that AC Milan will probably give them a tougher second leg than their first encounter. Upsets normally occur when the outcome seems to be a forgone conclusion and the gunners will have to put in another spirited performance to ensure they go through