Revenge – A Prayer for Owing Deeney – Watford Preview

And so we’re back to the League, 13 points from top 4, 8 behind 5th, Burnley only 2 behind over our shoulder, what sort of team do we put out? Thursday’s return leg against Milan has to be our overriding priority, but team confidence and momentum are important, too. I certainly wouldn’t go as far as Micky suggested on Friday and rest the whole team!

Chubster Troy Deeney has featured in much of the build-up during the week with the media absolutely loving being able to drag up his ‘lack of cojones’ comments made after our defeat in October. My overriding memory of that game was the ridiculous penalty awarded for a Richarlison dive which got Watford back in the game when they were dead and buried.

Arsenal were stunned to be on the wrong end of yet another appalling refereeing decision but that’s still no excuse for the abject capitulation which occurred from that moment onwards in the game. The execrable Deeney crashing into Cech just before the winner was scored, was also vital. Watford had two shots on target in the whole game. We owe Bellend of Troy some retribution.

Team news

Our two replacement fullbacks in Milan both left the pitch with injuries apparently (the Chambers knock is a surprise to me, though it seems he is in the squad). Maitland-Niles has to play in that case and I’d imagine we’ll also see an outing for Rob Holding. Maybe a back three might make best use of available resources.

Aubameyang will be raring to go after missing our Europa win and it will be great to see Micki and Mesut supporting him while continuing to build their own budding understanding. Maybe give Xhaka and Rambo a rest?


We have to build on that magnificent performance in Milan. I’d love to see us come out all guns blazing, closing down, shifting the ball quickly and nabbing a few sharp goals early on.

Post Mr Deeney’s photo plus quote from October up in the dressing room as a teamtalk.

Should be all that’s required, surely?


115 Responses to Revenge – A Prayer for Owing Deeney – Watford Preview

  1. Eddie says:

    thanks chas
    I looked quickly at your team above and was shocked that Holding had number 4 🙂 time for another coffee 🙂

    the way I see it is they only have Deeney who posses real danger. Get Koscielny and Mustafi to contain the beast, and I cannot see the Hornets being able to sting. I might be wrong of course.

    But with Ozil, Miki~ and Auba~ attacking we should be ok, more than ok.

  2. LB says:

    I remember reading a prayer for Owen Meany and loving it.

    Good PM thanks for the read, it sets the mood nicely.

  3. rhyle says:

    Best title for a blog ever. And a good read to boot. Let’s go get ’em…Deeney’s a moron and needs putting in his rather-large-for-a-footballer place.

  4. Eddie says:

    Jack Wilshere on Twitter: Big game tomorrow! A chance to show we have some ‘cojones’ 😉 let’s do this lads 💪🔴

  5. mickydidit89 says:


    Only LB and Ryle’s comments alerted me to the title, as being almost completely illiterate, I had to google Owen Meany.

    Just spent twenty minutes reading various summaries and reviews of said book.

    This morning Chas, you have made me a better and wiser person, so thanks

    Oh, the game. I see you deliberately omitted the KO time 🙂

  6. Eddie says:

    oh shit, I didn’t read the title, what a masterpiece!! Way too clever for some (me)

  7. Rasp says:

    Morning all, thanks for the PM chas … just how many people did you think would get the reference in the title? 😆

    We owe them. Diving cheats with a big mouth thug as captain … time to bully the bullies. We need a good ref … and for me, an improved version of VAR for all EPL games can’t come soon enough.

    Auba to score. Shame to be missing Chambers, he was beginning to impress, but M-N can show his control and Holding needs a good performance to get him back on track.

    Two nil to the Arsenal is my prediction…… Cech to rediscover what a clean sheet looks like and … one of their players to get a red card for karma

  8. chas says:

  9. chas says:

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    I think this is a big game for us. Winning one game against Milan will help with confidence, but a loss here and the question marks will come back. We really need a runof 3 or 4 wins just to build the team back up and for that reason I’d go strong. We also need to get those partnerships up front working and so I’d play Özil, Mkhi and Auba together, although I have a feeling Iwobi will play and maybe Holding too.

    Watford home - Watford home - Football tactics and formations

  11. mickydidit89 says:

    Hey Ants

    In case you missed it, Eddie thinks you and I would look better were we to sport little white sockless plimsolls, long johns and a dinner jacket

    I have not taken her advice but await your lead on these matters

  12. Ant says:

    Micky- we were discussing this earlier in the car as I was surprised that you hadn’t commented on this because we were being compared as having similar fashion sense! But of course you are a fashion god who looks more like Hector than me.

  13. Gööner In Exile says:

    To all those going today listen to Sir Trevor:

    “Before yesterday they had six home games out of nine, which to a certain extent looked an advantage,” Brooking, 69, added.

    “When you’ve just lost 3-0, had people coming on to the pitch and a lot of people venting their frustration to the directors – that means the next five games at home look pretty bleak.

    “There is no way the team is going to play and get the points to stay up under that sort of atmosphere. It is impossible.

    “That atmosphere must never come back in the last five games otherwise the club is in serious trouble and the players won’t be able to deliver”

  14. mickydidit89 says:

    “you are a fashion god who looks more like Hector than me.”

    Go fuck yourself Ants 🙂

    Ok, so what time IS kick off, and I’m being serious. AFC official site says 1:30, SKY saying 2

  15. Ant says:

    Micky- in which world have Sky got it as a 2pm ko?

  16. mickydidit89 says:

    Arsenal vs Watford

    March 11, 2018, 2:00pm

    Live on Sky Sports Main Event

    Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Team to face Watford: Cech, Maitland Niles, Holding, Mustafi, Kolasinac, Elneny, Xhaka, Ozil, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang.

    Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Willock, Nelson, Wilshere, Nketiah, Welbeck

  18. Rasp says:

    No Kosser …. we’re running short of defenders 🙄

  19. mickydidit89 says:

    How many do you need Rasp? 🙂

    mind you, Elneny AND Granit looks like over compensation to me.

  20. Rasp says:

    Is Ramsey injured? … or being rested for Thursday? Is Jack being rested? … I’m just asking not complaining.

  21. Rasp says:

    M<icky we need 4/5 defenders … just good ones 🙂

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    M less than icky here 🙂

    One of the KO times is close. If it’s this one, then Come on you Gunnnners

  23. Gööner In Exile says:

    Also Motty’s last radio commentary for BBC today at Emirates end of an era.

  24. Rasp says:

    M>icky in my eyes 😆

  25. Rasp says:

    I know I’m a bit weird … but does anyone else have a sixth sense that something extraordinary is going to happen in this game?

  26. Rasp says:

    Good old Motty … he can retire and enjoy his lifelong supply of gratis sheepskin coats. He must have cringed when e heard that OTT crap that Gary Neville was spouting about us …

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Expecting goals goals and more goals in this game. I anticipate Watford will get at least 2 so we will need to put in a real attacking performance. I’m confident we will.

  28. mickydidit89 says:

    That’s why you have CB’s Rasp
    Cos they’re tall 🙂

  29. fatgingergooner says:

    I know AM-N is a calm character, but he just tackled somebody with a back heel! That’s just taking the piss!

  30. Rasp says:

    I’m at work …but I read we’ve had the perfect start 🙂 …. OK ….. keep it up for 90 minutes boys ….

  31. fatgingergooner says:

    Fair play to Xhaka getting back to stop that chance.

  32. fatgingergooner says:

    Kolasinac messing up my fantasy team! All he had to do was roll it across and it’s 2-0 and Aubameyang (my captain) gets a tap in! Idiot.

  33. fatgingergooner says:

    Atmosphere sounds flat and stadium looks half full. Not that the board will care as all tickets will be paid for and attendance announced as 60000.

  34. Rasp says:

    I think I can hear Ant eating his crisps ….

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    If Özilhaddone what Ramsey did in Milan then it’s 2-0. Keeper had dived so all he had to do was take a touch to the side and walk it round him.

  36. Rasp says:

    Sounds like some Watford thuggery going on …. but of course the BBC commentator sees it as accidental 😦

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    One of the first games I’ve seen Elneny actually influence our attacking play and get forward when he’s had the opportunity. We could do with another goal.

  38. fatgingergooner says:

    I wonder if this clean sheet thing is playing on Cech’s mind because he looks really nervous and it is making poor decisions of late.

  39. fred1266 says:

    Would it be better to play with 10 men than to play with Iwobi

  40. fatgingergooner says:

    Should be 3 or 4 up but that half was so flat. You can see the players just going through the motions on both sides. The atmosphere certainly doesn’t help.

  41. fatgingergooner says:

    Iwobi tries the right things but the execution just isn’t there consistently enough. If it’s more than a 15 yard pass he seems to get it wrong. He should be learning and improving playing with the likes of Özil but I’m not seeing it.

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Interestibg how clueless commentators are some time. Alan Smith commenting that empty seats will affect revenue and that will affect board.

    Someone needs to tell him as Tyler was alluding to before he commented that it was a lot of ticket holders deciding not to go.

    But I do wonder just how many are in hands of touts and used to sell easily.

  43. Rasp says:

    This must be a weird game … the stats are showing us with 63% possession … but Watford outnumbering us 7:1 for corners. Can someone watching explain this to me? Is it possible that a team can play win corners?

  44. fatgingergooner says:

    The usual coming out asleep after half time routine. I suppose I can’t blame them given how flat the crowd is and the game feels.

  45. Rasp says:

    I hear you FGG … but in that case, now’s the time for leaders (on and off the pitch) to spur us on and not accept anything less than total commitment.

  46. Rasp says:

    …. and with that, we get a second 🙂 🙂 🙂

  47. fatgingergooner says:


    Not sure that possession stat is right Rasp. Doesn’t feel that way 2nd half.

    Great assist by Mkhi

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    Silly penalty.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    That will lift the atmosphere! Get in Cech

  50. Rasp says:

    Who gave away the pen … or was it a dive?

  51. fatgingergooner says:

    That’s a stonewall penalty. Poor from the ref.

  52. fatgingergooner says:

    AMN left a trailing leg and the player went over it. Was a penalty though.

    That should’ve been evened up there though as Mkhi was taken out after crossing the ball.

  53. Rasp says:

    Alexis Sanchez … manu … 9 games, 1 goal

    PEA … Arsenal … 6 games 3 goals

  54. Rasp says:

    From the BBC website … “Deeney’s cojones failed him on that penalty” 🙂 🙂

  55. fatgingergooner says:

    Xhaka gets some grief but he’s done some excellent defensive work today. Made some vital tackles going back towards our goal.

  56. Rasp says:

    There are about to be 3 records broken in this game ….. can anyone tell me?

  57. Rasp says:

    … if we hold out … that is 🙂

  58. Rasp says:

    …. actually don’t say … its the kiss of death ….

  59. fatgingergooner says:

    Sanchez has been a terrible signing for a United up to now (although that could change).

    We talked about how he stifled our midfielders by dropping deep and I predicted the same would happen at United. Lingard was in fine form before Sanchez came and now he can’t get in the team and his play has suffered. Have Pogba and Martial improved since Sanchez arrived?

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Cech clean sheet?
    Our 1000th PL goal

  61. Rasp says:

    That’s 2 of the three

  62. fred1266 says:

    Cech save a penalty thought I would have never seen the day

  63. Rasp says:

    Ozil the quickest player to 50 assists

  64. Rasp says:

    …. actually he’s got to 50 assists in the fewest games to be entirely accurate

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    You mean that useless, lazy German? Surely not Rasp!?

  66. Rasp says:

    Arsenal fans are singing “Deeney, what’s the score?”.

  67. Rasp says:

    🙂 FGG … that’s the one 🙂

  68. fatgingergooner says:

    Quickest Arsenal or PL player to 50?

  69. Rasp says:

    Quickest thinking Arsenal player …..

  70. Rasp says:

    3 Nil is a very satisfactory outcome. Cech saved a pen and got the elephant out of the room as regards his clean sheet record … Deeney got his comeuppance, the Miki/Auba show bagged 2 goals, lazy Ozil broke a record and Arsenal got its 1,000th PL goal.

    Only negative … let’s hope Mustafi’s injury isn’t too serious. I gather there’s a chance Nacho could be back for Thursday … he can play CM

  71. fatgingergooner says:

    Very happy with that. Shame the Deeney penalty save didn’t come earlier as it really lifted the atmosphere and the energy levels of the players. We played some decent stuff going forward but we’re still prone to our usual periods of sleepy play. I thought defensively we reacted well to the second balls all over the field and made a conscious effort to get back in when we needed to.

    I was quite impressed with Elneny and Xhaka today and thought Elneny had one of his best all round games for us. Usually he just rotates possession and doesn’t really do much else but he got in some good positions, espescially in the first half, and nearly created a goal with a great ball to Kolasinac who should’ve found Auba at the back post but overhit the cross.

    A solid result and something to add to the Milan victory. I reckon we could easily win our next 5 or 6 if we can keep players fit.

  72. fred1266 says:

    Your the idiot FG for having any arsenal player on your fantasy team

  73. fred1266 says:

    Yes rasp what has Iwobi done whole game

  74. Rasp says:

    fred … we just won a hard fought game after a very difficult few weeks .. … is there any part of you that is happy at that fact? I have no intention of joining in with you slagging off one of our players …. I suggest you go to your dictionary and look up the word ‘supporter’

  75. Rasp says:

    What a great day …. totnum losing 1 nil and Kane limping off with an ankle injury 🙂

  76. Rasp says:

    Bollox … 1 all …. note to self … keep your mouth shut when things appear to be going well ….

  77. Gööner In Exile says:

    Quietly impressed with Holding andElneny today, ok it was only Watford, but Elneny did a lot of good work in terms of reclaiming and retaining possession plus some intelligent passing forward.

    Holding was calmness personified when ball at feet also a good passer from the back. Can see glimpses of why he was signed.

    Maitland-Niles again impressed me, playswith his head up and knows where people are.

    Been watching Spuds game, I rarely get to l, but it seems Mother’s Day is about Mrs Exile sleeping on sofa while I get to watch footy. Can’t say they’ve impressed me much and I’d say the only difference in their style of play vs ours is a goal scorer getting on the end of thing. Also I’m not sure Bournemouth would have squeezed up against us as much as they did against Spudsfor equaliser.

  78. Eddie says:

    That was a lovely day at the Ems
    Sat near Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn, blimey they are not much taller than me

    It was a good, good game. Watford were trying till the end, both playing and diving and created many chances. But had no chance against our solid defence today.

  79. Eddie says:

    Club Level warning – disgraceful. Seats fantastic, personnel very nice, but the restaurants worst rip off I have seen. Kebabs before next game 🙂

  80. Eddie says:

    oh, half the stadium was empty 😦

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    4 records apparently.

    Arsene’s 700th win

  82. fred1266 says:

    If Iwobi mistake had actually cause a goal I am sure you would have been singing a different tune

  83. Gööner In Exile says:

    Fred I’m not sure what your issue is with Iwobi but I think you need to put things in perspective. He is 21 years old, has made 89 appearances (not starts) and has been forced to play with a mix of personnel in his short time as a first team starter. A section of the fans started to write him off towards end of last season and most of this. I’ll reiterate he is 21. That’s really no age in the modern game, that’s a year younger than De Bruyne was when Chavs sold him because “he wasn’t good enough”.

    Short term player evaluation is ridculous in today’s football world. You have to give players time. What happens to Maitland-Niles if he has a couple of stinkers, we the fans going to get on his back too, and then wonder where the player who first broke into the first team went. Why doesn’t he pass like he used to why doesn’t he look take men on anymore.

    Thankfully it takes fairly broad shoulders to make it in top level football so. Fans sniping won’t affect them forever, let’s just hope they have decided not to listen to the boo boys and are still with us when they have.

  84. Eddie says:

    and Welbeck? What is his excuse?

  85. fatgingergooner says:


    I would say injuries. He missed the large part of 2 seasons through injury. He’s certainly got his fitness back now but he never looked the most natural of goalscorers to me and has to work hard at it. I reckon if he got a couple of goals though then suddenly we would see a different player.

    As for Iwobi, I’m with GiE on that one. I remember Bellerin getting slated after playing against Dortmund in the CL. Young players take time to find their game and it’s not easy to be consistent when you are not in the team every week like some of the more established players. It also irritates me when people judge a player on their own pre-conceived ideas rather than what they’ve actually just witnessed. I thought Iwobi was poor today but I didn’t start the game thinking ‘he’s shit’.

    It’s the same with player ratings. It annoys me when people give ratings at the end of a game and Iwobi could be amazing and only get a 7 whereas Mkhitaryan could be shit but also get a 7 just because he’s new and they like his style but don’t like Iwobi. What’s the point of doing ratings if it’s not based on the match that’s just been played?

  86. Gööner In Exile says:

    Eddie I’m not sure Welly needs an excuse he is a £16m squad player. He was never a starter at OT or at Emirates, but to be fair against Milan I thought he led the line superbly.

  87. fred1266 says:

    GIE i just think Iwobi isn’t good enough for our team and he doesn’t seem to be progressing at all he keeps making the same mistake over and over how hard is it to clear a ball for Iwobi very hard apparently he tries clearing a ball but instead passes it straight to a watford player

    when hector was developing atleast he didn’t do the same craziness over and over again

  88. VP of Oz says:

    Nice result. Pea, Ozil & Miki involved in all the goals with a Cech penalty, Mustafi header and a clean sheet.

    Now to bring on Milan again

  89. VP of Oz says:

    Be it on the pitch or at the training ground, @MesutOzil1088 just loves to assist 🤣— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 11, 2018

  90. LB says:

    It certainly is important that we remind ourselves that Iwobi is still only 21 but he has been stuck on the same plateau for some time now and signs that he is likely to get himself out of the rut and progress into the player we all hope he will be are few and far between.

    It seems likely that games like today are used to continue the development of players like Iwobi, Maitland-Niles and Holding who I agree with the suggestion above that he was very impressive today, at the same time keeping as many of the A team protected in cotton wool as much as possible for the Europa Cup.

  91. chas says:

  92. mickydidit89 says:


    What a tragic end for Motty

    I’m afraid I called it a day at oranges. Bored, but before anyone says anything, I knew I could listen to second 45 on radio as I wanted to drive somewhere

    Either Motty’s retirement can’t come soon enough, or he too, was bored stupid. I know the atmosphere was probably the biggest contributing factor, but it was like that cricket commentator fella talking about the delicious date and coffee cake Mrs Whittley sent in

  93. mickydidit89 says:

    Key question of the day for me goes to Eddie

    Heels or DM’s? 🙂

  94. Eddie says:

    ha ha ha micky 🙂
    neither, wore a very smart casual outfit. I don’t know him well enough for DM. Perhaps next season

  95. mickydidit89 says:


    You say the grub was overpriced, but really no surprise there. However, what did you have? Nested quails eggs styley, or slab of fatty pate lazy chef option?

  96. Eddie says:

    even when I was young, I didn’t look that good. And no, I wore red and white combo 🙂

    Food – the best restaurant was fully booked, we had to go to Dial Square. Very modern plasticy chairs and tables, not very bright staff. Food was £50 per head payable in advance. You could only sit down when you were issued with a wrist band. Excellent steak, some potatoes looking like a slice of pinnaple, pointed tomato sitting on a mushroom. All good. There was a choice of 2 desserts – chocolate mousse or cheese and biscuits. My companion chose cheese and he was asked for £5 extra, ffs!! Those season tickets are £3.5k a year, £50 for a steak and they ask £5 extra for cheese, VERY poor taste.

    And then the shutters – we stood outside large windows overlooking the stadium, inside because it was cold. 20 mins before the game the shutters came down to stop people standing with drinks near the windows!!

  97. mickydidit89 says:

    Payable in advance ha ha. That’ll be the trust 🙂

  98. Eddie says:

    fattie and GiE – you are probably right about both Iwobi and Wellbeck. We the fans overrated both the players to start with. All of us were excited seeing Danny in our shirt, hoping for a miracle. There was no miracle, he has been with us for 4 years now, earned more than £20mil and scored 13 goals in total. THFM.

    Iwobi is very young, but I don’t think he will improve; reminds me of Feo – very fast, capable, willing and that’s it. Never a world class players. I hope that I am wrong and he will be the next TH14.

    Auba looks good, his finishing is great, still misses the goal too often, but his goal celebrations make up for it.

  99. Eddie says:

    honestly micky, I felt more welcome in mcdonalds.

  100. mickydidit89 says:

    Remaining league games at home: Stoke, Southampton, West Ham and Burnley, and two of those are Monday evenings!

    I think the club are going to need some creative lateral thinking to get the punters in

    Ideas on postcards, or is there a light hearted post here?

    (I can’t do one today)

  101. mickydidit89 says:


    I’ve sat, but never eaten, in Club, but it comes as no surprise that the feeling is the punters should be grateful to be there rather than the club lucky to have you

    It’s an English thing as much as an Arsenal elite ‘ting with regards to dining out

  102. Eddie says:

    oh well, I will not dine there again. Simples.

    My companion was not as negative as me, he was there before and was half expecting it. Plus, he was right in saying that in places like that you don’t pay just for food and service, you pay for being at that particular place, the privilage you have mentioned

  103. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky I think current problem is this:

    Ticket Exchange only active when game sold out.

    Therefore fans like you and I have a choice, buy tickets for back of Clock End upper, or wait for game to sell out and pick up Exchange seats in better locations. But by waiting game doesn’t sell out and Exchange doesn’t become active.

    I understands the clubs point of view why should they operate Exchange when they still have own tickets to sell and non attendance on ST’s is holders perogative.

    We haven’t had weekend service to London from Norwich without bus trip or going via Cambridge all season, doesn’t help those travelling from further afield.

    Saying that G and I are making the slog for Stoke, £46 for us to get in which seems like reasonable value. I’m just hoping the atmosphere doesn’t put him off for life.

  104. Eddie says:

    GiE – atmo should be ok, Stoke are a loud mob.
    Watford fans were great until 2nd goal. They chocked on their ‘Arsene Wenger we want you to stay’. Really 🙂

  105. chas says:


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