The Siege of Troy – Watford preview

In Greek mythology, Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen of Sparta (who was already married) and it all kicked off. Ten years of war later, a trick involving a massive wooden horse full of soldiers finally ended the siege of Troy, amid scenes of ransacking, pillaging and destruction. Wouldn’t it be great if that was the match report for tonight’s game!

Monday Night Football – what joy!

After a weekend which saw …..

  • the spud reserves beat Huddersfield (who haven’t won a game on a Saturday for a whole year)
  • Man U undeservedly beat West Ham at the Old Cowshed (2 penalties, one which was completely ludicrous and a Hammers goal incorrectly ruled out for offside)
  • the chavs expectedly lost at Anfield – the Salah goal a thing of rare beauty

…..ย  and following our dreadful performance up in Liverpool last weekend, tonight’s game assumes even more significance in our attempts at CL qualification through League position.

Who’s available for the trip to Hertfordshire?

As far as team news goes, Papa is definitely out for tonight and also for Palace at home next weekend after picking up his 10th yellow of the season in the game at Goodison. At the opposite end of the suspension spectrum, Lucas Torreira can say hello again to his Premier League boots after finally finishing his 3 match ban for a supposedly dangerous tackle against the spuds in early March. Well, that’s if his slight niggle picked up against Napoli doesn’t mean he’s given extra recovery time before Thursday’s return leg in Italy, that is.

Xhaka is still being hampered by a troublesome groin (aren’t we all ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but aside from that, team selection will see more juggling of squad members in an attempt to gain maximum advantage in both competitions. Our newly double-decaded Matteo Guendouzi may well start and should be raring to go.

Kos might need a rest if he’s to feature on Thursday, so Shkodran may come in as his replacement. Will Mesut and Aaron be rested also? It all depends on how Unai sees the big picture. Arsene was always slated when he fielded more squad players and results suffered but it really must be a tricky job to get the right balance. The manager will always field a team he believes is good enough to win if he can.

Mesut celebrates his goal in our 3-1 win at Vicarage Road in August 2016

As for Watford, maybe their eyes might be slightly distracted from the task in hand by the glittering prize of a Wembley appearance. No player ever wants to miss out and their mid-table League position is as secure as can be, though they are still in the hunt for 7th in the Prem and a possible Europa League spot.

The whole Deeney cojones thing is unhelpful in these circumstances because it seems to fire the opposition up in much the same way that the whole Stoke/Ramsey scenario often left us on the back foot.

Having said that, when Troy missed that penalty at the Emirates last season, it was definitely one of my mini highlights of last season. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wagner has got the Hornets playing well, especially at Vicarage Road, so we will definitely have a game on our hands. In fact, they now seem like a side which has truly cemented its place in the Premier League. The first step towards greater achievements was the club reaching this season’s FA Cup Final. Who knows, they may well pull off a shock against the light blue Oilers – Wigan did.

Monday night football always makes it seem as though we’ve had a football-less weekend. The Newcastle home game 2 weeks ago went smoothly enough, as we might have expected with our excellent home form. But we really need to see something different in both tonight’s game and at Leicester away on Monday 29th April.

Things will seem a whole lot better if we can produce a performance worthy of the Club and banish our away day blues this season for good.


chas (BR is currently sipping Chianti in the cypress groves of Northern Italy)


111 Responses to The Siege of Troy – Watford preview

  1. chas says:

    Watford’s Deeney in the ginger and white kit

  2. LBG says:

    Deeney is no more than a wooden horse…..I’m looks anyway.
    Thanks Chas. Our away form and mindset must change one day. Please Gunners dont spoil another week.

  3. LBG says:

    in looks, in looks in looks…..

  4. chas says:

    Ah, this just appeared on twitter and is the goal mentioned by GN5 in his DB10 post yesterday.

  5. Sue says:

    We have to put in a shift & win away at some point! Hopefully that’ll be tonight! But what if we’re wearing that awful green kit?? We’re doomed if we are……
    Deeney would love to beat us, just so he can wind his son up (poor sod!) Loved the clip of his penalty miss… I was there, sat behind the goal.. bloody priceless!!! COYG

  6. TotalArsenal says:

    Love the Paris-Sparta introduction, Chas. Fine MPV. I reckon this one is pivotal for our PL status this season. We so need an away win now and I hope/expect Emery to play his strongest team tonight. He will of course need to play a strong central midfield and that needs to include Torreira. I hope we see a team that has the over my dead body are we going to lose tonight attitude. Not confident but hopeful…

  7. RA says:

    A very good pre-match Post, Chas, mucho gracias.

    (I am hoping that between pressing the ‘submit’ button and this comment arriving at AA, that auto-correct does not change [gracias] to ‘greasy ass’)

    Abduct or kidnap are possibilities but as Helen had been given to Troy by the Goddess Aphrodite, and he was as good looking as she was beautiful, so she was ‘well up for it’ and needed no abducting.

    Your metaphor of Helen of Troy, made think of Troy Deeney, and oddly there is a link.

    Christopher Marlowe coined the expression about Helen of Troy that, ‘her face launched a thousand ships’ whereas BR said about Troy Deeny that ‘his face launched a thousand quips’.

  8. LB says:

    Top read Chas, thanks.

  9. LB says:

    I like the addition of Sue, do the Vines have a sister?

  10. chas says:

    Yeah, Sue is a great addition as you say.

    She isn’t a Vines.

  11. GunnerN5 says:

    Fine PM Chas, this is a very sticky fixture. I think that their FA Cup semi win will increase their confidence and make it even tougher for us.

    Last season was our worst away record in our EPL history W4, D4, L11, Pts16. This season our record is W5, D4, L6, Pts19. Even though our away record is improving it is still our Achilles heel and we need a rapid recovery.

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    April 15th; it’s -5c and it’s snowing! It’s too warm for it to stick but it’s a serious indication that climate change is a reality and it’s a self inflicted injury to the planet – caused by us humans.

  13. Sue says:

    Oh no the green kit it is ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜ซ

  14. chas says:


    Time to remove that curse as well.

  15. Sue says:

    Absolutely chas ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘

  16. RA says:

    Hi Sue,

    Look, if the green kit is too horrendous, just take it off and bin it.

    Mind, you might want to wear a bathrobe or summat to the game – could get chilly at the Ems.

  17. Sue says:

    Hi RA… that is one kit I have not wasted my money on!! I can’t wait to see the back of it ๐Ÿ”ฅ
    Haha yes very chilly at the Ems ๐Ÿ˜„

  18. Rasp says:

    Thanks for the PM chas …. Deeney is more of a wooden donkey if you ask me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Each game becomes more ‘must win’ than the last, so I’ll admit to being a little nervy. I hope LBG’s potent version of The Arsenal shows up this evening.

    Who would have thought that we’d be saying how important Xhaka now is to the team 18 months ago, but I think we really miss his presence in midfield.

    An early goal would help, but I’ll take a hard earned 1 nil at this stage, although it would be good to improve our GD … who knows whether that will become pivotal at the end of the season … so I’m going for 0:5 ….

  19. Rasp says:

    Xhaka and Ramsey … excellent … and another chance to see Mavro …. I’m really looking forward to this now. It seems UE is rotating players to an extent, but relevant to the strengths of the opposition.

  20. RA says:

    Thank you, Chas,

    I am more interested in that team than I thought I would have been — dare I dream of a win? ๐Ÿ˜ณ.

  21. RA says:

    Hi Rasper,

    Me too. I thought Mavro may have not been seen again this season.

    I do not know why we are playing on a Monday, when we have a European game on Thursday?

    Would not happen to any of the other top 6.

  22. John Mathews legend says:

    Have we ever won with that horrendous green kit?
    Looking forward to seeing what Mavropanos can do….must be in there coz he’s a big lad. Hope he has the cojones to match!

  23. RA says:


    I forgot to say that I totally agree with you about the green coloured kit.

    I am not keen on many green colours, – but that kit colour is really not nice.

  24. Sue says:

    It happened to Chelsea last week RA… beat the hammers on monday… then were away to Slavia Prague

  25. Sue says:

    Thank you RA… I’m glad it’s not just me that doesn’t like it ๐Ÿ˜

  26. Rasp says:

    Hi Redders, I’m still at work, but just about to rush to a friend’s house to catch the start of the game. Yes, I agree, it looks like a strong attacking side. Mavropanos was mighty impressive in his last stint in the side and envisioned he and Holding being our future CB pairing.

  27. Aaron says:

    Thanks for the connection Chas.

    Mav at the back and Xhaka in the squad too.

    Like the Green suits. Ha

    Time to get back on track at Watford like GN5 pointed out in the stats.

  28. RA says:

    Thanks for updating me, Sue, ๐Ÿ˜

    I genuinely did not realise that the Chavs got caught in the same date problem – makes me feel a bit better that we are not being singled out for rubbish scheduling.

    Not that I want to make you blush, but reading your comments on other matters since you arrived here — I think I have agreed with you on them, as have others on AA. Makes me think you have been on here before. ๐Ÿ˜

    I am still concerned about the outcome of tonights game — tho I will deny it if we play well instead!! ๐Ÿ˜‹

  29. Sue says:

    Flashback Podolski (for Fifa) is trending… I still miss Lukas ๐Ÿ™

  30. fatgingergooner says:

    Canโ€™t see us winning this tonight. Deemed up against an inexperienced Mavropanos fills me with dread. I hope Iโ€™m wrong and the midfield can dominate and get us the win, but put away form suggests we could lose our grip on top 4 tonight.

  31. Sue says:

    That’s ok RA… I like to keep an eye on things like that as you know we’re not the FA’s darlings!!
    Ha thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š No not been on here before, I stumbled across this site not that long ago… love talking about Arsenal… so happy days!
    Well let’s hope Auba does the business ๐Ÿ‘Š

  32. Rasp says:

    Mavro is class FGG … have no fear

  33. Rasp says:

    Under siege at the moment but holding firm …. I think we just need to stay resolute and slowly gain some control

  34. fatgingergooner says:


    GO ON DEENEY! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  35. RA says:


    The dreaded pass to Leno in the penalty area with each of our players being closed down.

    And blow me down — Foster gets caught instead!!

    And cheating Deeney elbows the smallest player on the pitch — and it’s bye, bye.

    Interesting! ๐Ÿ˜‹

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Guess who is playing with their cojones for 78 minutes?! Muhahaha ๐Ÿ˜›

  37. fatgingergooner says:

    Torreira is so small that it was probably Deeneys โ€˜cojonesโ€™ that caught him in the face.

  38. allezkev says:

    So the ginger cat gets the red card…

  39. fatgingergooner says:

    Need to wake up. Weโ€™ve scored a lucky goal and one of their players has done something stupid and got himself sent off, yet they are the better team.

  40. fred1266 says:

    Sue are u a fellow fifa player

  41. RA says:

    We just look so poor at passing!!

  42. Rasp says:

    Diving cheat

  43. fatgingergooner says:

    Itโ€™s made for Laca or ร–zil with them having 10. At the moment there is nobody playing between the lines because Auba plays on the last man and Iwobi and Mkhi are staying wide.

  44. TotalArsenal says:

    Would make sense to bring on Laca now and take Mkhi off. Auba on his own is too easy to defend against.

  45. fred1266 says:

    Iwobi though

  46. RA says:


    The name is usually a clue, so Sue might be a fellow FIFA player, but perhaps you are thinking of the song;

    A Boy named SUE.

    Well, my daddy left home when I was three
    And he didn’t leave much to ma and me
    Just this old guitar and a empty bottle of booze
    Now, I don’t blame him ’cause he run and hid
    But the meanest thing that he ever did
    Was before he left, he went and named me Sue

    Well, he musta thought that was quite a joke
    And it got a lot of laughs from a’ lots of folk
    It seems I had to fight my whole life through
    Some gal would giggle and I’d get red
    And some guy’d laugh and I’d bust his head
    I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue

  47. fred1266 says:

    Perfect game for mkhitaryan and Iwobi to show what they are made of

  48. fatgingergooner says:

    Iโ€™d put Kola on for Iwobi and Laca on for Mkhi and go 3412 with Laca dropping in to link play with Ramsey and Mustafi and Kola pushing high and occupying their full backs and keep them in their half. We are not keeping the ball or sustaining pressure at all and itโ€™s giving them a chance to nick something.

  49. fatgingergooner says:

    They are getting through a lot of work in midfield so hopefully they will tire after an hour or so

  50. RA says:

    Absolutely agree, FGG,

    I had to remind myself that Watford were one man down — and not Arsenal.

    We look so flakey and lacking in confidence.

    Thank goodness Foster (usually a very good GK) , had a bit of a ‘mare.

  51. Rasp says:

    FGG, funny you should say that because I think they are deliberately inviting us on to them … to suck us in, in order to hit us on the break, and weโ€™re falling for it. Mavro is getting far too high up the pitch

  52. Rasp says:

    We definitely need to make some subs … Mhiki and Iwona ineffective … I think we need another goal. Iโ€™d consider bringing on Ozil and Laca

  53. LBG says:

    They have 10 men but we have Micky, I’m afraid.

  54. RA says:

    I would bring Mesut on to create chances for Auba — but what do I know?

  55. Sue says:

    What a crap first half!! Well obviously not the goal or the red card (cojones time ๐Ÿ˜)
    We really need to wake up… I think the zombies from TWD would move faster…

    No sorry Fred, I don’t play fifa… just saw Podolski trending…. I just love Lukas ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  56. fatgingergooner says:

    Looks like ร–zil. Happy with that. He should find the spaces and make the opposition move around which will hopefully wear them out and create opportunities for Ramsey and Auba (assuming they are staying on!)

  57. TotalArsenal says:

    Will be Mesut for either Xhaka or Tor so Rambo and Ozil play in the middle in front of the Hornets’ D and we push them right back into their own half, I reckon. Laca to come on later for Mkhi.

  58. fatgingergooner says:

    Already so much better

  59. RA says:

    If we move the ball any slower it will grow roots.

  60. fatgingergooner says:

    Great ball in. Thought that was 2

  61. fatgingergooner says:

    At least weโ€™ve got the ball, RA! Thatโ€™s a start! ๐Ÿ˜‚

  62. fatgingergooner says:

    Another good ball from Iwobi.

    Watford looking tired now

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Mkhi is having a stinker. He makes me think more and more about Arshavin.

  64. LBG says:

    1The keeping the ball to tire out the opposition requires an end product “dynamic” ball.
    2Plus Mustafi and Micky on the right is short on positivity.
    3 Worried until we get a second this is set up for an equaliser. Sorry not happy with the mindset.

  65. fatgingergooner says:

    Not sure about that change. Feel like we have too many cooks in midfield now. I would preferred some width instead of Geundouzi. I understand wanting control in the middle but it feels like weโ€™ve gone over the top.

  66. fatgingergooner says:

    How are they getting behind our midfield??? This is so poor.

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed fgg, that change has weakened us again tactically (nothing against Guendouzi).

  68. TotalArsenal says:

    Emery seems nervy. A golden opportunity for our first away clean sheet may get wasted.

  69. RA says:

    Has the referee lost his mind? Foul after foul from Watford and he just lets play go. Shameful.

  70. TotalArsenal says:

    It would make so much sense to also attract referees from the continent. The standards are appalling.

  71. RA says:

    Absolutely right, TA, and good evening to you. ๐Ÿ˜

  72. allezkev says:

    Agree with that TA, our officials are the worst I can remember and VAR isnโ€™t going to solve that…

  73. RA says:

    I have this weird sense of inevitability that Watford will equalise.

    And as I typed that AMN saved a certain goal.


  74. TotalArsenal says:

    Evening to you RA – have you got any fingernails left?

  75. fatgingergooner says:

    The changes have been poor. Weโ€™ve lost all our energy with Ramsey and Torreira going off and whatโ€™s the point of sticking ร–zil up top as a striker? Weโ€™ll be lucky if we win this. Second best throughout to 10 men.

  76. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed Kev, VAR also has a Brit ref making the ‘objective’ decisions…

  77. RA says:

    10 man Watford are scalping us!

  78. fatgingergooner says:

    Iโ€™d have Doucoure at Arsenal. His energy and work rate is fantastic.

  79. RA says:

    Not too much left, TA, — working on my toenails. ๐Ÿ˜

    I am by nature pretty phlegmatic — but in the last couple of seasons our performances have caused me to fear the worst away.

  80. fatgingergooner says:

    As poor as weโ€™ve been we couldโ€™ve had 3 or 4 goals second half.

  81. RA says:

    Me too, FGG,

    Doucore has the sort of mindset we need.

    Won’t happen tho.

  82. Rasp says:

    Never in doubt ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. LBG says:

    If that was a better half of defending, God help us…..BUT 3 POINTS. THANK YOU.

  84. fatgingergooner says:

    Leno motm! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Not pretty but a huge huge win. With Chelsea and United still to play each other and United and Spurs to play Man City we may only need 3 more wins.

  85. TotalArsenal says:

    We utterly lack leadership in defence. Koz leads by example but we also need the calm of Sok. Three big fat points and let’s just move on quickly.

  86. RA says:

    In fairness to Watford they played very well, full of guts — altho they dis commit a lot of fouls.

  87. allezkev says:

    Iโ€™ll take that, itโ€™s about results now, forget the artistic impression.

  88. Sue says:

    That was absolutely awful… how much sideways/back passing?? Mkhi was terrible, Xhaka wasn’t much better… if Deeney hadn’t seen red, we’d have lost that for sure…
    Bloody hell ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ and to think we’ve got to go through all that again on Thursday ๐Ÿ˜ซ

  89. RA says:

    I very much welcomed the result, the 3 points and the long awaited away clean sheet — but I did not like the performance.

  90. fred1266 says:

    LBG lol we have mkhitaryan he is awful

  91. fred1266 says:

    Arshavin wasn’t that bad

  92. RA says:

    I agree, Sue, and the best thing that happened tonight was Deeney being an idiot and getting sent off.

    I suspect you are right – if he stayed on they would probably have changed the result.
    I don’t like him, but he is a real handful and our defence playing that way would not be able to hold him.

  93. GunnerN5 says:

    Terrible performance – great result.

  94. Rasp says:

    We will play a lot better on Thursday Iโ€™m sure, in many ways I think we are better suited to European football. At least a top four finish in the Premier League is now down to us, if we keep winning we will secure a place in the Champions League next season๏ฟผ

  95. Sue says:

    All I ever want to do is watch my team play well & win… not too much to ask is it??!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ณ
    Oh well it’s done now… moving onto Thursday.. if Napoli watched that, they’ll be rubbing their hands together!!
    I need these couple of days to recover from watching that… ๐Ÿ˜‚

  96. Aaron says:

    Agree with GN5, Leno and AMN share motm.

    That was fugly….

    But, the table never lies, so onward and upward.

  97. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Sue, I’m glad that you stumbled across AA.

    Where are you from and how did you start supporting Arsenal?

  98. GunnerN5 says:

    I like fugly Aaron – I think I will get to use it a lot……………

  99. John Mathews legend says:

    We won ff’ss…..nothing to complain about.

  100. TotalArsenal says:

    Leno, Koz but also Iwobi are good shouts for MOTM. It was criminal that Alex did not end up with an assist or two.

  101. Sue says:

    Hi GunnerN5… I live here in good old Blighty… and I became a gooner in 1991 (thanks to a certain Ian Wright ๐Ÿ˜Š)
    I’m going to the Palace game on Sunday, one thing’s for sure – I hope to God it’s better than that rubbish tonight ๐Ÿ˜„

  102. GunnerN5 says:

    I agree Sue our team are a complete Jekyll and Hyde our home and away performances are light years apart.

    I miss being around in Highbury; living there was an extremely important period in my life.

  103. LBG says:

    Morning all
    Another of those days when one needs to keep coming back to the three points and the result!!
    Otherwise you have to keep listening to more and more exaggeration as to the facts!!
    “Not only were Watford the better team, they deserved the three points”. ” Ten minutes in, could have been a yellow, but never a red”. ” He brushed his arm across Torreira’s face”.
    Bow locks
    Poor poor performance. No end product from Micky and Wobbly. Mustafi eighth best CB at Club. Mav nervous. Aubang could/should have had a hat trick. Micky should/could have had two. Ramsey and Terrier removed took away drive from middle. Much wrong, BUT THREE POINTS. Will need different mindset against Napoli.


    Cheers chas

    That was a strange game.It reminded me of the time i had a fight with the Vicars son and lost.

    i’m convinced the sending off worked in Watfords favour. There players were so delighted to see the back of the narcissistic Deeney it gave them a hugh lift. Come to think of it, we should buy Deeney and keep him on the bench, that way we would probably win 3-0 every week.

    The way to counter Watfords tactics would have been to confuse them by getting one of our own .red carded. Most likely would have won by two or three. if Mickytarian got it, we would have seven nil.

    After the battering form the Vicars son, for a while i turned away from the Lord. Thankfully Liam Bradys 25 yarder against Totnumb soon turned me back to the church and now I am a religious fanatic, but any more away performances like that and we wont just be all turning away from the Lord, we shall all be seeing him.

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