Troy Deeney famously claimed that Arsenal lacked cojones when Watford beat us 2-1 back in October 2017 and the truth is, at that time, he had a point but those words may well come back to haunt him this evening when we visit Vicarage Road.
This is what Deeney actually said
“I’ve heard Wenger’s already blaming (the decision) as the reason why they lost. I’m not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there’s a reason why they lost and it wasn’t because of one penalty.
“I’ll have to watch what I say. It’s (having) a bit of cojones, a bit of nuts.”
Let’s be honest, we were saying that ourselves at the time, that was one of the biggest criticisms of Arsene Wenger, however, times have changed and we can make Deeney swallow those words but only if we pick the right players.
Unai Emery simply has to start with Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka and Mattéo Guendouzi, though if he goes with Aaron Ramsey instead of Guendouzi that would be just fine.
I will be honest and admit he probably will not play those three at once, he may well save Xhaka for Thursday, in fact, he may even save Torreira as well but that would simply be the wrong call.
But, if we are to get control of the midfield we need skillful tough fighters, and Torreira, Xhaka and Guendouzi fulfil that profile perfectly.
Torreira is a beast, he is a player I trust to win 50-50 balls fair and square and he will not be intimidated at all.
The same applies to Guendouzi, though on occasions he can be impulsive but he is certainly a fighter and never gives up.
Xhaka is another fighter but he also has great distribution, it is one thing winning the ball, it is another to do something creative and Xhaka has that in his game.
These three would match anything Watford throw against them and if we want to control the centre of the park then at least two of these three must start, preferably all three.