Watford v Arsenal review – Rubbish ref and Gunners crumble to defeat

Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal players went into today’s away game against in form Watford with the carrot of a top four spot to play for. With Chelsea’s shock defeat at the hands of previously pointless Crystal Palace adding to the Liverpool and Man United stalemate, Arsenal only needed a point to go above Chelsea but really all three was going to make the league table look a lot better.

A tale of two penalty decisions, both going against Arsenal with different decisions from similar situations will have left the boss angry and the Gunners without the win or even the point our gritty (up to that point) performance was close to earning.

It was a fast start from both sides and Wenger was clearly taking no chances against the free scoring home side because he went with the midfield pairing of Xhaka and Elneny with both Ozil and Wilshere on the bench. With Ramsey and Alexis left out of the squad altogether there was a lot of creativity missing from the Gunners line-up.

It showed as well. After an even start it was the Hornets who began to look more dangerous while we were too predictable and slow with the passing and trying too many long balls to get the pacy forwards Lacazette and Welbeck a chance.

It was a Xhaka long ball to the impressive Iwobi that brought us a corner from which we took the lead before the break though, and it was our big German Per Mertesacker who rose top power in a header from that corner. He was in for the injured Mustafi and was doing well in defence as well as scoring.

The second half was also a tight and hard fought affair that saw Welbeck replaced by Ozil after an injury picked up when going through in the box. He asked fotr a penalty but it was not really. THat coming together was about the same as the one between Bellerin and Richarlison later, but for some reason he did point to the spot then and Watford were level.

The fact that Ozil had a great chance to double the lead a minute or so before made it even harder to take and then when Wenger was about to give Wilshere a chance we had to replace Koscielny instead. Watford them smelled blood and drew it right at the death when their constant pressure paid off when a goalmouth scramble fell to Cleverley to smash home the winner.

Bad luck aplenty for Arsenal, with the penalty complretely changing the course of the game, but we still should have at least held on for a point.



    1. Redmau5 says:

      Don’t bother 10 years saying this
      An we go on run top 4

      Then fans forget an all over again we will win it all stop being negative your not a true fan etc

      Morons..actual morons
      A decade of this an u haven’t learned ..amazing

    2. Tony says:

      r we in epl race?

      1. i was a gooner says:

        No, Watford is

  1. gotanidea says:

    Arsenal will never win any major trophies if they cannot pass the ball well. There is no improvement in the system at all, even after the eighth game.

    Wenger has to be replaced with a hungrier manager with fresh ideas at the end of the season, or we would just waste our time watching Arsenal play with his obsolete system next season.

    What I mean is not the formation, but his whole management, youth development system, transfer policy and strategy. And the penalty decision was really dubious, but it was not Bellerin’s fault.

    Wenger’s decision to include Ozil was wrong, Ozil doesn’t really fight like the others. He should have let Lacazette play with Giroud, instead of taking him out.

    1. Anko says:

      This is one of the worst performance from Arsenal, and the ref!!!! I can’t believe it

      1. i was a gooner says:

        just imagine what Ozil did with the clear chance.
        don’t blame ref.

    2. Eddy Hoyte says:

      LOL…what a joke. Pissful poor annoying set of lazy and useless players.
      Ya’ll have no shame.

      only Iwobi deserves to hold his head high.

      Ozil shame on you. Shame!!!

    3. gmv8 says:

      Kroenke will never replace Wenger – he went against the board to keep him on and gave him a 25% pay rise. The only way out of this mess is to oust Kroenke. A new owner will hopefully build a functioning back room, and cast a critical eye on what Wenger is doing. I can’t really see any of the big managers wanting to come to us at the moment, with the lack of structure at the club, and the way it is run.

      1. gmv8 says:

        I also think Kroenke is happy, the way Wenger takes the blame, and never says anything. I can’t see any other manager doing that, which is another reason he wants Wenger to stay.

      2. gotanidea says:

        Don’t you all see something fishy? Why does nobody dare to challenge Wenger’s authority or fire him after all these years?

        I suspect Wenger has some shares in Arsenal, that is why he is so stingy and very powerful in Arsenal. When Arsenal gain a lot of profit because of their transfer policy, Wenger could have enjoyed a bit of it.

        If I am a big manager of a company and given a huge transfer budget (around 100 milions, as promised to the fans before), I would have spent it to increase the company’s performance. Instead he uses second grade players in his team, ain’t it fishy?

  2. Jack says:

    Giroud and Ozil were unnecessary substitution.

  3. Elliot says:

    I hate Wenger and i want him to leave now. Say goodbye to your “legacy” you stupid old fart. Bring out all the banners guys… Time for change.

  4. Jones says:

    this ref needs a lot of training….

    1. Anko says:

      And I wonder why Robby Salvage is trying to make a case for the penalty. Rubbing salt on injury for Arsenal fans

    2. i was a gooner says:

      no, Ozil need to work on his finishing, case closed.

  5. redmau5 says:

    loads of u talking smack on here all week…
    putting down anyone who saw thru wenger an this clubs lies and bs
    calling us plastic, losers u name it

    you are part of the problem…you

    1. RSH says:

      people never learn on this site until reality comes crashing back. A few wins and the arrogance comes back. Usually we do well in October and I thought reality would hit in November like always. Nice surprise.

  6. Dangote Save Us says:

    wow, we are matching Chelsea’s performance. We will surely going to win the league this season. Wenger for life

    1. Anko says:

      Someone said we should hope our rivals don’t do well, and I said as soon as they lose we will lose too!

  7. Mash~Euro says:

    we were decent before giroud n ozil came in
    Wenger killed the game wth these 2. I wonder why would he continue to play Ozil who mentally left Arsenal months ago

    1. i was a gooner says:

      OZIL OUT

  8. Salmonella says:

    This is the difference… Man city score 6 against Watford & Ars score 1… Now we have lost 2 games which we should have won, 1 against Stoke & the other today…..

    1. gotanidea says:

      Whoever the starting players are, it would not matter as long as Arsenal still cannot pass well. Klopp and Guardiola showed Wenger how a four defender formation is supposed to be used.

      Guardiola’s Manchester City is what Arsenal is supposed to be, if Wenger could manage his team better. Arsenal should have shown an entertaining football match with open play goals, not with penalties and set piece goals like Mourinho’s team.

    2. Arsenal_Girl says:

      I think they scored 7 actually lol

      1. Arsenal_Girl says:

        Oh I’m sorry. My bad. I was thinking of City beating Stoke today 7-2

        1. i was a gooner says:

          its ok, you think about a champion side, its natural..

    3. Reuben 86thGunner says:

      You mean same stoke that City put 7 past, right? Oh yah,

  9. AB says:

    Pathetic and arrogant article. Have the balls to accept that we were rubbish. Poor substitutions; not sure why Giroud was brought in. For the last 30 min there was only one team interested in playing. Wilshere should have replaced Iwobi rather than Giroud coming in. I think it Watford wanted it much more than our players. Poor management overall from transfers to team selection to subs.
    I think Sam P had written a very arrogant article titled, “should we be worried only about man city” or something like that. The first step to improvement is recognizing that there is a problem.
    Very disappointed.

  10. John Legend says:

    Referee or not, I was not so confident before and during the match. Painful defeat!

    1. Anko says:

      We didn’t play well at all, creativity was lacking, midfielders lack vision, Wenger has no clue, we didn’t fight for the ball. Pathetic!!

      1. Buteo says:

        I refuse to believe the players is that bad…
        I´m convinced it’s down to the manager

  11. AllDwayfromAfriCa says:

    as usual we find someone else to blame for our problems…like we ever deserved a point…God knows we are pitiful…I mean first decent team excluding chelsea and we lose.

  12. Vijay says:

    can we stop playing 3 at the back already and what does wilshere have to do to start in this empty midfield

  13. Ganja says:

    Özil WTF!!! Game changed in Watfords favor once Welbeck and Lacazette came off and Özil and Giroud came on. Lost for words, City’s title to lose this year. We had a chance to go fourth today and we produced one of the biggest f**k ups of the season so far. Not even mad anymore, just turn around and walk away.

    1. RSH says:

      does our placement on the table even matter? Have you seen our manager, what do you really expect to achieve? 4th place trophy is a bore. Unless it’s the title I just cant bring myself to care what Arsenal does with this guy under the helm.

  14. GunnerUp says:

    Rubbish manager. Rubbish tactics. Rubbish line up. Everything is rubbish about Arsenal right now.

  15. Sue says:

    Tom Cleverly is s**t and he scores the winner against us…. Christ what does that say about us??! I’m embarrassed & gutted. Thank you Arsenal for ruining my weekend

    1. GB says:

      He got a free shot in space, in front of goal but yes he is Shiite.

      1. Sue says:

        Well if he was any good wouldn’t he still be at United

  16. RSH says:

    Complete snorefest zzzz. Not disappointed tho cause my expectations are so low this season, so onto the next one. Can we admit Ozil yet or do we still need to pretend we need him?

  17. GoonerKev84 says:

    If Wenger thinks this team are title contenders he needs to get his head out of his ar*e! Completely predictable as always and always trying to score the perfect goal with this one two sh*t.. Yeah the ref was crap and was never a penalty but we should of long sewed that game up. And what was Giroud brought on to do ? Did fu*k all as he usually does, Lacazette doesn’t even play 90 mins and we paid 50 mil for him oh but Wenger wants has got to keep the prolific Giroud happy. The deluded one should just see out the season and if this board has any ambition or balls they should bring ancelloti in! Fed up with Wenger and his sh*t out of date football

  18. Ignasi says:


    1) Why do Arsenal players shoot at the goalkeeper when they shoot at the opposition’s goal?

    2) Why do Arsenal players continue to overcomplicate moves and passes, eventually losing possession or leading to a meaningless/difficult pass?

    What is the answer?

    1. RSH says:

      Wenger still tries to pretend Aresnal are Barcelona. For years we have over complicated simple moves and lose games. Used to be frustrating, now I expect it every time and just shake my head. Did anyones heart even skip a beat when Ozil missed? Painfully predictable he’d screw up. Just get rid. He helped us get over our trophy drought, but can’t take us any further. Same with AW.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Manchester City was also not Barcelona, but look what Guardiola has done to the team. Guardiola only needs two seasons to change Manchester City’s entire system, but Wenger may never be able to change his obsolete system, due to his age. Time for Wenger to retire.

      2. Ignasi says:


    2. Sue says:

      So bloody frustrating to watch

  19. Otunba007 says:

    My heart is heavy and i have a heart aches … This is just too much to bear, time after time, season after season …What a shame of a manager..where are the IN WENGER WE TRUST ? you are all part of this clubs problem and ya’all should be proud of today’s match

  20. GB says:

    Laca needed to g9 off he did nowt today.
    Ozil made a big difference and should have started.
    In the end the ref made a big mistake for their pen. Kolasinac was bad today and it was Monreal man of match for us with Per not far behind.
    Unfortunately we do not have any penetration up front.

    1. RSH says:

      Iwobi and Welbeck are all bark no bite. Lacazette routinely gets no service just about every away match and has to make chances himself.

  21. Avenger says:

    victim of their own mistakes ARSENAL blue it again
    Players and Wenger mistakes keep piling day by day
    another playing to nothing performance

  22. Ignasi says:

    Lacazette is a good player.

    Yes, a degree above average.

    No where near the class or the brutality and accuracy of Jesus, Kane, Aguero, Lukaku, Moratta etc

    1. RSH says:

      Those teams actually create chances for their strikers. Lacazette is surrounded by Iwobi and Welbeck and has-been ozil. What do you expect. Spurs, United, and City are all BETTER than us. If they had Lacazette he’d be banging them in.

      1. Ignasi says:

        This is horrifically true.

        However, I would like Lacazette to create some chances for himself when the team is struggling.

  23. Arsenal1989 says:

    I’m sick n tired of my weekends ruined I can’t blame the team nomore we play Shyte, wenger aint the same nomore let’s be real I can’t even motivate myself to argue with people. We don’t even play good football nomore!
    I’m tired of caring for a club that don’t care for their fans wenger is to blame. I would defend him if he stood up and blamed the board but he doesn’t so who else is there to blame? I really hope one day we as fans can actually control our club n kick out these greedy money hungry people that is destroying our great club!

  24. Manoj says:

    Ozil missed sitter and everyone went low on confidence .He jinxed it . Absolutely no conviction in the shot. Wenger shouldnt have put Ozil in

  25. Durand says:

    Paul Merson may have been right after all about Wenger and lack of tactics. Giroud did nothing, Watford improved even knowing no one running in behind. Iwobi remined me of Ox today running at people dribbling, midfield in absolute crisis.

    Can’t help but think Jack could have brought some fight and quality to midfield today.

    Watford deserved the win and points; 2nd half tactics spot on, subs impactful, bossed play and tempo.

    Arsenal no 2nd half tactics, subs irrelevant, no pace and played into Watfords hands.

    Blame Wenger, players no spirit or urgency, and where was killer instinct to finish game off?

    Wow, bossed by Watford and Man City officially all galaxy now.

    Pep getting it done and showing Wenger how top manager owns leagues

    1. Durand says:

      Only good news is i made money today betting against Arsenal. Hate to admit it, but its typical of our Arsenal this underperformance to lower teams.
      Every year deja vu all over again. 50 in my pocket to help offset the loss.

      1. Durand says:

        I’m betting Arsenal win by 2 goals on Thursday, and betting they draw on Sunday.
        It’s time i start making money off Wenger, Gadizis, and Kronke rather than them making money off me.

        So glad we kept Sanchez to seal up that Europa league spot again.

        Jack should have played today, Laca should have finished game out, and buy a CM for Pete’s sake; someone, anyone will do!

      2. Ojay says:

        Nice one bro

  26. Adam Criniti says:

    Wenger is an embarrassment of a manager and if
    the board has any intestinal fortitude they wouldn’t
    allow him to give a post match interview blaming the ref and bad luck as the reason for yet another
    ridiculous capitulation.

    Fire his ass and hire Tuechel or Ancelloti tomorrow.

    With that said, sadly

    Bellerin is average on his best day
    El Neny and Xhaka is the worst midfield combo
    In recent Arsenal memory.
    Ozil could give a rats ass about the club
    Sanchez the same
    Giroud scores plenty for France, just an average
    striker for Arsenal
    Welbeck is Diaby reincarnated
    Wilshere can’t get a run even though he genuinely
    loves the club.
    Walcott is counting his $110K a week from the
    Boss is OLD

    Arsenal are dangerously trending closer to the middle of the Premier League table and only the
    the Gunner faithful seem to give a S$%T!!

    1. gotanidea says:

      Don’t want Ancelotti. He is pragmatic like Mourinho, Simeone and Ranieri.

      He also got fired from Chelsea and Bayern. I would like a manager that could set a good system that would last for years, like Guardiola, Klopp, Allegri and Rijkard (he did it before Guardiola took Barcelona over).

  27. tatgooner says:

    I am beginning to hate this football club

    1. gotanidea says:

      Love how Manchester City play? They lost a lot in the last season, but Guardiola always needs an adaptation time.

      That Manchester City team is what could happen if Arsenal play under Guardiola’s guidance, or under any manager with Barcelona’s system. Arsenal could never win the major titles as long as they still cannot pass well.

  28. podo says:

    We never learn. . I guess a few months ago some sensible arsenal fans predicted we would go on a good run again after the Liverpool defeat, and then lose another game which we have lost today, . I don’t get the fact why you guys are not seeing that Arsenal FC is not moving forward instead backwards at a alarming rate… .i hate wenger, his mentality, his subs , kroenke and tha painful thing is that we have the power to change all this but we won’t

  29. John0711 says:

    Didn’t watch the game or even look at the results but I’m not surprised or about the ref was to blame issue as that what most fans think, we are where we deserve to be stop this PL challenger thinking in fact forget top 4 just keep paying your money like good little fans should
    # board and Wenger out
    I won’t bother until that happens

  30. rkw says:

    the 4th place junkies are quiet again …. like the ffing bourbons they learn nothing and forget nothing

  31. Luyolo says:

    I know it’s early in the season, but let’s bring out the banners, Wenger and Kroenke must leave Arsenal or else we will become a midtable club like West ham and Everton!

    1. Ivan says:

      Sorry to say but Kroenke does not care about banners. Only when everybody stops paying money to Kroenke via Arsenal will he even listen. So stop buying shirts, programmes etc. Also if we had a few homes games where the season ticket holders did not attend that would bring more effective publicty.

  32. reddb10 says:

    If we had a team with at least one pair of balls it would not be so easy for one mistake from the ref to cause a complete implosion.

  33. arsenal4life says:

    Arsenal let so many top teams
    off the hook today.
    Clear 4th was beckoning
    now we share 5th with several teams.
    Everton away next week becomes massively important.

  34. Konstantin Mitov says:

    While the fans allow Wenger to enter the stadium, this is what will happen. He must be forced out. Sadly just like the players, the fans don’t have the will power to show some resistance to a system that obviously doesn’t work.

  35. Manoj says:

    my weekend ruined . its just started in california . terrible feeling . Wenger puts giroud/ozil . lacazette should have stayed and Wilshire for eleneny

    1. Sue says:

      Enjoy the sunshine instead

  36. Sue says:

    I wish Pep was our manager

    1. gotanidea says:

      That is what Sanchez might think right now!

      1. Sue says:

        Absolutely…… he’ll book a one way ticket to Manchester in january

  37. waal2waal says:

    there surely must be a point where arsene realizes his time is up – or afc need to pull him out with a shepherds hook and allow a.n.other manager to see in a brand new era *carlos ancelotti for me.

  38. Ivan says:

    Another display of tactical ineptness, poor substitutions and lack of player motivation. Who is responsible for that? Mmm better ask the AKB’s, I can’t wait to read their insane excuses as to why their mancrush is not responsible.
    I mean come on this was Watford that we have just lost, who have only got results out of the worst teams in our league and when they played Man City had 6 put past them at home.
    If you are a true fan you have to want to see a change in manager rather than keep this up. I think this was 10 away games lost out of the last 16 on planet is this anything else but poor.

  39. gomez says:

    Zero midfield..elneny needs to be sold.
    Let us cash in on ozil and sanchez wtf is wrong with this team..no one except morel cared today.belerin should have been sold he has regressed massively. I can’t believe how awful we played as soon as well eck and lacazete went off. Wrong sub killed us he should have taken elneny off and put wilshere live lacazete and remove kolasinac who was bad today and revert to 4 4 2. Giroud was useless. Did crap for the 30 mins he was on. Anyways let’s hope welbeck’s injury is not serious otherwise we are doomed.

  40. olamurry says:

    wat a nonsenx performanx, we’v been managin d sluggish startin game rite frm half time before Wenger scattered and left matersaker effort in vain wit his rubbish substitution, i dont just knw y he cannot jst leave lacazete to play full time, mtcheww am really tired for dis embarrassment, laughin at me rite now at home.

  41. i was a gooner says:

    Ozil shot straight to Gomes & poor Wenger he still belives in him.
    & Arsenal now 9 points below leaders..

  42. X_Ta_C says:

    I really miss those days when we scored 4 or 5 goals to a weaker team…At present we are fighting against all teams, no Ceativity at al…I used to remember when we used to boss in the Midfield area…My belogved ARSENAL, we are so far behind…..

  43. avenaven says:

    please tell me why this is Wenger’s fault? Fans are pathetic who just want to find someone to blame. Wenger select the right people for the match, It was the players who didn’t perform. They are too weak physically and mentality.
    This match shows that we should focus 100% on europa league if we want C1 next year.

  44. X_Ta_C says:

    I wish Wenger bring back the 4-4-2 formation when needed or 4-3-3 formation…

    Ozil/Iwobi_____Xhaka/El neny_________Wilshere/Ramsey____Sanchez/Iwobi

    ________________Wilshere/Ramsey____Xhaka/El neny________________

  45. mrnaska says:

    am going to blame the manager and his system why should we always use the same system for every team look at man city when they play lesser teams they use 4-3-3 so why cant our manager copy that, am actually starting to hate this new system because of him we cant defend and we cant attack just go back and use 4-3-3 its better to loose playing good football than loosing in such a bad way

  46. Jadon Spirit says:

    I know for a fact that Ozil is Useless.. But what I’m trying to figure out is if he’s the all time Arsenal’s most useless player… and why Wenger is still trying to give him a new contract. Just score a sitter to kill off the game but he couldn’t, we ended up losing. And he’ll say he want to win trophies. Nooooonsense.

  47. Mikekobi says:

    I don’t hv any confidence in this our team, it’s a total sh*t, we were even better last season.
    For today’s game the blames goes to ozil and Wenger, not the referee.

  48. sanmi.marvellous says:

    I still don’t know why we are begging Ozil to sign to get paid so much, instead to be happy that he is leaving soon.
    This sitter he missed at Watford today will, for long time to come, live in my memory !!!!
    Poor Ozil

    1. Steven Harris says:

      If that came to Poldi.
      Game over.

  49. AY75 says:

    Cech – good
    Bellerin – meh
    Per – meh
    Koscielny – good
    Monreal – avg
    Kolasinac – avg
    Xhaka – $#!+€
    El Neny – $#!+€
    Iwobi – avg
    Welbeck – meh
    Lacazette – avg
    Özil – meh
    Giroud – meh
    Holding – ?

  50. AY75 says:

    Oh I forgot, Wenger – massive pile of $#!+€
    Aren’t you guys just glad to watch this team and, especially the manager nick a living off us year after year.
    Aaaah, satisfying……..

  51. Shinoda_Kc says:

    Arsenal will never amount to anything serious as long as Kroenke, Wenger and Gazidis are in this club. Today’s performance was one of the worst I have seen, and it seems to be the new Arsenal. I don’t like comparing ourselves to what other clubs are doing but we are absolutely SHIT. We were sold a lie for 14yrs & now look what we have become. From the invincibles to struggling against Watford. As we continue fighting amongst ourselves, Mancity, Manu, Spurs & Chelsea(even if they’ve lost 2 consecutive matches) are showing serious title ambitions. We were stagnating but now we are regressing and it’s just about time before Arsenal becomes like all the other stupid Kroenke franchises. Either we all accept the reality of our club and do something to save it or we continue to accept this bullshit and live to see our club ripped to shreds.

  52. Marty says:

    Why does Wenger take Lacazette off when we need goals and when is Wilshire gonna get a chance to start a game. There is complete apathy at the club from Wenger, coaching staff and players who earn big bucks and don’t seem to care about the club.

    Ozil and Sanchez should both have been sold in the summer, it’s obvious both don’t want to be at the club.

  53. Gunner4Life says:

    Line up – Alexis and Ramsey out because of Fatigue???? Are f*cking kidding me???? Some unkown 30 year old named Messi or something just took His nation to the World Cup single handedly and played against Atletico.. But no.. Arsenal Players are Fatigued! They are just not ready for a trip to Watford??????

  54. Sergio says:

    Does anyone proof read these articles?

  55. Adeyemi Royalman says:

    I blame today game lost on Ozil, ref n Wenger n injury. Ozil should pls be allowed to go. We play well without him, pls wat happen to Ramsey Sanchez? We miss both of dem. Welbek has great work rate but he is made of plastic. Am so sad, we lost wen we r suppose to move up. Injury to welbek n kosheny is anoda sad tin but no one talk abt it. Immediately welbek left game spoiled.

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