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Arsenal v Watford – Emirates Stadium – Premier League – Sunday 4pm
Arsenal v Watford – Preview;
Despite earning an Emirates FA Cup final berth, Mikel Arteta will be looking forward to a blank canvas come the start of the new Premier League season.
Unquestionably, Arsenal have improved since the Spaniard’s arrival back in December. However, an all too familiar chink in the armour has continued to haunt the Gunners league form, leaving Arteta in no doubt as to the issue he needs to address.
“Because we haven’t been consistent,” he confessed ahead of Sunday’s clash with relegation-threatened Watford at the Emirates Stadium.
“Because we obviously had a lot of issues as well in the background, a lot of things that had happened. But at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough to be with the top teams.
“That’s not a lie and it shows the big room for improvement and the gap that is still there and has to be minimised really, really quickly in order to be in a good position to challenge those teams.”
And the Gunners boss insisted that the truth hurt, but his mindset offered a brighter future, should everyone at the Emirates Stadium start singing from the same hymnbook
“It hurts so much,” he added.
“When I said it’s a beautiful challenge, and as well from my side, it’s to bring the club into those positions again.
“I know how difficult it’s going to be because you can see the other teams, what they’re doing, what they’ve been doing the last few seasons.
“The road and the direction we have to take in order to be quick in that transition. I’m very positive that we’re going to be able to do it.
Visitors, Watford head to North London desperately needing the three points to stand any chance of remaining in the top flight. However, Arteta insisted Arsenal would go about their business and focus on their own position going into the game.
“As it was getting closer, it was looking like that with the results that were happening every week but you know, we have to do what we have to do and we can only be responsible for how we perform and approach the football matches.
“In the same way, as I’m saying it’s a reflection of what you have done in ten months after it cannot be just a reflection of what you’ve done in one or two games so I think it works the same way for everybody.”
Arsenal v Watford – Head to head;
Arsenal won; 17
Watford won; 12
Arsenal v Watford – Last five meetings (all competitions);
October 14, 2017 – Premier League
Watford 2-1 Arsenal
March 11, 2018 – Premier League
Arsenal 3-0 Watford
September 29, 2018 – Premier League
Arsenal 2-0 Watford
April 15, 2019 – Premier League
Watford 0-1 Arsenal
September 15, 2019 – Premier League
Watford 2-2 Arsenal
Jeevesie’s prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Watford
(Quotes courtesy of Arsenal Football Club – www.arsenal.com)