Mertesacker and Arsenal ignoring Deeney's 'cojones' jibe

Mesut Ozil Arsenal Watford 14102017
The Watford striker was critical of the Gunners after helping to inspire a 2-1 win over Arsene Wenger's side, but his comments have been shrugged off

Per Mertesacker insists nobody at Arsenal has paid any attention to accusations from Troy Deeney of the club lacking “cojones”.

The Watford striker made his comments in the wake of a 2-1 victory for the Hornets over the Gunners in their latest Premier League outing.

Arsenal & Tottenham 7/2 both to win

Arsene Wenger’s side had led that contest through a Mertesacker header, but Deeney believes they “backed off” to allow him to convert from the spot and Tom Cleverley to snatch a late winner.

Arsenal, though, have shrugged off the opinion of those outside the Emirates Stadium camp, with their focus locked on righting wrongs – particularly away from home.

Mertesacker told Sky Sports when quizzed on the Deeney jibe:"I don't know what he said. I don't pay attention. Anyways it was after the game I think, so I didn't watch it.

"We should concentrate on ourselves first of all, there are so many guys involved and so many opinions, which is fine, but we need to focus on ourselves and learn lessons from that.

"If we start to listen to too many people it's not worth it, honestly, I need to look at myself and think what could have been done better.

"Afterwards, it's easy to judge and easy to say words and think we are lacking something. We have to think how we can provide better performances, especially away from home, where it gets tight and difficult.”

Per Mertesacker Arsenal tougher

Mertesacker admits that Arsenal must become “tougher” on their travels, while also stressing the need to be more ruthless – with Mesut Ozil having squandered a gilt-edged chance to put the Gunners 2-0 up at Vicarage Road.

The World Cup-winning defender added: "We need to be mentally tougher in front of goal. We create the chances, but sometimes we need to switch on quicker.

"I believe we have that mental toughness but we need to switch on and do our thing.

"We were not good enough against Watford because we missed a chance and the majority of players were still thinking about that chance. Those things, switching on, need to be quicker.

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"We had everything in place. We scored from a set-piece away from home, we protected the goal well for the first 60 minutes, we had a couple of chances to go further ahead - but we didn't.

"Then you need to be really resilient in those tight moments, and make clever decisions, but that's what we lacked basically. We want to be more clever in defending our own goal."

Arsenal are next in action on Thursday when they face Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League, before returning to domestic duty with a trip to Everton on Sunday.