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Xhaka admits Arsenal aren’t ‘mentally strong enough’ after Watford draw

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has admitted his side aren’t strong enough mentally after the Gunners threw away a two-goal lead away to Watford today.

Watford started brightly under the guidance of the recently re-appointed Quique Sanchez Flores, although Arsenal soon seemed to be heading towards a routine three points after the lethal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck a brace in the first half.

However, this is Arsenal after all, and they soon let the Hornets back into the game, with Tom Cleverley lashing home after a comical attempt by Sokratis to play out from the back.

David Luiz then showed his own penchant for calamity by taking down Watford substitute Roberto Pereyra in the box, with the Argentine attacker duly slotting home the spot-kick in the 81st minute.

Watford looked the more likely side to win the game as Arsenal continued to show that all too familiar defensive brittleness and Abdoulaye Doucoure was unlucky not to win the game for the Hornets late on.

Arsenal have been accused of lacking mental strength for the best part of a decade now and Gunners skipper Xhaka didn’t even try and hide from the fact after the game.

“We are very disappointed, we had a good first half and then we came out and played so bad in the second half. We paid for that,” Xhaka told BBC Sport.

“We knew they had nothing to lose and they would come for us but we didn’t show our game, we were too scared, nobody wanted the ball.

“Every team in the Premier League is strong enough to score so you have to stay calm, be mentally strong and we weren’t today.”

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