Troy Deeney created the headlines following Watford’s 2-1 over Arsenal in October and his suggestion the Gunners players lacked “cojones” was always going to provide a sub-plot heading into this afternoon’s return at the Emirates.

Ultimately, it was the Gunners who were smiling following their 3-0 victory, but arguably the loudest roar of the afternoon from the home faithful came when the Hornets skipper saw his second-half penalty saved by Petr Cech.

Asked if he thought his captain's comments had inspired the Arsenal players, Hornets boss Javi Gracia said: “I think Troy before the match was concentrating on playing well, to help the team and if it will be possible to score.

“He had the chance to score the penalty, he didn’t do it, but I don’t know in this moment what he’s thinking about. But I am happy with him when he scores and when he doesn’t score.”

However, the Watford head coach would not be drawn on whether he thought Deeney regretted his remarks.

“I don’t know,” Gracia said. “I can say what I feel and I’m responsible for my words. I respect all the teams, Arsenal as well, and I don’t have anything to say.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger though, did suggest the remarks had helped fire up his players.

He said: “You cannot be a football player or any sportsman without pride, so these things come into it. I don’t know how much but of course it plays a part.”