Heurelho Gomes has revealed it was Javi Gracia’s decision to leave him out of the Watford squad to face Arsenal, rather than personal reasons as stated by the club.

The long-time Watford number one has lost his place in the starting XI to Orestis Karnezis in recent weeks after a string of impressive displays by the Greek stopper.

He has been a regular on the bench since Karnezis’ promotion to first choice stopper, but was a surprise exclusion from the Watford 18 at the Emirates.

Watford tweeted that the Brazilian had been left out due to personal reasons before kick-off, a statement Gomes later disagreed with.

“Just to clarify why I wasn’t involved today, just because people started to ask me, there wasn’t (sic) no personal reason,” Gomes wrote.

“It was the manager’s decision, really don’t know why, we never had a problem but I need to respect it.”

Gomes’ position as Watford’s number one had previously been untested for a number of years, but Karnezis’ emergence and his advancing years mean his future at the Vis is less assured than it once was.

Daniel Bachman took his place on the bench on Sunday and Watford have Pontus Dahlberg, the 19-year-old Swede signed from IFK Gothenburg last month, as an option between the sticks next season.