Troy Deeney has once again taken aim at Arsenal, claiming the Gunners are now competing on a par with Watford rather than English football’s top clubs.

Once perennial top four candidates and regulars in the knockout stages of the Champions League, Arsenal now find themselves sixth in the table and seemingly destined for another season in the Europa League next term.

Deeney is no stranger to criticising Arsene Wenger’s side and accused them of lacking cojones in the wake of Watford’s 2-1 comeback win over them in October.

Speaking with YouTube channel XO, Deeney says he is better placed than most to critique Arsenal and insists the gap between the Emirates Stadium club and Watford isn’t what it once was.

“When Watford played Arsenal and they lost on that day I thought they didn’t have enough leaders on the pitch, so I said it,” he said.

“I am better qualified than most people to talk about Arsenal. I grew up watching Arsenal back when they had five or six proper players.

“Look where we were seven years ago and where Arsenal were seven years ago, now they’re competing with Watford. I think my words escalated a little bit.”

Deeney was the subject of Arsenal fans’ ire when Watford made the short trip to North London last month and his every touch was met by vociferous taunts.

His penalty miss in the 3-0 loss drew the biggest cheer of the day as the Gunners faithful took great pleasure in the Watford skipper’s misfortune.

The 29-year-old was later seen signing autographs and taking photos with fans and believes his presence brought the best out of the Emirates crowd.

He said: “I saw the crowd the week before and there was 10,000 people, and when they played Watford it was a sell-out.

“I said to [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles, ‘I’m glad I can bring you out a decent crowd for once.’”