Troy Deeney has retracted his “no cojones” jibe towards Arsenal as he thinks that Mikel Arteta’s team “are a proper outfit now”.
The Birmingham City forward had a few run-ins with Arsenal during his time at Watford.
Back in 2017, the Hornets beat the Gunners 2-1 in a game in the Premier League.
Arsene Wenger attempted to blame the referee for his side’s loss but Deeney said post-match that Arsenal simply lack “cojones”.
Deeney poked more fun at Arsenal last year as he suggested that he has “been proved right because there are not many people who played in that game for Arsenal who are still at the club.”
But the Gunners have looked like a team reborn at the start of this season. They have won all but one of their games this term. This form places them a point clear of Man City at the top of the Premier League.
Deeney now thinks the cojones comment needs to be quashed as “it has changed” at Arsenal:
“Stop bringing it up [cojones comment], Ben [Foster]! It’s changed now, they’re a proper outfit now,” Deeney told Ben Foster on The Football Fill-In podcast.
“That’s the thing, when I said that, that was about one game in one situation. It wasn’t like the whole culture of Arsenal.
“I grew up on Arsenal with Wrighty, like you know, Ian Wright is a legend of mine. That’s what I’m used to. Those 1-0 wins, those horrible 1-0 wins, you know what I mean?
“Then you had the invincibles and they were just world-class, you played against them. And then they went into this weird space where Wenger was trying to recreate something and I think United have done this over the years and they’ve tried to recreate the Fergie years and it doesn’t work. Football has moved on.
“I think Arsenal have gone through that patch where they had Emery and people like that and they’ve gone this is our man [Arteta] and we’re going to back him. I think the biggest thing that I like about Arteta is he’s gotten rid of all the egos.
“Whether they’re good players or not, Ozil, Aubameyang, good players, good lads. But he’s gone ‘this is how we’re going to be, back me or not’ and now you’re seeing the togetherness.”
He added: “Now I’m going ‘alright you’re top four now’. Before the season I didn’t think they’d be top four that they’d do something Arsenal.
“Somebody would get injured like Jesus would get injured or whatever and then they’d just fall away but now I’m like ‘[Arsenal are a] proper, proper outfit’.”