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Watford striker Troy Deeney has hit back at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, saying that the Gunners lack the "cojones" to be a proper Premier League force.

Wenger identified a "scandalous" penalty decision as one of the reasons Arsenal lost their way and slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday.

Hornets captain Deeney, however, said that it was the visitors' lack of fight that allowed his side to claim all three points and jump ahead of Wenger's team in the Premier League table.

"I've heard Wenger's already blaming [the penalty] as the reason for why they lost," Deeney told BT Sport. "Well, I'm not going to be one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there's a reason that they lost and it wasn't because of one penalty.

"I have to watch what I say, but it's [having] a bit of cojones, is what I'll say. Whenever I play against Arsenal, I'll go up and think 'let me whack the first one and see who wants it.'

"I came on today and jumped up with [Per] Mertesacker -- I didn't even have to jump, actually -- I nodded it down, the crowd gets up: 'Yeah we've got somebody who can win it,' and they all just backed off.

"For me as a player, I just think 'happy days.' That's my strength -- if you're going to let me do my strength against you, you're going to have a tough afternoon.

"I just think personally there's an element of that being an equaliser for me. I know I'm not technically gifted like they are, not as quick, but if you want to fight with me, I'm gonna beat you all day.

"If you want to come into my world and do that, you can do that, but you've got to be at a level where your excellence of keeping the ball, being fast and getting in the right positions are all 10/10 because my equaliser is I'm big, strong, and I do all the ugly stuff you don't wanna do, and I'm going to make it horrible for you."

Deeney believes something special is brewing at Watford after they continued their best start to a Premier League campaign.

The striker's arrival off the bench just after the hour sparked the Hornets' fightback and he said team spirit was there to see.

"We have had a great start to the season and when we play the big teams we don't want to do ourselves an injustice," Deeney said.

"It's not a bad start, but it doesn't mean anything now.

"We are just taking it game by game. We're having a great start, we've got a great bunch, I believe we are building something really good and you can see with the late goals it shows we have got belief and that we are all in it together.

"It's a massive team effort and it's a good win and we go again on Monday."

Information from PA Sport was used in this report.

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