Sam Allardyce has pointed out that Arsenal have always been too weak physically.

Arsenal were defeated 2-1 by Watford on Saturday and comments from Troy Deeney has resurrected an old discussion about Arsenal’s “soft underbelly”.

The Watford striker claimed Arsenal “lacked cojones” and that they could be got at physically. Unsurprisingly, Sam Allardyce agrees with him, reports the Express.

“Troy Deeney is interesting what he said after. That’s always been Arsenal’s soft underbelly, physicality. No it’s not new, it’s not new at all,” Sam Allardyce said on Goals on Sunday.

“In all fairness to (Marco) Silva he has tried to outplay them in the first-half and Arsenal have completely outplayed them. 

“So at least he’s realised it, but do it from the start! They messed them around and put their bodies in the way and upset the back three. 

“Of course Watford got great rewards for it and I think they’re lying fourth in the Premier League now. So well done to them.”

Allardyce was a regular exponent of Arsenal’s dislike of physical play. His Bolton and Blackburn teams frequently troubled Arsenal with their on-their-edge physicality and set-pieces.

It’s become less of an issue recently as the Gunners discovered ways of winning those games. The match against Watford wasn’t especially physical. Marco Silva’s team didn’t set out to rough us up, nor were they overly aggressive at any point.

While Deeney did come on and give Arsenal a different type of challenge, their failure to win the game was due to their failure to convert their chances. Had the Londoners managed to extend their lead when they should have done, this entire discussion would not exist.

Arsenal should expect more teams taking up a more physical approach now that such a big deal has been made out of it. It’s up to them to adapt and ensure it doesn’t become a problem.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,