Arsene Wenger seems to have had enough of certain opposition players this season, and isn’t holding back as much he used to.

This week, when asked about Troy Deeney’s assessment that Arsenal players “lack cojones”, Wenger didn’t pull any punches in his response.

“They got a cheap penalty from a good dive,” he answered. “We’ll respond to him on the pitch [on Sunday].”

It’s not the first time the manager has come out with comments like that this campaign, especially on the topic of diving.

In February, ahead of Arsenal’s game against Tottenham, Dele Alli and Harry Kane got involved in a simulation controversy at Anfield. Wenger responded by calling English players “the masters of diving” in his pre-match press conference.

Gabriel and Troy Deeney
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 31: Troy Deeney of Watford takes on Gabriel of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Watford at Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Earlier in the season, Manchester City beat Arsenal courtesy of an offside goal and a penalty won by Raheem Sterling. The boss could’ve chosen to focus on the former, or called the latter a harsh decision, but instead he called out Sterling individually.

He said the winger “dives well” in his post-match interview. Later he doubled down on the comments by insisting it really was a dive.

In a way, it’s good to have someone representing the club who is willing to call out opposition players. The media are sure to do whatever they can to have a go at Arsenal, so we need people doing the same the other way around.

Of course, it would be better to win the actual matches, rather than the press conference battles afterwards. So let’s hope he’s right and the team respond on the pitch against Watford.