By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Heurelho Gomes has labelled Arsenal a “small team” and dismissed their Premier League title chances after Watford knocked them out of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Goals from Odion Ighalo and Adlene Guedioura dashed the Gunners’ hopes of becoming the first club since Blackburn Rovers in the 1880s to win the competition in three consecutive years.
Arsenal suffered their 13th defeat in all competitions this season, three more than last campaign and with at least 10 games left to play, to prompt fresh criticism of the methods of manager Arsene Wenger.
Former Tottenham goalkeeper Gomes, who was on the bench for Watford as his team won 2-1 at Emirates Stadium, delivered a scathing assessment of Arsenal in marquee matches.
“It is the best time to play Arsenal and we came to the match very confident. When you see Arsenal playing against big teams, they look like a small team,” Gomes told ESPN Brasil.
“They don’t look like winning a title soon. We knew once we had the ball we’d be able to pass it around since Arsenal give you too much space. They are not strong defensively.”
Arsenal are third in the league, eight points behind leaders Leicester, who host Newcastle on Monday night, and six behind neighbours Spurs.
They trail Barcelona 2-0 going into the Champions League last-16 second leg in Spain on Wednesday with pressure mounting on manager Wenger.
The Frenchman was deeply angered by speculation over his future, insisting both he and his players should be judged at the end of the season.
“It is becoming a farce. We have lost a game. Arsenal has lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief.
“Supporters stand behind the club and we want to fight until the end of the season for every single game. It is nothing to do with confidence. Of course the team have enough confidence.”