Make no mistake about it: Watford are floundering a little, if only in the Premier League. Quique Sanchez Flores' side have not won a game in English football's top flight since February 13, and on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal piled more misery on the Hornets, dispatching their opponents with a comprehensive 4-0 win.
Showing their class
In the process, the Gunners enacted revenge for their 2-1 FA Cup exit to Flores' side in March - a result that stopped Arsenal's attempt to win the trophy for three successive seasons in its tracks. Wenger's players will have been undoubtedly fired up for the ocassion, and they ultimately showed their class.
Flores, speaking to Hornets PlayerHD, confessed that his side were easily second best on the day, as the Hornets conceeded four goals for the first time this campaign. Alexis Sanchez's fourth-minute goal set the stage, and the Watford boss was quick to point out that after that point it was "very difficult for the players".
Subsequent goals from Alex Iwobi, Hector Bellerin and Theo Walcott - the latter two scoring after half-time - completed a miserable day for the travelling away fans. Flores was quick to admit that Arsenal played "really well, really fast and in a high position", suggesting that his side did not play with "the necessary impetus and energy" - ultimately meaning th Hornets took nothing from the game.
Different players, same result
Flores made changes - removing Etienne Capoue before half-time, and Odion Ighalo at the start of the second half - but to no avail, althoguh the Spaniard stresses that "when the plan is not working good", attempts must be made to "correct as quick as possible", which means at times if things are not working, "the players change".
"You must respect everything"
- Quique Sanchez Flores
An FA Cup semi-final awaits at Wembley Stadium towards the end of April, but Flores has suggested that the focus must be solely on the Premier League for now, and "playing well" again. Speaking with the same intelligence and thoughtful manner that he has all season, Flores stressed the importance of "respecting everything" in football, including having a good finish to the season. Watford do not fear relegation, but yet Flores says they must still play well for the "respect of the fans, the players, the staff and owner".
The Watford manager was quick to point out that "it's not good to be comfortable" in the league, as since the Hornets went one win away from the magical 40-point total, they have struggled to pick up points. As Flores says, Watford must be "competitive" at all times, or else they risk a disappointing end to what has been a superb season.