Sunday 22 July 2018

Heurelho Gomes left out after missing build-up to Arsenal game – Javi Gracia

Gomes had denied he was left out of the squad due to personal reasons.

Heurelho Gomes, pictured, has not started a game since Javi Gracia was hired (Nigel French/PA)
Heurelho Gomes, pictured, has not started a game since Javi Gracia was hired (Nigel French/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Watford manager Javi Gracia insists there was nothing untoward about Heurelho Gomes’ absence at Arsenal last weekend, despite the goalkeeper reacting angrily to his omission on social media.

In announcing the squad for last Sunday’s visit to north London, the Hornets tweeted that Brazilian Gomes was not on the bench “due to personal reasons”, yet the ex-Tottenham stopper dismissed that notion on his own Twitter account.

Gomes wrote: “Just to clarify why I wasn’t involved today, just because people started to ask me, there wasn’t no personal reason, it was the manager(‘s) decision, really don’t know why, we never had a problem but I need to respect it.”

Gracia, who has preferred Orestis Karnezis over Gomes since the latter returned from a back injury, attempted to clarify the situation in his press conference on Thursday.

“Heurelho had personal permission last week from after the West Brom match – from Sunday until Friday he was out with personal permission,” he said in a video shown on watfordfc.com.

“He didn’t train with the team. Then, on Saturday, when I prepared the list, he did his first training with the team on Friday and I train with two goalkeepers all week, with Dani (Bachmann) and with Orestis, and then I choose these options because I thought it was the best option for the team for the next match against Arsenal.

“He (Gomes) knew the reason why he was out of the team because I explained to him. He came back on Friday and the next day I have to do the list and then it’s clear to me to choose the players who were training all week with me.

“It was the reason, it’s all, there’s no other reason.”

However, Gracia did not confirm whether Gomes would be back in his squad for this weekend’s trip to Liverpool.

Defender Craig Cathcart (hip) is considered fit enough to feature, but Nathaniel Chalobah, Tom Cleverley, Christian Kabasele, Gerard Deulofeu, Younes Kaboul and Molla Wague all remain out.

Press Association

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