Arsenal were too scared – Xhaka admits his side were mentally weak at Watford
Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka admitted his side were not mentally strong enough at Watford as they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.
The Gunners appeared to be in control of Sunday's Premier League match at Vicarage Road after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice in the space of 11 first-half minutes.
But Tom Cleverley halved the deficit early in the second half following a sloppy pass from Sokratis and substitute Roberto Pereyra levelled things from the penalty spot nine minutes from time after being brought down by David Luiz.
In the end Arsenal were left holding on for a point and Xhaka confessed the visitors were "too scared", while also accusing his team-mates of hiding.
"We are very disappointed. We had a good first half and then we came out and played so bad in the second half and paid for that," he told BBC Sport.
"We knew they had nothing to lose and they would come for us but we didn't show our game. We were too scared. Nobody wanted the ball.
"Every team in the Premier League is strong enough to score so you have to stay calm, be mentally strong and we weren't."
Arsenal were architects of their own downfall as Sokratis gave away possession for Watford's opener as his side persisted with attempting to play out from the back, despite also nearly being caught out in the first half.
Xhaka, who is expected to be announced as Arsenal's permanent skipper next week, told Sky Sports: "Mistakes happen but it is not an excuse.
"Next time we have to do better. It was not only this situation we lost the game. We lost the game all second half.
"You have to say we are happy to take a point.
"We knew they would come at us and push us hard but we have to show more character and not be scared.
"We have spoken about it. We cannot give a performance like this in the second half."
Arsenal travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Thursday and return to Premier League action next Sunday with a home match against Aston Villa.