Watford won't be distracted by the FA Cup Final, insists Gracia

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The Watford manager was the first person that Emery called last summer when the possibility of taking over from Arsene Wenger first became a possibility.

Plenty were surprised when it was Emery, most recently of Paris St Germain, who was selected following a rigorous interview process headed by former chief executive Ivan Gazidis.

"I also met with (Manchester City midfielder) David Silva in Valencia a year ago and he said to me, "Coach, if you can, come to England, it is the best football and the best atmosphere for you also".

Initially, ex-gunner Mikel Arteta was rumoured to be a front-runner for the job but Emery's interest in taking over the North London side was enough to sway the board in his favour.

Arsenal have officially revealed their starting eleven and substitutes to go up against Watford at Vicarage Road in the Premier League this evening.

"Yes sometimes", Emery replied when asked if he met up with Gracia away from football.

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Watford head coach Javi Gracia said the club has spoken to players about racist abuse, offering support after players were targeted on social media.

"One day, I also met with David Silva in Valencia a year ago and he said to me: 'coach, if you can, come to England, it is the best football and the best atmosphere for you also". "We spoke with the players, they felt our support and it's all we can do in this moment, try to be together, to help them and nothing else".

Watford are now 10th, but with a game in hand over Everton and Leicester, Gracia knows the importance of making that count.

"They are very hard teams to battle because defensively they are very strong and this is now at Watford".

"I think we played well last night and it was important to win", he added.

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