Theo Walcott has revealed that the Arsenal players organised a meeting without the manager’s prior knowledge to clear the air after the recent poor performances.
The meeting was organised by senior players Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. It is very interesting to note that Petr Cech has already achieved the status of a senior Arsenal player within his first eight months at the club.
You would expect the other three players who have been at the club for such a long time to be the leading voices but Cech’s achievements speak for themselves and it is logical for him to be afforded senior player status so quickly.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 4-0 win away to Hull in the FA Cup, Walcott revealed, “We are not going to lie – we know as a unit it has been tough and we all had a good chat among us behind closed doors, without even any of coaches or the manager knowing about anything. It is important that as a team we have got it in us.
“We just have to produce it more often. You had a sense of the Tottenham game especially, when you go down to 10 men in a big game like that, the belief and the character was there. The never-give-up spirit was there as well. In the derby matches, they could be the matches that turn your season and we may have turned the corner.
“We have quite a lot of experienced players in the dressing room. It came from Petr, Mikel, Per and Tomas. We have four good old heads there. I’d like to keep what was said among ourselves but it was very important. We have had a reaction from it.
“He [the manager] probably knows about it anyway – he’s got ears everywhere at the club. The manager respects the players’ privacy and what’s happening personally among us all. It was a meeting to express how everyone was feeling basically and it worked.”
It is quite important news that the players recognised the urgency of the situation with a bad run of results, seeing the team fading away in the title race as well as the probable customary last 16 Champions League exit.
It is also good to note that the players are not afraid to take responsibilities and organise meeting without the managers’ input. It will reinforce the team cohesion, bond the players together even more at a tough time and it could also help clearing all the lingering bad feelings.
Sometimes communication between players suffers as a result of negative performances and that clear-the-air meeting will have everyone back on track and ready to work together again.
Overall, that meeting is likely to benefit in the short term with a quick boost. Hopefully we see it as a turning point in the title race when we will review the full season.