Danny Welbeck says there is no rift in the Arsenal dressing room despite papers claiming otherwise and leaks springing all over the place.

“There’s no split in the camp. I didn’t even know about that story until now,” Welbeck told Sky Sports.

“I’ve not really seen much of the criticism. I can imagine it’s not been great because with the results and being at Arsenal, it’s not good enough.

Welbeck cools off
Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck cools off. Picture: Stuart MacFarlane.

“It’s not something where I’ve sat down and read through newspapers and stuff but we know we should be doing much better than where we are.

“But I think if we stand together as players, as a team with the manager and the staff and everyone involved around the club, then unity will make us stronger.”

While it’s probably best for players to avoid reading newspapers and the internet on a regular basis, it might be an idea for them to take some time to see just how fans are being affected by their performances this season.

Arsenal players live in a bubble, protected from criticism as much as possible lest it destroy what little confidence they already have.

Welbeck has been in woeful form since his return from injury in November.

He’s started just one league match since then and has registered only one goal  – in the League Cup quarter final against West Ham – and zero assists in that time. For the season, he has five goals and one assist in 1,490 minutes. By contrast, Theo Walcott has six goals and six assists in 1,397 minutes this season.

Given the reports in the media it’s clear that something did happen in the dressing room and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

If the manager won’t hold players responsible for their performances, it is down to their teammates to do so.

Perhaps Danny had fallen over in the shower just as it was all kicking off and missed it.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.