Unai Emery backed a team dinner for the Arsenal squad after the weekend’s draw against Watford, hoping to build team spirit among the players.
The Daily Mail report that the players were sent to Mayfair nightspot Novikov hours after the Watford game, with Emery clearing them for a night out.
The head coach has been pushing for greater unity at the club, inviting players that weren’t involved in the away game to attend (including William Saliba) and allowing non-football members of staff into the dressing room on matchdays.
It didn’t really help much against Watford, as Arsenal looked far from a coherent unit whilst throwing away a 2-0 lead to draw. Perhaps these are the kinds of experiences the players need to grow through together though, rather than immediately going their separate ways.
That will be the hope for Emery, because he really needs the team to come together and start improving now.
A draw and a defeat against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool was pretty much the minimum expected outcome, whilst a draw and two wins against Newcastle, Burnley and Watford would only really have been acceptable if the performances were strong. They weren’t.
Arguably, Arsenal are yet to have a single good performance over a full match this season. The closest they’ve come was the second half against Spurs, after a disastrous first 45.
That has to change, starting with Frankfurt on Thursday.