Theo Walcott has admitted “things have happened” at the training ground and that Arsenal players “can’t be fighting each other”.
Star man Alexis Sanchez allegedly walked out of training last week following a reported bust-up and was consequently dropped for Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.
He arrived from the bench at half-time and laid on Danny Welbeck’s goal and the Chilean returned in last night’s 5-1 home defeat by Bayern Munich, but he could not stop the Gunners being humiliated 10-2 on aggregate.
After the defeat – the club’s seventh successive exit at the last-16 stage, Walcott told the Evening Standard about the unrest behind the scenes.
“The players are like everybody else – we don’t really know what’s going on. We just want to try to focus on the football,” said Walcott, who pot Arsenal ahead last night.
“The manager is focused on us. You can see how passionate he is with us from the way he talks to us in the meetings.
“He will take this on himself but us players need to look at ourselves. The manager has been taking a lot of flak in recent weeks and us players have been accepting it, but we can’t.
“Things get taken out of proportion – we all knoware certain things that happen at training grounds.
“I’m sure it happens at every other training ground, most of the time, really.
“You don’t see it often at Arsenal. Things have happened. They need to stay in the dressing room and the players and staff need to sort it out. We are in it together here. We can’t be fighting each other.
“I don’t really want to go into it but the stuff that has gone on did not affect our first half here. At certain times when things don’t go well, you don’t want to have anything in your head that you are giving up.
“The 5-1 scoreline looks like we have given up but we haven’t. It just looks like that. That’s the disappointing thing because we know as players we don’t give up.”