Theo Walcott has revealed that Arsenal’s senior players held crisis talks ahead of the club’s win over Hull.
The Gunners beat Championship side Hull 4-0 in the FA Cup fifth-round replay on Tuesday, ensuring progression to the quarter-finals.
Victory at the KC Stadium represented the club’s first in six games, a run which included three consecutive defeats and has left their Premier League and Champions League hopes hanging in the balance.
Arsenal are now third in the Premier League, eight points behind leaders Leicester and three behind bitter rivals Tottenham, and were beaten 2-0 in their Champions League round of 16 second leg by Barcelona.
But Walcott has revealed that senior players at the club, including Petr Cech, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky, held crisis talks ahead of the game with Hull.
“We are not going to lie,” he said. “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 the coaches or the manager knowing about anything and I think 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 maybe.
“We have quite a lot of experienced players in the dressing room,” the 26-year-old said. “It came from Cech, 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 anyway.”
He said of manager Arsene Wenger: “He 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.”