Theo Walcott has revealed the Arsenal squad held clear-the-air talks before their FA Cup replay against Hull City. The Gunners won the game 4-0 and Walcott explained that the victory came on the back of some candid discussions between the Gunners players.
The 26-year-old forward explained that Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky arranged the get-together, which was organised without manager Arsene Wenger's knowledge. Walcott thinks they are already reaping the benefits of those discussions.
"We are not going to lie – we know as a unit it has been tough and we all had a good chat amongst us behind closed doors, without even any of coaches or the manager knowing about anything," he said, according to the Evening Standard. "It is important that as a team [to know] we have got it in us."
The Gunners came from 2-1 down against their eternal rivals Tottenham to draw 2-2 at the weekend, despite being reduced to 10 men in the second half. And the Arsenal star admitted the players must demonstrate their fighting qualities on a more consistent basis.
"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," he said of Arsenal's against-the-odds comeback. "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 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."
Although Wenger was unaware of the team meeting, Walcott thinks the Frenchman would have had no qualms with the players arranging it. "[The manager] probably knows about it anyway. The manager respects the players' privacy and what is happening personally among us all," he said of the Arsenal boss. "It was a meeting to express how everyone was feeling basically and it worked."