Walcott: Things have happened on the training ground

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott has admitted that there have been incidents behind the scenes and says the players need to pull together for the sake of the club and manager Arsene Wenger.

Alexis Sanchez was reported to have been in a training ground bust-up last week, leading to him being dropped for last Saturday’s game against Liverpool.

It was a claim denied by Wenger in the build-up to last night’s 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, but post-game Walcott appeared to confirm that there had been some kind of set-to and he urged his teammates to cut it out and to keep things in house.

“Things have happened,” he told Standard Sport. “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.

“Things get taken out of proportion — we all know this. There are certain things that happen at training grounds.

“I’m sure it happens at every other training ground, most of the time, really.”

The England man denied it had had any effect on the team though, and refuted suggestions the team had given up.

“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.”

He also said that the players themselves need to take more responsibility for the current malaise, saying it can’t all fall on Wenger.

“He will take this on himself but us players need to look at ourselves,” he said.

“The manager has been taking a lot of flak in recent weeks and us players have been accepting it, but we can’t.

“We need to take the pressure off the manager and that will happen by performances. Who knows what the manager will do?

“Players just want to play football for this club and do well for the manager.”

Read today’s Arseblog: Both legs show Arsenal can’t compete at this level

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