Theo Walcott has admitted “things have happened” on the Arsenal training ground but has called for the club to stop fighting after the Gunners were dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.
Arsenal went into the game under something of a cloud amid reports of a training ground bust-up involving Alexis Sanchez that saw him left out of the starting line-up against Liverpool.
Manager Arsene Wenger has since insisted the reports are “completely false” but Walcott appears to have contradicted his boss by admitted there have been problems behind the scenes.
“Things get taken out of proportion — we all know this,” he told Standard Sport. “There are 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.
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“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.”
Walcott has now urged Arsenal to put the defeat to Bayern behind them and try to finish the season strongly, starting with an FA Cup quarter-final against Lincoln City.
“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 added.
“We hurt every day. It could stay in a lot of players’ heads for a long time but we need to make sure it doesn’t because in the league, it is very tight and we have Lincoln at the weekend. We are obviously favourites for that game and it is a good opportunity to go to Wembley.
“We need to think of the positives now. We have a great team and we can’t forget that. Some of the players will be beating themselves up and doubting themselves but that’s the worst thing we could do at this moment in time when things are going badly.
“We are playing for Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs in the world. It is as simple as that.”