(Reuters) - Arsenal players held a “closed doors” crisis meeting without their manager’s or coaches’ knowledge before Tuesday’s FA cup win against second tier Hull to discuss a woeful run of five games without a win in all competitions, striker Theo Walcott said.
Arsenal are third in the Premier League table, eight points behind Leicester City, and are facing a Champions League last-16 exit for the sixth year in a row unless they can overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit when they travel to Barcelona next week.
“We are not going to lie,” Walcott told reporters after Tuesday’s game.
“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.”
The meeting, between Saturday’s 2-2 premiership draw with Tottenham and Tuesday’s 4-0 FA Cup fifth round win against Hull City, was led by seasoned players such as goalkeeper Petr Cech, defender Per Mertesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky.
“I’d like to keep what was said among ourselves but it was very important,” Walcott said.
Arsene Wenger’s men will continue their bid for a first FA Cup hat-trick since Blackburn Rovers in the 1880s when they host Watford in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru