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2016/2017 Season

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Transfer Rater: Ozil to Man United


Arsenal players held secret talks to discuss form slump - Theo Walcott

Arsenal players held a secret meeting before the FA Cup replay victory at Hull in an attempt to turn their recent poor form around, Theo Walcott has said.

The 4-0 win at the KC Stadium ended a five-game run without a victory in all competitions.

Hull CityHull City
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Those results have seen the Gunners fall eight points behind Premier League leaders Leicester and left them on the brink of elimination from the Champions League against Barcelona.

Walcott said some of Arsenal's more experienced players -- including captain Mikel Arteta, Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker and Tomas Rosicky -- had arranged the meeting, which he said manager Arsene Wenger had not been aware of.

He told reporters: "We are not going to lie. 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.

"It [the meeting] 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.

"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.

"As a team, we have got it in us. We just have to produce it more often. We have quite a lot of experienced players in the dressing room."

Walcott scored twice at Hull, with his goals following a brace by Olivier Giroud, whose strikes ended a run of 12 games without a goal. Walcott had scored only one goal in his previous 15 appearances.

The victory at Hull means Arsenal face an FA Cup quarterfinal at home to Watford on Sunday before traveling to Barcelona, where they are 2-0 down, on Wednesday.

Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.


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