Players must fight for Wenger, not fight each other - Walcott
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott says "we need to take the pressure off the manager" in defence of under-fire Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Theo Walcott says Arsenal's players have a duty to battle to save Arsene Wenger's job and also warned: "We can't be fighting each other."
Arsenal were beaten 5-1 at home by Bayern Munich in the Champions League last-16 on Tuesday, sealing a 10-2 aggregate defeat and bringing a sorry curtain down on another disappointing European campaign.
The result followed Saturday's 3-1 Premier League loss at Liverpool - a match that saw top scorer Alexis Sanchez sit out the first half amid reports of a training-ground bust-up.
Wenger has arguably never been closer to the Arsenal exit door during his two decades at the club and, with pressure mounting on the Frenchman to walk away, Walcott has issued a rallying cry to his team-mates.
"The players are like everybody else - we don't really know what's going on," he told Standard Sport. "We just want to try to focus on the football.
"The manager is focused on us. You can see how passionate he is with us from the way he talks to us in the meetings.
"He will take this [the Bayern result] on himself but us players need to look at ourselves. 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."
Discussing the reported altercation involving Sanchez, Walcott added: "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.
"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."
Arsenal host non-league Lincoln City in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.