Theo Walcott: Player meeting inspired Manchester United victory

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Arsenal's first-team stars held a private meeting before their 3-0 Premier League victory against Manchester United on Sunday, Theo Walcott has revealed.

The Gunners went into the game under increasing pressure from their fans, who had sat and watched their team concede three goals to Greek side Olympiacos just five days earlier.

As usual, Arsene Wenger bore the brunt of the criticism, especially over his decision to start David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech. The Colombian 'keeper gifted Olympiakos their second goal in the 3-2 defeat.


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But Walcott insists that Wenger was not to blame for Arsenal's second shock Champions League defeat of the season and dedicated Sunday's victory over the Red Devils to the Frenchman.

"That was all for the manager without a doubt," he told the Telegraph. "The players spoke to each other on our own and we wanted to do this for the fans. It was the Arsenal of old, everything seemed to click. It sends a message to the Premier League we are here to be recognised no doubt.

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Team performance

Walcott, who became the club's joint-highest earner on £140,000-a-week earlier this year, was singled out for special praise by Wenger, but the 26-year-old insists that everyone in the team contributed to what amounted to a 20-minute annihilation of a Premier League rival.

He continued: "That first-half we were unbelievable, no one could have dealt with us. It was the best football I have been involved in. You could sense from kick-off that the desire was there. We should be playing like that every week."

Internal Support

A number of Arsenal fans, including Piers Morgan, have placed Wenger under intense scrutiny for his failure to deliver a Premier League title since 2004, but, despite several bad performances this season, it is clear he still has the full backing from the players.

With the Arsenal board also on his side, it seems the Frenchman will be given time to prove he can bring major trophies back to north London.

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Premier League
Theo Walcott
Manchester United

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