The enforced lockdown during the pandemic crisis has caused lots of problems for teams who have been neccessarily divided from each other for a few months. But it would seem that the Arsenal players are feeling even more united after the in-depth discussions, led by Hector Bellerin, that the squad had when deciding to take a pay cut to help the non-playing staff.
“We’ve gone through some tough conversations as a team and as staff members,” Bellerin said in a conversation including Prince William, as quoted in Football.London.
“The pay cut that we had to decide between us. We all did this for the good of the club and the people that work for the club.
“Not just me but I’m sure Auba and many other players and coaches got many messages from the people of the staff who now feel safe and they know they can still work and be paid.
“The situations are building such negativity. We found something positive in it and I feel like that has got us together as a family.”
Interestingly, the agreement between the players and the club includes a clause that says that they will get the money refunded if they manage to get a place in the Champions League, which is still a possibility if Man City’s ban gets upheld.
That may sound unlikely to us cynical Arsenal fans, but according to our goalkeeper Bernd Leno, the players still have the belief and confidence that they can reach those dizzy heights. When DFB.de asked Leno what his targets were for Arsenal after the restart, he said: “I hope we can get into Europe. We’re not ruling out the Champions League places because we might get it with just fifth place, given Man City’s possible ban. We were in decent form before the break, I just hope we can get back to that when we return and end up in a European spot.”
So it sounds like the Gunners are in a good place ahead of our trip to Man City, and maybe us fans can have a little more confidence in the team as well…