Hector Bellerin calls for Arsenal unity after 'hard' few weeks

Hector Bellerin admits Arsenal's poor form is taking its toll on the squad
Image: Hector Bellerin admits Arsenal's poor form is taking its toll on the squad

Hector Bellerin admits it has been "hard" to lift spirits in the Arsenal dressing room and believes total unity is the only way to rectify their slump in form.

The Gunners are without a win in their last five matches in all competitions and have faced a turbulent month, during which midfielder Granit Xhaka was stripped of the club captaincy after clashing with supporters in their draw at home to Crystal Palace.

Arsenal host struggling Southampton on Saturday, searching for a first Premier League win since October 6 after taking only two points from the last 12 available.

Bellerin is left deflated after Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at Leicester
Image: Bellerin is left deflated after Arsenal's 2-0 defeat at Leicester

"It's been hard as a player in the dressing room sometimes to deal with these situations," Bellerin said in a video on the club's official website.

"I think it's important as a club, as players, as fans, as anything [to know that] being divided is never the way forward.

"Everyone demands different things, everyone demands different changes, but I don't think that's the way.

"The [right] way is accepting who we are, what we have, getting everyone together, supporting each other, and that is the way that we can reach our goals because one doing one thing, the other one doing the other, it's never going to work."

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Bellerin says there is no point singling out a scapegoat for Arsenal's poor form
Image: Bellerin says there is no point singling out a scapegoat for Arsenal's poor form

Xhaka has sat out the last four matches in all competitions but head coach Unai Emery says the Switzerland international could return this weekend.

"When things don't go well that is the time for us to tap each other on the back and be like: 'Come on, we need to do this better but we're going to come back on top'," said Bellerin.

"That is what we need, not to start pointing fingers and blaming someone for this, for doing that.

"We're a club, we're a team, we're a family. What we need is to be there for each other."

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Granit Xhaka wants to rebuild his relationship with the club's supporters after losing the captaincy

Dani Ceballos (hamstring) is missing for Arsenal while there are minor doubts over Sead Kolasinac, Rob Holding and Bukayo Saka, who will all be tested on Friday to see if they are match fit.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has a full-strength squad after reporting no fresh selection concerns following the international break. Poland defender Jan Bednarek and Denmark midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were among those involved in European Qualifiers.

Defender Ryan Bertrand is available having completed his three-match suspension for a red card in the 9-0 defeat by Leicester.

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Charlie Nicholas' prediction

This will have been a banker in the past. Southampton normally don't get anything at the Emirates in the Premier League. By now, the Arsenal players will have returned and Unai Emery will have had some words to say to them. These are two managers under scrutiny. Southampton are getting credit after their response to the 9-0 drubbing but they keep getting beat. The goalkeeper and the back three are still vulnerable.

Alexandre Lacazette was not on international duty and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a bit quiet recently, so it is time for Arsenal to get back to winning ways. They are sixth in table and have been awful. Chelsea are going to Manchester City, which could bring back a little belief once more that the top four is achievable. These are the games you are expected to win and Arsenal will win.

Charlie predicts: Arsenal 4-1 Southampton

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