Arsene Wenger was rightfully full of praise for the way that the Arsenal and England international star Theo Walcott has been playing this season after the flying forward played another big part in our latest win, the 3-0 demolition of London rivals and bogey team Chelsea.
As well as his praise of Walcott, the Evening Standard reported Wenger’s comments on why he thinks Theo is doing so well and the Frenchman thinks it is all down to his attitude. Wenger feels that the Walcott we are seeing now is a much more committed version than the one that has so often flattered to deceive.
He said, “I think you cannot question his performance. I believe more the change of Theo Walcott is his attitude this season.
“He’s ready to fight, commit and you know that straightaway he gets the crowd behind him. Theo Walcott of that stature is a completely different player.”
It really was remarkable to see Theo racing back and getting stuck in with tackles to stop Chelsea getting any sort of way back into the game and his own words after the game, reported by the Arsenal website, suggest to me just why his attitude has changed. I think it all down to the fact that he really believes in the current Arsenal team and their ability to win the title and of course he wants to be a part of that.
Walcott said, “I’m still getting my breath back! We worked really hard, we worked hard in the week and we obviously know what’s happened in the past. But the past is the past, it’s all about now and this team is bright and young and has got a lot more experience in these games now. People would expect us to go on and get four or five but that’s not the case. You saw on the kick-off this morning, it’s always easy to actually get 11 men behind the ball and they’ve got to come for us then. And then it plays into our hands. But the guys did well today, really well done.
“When we played Man United at home last year it was fantastic, but I think it’s been quietly coming actually, to be honest with you. We’ve been quietly doing our business and like I said, everyone is just working for eachother now. We’ve got some great individuals but when you get those individual stats you play as a team as well, everyone is focused and you could see that the 11 men wanted to win this more than the other team today and thankfully we did that.
“You know what, we’ve been here before. I’ve had so much experience in the years, but like I say, we’re not doing ourselves any harm. We just want to keep on doing our business, that’s all we want to do. We want to try and improve and see what the negatives were in the game, I’m sure there’ll be a few. We always wanted to keep a clean sheet, if we keep clean sheets we’re going to win games because we can score goals up front, so you’ve got to give credit to everyone today.
“It was a great move and I’d like to get 10 more of those a season. They’re nice, but I was in the right place at the right time and I was pleased with that. But like I say, I’m more pleased with the three points and we’ve obviously got a big game on Wednesday now. We’ve got to recover well, there’s games coming thick and fast now and that’s why I’m leaning against this wall right now!
“Yeah, watching the PSG game on the side when I didn’t travel, you could sense in that game particularly that it was a tough game for us but we got through it and we got a very good point. You could just see the experience and the years in the Champions League, hopefully it’s bedding in to this team now. In years gone by we know how it’s been with Chelsea and the most important thing is today we kept 11 men on the pitch. It was important for everyone to be very disciplined and we were today. Our two centre backs were fantastic with Costa today, really good.”
If the Arsenal players believe and it makes them play like Walcott has been doing, could this be the season when the Gunners are crowned champions once more?