It must have been a huge relief for Arsene Wenger as well as for the Arsenal and England international star Theo Walcott when he broke his pre-season duck against the Norwegian side Viking FK on Friday, as the manager is going to be without his main centre forward Olivier Giroud for at least the first game of the season.
Se aslo saw last season that Giroud alone is not enough to fire the Gunners to the Premier League title, so Walcott needs to chip in more and the boss has expressed his confidence in the fleet footed forward to do just that after reacting very well to being left out of the England squad that crashed out of Euro 2016.
Wenger told Arsenal Player that he expected Walcott to perform well this season and after he scored one again in the win over Manchester City, with a sweet strike that reminded us all just how good he can be when in form, you can understand why the manager is feeling confident.
He said, “I’ve said many times that we will get a strong season from Theo Walcott because he got hit hard and I saw how he responded. He went through a very tough time not being at the Euros with England, and I I observed him, saw how he responded and I am convinced that he will have a great season.
“We had a good combination with him on the right and Alexis up front.”
Wenger may be confident but it is the confidence that Theo feels in his own ability that I think is key. We know that Walcott can do it and a few years ago he proved that on a consistent basis with his best ever haul of 21 goals in a season.
If he does that again and he and Giroud can stay fit, will that be enough to spearhead a title challenge or does Wenger still need a big name signing up top?