Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Walcott pleased with his form

Theo Walcott

Arsenal's season may have ended in disappointment but Theo Walcott regards it as one of his best ever.

The Gunners' dramatic fade-out after their Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham condemned them to a sixth season without any silverware and forced them into a Champions League qualifier in order to preserve their place at Europe's top table.

Arsene Wenger has come in for sustained criticism at the failure of his so-called 'experiment' and the pressure for change is growing. However, once he has detached himself from that setback, Walcott is quite pleased with himself. "I had the best season I've had in a long time," Walcott told www.thefa.com.

The 22-year-old scored 13 goals in 38 appearances and looked far more certain of his place than at any time since his arrival at the club in 2006.

He added: "I have scored a lot of goals and got more assists. As a team we weren't able to perform to our abilities in the last few games. We should have got third but it was just snatched away from us.

"We have only got ourselves to blame on that front. We have to win trophies but there have been signs there, and I think we can do it next season."

Walcott admitted he had to be persuaded not to wreck it as early as September. The 22-year-old had only been on the pitch for 13 minutes in Basle during England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland when he suffered an ankle knock that required attention.

Walcott's first reaction was to shrug it off. It took England physio Gary Lewin to persuade the winger it was not a great idea.

"I thought about playing on but Gary took my sock off and there was a big egg on my ankle so it was best not to," said Walcott.

"Injuries are part and parcel of the game and I have had a lot in my career but it's how you bounce back from them. I am more able to deal with those situations now. It was not as bad as it could have been didn't affect me too much."

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