Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Theo Walcott is keen to get firing for Arsenal

By Matt McGeehan

Theo Walcott knows he and Arsenal need to be more clinical after their 2-0 win over Stoke.

The England forward started up front and missed a number of chances before netting the opening goal to reward manager Arsene Wenger's faith.

"I was pleased with that goal," Walcott said. "Luckily I managed to grab one out of my many chances. I was disappointed because I should have got many, many more, but I'm getting the chances so I'm happy with that.

"When you get given the opportunity you have to try to grab the goals when you can.

"We create chances so we just have to put them away. We're starting to get back to the old Arsenal."

It was arguably Walcott's most difficult chance that he scored after he missed the target from close range twice previously.

Francis Coquelin won the ball in midfield, fed Mesut Ozil to play a delightful pass over the top and Walcott brushed off Marc Muniesa before firing beneath Jack Butland.

Walcott recognised the contribution of Coquelin in the goal.

He added: "It's things that people might not notice, like the tackle from Francis. That started off the rhythm of the movement.

"Mesut's ball was fantastic, and it was all down to the touch. It put the defender out of the game."

Wenger suggested Walcott and Olivier Giroud, who came on to score the second, will be rotated in the coming days, with Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea the opposition this week.

Walcott added: "I've said to the manager that I'd like to play up front. I can play in any of those three positions up front, so it's a good option for the manager to have."

Stoke have just two points after five games, but keeper Butland cannot put his finger on any significant problems - though he says they could be more aggressive.

"There's lots of things," he said. "There's no major issues. It's a case of looking at ourselves and making sure everyone's ready. We need to ultimately starting winning 50-50s, start being more aggressive and being better when we perform."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph