Belfast Telegraph

Walcott: Gunners are firing

Theo Walcott has warned Arsenal's rivals the Gunners believe they are capable of beating anybody after putting five past Chelsea in the thrilling derby win at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal suffered a wretched start to their season when they lost three of their opening four games - a run which led some sections of the Arsenal support to call for manager Arsene Wenger's head. The Frenchman though, has steered the club up the Barclays Premier League table in recent weeks.

The Gunners now sit just three points off the Champions League places after winning eight of their last nine games and Walcott said: "We are not looking too far ahead. We don't want to say where we're going to finish at the end of the season, but the way we're playing at this moment in time we believe we can beat anyone."

The high point of their run came when strikes from Walcott, Andre Santos and a hat-trick from Robin van Persie stunned Andre Villas-Boas' team in west London.

With games against West Brom, Fulham, Norwich and Wigan ahead, Arsenal look set to continue their ascent, and the 22-year-old has warned the Gunners are now back to their irresistible best.

He said: "We're enjoying our football, our run is great now and we're just going to keep on continuing that... everyone is buzzing at the moment. We were disappointed to go 2-1 down just before half-time, but before that we were playing some great football.

"It seemed that every time we went forward it looked like we were going to score and it could have been 8-7. It was just one of those crazy games that I'll never forget."

After seeing Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas depart this summer, Wenger's choice of replacements hardly filled Arsenal fans with optimism. But just a few days after the Arsenal boss launched an impassioned speech at the club's AGM pleading with Gunners supporters to trust his transfer policy, new boys Gervinho and Santos excelled at Stamford Bridge.

Walcott thinks the new arrivals have started to settle in properly, helping the club climb the table.

He said: "We have got some absolute characters in that dressing room and Andre Santos was absolutely brilliant. He looks like he has been in the Premier League for many years. We have the right balance between youth and experience now and we've got a lot players coming back from injury too."


From Belfast Telegraph