Theo Walcott admits that Arsene Wenger’s indication that he has a future as a striker proved a turning point in his drawn out contract negotiations.
The England international was repeatedly confined to substitute cameos at the start of the season while he stalled on a new deal but was eventually encouraged to put pen-to-paper in January after a comparatively successful stint leading the line for the Gunners; a role he’d had his eye on for quite some time.
Reflecting on the speculation which surrounded his future, the 23-year-old pinpointed his attacking ambitions while making clear, in that ‘king-of-the-bland-sound-bite’ way of his, that he has no problem functioning from the wing while Olivier Giroud is playing well. Naturally he also left out the bit where he agreed a six-figure sum for his weekly services.
“I think having an opportunity to play up front played a part. Saying that, I don’t feel we should change it at the moment with Olivier doing so well there. The manager obviously knows what’s best for the team, but it’s nice having more opportunities to show what I can do up front.”
Walcott also touched on his form this season admitting that he may have to set himself a new target for the end of the season having reached 18 goals; just two shy of his 20-mark objective.
“I wanted 20 goals in all competitions, so I may have to set another target! But I also wanted between 15 and 20 Premier League goals, and I’m on 11 at the moment.
“Assists are a bonus, but for a wide man, the number of goals I’ve got so far is definitely better than I would’ve thought.”
Given that this interview was initially published in the club’s official monthly magazine quite some time ago (before being uploaded on Arsenal.com today) Arseblog News can’t help but think Theo may have spoken a little too soon. After all he’s now been eight games without a goal since his second-half drive in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool at the end of January.
Fingers crossed he gets in the goal groove again soon…from experience we all know it sometimes takes him a while to start doing what he says he plans to do.