Arsene Wenger has had paid tribute to both Theo Walcott and Wojciech Szczesny after the duo helped Arsenal to a vital three points against QPR.
Having watched the England winger score his 20th goal of the season, the first time he’s reached the landmark, the boss underlined that the 24-year-old’s maturity is helping him stay calm in and around the box.
“He’s more mature in his finishing,” Wenger told press after Saturday’s 1-0 win at Loftus Road.
“[Against QPR] he scored a bit of a similar goal to the one against Man United. It’s a short backlift, he makes good runs and he’s calm now in front of goal.”
Harking back to the days when young Theo couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo (although he was so innocent back then the thought of patting a farmyard animal with a musical instrument probably had him in tears), the boss continued:
“You certainly remember him when he arrived – in front of goal, the ball could go anywhere. Now you see every time he hits the target. He forces the keeper into a save. That’s why his numbers are so much better.
“I use him on the flank because I try to put a player in the middle who can score goals and having another one on the flank who can score goals gives you a little bit of security. We finished with him in the middle.”
While Walcott’s early goal proved decisive against Harry Redknapp’s band of relegated mercenaries, if it weren’t for a fine diving save by Szczesny from Loic Remy’s late curling shot the Gunners may have dropped two vital points.
Restored as number one after a spell on the sidelines the Pole has kept three clean sheets in four games, proof according to the boss that he is now in good form.
“It [competition] is very good for him. You know him as well. I must give him credit because in this competition [from Fabianski], he responded very well, worked hard and when he came back, he was sharper when I left him out, from the first game on. He has responded very well.
“That’s what you’ve seen with people like Seaman, with Lehmann when I took him out. They always came back stronger. He does that well. He’s in good form now.”