Friday, February 23, 2024

Wenger: Walcott was my danger man

Arsene Wenger singled out Theo Walcott for praise last night after the England winger’s second-half strike against Wigan helped settle Arsenal nerves on the way to a thrilling 4-1 victory.

The 63rd minute goal, coming from close range after a fine cross by Santi Cazorla, was the 24-year-old’s third in three games, took his season’s tally to 21 – eight better than his previous best – and marked a fitting reward for a swashbuckling performance that saw him put the Latics on the back foot from the off.

“Walcott had a great night,” Wenger told press after the match.

“From the start he was always a guy who was dangerous. But they [all] stepped up and produced a quality game.

“When we scored the second one it was a massive blow for Wigan and they never recovered from that. It then became a comfortable win with goals three and four. It was a tight game.”

The win sets up a grandstand finale against Newcastle United on Sunday with one last victory set to secure Champions League football.

“I am confident,” Wenger stressed when quizzed on his side’s chances.

“We have experience, we play for a long time under massive pressure and we have always found the solutions with the problems that we have faced.”

Recognising the significance of last night’s goal, Walcott also spoke of his desire to finish the job next weekend while praising the attacking intent shown by his teammates after a hesitant period following Wigan’s equaliser.

“It was one of my most important goals and hopefully there can be a few more next weekend,” Walcott told Sky Sports.

“I am so proud of the guys because we deserved it. I felt like we had to take the initiative and make runs in behind, which we weren’t really doing in the first half.

“The final ball wasn’t the best at times and we weren’t really putting people in the box, but in the second half we did that and it showed in the 4-1.”

Walcott certainly deserved his 9/10 score in our latest player ratings; he really not only took responsibility last night but also his chance when it was presented. It bodes well for Sunday and indeed for next season, let’s hope he can finish the season on a high.

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rossi88

The team and Theo are developing well. A few quality additions, bit more depth keep this consistency and who knows. Theo should be aiming 25+ next season. Potential new record goalscorer here?!

thw14

I’m warning you all…. I loved this result as much the next guy, but anything other than a win on Sunday casts our season in a wholly different light. Those are, unfortunately, the margins we’ve left ourselves.

I’d prefer to get this nerve-wracker done with and then chill and assess.

indiano

“Chill and assess” sounds great.

Harsh

theo’s performance was great yesterday and he showed much more desire and commitment……… if we are going to be thinking long-term…… walcott has improve his skill set if he wants to score even more goals next season……… i remember a moment in the match when on the counter someone from our midfield almot put walcoott clean through on goal but his first touch let him down….. and this has been happening once almost every match…….. and although it will be wrong to brand him as selfish be he has a bit selfish tendency…… sometimes he shoots when he really should… Read more »

Hass

The thing people forget with Theo is he barely played until about late November. Wonder how many goals he would’ve scored had he been starting from the beginning of the season.

Goon

Theo has improved his finishing but other aspects still need consistency. Wigan had to go for the win yesterday so played a high line thus giving Theo space which his game thrives on.
This was also the case when we played Newcastle. Theo must have known before the game that he would be the key player, he made it count. Let’s hope for the same against Newcastle.

Jim

One thing I can say about Walcott yesterday is that he played like a pure English winger.
He was blazing up and down the field, in both attack and defence and looked ruthless on the break
Maybe he didn’t want to be shown up by McMannaman but whatever the reason I was blown away, well done Theo

Kops

Very well said chum.

Wenger's Nose

Wonder what the monkey lovers will think when they watch us play UCL (again!) next season? I mean surely they’re used to bottling a spot in the top 4, but this time round they won’t even have their monkey anymore? Think there should be some sort of hotline you can phone to donate a tenner to have a shitstained stuffed monkey delivered to shite hart lane to console them.

Nognir

Lets not start sucking each others’ dicks quite yet. Beat NUFC by two goals (or more) and we might even grab 3rd. Then we can bash up the potatoes as much as we like

Wenger's nose

Heh, quite right. I must admit I was getting a little carried away. Let’s just keep it tight against Newcastle and grind out another victory there. I’ll now go stay focussed in the corner.

Mikel Artekkers

The phone line idea is effin’ fantastic. I applaud you sir, now make it happen!

Aros

He is a top, top, top player – in patches… Pure quality last night, and well worth 100k a week, if only he play like that more often!

Stephen

But that was a big game for him to show up in. All over the pitch in a show of total commitment. If he manages to show some of that as much as is possible going forward he could actually hit his potential.

godonner

Im not the highest Walcott fan but his performance last night was super he has got some important goals when we really need them lets hope he can produce again on sunday

victoriaConcordiaCrescit

Theo should get a new contract, 10k a week with a bonus of 90k if bloggs rates him above a 5

Warren

Theo would leave football then and take up darts, skiing anything thay pays better!!….

Earl

Off topic, but did anyone notice the massive dive made by one of the Wigan players just before Szczesnys save from Kone?

Heh

For the first wigan freekick maloney took a massive dive when arteta never even clipped him. Things happen though, bye wigan.

'desi'gner gooner

That player was none other than Mcmanaman……

.

The endless named man:

Macmanamanamanamanamanamanamanamanaman…

Makes me sick!

HitsMan

Walcott had one of his best games in an Arsenal shirt last night and what’s interesting is he’s had a few of those this season. Reading, Newcastle.

He may be frustrating and poor at times, but he is only getting better.

Kenyangoon

I miss a game and theo decides to turn up a proper one. Sucks because i am a huge fan of his. Oh well…

GoonerwithaCoors

big pitch up at Newcastle so plenty of space for Theo to be effective again, super game from him yesterday his crossing has come on massivley aswell i fancy an Eduardo would have loved some of them last night

Fatgooner

A few days ago I posted a few comments about Walcott, pointing out that he doesn’t turn up often enough. Luckily, last night was one of those days when he did decide that he wanted to play. He was brilliant – but not as good as the amazing Carzola, who ran the game. After starting really well, and getting a gifted soft early goal, we inevitably made it hard for ourselves before turning the game around in the second half. The entire team deserves credit for stepping it up after the break and blowing Wigan away with those three quick… Read more »

Rad Carrot

I’d rather we beat Newcastle all the same. I think that the sp*ds will struggle against the Black Cats and I think the chavs will struggle against Everton, especially after the final they’re playing tonight.

We win, we’ll at least finish 4th. That’s the bare minimum I can accept.

Stephen

I was really hoping that we would be putting Pardew & Co. down to the Championship on the last day of the season, which coincidentally falls on St Totteringhams Day this year.

Rad Carrot

Always been an admirer of Theo, he’s sometimes invisible but capable of performing brilliantly. When he’s at his best, as he was last night, he’s unplayable. If he performed like that more often he and Santi would be virtually unstoppable from the wings. He’s what, 24? 25? Hopefully next season he’ll be more consistent. Whatever happens, he’s been our top goal scorer this year, and that deserves some credit. We might moan about his wages, but fact is a lot of players are on 100k plus these days, we just have to accept that we sometimes have to pay a… Read more »

Hass

He’s only 23 😉

Sylvester

On other important matters, Ramsey has to decide which celebrity has to be laid to rest. I vote Andy Townsend and John “Cunt” Terry as a bonus

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Well Done Theo, and not because of ur goal or attacking qualities that were on display, but purely because of the defence he showed. He got behind Sagna to defend and clear some balls multiple times and for that alone he deserves a lot of credit. That he made some great runs, not all which were fed, Ramsey especially one occasion, when a throug ball was in order to put Theo through after a great run, just held onto the ball. Not criticising Ramsey just saying that Theo played well, and even his off the ball movement was great. Also… Read more »

emob

I still think he’s better off on the wing. He never played the lone forward in Germany and th4ere’s a reason for that. His best performances in the national team have come from the wing. It’s not like Arsenal play with real wingers anyway, he’s supposed to help out in the middle anyways.

Too Drunk To Be Offside

Yes, but the Arsenal and German teams are not set up the same way. For starters the German team interchanges a lot during movement. So every wide man at some point plays in the middle and the middle midfielders go out wide. With Arsenal, the interchanging is not as much, only Cazorla does any kind of drifting around. Even in the Fabregas days, while Fab ventured forward, he always stuck to the middle. Theo drifts inside the most, but he really breaks formation to do so, not exactly interchanging with anyone, he just abandons position and drifts inside. Sure at… Read more »

emob

But Poldi does drift inside into midfield positions with Gibbs (Nacho) actually providing the width. Maybe he could drift inside further up the pitch, but his best games and moves were him attacking the space from the wing and coming inside, see his interplay with Giroud laying the ball off for him. Actually in the national setup Poldi has always stuck to the left-wing which was asked of him. The interplay and interchange has more been between Klose from the middle, Özil and Müller on the right. They were always setup more asimetrically, the left side actually needed to stretch… Read more »

Arty's Art

You are too drunk to comment on this mate.

For the crucial second goal yesterday Cazorla was on the right, feeding Theo in the middle and Poldi had drifted to the left. If that isn’t ‘interchangeable’ I don’t know what is!

Adam, Watford

Walcott was great last night. I have been critical of him here before and the way he disappears and drops into the middle at the wrong times. Last night that changed and he made the right movements atthe right times, I was pleasantly surprised to see him tackling back. I thought Sagna looked better for it too. He took his goal well and it was equally deserved. This is the Theo we have been waiting for, for so long. Well done and more of it, please. Opinions are not set in stone and for my part I am more than… Read more »

TeeCee

What was really unusual is that he was also dropping back to defend when necessary, including getting stuck in to a bit of argy-bargy at times, which he did well at.

Made me wonder who he was and what he’d done with the real Theo Walcott.

The Ox, The Ram, Willy and Wally

Walcott’s a puzzler. If you were being very cynical you would say he’s turned it on before the January transfer window and just before the summer…..I’m pretty sure that if City had made a bid in January he would have left. But hey, I can’t know these things for sure. Congrats on 21 goals. That figure would be 4 or 5 higher as well if he were our pen taker like many of the high scoring players are (although you can stop taking our free kicks please). I also liked Ramsey saying he wanted to score again next week. He’s… Read more »

The Ox, The Ram, Willy and Wally

Also I think Walcott would have so much more to his game if he improved his technique, non-existant left foot, heading (has he ever scored a header?) and crossing. But I guess so would a lot of players.

beNZed

My trousers remain mildly brown, and will stay like that until a positive outcome is achieved versus the barcodes in the final game. Large ups and fist pumps to Theodore who performed well last night, and to John Rambo whose goal belied the fact that I usually start to weep with instant depression when he looks to shoot at goal.

Fingers crossed, and all that.

twisted cuntloks

I think Theo has shown brilliant form when we have played teams teams in 6/7th place and below in the premier league.

outstanding

jason

Im personally not a big fan of theo.

But he has been important for us this season and if we get top 4 he will be part of the reason why we get there.

Tho have to say hes still not a CF for me still better on the wing but still a starter since Ox hasnt stepped up this season, so a very important player for this club atm.

Heh
Merlin's Panini

Gold? That is truly repulsive not to mention a really poor photoshop job.

Heh

Just love the big canon on the shirt. Rather unique And just for the record, would you buy this. I certainly would.

Arty's Art

Horrible, thankfully that isn’t our kit!

nii amartey

can’t help but feel sorry for Wigan. Today’s papers show epitomizes this feeling.. I was hoping for Stoke to go down but i guess they can only blame themselves

progman07

Of course I’d rather see Stoke there, but as you said they can only blame themselves. Wigan have had 36 games before yesterday to manage a safe position.

twisted cuntloks

in a just world that would be the perfect outcome. I would love to see Pubis in the lower leagues once again.

progman07

Theo was always a big moment player. He always, I mean ALWAYS turned up in the CL knockout stages, like in 07/08 he gave two important assists against Milan and Liverpool, then he went on to score againdt Villarreal, Barcelona, etc.

He has got his flaws, but I think he is magnificent under pressure, and big games get the most out of him.

Gunner pundit

Cazorla – Best spanish attacking midfielder in the league check out the through ball on 43 seconds http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ahZzDporp0w

rossi88

On the Rambo ‘Death by Goals’ thing. Does Loic Remy being arrested on suspicion of rape count? I mean if hes guilty well he’d probably wish he was dead?

Neddy Boo Boo

I think Angelina Jolie’s breasts have more celebrity status than Remy…

TeeCee

A couple of strikers and now free agents too.

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