Arsene Wenger has praised Theo Walcott for his recent performances, but suggested the knee injury he suffered in 2014 dented the England man’s confidence and ability to compete properly in the team.
Walcott was basically a substitute for most of the second part of last season, despite making his comeback from the cruciate problem in early November, and was only given a chance when Olivier Giroud’s goals dried up.
However, the Arsenal manager believes the performance against Manchester United could be a turning point for the 26 year old.
“In the last few games, he looks always dangerous in this position,” he said. “The quality of his movement is outstanding and he has found his finishing again.
“Now against Man United he has also found his commitment back. Sometimes the confidence comes back when you go into a challenge which you naturally avoid and then you realise nothing happens when you do it.
“It’s important sometimes to push the player a little bit. Look, the only way to help him is to reassure, give confidence. I believe he’s still aware of his injury.”
And Wenger has urged Walcott to prove he can play like that not just against big opposition when there’s pressure on to respond to a poor performance.
“What you want from Theo is the commitment he showed against Man United in the challenges,” he said.
“If he adds that to his game then he will be difficult to stop.”
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