Wenger: Walcott’s best game

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Theo Walcott has played 313 games for Arsenal since joining in January 2006…that’s quite a few. In that time he’s scored hat-tricks, notched vital assists and won games for us, but according to Arsene Wenger his performance against Manchester United in today’s 3-0 victory ranks up there with his best ever.

The England international may not have registered a goal but his movement in the first half was a constant menace as the Gunners killed the game inside 20 minutes.

Speaking after the match, the boss couldn’t hide his pride at the manner in which the 26-year-old bullied his opponents.

“I must say Walcott had a hugely committed performance today in a hugely convincing way. He didn’t score but I like to praise the strikers when they don’t score and contribute and give assists.

“He was involved in two goals – Ozil’s and Alexis’ [second] one. He did really fight today and showed he can fight, commit and protect the ball as well. He is gaining some aspects of his game as a centre-forward and they are improving.

“In this position [as a striker], [it was] certainly [his best game]. The day he was injured here he had a great game against Tottenham and I would put that up there.”

Arsenal’s win takes them up to second in the table just two points behind Manchester City as the players disperse for the international break. On a memorable day at the Emirates the only concern is that Alexis Sanchez has picked up a knock.

Giving an update on the Chilean, whose brace took him to six goals in eight days, the boss noted: “He has a little groin problem. Unfortunately, he goes to Chile. You cannot stop him from going to Chile and he loves so much to play for his country and he will play against Brazil [on Friday] and Peru [next] Tuesday so the game at home against Brazil he will not want to miss. Hopefully he will come back in good shape.

“My plan is to pray now that everyone comes back from international games without any injury because we have a small group. We play at Watford straight away and on Tuesday night here against Bayern Munich. We will need the same kind of performance.”

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Alex
Alex
4 years ago

Stay fit Alexis!!

Silent Stan's Content Mustache
Silent Stan's Content Mustache
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex

We can only hope….

As for Theo, it was easily the most committed I have ever seen him. That Coq-esque tackle was something I have never seen from him (http://arsenalist.com/f/2015-16/arsenal-vs-man-utd/theo-walcott-does-brilliantly-to-win-ball-back-but-finish-is-disappointing.html), he also chased everything down, forcing them into few errors. More please!

Rectum_Spectrum
Rectum_Spectrum
4 years ago

When he slid in for that tackle, immediately setting up an attack, I thought of pires againt juve in the champions league, sliding on and hooking the ball away from a shocked Vieira, setting up an attack through which we scored (cesc maybe?). Total commitment to win. To a man. One of the best performances I’ve seen from the team. We could and perhaps should have made this a total and complete humiliation by putting a couple more away. What a great day.

Madin
4 years ago

Yeah. I wish we could have made it a round 6 or even 8.

racosin
racosin
4 years ago

Epic tackle!

Third Plebeian
Third Plebeian
4 years ago
Reply to  racosin

A true Coq’s tackle!

bims lay
bims lay
4 years ago
Reply to  Alex

And the rest of the squad…….hear hear! ye injury gods!

Javis
Javis
4 years ago

Thought Theo was excellent today, he’s playing with intelligence up front now and realising his pace gets him an advantage but then he has to be clever with and without the ball. He looks strong on the ball and has used his body well. He has built up a very decent partnership with Alexis, it looks like they understand each other’s explosive qualities, great for the future!

kaius
kaius
4 years ago
Reply to  Javis

Theo killed the game off with his movement today, and not so much his pace. He dissected Blind and Smalling to find space and turn Ozil’s pass into an assist, and for the dagger third he spins Smalling to receive from Ramsey and sets Alexis away with a beautiful swivel and a Xabi Alonso*-type laser pass on his weaker left foot. At the end of last season it looked like Alexis, Ozil & Ramsey were ignoring Walcott in our build up play but the signs have been good in the last few games and huge credit must go to Theo.… Read more »

Bestie
Bestie
4 years ago

I kind of wish Alexis wouldn’t be off to chile but at the same time it’s that relentless passion that makes him so damn loveable. So I guess we’ll have to keep praying our duracell bunny stays in one piece.

Indie Gooner
Indie Gooner
4 years ago

He’s given everything for the team. What if we had Eleven Alexis?

Scott P
Scott P
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

We would have more energy than every team in the world combined, but our defensive marking and goalkeeping might suffer a bit.. Who cares when 6/10 of your outfield Alexis’s can score a brace every game though?

Trez
Trez
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

We’d call him “Alexis-11″(like kevin 11 in ben 10)

GladGooner
GladGooner
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

That would be 11 Alexes wouldn’t it?

I’ll get my coat!

santi's step ladder
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

need to remodel the perry groves chant to feature alexis: “number 1 is alexis sanchez; number 2 is alexis sanchez; etc etc…”

Jim
Jim
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

Alexis is a tad short for a keeper but I am sure he would rush between the sticks at such speed that no one could beat him anyway!

non-flying dutcman
non-flying dutcman
4 years ago
Reply to  Indie Gooner

That Walcott tackle Totally Alexis inspired – not something he ever did before playing alongside Sanchez… that from every player will surely do ya

Ozil's eyes
Ozil's eyes
4 years ago

Alexis,Walcott, Ozil that front 3 is scary. Imagine if Chamberlain was in form and occupying the right side ohhhhh

Goone's Farm
Goone's Farm
4 years ago

Feo’s looking more and more like our 1st choice striker after each game, love it! But gotta feel bad for our HFB, if only we can fit both without sacrificing our defensive stability.

Alexstratz
Alexstratz
4 years ago

Dear Chile,

Please don’t get Alexis injured. It’s for your own good too.

Yours sincerely,

Every Arsenal fan

Pi
Pi
4 years ago

What a schooling. Men vs boys today. Ozil remarkable in possession. He stood up today. Monreal likes playing Utd. Theo made me eat my words. Incisive stuff. Loved Santi’s easy possession today. Dominated their midfield first half. Bellerin owning their left.

Well done lads!

Getso gunner
Getso gunner
4 years ago

Hope Alexis stay fit

Pass debuchy from the left hand side
Pass debuchy from the left hand side
4 years ago

Remember when we were all having a meltdown because we didn’t sign a striker? I’m feeling pretty good right now I must say…

SB
SB
4 years ago

It’s big size 14 boots that Walcott has to file, he is steadily growing into it. I didn’t think Walcott had it in him to be a CF, especially because he was too nice! I think he signed because only Wenger can make Project CF Theo a success not Brenden (wonder when we’ll see him again next), Mourinio never takes on any developmental projects, to go to Man C would have been chasing the petro-dollers and finally Man U, no grown man would make such a mistake! Once Ramsey and Ox find their form again, Welbeck and Wiltshire to return,… Read more »

Kaze
Kaze
4 years ago
Reply to  SB

Am I the only one who would not mind playing in the Europa League? I understand the concerns but the potential fixtures here (bar a few) can and should be easly handled by our fringe players, the second string and those few are unlikely to hinder our possible title challange. Winning the EL would be another step after our FA Cup success imo.

Holyviper
Holyviper
4 years ago
Reply to  Kaze

I like the idea of playing the Europa League. Making men outta our second string of players. What’s there to lose, expect the fear of playing European teams? And a cup is a cup is a cup.

Arsepedant
Arsepedant
4 years ago
Reply to  Holyviper

Plus, doesn’t the winner of the Europa League gets a bye into the CL group stages for the next season?

Jim
Jim
4 years ago
Reply to  Arsepedant

I don’t know if they do. Perhaps we should ask a Sp*rs fan. No wait ……… How would they know?

kaius
kaius
4 years ago
Reply to  Kaze

Guys I’m with you on this Europa League lark – changed my mind about it in the last week but some European games for our 2nd XI could be beneficial. We ALWAYS have guys who need playing time to get back into form and fitness, and maybe the experience will give the whole club the impetus to get back in the main competition and make necessary additions to ensure we can compete with Europe’s other top 10 teams.

Dick Swiveller
Dick Swiveller
4 years ago
Reply to  Kaze

I want to watch us play the best teams in Europe, not the Estonian runner-up or the 4th best team in Ukraine. I’d watch the games if we dropped down to it, but if you give me a choice between losing a close game to Barca and beating FC Sion, there’s no contest.

Kaze
Kaze
4 years ago
Reply to  Dick Swiveller

Obviously I agree with you; what I meant to say is that between Europa League and no European football after Christmas, I would definietly vote for the former.

non-flying dutcman
non-flying dutcman
4 years ago
Reply to  Kaze

Plus after Christmas you are talking about a different class of team… its where we would then be coming up the likes of dortmund and monaco who based on last year alone are not teams we should be scoffing a. Lets face it, in Euope at least that is the level we are currently on.

kaius
kaius
4 years ago
Reply to  Dick Swiveller

Rchard Swiveller just what are you talking about? European football is not window shopping on the high street, it’s a meritocracy and you cannot CHOOSE your opponents. So sad to see fans display the arrogance we constantly chastise our team for. Don’t be spouting that entitled nonsense, we have enough issues as a fan base as it is 🙂

shokim
shokim
4 years ago

I’m enjoying seeing Theo’s growth as a CF. So glad that he re-signed for us & didn’t get lured to other ‘big’ clubs.

Floodgates have opened for Alexis and he can’t stop scoring! Pity our opponents – not! Hope Alexis recover from his knock quickly.

Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait
Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait
4 years ago

Remember when Alan Hansen said Theo didn’t have a football brain? I wonder if he’s been watching him this season.

Runkeball
Runkeball
4 years ago

He only said that because he himself has no brain what so ever.

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
4 years ago

Not just the football brain, the first touch, the passing, ect…He has improved in every departement.

assistantref
assistantref
4 years ago

Arsene Wenger’s great and abiding genius is his ability to inspire tremendous loyalty and commitment from his players when he needs them most. It is the reason he is such a survivor. When Wenger’s back is up against the wall and the firing squad is loading the rifles, his players always, always come through for him with these sorts of performances. It says a lot about the man that he is able to inspire that sort of loyalty from his players. No other manager in the PL can manage it – which is why he has more PL games under… Read more »

izzymuzzet
izzymuzzet
4 years ago
Reply to  assistantref

Ooohhh the yoyos up. We were the worst team ever in midweek and now we are the best ever. Fans are becoming more fickle.
The reason we’re not great is because we are very inconsistent. The reason we’re not shit is because sometimes we play like yesterday.
I just wish they could play like that most games, with that intensity, even if we lose some its breathtaking to watch.

assistantref
assistantref
4 years ago
Reply to  izzymuzzet

Obviously the converse of what I said is the frustration that comes from wondering why we seem to often only be able to produce those performances WHEN Arsene is up against it.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon
4 years ago

I’m glad Wenger mentioned the Spurs game two seasons ago. Theo was sensational up top that day but sustained an ACL injury that basically left him out for one and a half seasons. It’s not easy to come back from those, just look at Falcao (or don’t look, it’s too tragic). So Walcott deserves extra credit in my opinion; everyone forgets about the injuries and what he can do and he gets slagged off but he has a great mentality to rise above it all.

assistantref
assistantref
4 years ago
Reply to  loose_cannon

The thing that is so encouraging about Theo is that he is not just back to what he is but he’s developed his game tremendously. The Theo of a few years ago might have been 5% faster but he never would have assisted two goals in the way he did today. The old criticism about him just being a sprinter who happens to play football had a hint of truth to it once but not any more. He’s come leaps and bounds in terms of the rest of his game.

I AM ARSENAL
I AM ARSENAL
4 years ago

I have been very critical of Walcott…But

I am glad he is making me eat my words…I hope he can continue progressing…His all round game is slowly but surely improving..While his pace alone creates havoc even if he isn’t having a great game…He is always a threat and something the other team has to think about. Frees up alot of space for guys like Ozil Cazorla etc

Xzibit
Xzibit
4 years ago

What was it? Theophile?

Biishopp
Biishopp
4 years ago

Walcott has truly come into his own as a striker. I have always seen Theo as a great talent but never believed he could make the grade as a top striker but man he is proving me wrong.

As the unofficial Bishop of Arseblog, I declare that Alexis will go in peace, protected and the Chilean manager will have the common sense to not play him if he is not 100% fit. Amen

Chris B
Chris B
4 years ago

That second goal was ruddy magical. When Theo got into what was a decent-enough position in the box, so many other strikers would’ve (justifiably) had a crack on goal which probably would’ve been blocked or saved, but Theo showed huge amounts of composure, maturity and selflessness to pass the ball to Ozil (a player who couldn’t be more deserving of receiving such a generous assist) which just show’s Theo’s progression in his new role. If he stays fit, he could be truly outstanding this season.

bims lay
bims lay
4 years ago
Reply to  Chris B

Amen!!…err…el obispo?

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp
4 years ago

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/chelseas-jose-mourinho-reveals-what-6571467

Here’s a great video

Hilarious i’m loving chelsea’s pain

Ajinkya
Ajinkya
4 years ago

My eyes widened with absolute surprise when Theo came sliding down and took the ball from a bewildered Schweinsteiger. Watching such play from Theo was more satisfying than watching him assist Ozil. Although, that was pretty cool too.

neutral
neutral
4 years ago
Reply to  Ajinkya

Theo was chasing them around from the front a lot, I like to see that from Arsenal, a bunch of Sanchez inspired players chasing them around. Too often Giroud and Walcott stroll around without putting on pressure, but it is great to see them conceding possession because our forwards are pressing from the front. Walcott has the pace to really pressurize defenders into making errors.

Rezatron
Rezatron
4 years ago

That lightening slide tackle tracking back.. Theo has been truly dangerous

deji
deji
4 years ago

This is something I pointed to in a previous comment. You just have to keep giving him games irrespective of how our opponents line up.
He’s really showing that he wants this position and I wish him the best

SGP_GNR
SGP_GNR
4 years ago

Dear Arsene

Thanks for yesterday. It was much needed.

It’s obvious you and your boys need a kick up the backside every now & then.

Please understand that much of the criticisms leveled at you before were only done because we want the club to do well – especially when it comes to games.

Regards

Happy To Assist

AlbZ
AlbZ
4 years ago

Walcott has been my favorite player since he arrived from Southampton at such a young age and it’s great to see him progressing with every year. First he had pace, then he added the assists as a winger, then the goals and now he’s added an all-around element to his play. It’s not easy to come back from such a knee injury, but his patient, up-beat (especially towards media ;)) approach has paid off!

phatty
phatty
4 years ago

With the pace Theo has, he should be closing players down, like a coq up front

Lass
Lass
4 years ago

That sliding tackle on Schweinsteiger, brilliant!

Christian
Christian
4 years ago

Arsenal are yet to concede in an Epl game that
Gabriel has started and finished.

The guy should partner Boss ” BFG is too lazy.. Martial could’ve scored that goal if not for Cech.

Die Hard Gooner
4 years ago

I always believed he could make it as a striker. His only flaws were linking up play and holding the ball under pressure. but he is improving on those areas. he is gonna miss chances but he is always moving to get those chances. he is not gonna be an aguero but he can be a damn good striker.

Looking Forward
Looking Forward
4 years ago

Just a quick one liner used by a mate … Man Utd defence consisted of a young, small(ing), blind guy … They had to get ripped out

suregunner
suregunner
4 years ago

What arsenal must do is to replicate this performance against man city and a strong warning would have been made and epl title would be on sight. That calls for consistency and not a one game wonder.up gunners.