Arsene Wenger says the Arsenal fans will continue their newfound love affair with Theo Walcott so long as the attacked continues to show the same attitude on and off the pitch.
The 27-year-old has scored five goals in seven games this season, regained his England place and been praised in all quarters for his disciplined defensive work – a stark contrast to a torrid last campaign when he spent a lot of time on the subs bench.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Turf Moor, the boss praised Walcott’s willingness to work hard.
“I think Walcott has added something to his game. First with a big resolution before the season started to put big effort into his preparation and he has transferred that now into the game. When he plays like that I understand why the fans love him because I do as well.
“What the fans want is total commitment and after they forgive you. They understand as well that you cannot score in every game two or three goals. As long as he has this kind of attitude they will love him.”
In the absence of the injured Olivier Giroud, Walcott will likely start Sunday’s game to the right of Alexis with Alex Iwobi featuring off the left. It’s a combination that has plundered nine goals in three games against Hull, Chelsea and Basel.
It’s going to be tough to maintain that record, something the boss touched on by stressing the need for focus.
“I believe that [we must] go into the game with the same commitment, the same focus as we have in the recent games,” said Wenger.
“The danger from Burnley comes from the fact they are very efficient in some aspects of their game, they are very well organised defensively, they don’t concede goals at home. They’ve shown that against Liverpool and against Watford. They are very dangerous on set pieces and on counter-attacks, so we have to prepare well.”