By Nik Brumsack

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was impressed by Theo Walcott’s virtuoso performance against Newcastle United, and believes his team-mate is benefiting from the guidance of Thierry Henry.

Walcott hit his second hat-trick of the season in Saturday’s remarkable 7-3 win at the Emirates, displaying the clinical finishing that has seen him net 14 times already this season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was full of praise afterwards.

“It was amazing,” he said. “You could see after his first goal, he had a spring in his step. He was sharp and he was good going forward.

“He’s been like that all season. He’s been brilliant for us and he’s stuck to his work really well with all the speculation going on. He’s a great professional, he’s a good mate and he’s a good lad around the dressing room.

“He’s been brilliant for us and we need him to carry on doing that for as long as he can. All the boys need to do that for as long as we can. We’re all working together and trying to stick some good results together.

“It’s hard for anyone to defend against someone with his pace. When he gets the service, he can always punish teams. In training he’s no different. He’s doing really well. 

“When he first came, he was training with players like Henry. I’m sure he’s learnt off the best there. He’s [been] getting better and better from when I used to watch Arsenal to the man he is now.

“He’s still only 23 and he’s got such a mature head on his shoulders. He’s a really good professional and he shows that on and off the pitch. He’s a really good person for us to have around."

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31 Dec 2012