By Giuseppe Muro
Theo Walcott says the Arsenal players felt they had let down their fans in ‘big games’ in recent years.
The Emirates Stadium faithful had endured two fruitless seasons against their title rivals before Walcott helped the Gunners end an 11-game run without a win against either Chelsea or Manchester United with a 3-1 victory over Carlo Ancelotti’s side on Monday night.
Walcott set up Cesc Fabregas to put Arsenal two goals ahead early in the second half before finding the net himself with a clinical finish minutes later.
He admits Arsène Wenger and his squad had an extra motivation to give something back to the fans after some disappointing results against their closest rivals.
“We were ready and wanted to do it for our fans because in recent years we let them down in these big matches,” said Walcott. “We need to build on that now.
“We just wanted to play and show everyone what we can do, especially against Chelsea on the big stage. After the win it was great, everyone was buzzing in there. Everyone was just so excited to play that game.”
Walcott was instrumental in the second half and, after a season disrupted by injury, appears to be back to his lethal best at the most crucial time with games coming thick and fast.
“It's just something I've worked on and hopefully it can continue because I've missed a lot of the season so far. I've got nine goals, I'm pleased with that and hopefully that can continue,” he said.
“I've been practising every day in training. It doesn't matter how old you are if you practise after training. I remember when David Beckham came to train with us, he still practised his free kicks.
“Me growing up to see that, it was great. I learnt from that. I've been practising my crossing and finishing when I can after training when they [the coaches] let me.
“I just feel that we need to concentrate on Wednesday, we can't dwell on this result. We could be disappointed if we win against Chelsea and then lose at Wigan.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 28 Dec 2010