By Rob Kelly
Theo Walcott says the players should take responsibility for Arsenal’s recent dip in form.
The Gunners have slipped to three successive league defeats but will look to bounce back when they face Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Sunday.
Walcott expects Alex McLeish’s men to pose a serious challenge in the fourth-round tie at Emirates Stadium and he has called for the home side to deliver.
“We need to make sure we're ready, because the last few games haven't been great. As players we need to stand up and take responsibility for that,” Walcott told Arsenal Player.
“The manager has looked after us and taken all the flak, but it's us players that go out there on the pitch and perform. Hopefully we can put in a good performance on Sunday; I'm looking forward to it.
“The FA Cup is one of those trophies that we would love to win. Being at home, with our support, we need to be winning these games. It's a shame we didn't get a different team, because we play Villa in the Premier League, but they will be up for it and will have a strong team out.
Walcott is wary of the threat posed by the likes of Darren Bent, but he is hoping for a similar result to the Gunners’ 2-1 victory at Villa Park on December 21.
“The biggest memory for me [of that match] was the smallest player on the pitch in Yossi Benayoun scoring with a header! I don't think he's ever done that in his career!” said Walcott.
“It was a good battle. I won the penalty for Robin to score the opening goal, and then Marc Albrighton took his goal very well, which took us by surprise. But we went all out in the last 20 minutes and deserved the win.”
Watch the full interview with Theo on PlayerCopyright 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 27 Jan 2012