By Chris Harris
Theo Walcott does not regret admitting that he took a dive against Leeds United.
The Arsenal forward tumbled in the box towards the end of the FA Cup Third-Round tie at Emirates Stadium nine days ago - moments before he won a legitimate penalty - and confessed to reporters afterwards that he had gone down dishonestly.
Walcott was involved in another penalty incident at the weekend when Wayne Bridge clearly swept his legs away and Robin van Persie wrapped up a 3-0 victory from the spot at Upton Park. It rekindled memories of Walcott's Leeds episode but the player is pleased he came clean.
"I've got no regrets about what I said," said Walcott, who scored the second goal in Arsenal's win over West Ham.
"I'm an honest player, I want to be honest with my team-mates, Leeds and the manager and all the staff. That's the sort of player that I am. If I'm going to be punished for being honest then I can't win.
"It's in the past, I've forgotten about it now and I just want to carry on enjoying playing my football now. With decisions like that, it makes it easier for me."
Some feel Walcott may have done himself few favours by admitting he took a dive because referees may treat him more suspiciously as a result. But the 21-year-old disagrees.
"No [there is no stigma], not at all," he said. "People say that if you get the slightest touch you should go down and when you do go down they have a go at you for going down so you can't win.
"I'm not bothered, I'm just enjoying playing football for this team and that's all I can do. If the referee's going to punish me or any other players then I can't do anything about that. That's just the way I am."Copyright 2014 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 17 Jan 2011