By Chris Harris
Theo Walcott is having more joy in front of goal because he is timing his runs to perfection.
That’s the view of Arsène Wenger after watching the England international return from an ankle injury with three goals in two starts, taking his tally to seven for the season - a total matched only by Samir Nasri at Arsenal.
Walcott struck twice at Newcastle in the Carling Cup and once more at Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, and all three goals owed much to swift breakaways and smart one-on-one finishes from the 21-year-old.
Wenger puts Walcott’s prolific form down to his judgment in the final third.
“I believe his finishing has improved a lot because the timing of his runs are much better,” said the manager.
“I believe like everybody else we were not at our best on Wednesday night but overall I believe he has improved everywhere - in his finishing, even much more because that’s what he prefers to do, you know? I think there is a lot more to come from him.”
Walcott’s early strike in midweek – a classy finish after latching onto Jack Wilshere’s lofted pass – was the highlight of an ultimately frustrating night.
However, Wenger believes his squad will learn from the complacency he believes they showed in that 2-1 defeat.
“It is a big lesson for us because I felt when you are in a big game like we were and you are 1-0 up and you lose the game, it is always down to this kind of factor,” said Wenger.
“Our urgency, our defensive urgency was not good enough. From up front to the back, defensively we were not good enough. That is the thing we have to correct.
“In the second half we tried to come back into the game but it was late.”Copyright 2016 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