Theo Walcott spoke to the media following Arsenal’s 3-2 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday. This is what he had to say:
on the performance…I think in patches it was very good. The goals put us under pressure and [Rosicky] got the third one which eased it a bit. But you have to give credit to Brighton, they came at us. But with the results on Saturday not going for the Premier League teams, we knew it was going to be a tough game. That is what the FA Cup is about.
on Rosicky disguising his pass…That is what Tomas does all the time in training, he looks the other way and passes the ball. It gets me all the time! He has that quality going forward, I love the way that he turn and breaks. It is nice to get three goals, but we are disappointed with the goals we have conceded. We will look back on that and what we could have done better. But in the FA Cup it doesn’t matter how you perform, as long as you get through.
on the perfect start…Yeah, it’s been a long time coming. I had a lot of chances since I have been back, but I have been out for a year so it is still going to take time. It is just nice to get some match fitness back. I was very pleased with the finish and there will definitely be many more. People will be expecting me to score every game now but it’s all about getting the match fitness, sharpness and the goals back. The goal was a bonus.
on a nervy finish…That’s what the FA Cup’s about. Brighton did very well and we did very well in places. It was a typical FA Cup tie. It was always going to be tough given the results that happened yesterday so the most important thing is to go through - we did that and we’re into the next round.
on building on the Manchester City win…It was breathtaking at times against Brighton. It’s nice to get back in amongst it as well. We’re getting players back to fitness and when you do that there’s a competition for places - the manager’s going to have a bit of a headache picking his best 11. It was nice to go through.
on whether Brighton surprised Arsenal…They didn’t surprise us at all - it was the same as a couple of years back. It was always a tough challenge which is what makes the FA Cup so special. We’re just very grateful that we got through in the end and Tomas’ goal was a fantastic finish.
on Brighton making Arsenal work very hard…The results yesterday told us that this was always going to be tough, always going to be a challenge. You’ve got to give credit to Brighton, they came at us but thankfully Tomas’ fantastic finish gave us the win.
on starting well…It’s always important to try and silence the crowd at the start of every game and we managed to do that by playing some fantastic football in the first half. We started to start playing slightly off in the second half but that’s what happens in the FA Cup. It’s just important to get through. It’s an opportunity that we need to grab.
on the goal being another step in his rehabilitation…The goals will come but I’m just enjoying being back with the guys and working on my fitness, getting the sharpness right. I was blowing quite heavily towards the end but I was very pleased with the finish. The most important thing is that the team got through.
on retaining the FA Cup…We’ve got to believe that this is a great opportunity and we want to hold on to the cup. It’s our cup and it’s a massive opportunity looking at all of those teams that haven’t gone through. It depends on the draw but we believe that with the team that we’ve got and the players coming back to fitness, we can beat anyone.
on the returning players…It is like new signings that have come into the dressing room, the likes of Mesut coming back, getting a goal and doing very well. The sharpness will come with games and the competition is going to give a headache to the manager to pick his best XI. the players who have come in have done very well so it shows that we have a great squad when everyone is fit. I think we can compete for anything.
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