Wenger - Tougher Theo is hard to stop

Theo Walcott

Arsene Wenger says the total commitment Theo Walcott has shown in recent games makes him “difficult to stop”.

The England international has 12 goals and three assists from his last 14 Premier League starts, and has impressed in the central forward role.

Wenger feels Walcott has now fully recovered from the knee injury that kept him out for a year, and will get better with a more physical edge to his game.

“It took him a while to come back, I must say,” the Arsenal manager said. “But now in the last two games, he always looks dangerous in this position.

“The quality of his movement is outstanding and he has found his finishing again. Against Man United he has also found his commitment back.

“Maybe he can score more goals to chances. He gets a lot of chances, but the finishing is a bit up and down. But what you want from Theo is the commitment he showed against Man United in the challenges. If he adds that to his game then he will be difficult to stop.

“Sometimes the confidence comes back when you go into a challenge which you naturally avoid and then you realise nothing happens when you do it. It’s important sometimes to push the player a little bit.

“The only way to help him is to reassure, give confidence and I believe he’s still aware of his injury. For example, when England went away they played on astroturf, on an artificial pitch, we had the conversation as to whether they play Theo or not.

“Overall, he’s made the most important step to get through his injury and against Man United you could see he was fully back.”

Walcott has inherited Thierry Henry’s No 14 shirt and, while he has benefited from talking with the club legend, Wenger says his improvements are mainly down to hard work

“You don't score goals because of chats,” he said. “You score goals because you get in the right positions and you work on the field.

“Let's not forget how our strikers developed well here. Thierry Henry arrived here and he had not scored goals before and scored plenty.

“There are very few examples of players who left us and scored more elsewhere than here. We know how to develop strikers quite well. A little chat can help. But it's not essential.”

See Full List

Fixtures & Results

Premier League
Ticket Info