Wenger - The first time I watched Theo

or Sign up
for FREE Digital Membership to watch Arsenal Player videos

By Lloyd Webb

Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott made an instant impression on him the first time that he saw him play.

The England international celebrates a decade at Arsenal this week, but it was while he was playing for Southampton in the FA Youth Cup final against Ipswich that he first caught the eye of the boss.

Walcott joined the Gunners two years later and Wenger believes he has made great strides since then.

"I saw him in the final, he played on the left side where he plays now and I liked his movement off the ball"

Arsene Wenger

“Theo is very intelligent,” the manager told Arsenal Player. “He always had pace and his movement off the ball was always perfect.

“I think he is much more conscious of teamwork and he has improved as well in his finishing. He is absolutely deadly compared to 10 years ago. He needed many chances to score a goal and today he can finish very well. His final ball and his technique are much better.

“Ten years here, that shows as well that he loves Arsenal and I’m convinced he will give us much more in the next five years than the last five because he is a player who is always moving forward and trying to do better. He has a very positive attitude.

“[I first saw him play] in the FA Youth Cup with Southampton. I saw him in the final, he played on the left side where he plays now and I liked his movement off the ball. A player like him is very difficult to find and Theo's movement off the ball and intelligence is really his brand and [are part of his] characteristics.”


Theo Walcott signs



Friendly Match
Ticket Info
Friendly Match
Ticket Info


The Emirates FA Cup
Premier League

Arsenal Membership

Join as an Arsenal Member and receive a range of exclusive benefits such as priority ticket access, subscription to Arsenal Player, a welcome pack and access to members' events with the first team squad. If you join as a Junior Gunner you have the chance of being a Matchday mascot or ball boy.

Join today and always be ahead of the game


Contact us

Arsenal Football Club
Highbury House
75 Drayton Park
London, N5 1BU

020 7619 5003

Box office