'These games hurt me the most'

Theo Walcott was the width of a post away from one of the classic north London derby goals on Sunday.

The England man raced through and crashed a shot off the upright with Hugo Lloris beaten. It was the closest we got to a goal from one of our own players.

After the game Theo spoke to the media about a typically feisty derby:

on the game…
It was a difficult game. Between Tottenham and ourselves, we each had good periods in the game but we didn’t manage to take our chances. We probably didn’t create as much as we wanted to either. These games are about working hard for the team and trying to get the result but, looking back at it, it might be a good result in the end.

on the penalty…
It’s not for me to comment on the penalty. The referee makes the decision and we’ve got to respect that. There’s going to be a lot of opinions and, given that I’m from Arsenal, I’m not going to say that it was [a penalty]. Like I say, the referee’s made the decision and we can’t change that now. I tried to give Petr a clue where Harry was going but I got that completely wrong in the end.

on whether Spurs changing to three at the back surprised Arsenal…
It did, completely. Middlesbrough did that against us. Lots of teams are starting to do that now, with Chelsea probably the best at doing it at the moment. It was difficult to break them down but it was one of those games where there weren’t that many chances. I hit the post and maybe Olivier on another day would’ve had more luck, but it’s probably a good result in the end.

on being unlucky not to score…
The touch just got away from me and I just thought about concentrating on hitting the ball. I think that’s the best I could’ve hit the ball and it caught everyone by surprise but, unfortunately it doesn’t even count as a shot on target. It’s one of those where you think back and it’s all about working hard. The guys gave everything. We probably worked harder defensively than we did going forward and that maybe stopped us from creating more.

on the penalty being a turning point…
The problem was that it was too early in the second half. We normally start the second half better than that and the guys will be disappointed with the way we started it. It took us a lot to get going and they had the confidence when they had the penalty. We found it difficult to win the ball back but overall we managed to hold on in there. It’s one of those games where the draw was always going to happen.

on dropping two points…
We always want to win these games. It’s very disappointing to not get the win with our home support. The fans were fantastic from kick-off until the end and were behind us all the way. We couldn’t get the result unfortunately. They all wanted the bragging rights. These games hurt me more than any other game. When you look at how tight the Premier League is and the teams that are fighting for the Premier League, you probably think this is a good result.


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