Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has become a club legend with his gesture to Tottenham fans, claims Jack Wilshere

Walcott taunted Spurs fans with the scoreline during Saturday's north London derby as he was carried of the Emirates Stadium pitch on a strecther

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The Independent Football

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has claimed that Theo Walcott’s ‘2-0’ hand gesture to Tottenham fans in Saturday’s north London derby will secure his place as a legend at the club.

The England winger was carried off the pitch on a stretcher with what looked to be a bad knee injury, but he was soon met with a barrage of coins and plastic bottles, and anything else that some Spurs fans could get their hands on.

In response, Walcott gave supporters of the Gunners’ bitter rivals a reminder of the scoreline, much to their displeasure as the barrage soon turned into a storm of projectiles aimed in his direction.

But Wilshere, who received a two-match ban for making a rude and offensive hand gesture to Manchester City fans – after he claimed they were making offensive chants about his children – has defended his international and club teammate, and stressed that if fans are going to give abuse they must be able to take it back.

“He'll be an Arsenal legend now,” Wilshere told reporters following the 2-0 victory. “They love Theo already and this is only going to help him.

“[The Tottenham supporters] were giving it to him and he's given a little bit back. I think people have got to look at it as banter.”

Arsenal progressed to the third round thanks to goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky, although the injury to Walcott did dampen spirits during ever-so-slightly. Walcott looks set for around four weeks on the sidelines, meaning Arsene Wenger could look to bring in a striker to help share the burden that Olivier Giroud has shouldered for most of the season.

The Gunners will host Coventry in the fourth round of the FA Cup, which will be played on the 25 January (subject to television selection) and victory would leave them battling for silverware on three fronts, with the Premier League currently in their sights as well as the Champions League last 16 clash with Bayern Munich.

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