Arsenal 3 Watford 0: Walcott gifts his manager real presence

Teenager stands out at Arsène's anniversary party

Dignified and generous, Arsène Wenger and Arsenal entertained with some sparkle yesterday. It was a comprehensive victory over outclassed opponents on a day for celebrations to mark the manager's 10 years of success at the club.

Goals by Jordan Stewart, who headed into his own net, Thierry Henry and the outstanding Emmanuel Adebayor carried Arsenal to their sixth successive victory in all competitions and lifted them towards the business end of the Premiership. Watford, all huff, puff and hope, never gave up, but also never looked like collecting their first League victory this season.

The inclusion in the starting line-up of the precocious Theo Walcott, 17, fresh from his two goals in Germany for the England Under-21 team, for the first time, was another sign of Wenger's vision and acumen. Walcott played on the left of a four-man midfield and did well, several speedy runs causing consternation and some adroit passes catching the eye.

"He showed he can make a difference," said Wenger. "If you give him a good ball, you know that nobody can catch him. He did very well, for a 17-year-old, and I liked his passing through the line, too. His strength really is to be on the end of things, as a striker, but he showed a lot of ability."

In an attacking formation that included Henry alongside the tall, athletic and dangerous Adebayor, with support from Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas, Walcott caught the eye and prompted warm support from the Arsenal fans in a sold out 60,000 full house.

"We had to match them physically because they do well, what they do," explained Wenger. "And then we got the ball down and played when we could and also scored when we could... They are one of those teams that, if you are not focused and concentrated, can beat you and so, for that reason, I think they have a chance to stay up in this League."

Adebayor, a totem for Togo at the World Cup finals, stood tall and shone as Arsenal controlled and then won a game largely played at the tempo they dictated. Watford did have chances, but they were wasted: Tommy Smith firing wide at the end of the first half and then Marlon King forcing a spreading save from Jens Lehmann.

In between, Arsenal stood their ground physically, rolled the ball across the lush grass, created many good chances and provided delightful entertainment. Rosicky, in particular, might have had a hat-trick as he shot from all angles and distances and kept Ben Foster diving and alert while Fabregas, playing like a complete midfielder, yet still only 19, tackled, organised and passed as a veteran.

His pass high towards Adebayor led to Stewart guiding a soft header past Foster after 32 minutes and a through ball for Henry, after 68, enabled the Frenchman to set up Adebayor for a tap-in third.

Between these two, Henry, supplied by an Adebayor flick and some slapstick defending by Jay DeMerit, ran clear to steer a left-foot shot beyond Foster. Three goals hardly spoke fairly for Arsenal's superiority, but with a trip to Moscow looming, the manager was satisfied and there were no complaints from a happy, celebrating crowd.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas