Arsenal players must ease pressure on Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott
Friday 27 January 2012
Theo Walcott has called on Arsenal's players to take responsibility and ease the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.
The Frenchman has come in for criticism from sections of the club's fans in recent weeks, with matters reaching a head with his substitution of youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Manchester United, when fans reacted angrily and captain Robin van Persie's frustration was also visible.
While Wenger has shielded his players from the worst of the Gunners faithful's frustrations, England international Walcott says now is the time for him and his team-mates to stand up and be counted.
"The manager will take all the stick," he told the Daily Telegraph. "He looks after us. He believes in us.
"As players we need to look at ourselves. We need to take responsibility. The last few games haven't been good enough.
"The worst thing is we have a lot of regrets. There are games we could have won. When you go to Swansea and score two goals you should win."
Walcott praised Van Persie's leadership in the dressing room as he revealed the team's culture of reflecting at length on the good and bad points of their performances.
"We always like to reflect on the game in the dressing room, even at half-time, sharing our feelings on the game," he said. "Robin is a great captain who wants to win. He believes in the team and knows the team can do better."
While injuries to key players have played their part in Arsenal's failings, Walcott insists that cannot be an excuse - though he concedes Jack Wilshere has been particularly sorely missed.
"We've missed him. He's an important player even after just that one year (in the team)," he said. "People compare him to Cesc (Fabregas). I think he can be better than Cesc, definitely. It's just a shame he had that massive injury.
"Injuries don't help but we can't just look at injuries."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Stoke City vs Newcastle analysis: Window woes leave Alan Pardew bereft of flair
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so