Premier League round-up: Theo Walcott promises Arsene Wenger the goals will come after misfiring at Newcastle

England star made his first league start of the season at Newcastle on Saturday

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The Independent Online

Theo Walcott is convinced he will rediscover his touch in front of goal for Arsenal. The 26-year-old made his first league start of the season at Newcastle on Saturday, but saw chances go begging as the visitors battled their way to a 1-0 win.

“I enjoy playing anywhere in the front line and the manager gave me the opportunity,” he said. “It’s a shame I couldn’t help him out there by getting those goals, but they’ll come, definitely. It was difficult after they went to 10 men, but you need to be able to adapt.”

Newcastle lost Aleksandar Mitrovic to a red card and his manager Steve McClaren was baffled by the decision:  “I couldn’t believe the sending off. You can’t win with 10 men.”

West Brom manager Tony Pulis was full of praise for record signing Salomon Rondon after the striker got his first Albion goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Stoke. “Salomon scored a great goal. I’m really pleased with him,” Pulis said. “He is still not [fully] fit. But his movement off the ball is first-class and his finish was very good.”

Saturday was a less constructive day for Stoke, who had two sent off when Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam were shown straight red cards. “We were devastated we lost to opponents who we really felt, given 11 v 11, we would have won,” the Stoke manager, Mark Hughes, said. “I’m encouraged by what I saw.”

Tim Sherwood is convinced that Aston Villa were denied the victory they deserved against Sunderland because of an incorrect penalty decision. Instead of pointing to the spot, referee Robert Madley booked Carles Gil for diving when he went down under a challenge from Younes Kaboul.

“I still think it’s a penalty,” Sherwood said after the 2-2 draw. “Otherwise he rolls it into the net. Why else would he go down? He is clean through and I’ve asked Gilly if there was contact – he said there was.”

Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has backed Lee Cattermole after the midfielder conceded a second penalty in four matches. Advocaat said: “There was no need for that kind of penalty but I will never say anything bad about Lee because last season he did brilliant for the team.”

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembélé is hopeful the foot injury he sustained during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Everton will not keep him on the sidelines for very long.

Dembélé posted on Twitter yesterday: “Pity we couldn’t win yesterday. Let’s hope the injury is not too bad.”

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