Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Premier League

We must get dirty to win things, says Theo

Theo Walcott believes Arsenal must be more "dirty" if they want to challenge for major honours this season.

Arsenal have not won the Premier League since 2003-04 and Walcott understands the fans' frustration at continually failing to overhaul the club's three main rivals domestically and just missing out on the top prize in Europe.

"The fans have been very patient this year – well, the last few years – of not bringing trophies back to the club," says Walcott. "We need to reflect on that, learn from our mistakes from last year and bring something back for them because they are just as important as the players.

"The Champions' League is the big one for us. We got so far but not quite. We need to be a bit more cutting in the last third and be a bit more dirty. Instead of playing brilliant football, sometimes just get a result, grind one out. We'll be doing that this year."

Walcott, plagued by a shoulder injury last season, has fully recovered and says the squad are determined not to let manager Arsène Wenger down. "That's a big thing. He takes all the stick when we don't play so well. The boss reflects on the whole team and brings it back to himself. We've definitely realised that and how lucky we are to have such a great manager."

He is convinced the loss of both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré can be overcome by players returning from injury. "They are two great players and we'll miss them. Ade scored plenty of goals and Kolo was so solid at the back. But Eduardo is back now and we've got plenty of players to come back too. The experience of the past few years will definitely help."

Winning a club trophy, however, would come a close second to helping his country go all the way in next year's World Cup. "That's a very hard one to call but if you ask anyone that question, the World Cup is the biggest trophy you can win in football. I'll probably get killed by all Arsenal fans but deep down the World Cup is the big one."