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Wenger hopes Walcott's England performance doesn't 'damage' Arsenal forward

Walcott struggled in the Italy game. Credit: PA

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes Theo Walcott's frustrating night with England in Turin will not leave the forward's confidence "damaged" over the closing weeks of the season.

Walcott produced a low key display after being handed an opportunity to start up front with Roy Hodgson's side for the friendly in Turin on Tuesday night.

Asked if he felt the fallout from his performance with England could hamper his confidence, Wenger replied: "Theo wants to do well, he is sensitive and I am a bit concerned about the damage that (Italy) game can have on his mind."

The Arsenal boss continued: "Theo's strength is the quality of his movements, he wants to go to get on the end of things, he is not a guy who provides.

"It was complicated game for the (England) strikers because Italy defended with three centre-backs, two players in front of the two centre-backs and England played all in there so there was no room, no space.

"I don't think it was the intention of Roy Hodgson to play him there (as a number 10). It is maybe Rooney took the initiative during the game to play higher up and tell Theo to drop back.

"I haven't seen Roy Hodgson in the game standing up to say 'Walcott, you come and play in midfield and Rooney you go up front'. That is an initiative they took on the pitch."

Wenger wants Walcott to stay and 'fight for his place' at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants Theo Walcott to stay at Arsenal for the long term – but warned there can be no guarantees of a first-team place.

Theo Walcott. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive

Negotiations have started over the prospect of a new contract extension, with the England star's current £90,000-a-week deal not set to expire until the summer of 2016.

"The first contacts have been established with the embassy. We will see how that (negotiations) progresses politically," Wenger said.

"Walcott was difficult to convince (in 2013) and that is why it took us much time.

"We have a started very early with him, but it was slow progress - he is very quick on the pitch, but off the pitch not always."

Wenger continued: "I want him to stay and be a regular player and fight for his place, but no matter where you go if it is a big club you have to compete for your place."


Hodgson can use Walcott how he wants says Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsene Wenger says he won't be asking England manager Roy Hodgson to use Theo Walcott sparingly in upcoming internationals against Slovenia and Scotland.

Walcott is part of a 26-man squad, but has barely featured for Arsenal since returning from cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for ten months.

Walcott likely to miss World Cup with knee injury

Theo Walcott is stretchered off the pitch against Tottenham on Saturday. Credit: Empics

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has been ruled out of football for at least six months with a knee injury, his club has announced.

His ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) means that an appearance at the World Cup in Brazil in June is unlikely.

The injury requires reconstructive surgery and a long period of physiotherapy to rehabilitate the knee.

Former England Michael Owen striker ruptured his ACL while playing for his country at the 2006 World Cup against Sweden.

Walcott antagonises Spurs fans with 2-0 gesture

Theo Walcott's gesture was met with a furious reaction from fans of north London rivals Tottenham. Credit: ITV Sport

Arsenal striker Theo Walcott infuriated Tottenham fans by making a 2-0 gesture towards them as he was stretchered off the pitch towards the end of his side's FA Cup third round win.

Goals from Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky sealed the win for the home side.

Walcott was carried from the field after appearing to injure his knee during a challenge late in the game.

Asked about the incident after the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "The doctors said to me the coins were raining over his head [from the away fans] and that is why."

Theo Walcott carried on a stretcher past vocal Spurs fans in the away end at the Emirates Stadium. Credit: Reuters

Walcott unaware of match-fixing allegations

Theo Walcott told ITV News that he hadn't heard anything about a Europol claim that a Champions League match held in England had been fixed.

"It's a shame if it is found that way, but hopefully it's not," the Arsenal and England forward said.

"It's something that we don't want involved in the sport at's something in the game that we need to get out."

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