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Walcott aiming to make Arsenal striker spot his own

Theo Walcott knows he and Arsenal need to be more clinical after their 2-0 win over Stoke.

The England forward started up front and missed a number of chances before netting the opening goal to reward manager Arsene Wenger's faith.

Theo Walcott scored Arsenal's opener versus Stoke. Credit: PA

"I was pleased with that goal," Walcott said.

"Luckily I managed to grab one out of my many chances. I was disappointed because I should have got many, many more, but I'm getting the chances so I'm happy with that.

"When you get given the opportunity you have to try to grab the goals when you can.

"We create chances so we just have to put them away. We're starting to get back to the old Arsenal."


Walcott desperate to stay at Arsenal

Theo wants to stay at Arsenal. Credit: PA

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is keen to extend his stay with the Gunners, but is taking a relaxed view to contract negotiations.

Walcott, who joined the north London club in 2006 when he was 16-years-old, believes Arsene Wenger's side could be on the verge of something special after his goal helped them secure back-to-back FA Cup triumphs in May.

The 26-year-old, who last penned a three-and-a-half-year deal 18 months ago, is planning to just focus on his football and getting a full pre-season under his belt.

"My agent has talked to the club, I enjoy playing for this club so I am just letting them crack on with things and I'll continue playing football," Walcott told several national newspapers.

"We'll just play the waiting game and see what happens but I'm sure it won't be long. This squad, for me, is one of the best I've been involved in. I want to be part of that."

When asked if he would be happy to let any talks carry on beyond the start of the new campaign, he said: "Definitely. It's not in my thought process at all. You don't want to dwell on it, you want to play well and if it happens it happens.

"I won't let that delay the way I'm going to be playing this season. I can't let that affect me, I want to do well for this club."


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."

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