Arsenal forward Walcott escapes FA punishment

Theo Walcott knows how to make friends. Photo: PA

Arsenal expect to discover on Tuesday the full extent of Theo Walcott's knee problem, but the England forward will not face any disciplinary action from the Football Association for his '2-0' gesture towards Tottenham fans.

Walcott was deployed in a central attacking role for the FA Cup third-round tie against Spurs at the Emirates Stadium, but was carried off on a stretcher after jarring his knee when making a tackle during the closing stages - and subsequently pelted by objects thrown from the away end.

The Arsenal forward responded with "2-0" hand gesture in the direction of the 5,000-strong away section, as missiles, including coins and plastic bottles, were seen to hit medical staff as they carried the stretcher around to the tunnel on the half-way line.

The England forward's knee has been assessed by specialists, with the club set to examine those findings to determine a prognosis of just how long Walcott will be sidelined.

Walcott's absence, though, will not be down to any suspension, the Football Association confirmed on Monday afternoon.

The FA has taken in the full match report of referee Mark Clattenburg and will also speak to other relevant bodies before deciding whether to launch any disciplinary action regarding the crowd. It is understood Arsenal will provide CCTV footage to try to help identify any offenders from within the travelling support.

A statement read: "The FA has contacted both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur to seek their observations in relation to objects being thrown from both a home and away section of the crowd at different times during Saturday's FA Cup third round tie.

"The FA condemns any such acts and will liaise with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to identify those responsible and support the strongest sanctions available, including life bans.

"Meanwhile, in relation to the same fixture, The FA has contacted Arsenal's Theo Walcott and reminded him of his responsibilities regarding a 'score-line' gesture he made in front of away supporters during the game. The FA will not be taking any further disciplinary action."

The loss of Walcott - who has scored five goals since returning from a stomach muscle injury - would further deplete Wenger's attacking options, given Nicklas Bendtner is expected to miss all of January with his ankle problem picked up when scoring a late goal in the 2-0 win over Cardiff on New Year's Day.