Wenger admits Walcott setback affects Arsenalís title run
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is experiencing one of his career’s most unfortunate periods. The England international picked up a cruciate knee ligament injury in the FA Cup third round match against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday. Arsenal won the match 2-0, but lost Walcott for the next six months.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Walcott can make a quick recovery. Wenger backed the forward to “come back as strong as ever” and impress his fans and team with rejuvenated form. Wenger hailed Walcott for his diligence and admitted that losing the young winger was a major setback for Arsenal’s hope to clinch their first Premier League title since the ‘Invincibles’ era.
The 24-year-old Englishman has been a key player in Arsenal’s team over the last couple of years. Wenger admits his services will be missed and that he will have to find a replacement for Walcott.
“Theo is handling it as well as you can when you have had such a shock because he’s mentally strong, he’s very balanced as a person and he can put it into perspective,” Wenger told the official website of Arsenal. “We know that he will have the dedication and the serious attitude to come back as strong as ever. The only thing I can say is it's very sad news for us and above all for him.
“We lost a very talented player, a very intelligent player and a player who was just grabbing his form again. From game to game he became more influential, you’ve seen a complete player. He can always decide a game through a final ball or through a goal. Sometimes in the same game he does both.
“I felt against Tottenham he had a very convincing performance because he integrates well our style of play as he’s been here for so many years now. When we combine at a high pace he’s involved in it because he understands exactly what we want to do.”
Wenger believes his side is still capable of mounting a strong challenge for the Premier League title towards the end of the season. The Frenchman admits the journey will be long and treacherous, but his side possesses the strength and depth required to take on the most difficult tasks.
If Arsenal are able to pick up the Premier League title this season, they will finally end their eight-year long curse for silverware.