Arsene Wenger has asked Theo Walcott to be patient in his wait for first team action. The England international is desperate to start against Man United this evening, but the Arsenal manager has insisted the 21-year-old will get his starting opportunities in the next few weeks.
Walcott started the season in fine form but has started only once for the Gunners since returning from an ankle injury in October, but Wenger says he understands the former Southampton star’s frustration.
According to Sky Sports, Wenger said: “Frankly I can understand that because for me Theo Walcott is doing well. For me he is not an impact player, he is a regular player.
“At the moment he does not play as often as he should but he will play soon. In fairness, Theo is fantastic. His attitude and behaviour has been absolutely great.”
Man Utd tie nears.
Wenger has called for belief among his players ahead of this evening’s trip to Old Trafford.
The Frenchman has urged his maturing squad to display their hunger for success by scalping the Red Devils, and move further ahead of the former champions.
The Gunners go into the game top of the league, and tied on points with United’s bitter rivals Man City with tonight’s game in hand. A win would see them move four clear of their opponents.
According to The Press Association, Wenger said: “Let’s go without any preconceived ideas, not [thinking] about any weakness of Manchester United, nor about any weakness from us, just let’s focus on the day, to give your best, play with belief, play for each other and we have a good chance to beat anybody.
“I know that my team will be really up for it, and I always have great belief in my players – I know how hungry they are for success and am sure that will come out in the game.”
No Almunia exit.
The Arsenal boss meanwhile has also taken the time to dismiss reports that Manuel Almunia is on his way out of the club. Reports in recent days have linked the Spaniard with a move back to his native homeland, with Atletico Madrid and Malaga both rumoured to be interested.
The 33-year-old began the season as first choice but has since dropped behind Lukasz Fabianski in the pecking order after suffering an elbow injury.
According to FansFC.com, Wenger insisted Almunia is going nowhere in the new year, telling the club’s official website: “I heard it is his agent who talks about that but at the moment he has no agent. We never talked about him leaving, Never.”