Walcott believes Arsenal answered critics in Reading win

Theo Walcott believes Arsenal gave a firm riposte to their critics by putting five goals past Premier League strugglers Reading on Monday evening, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Walcott scored the Gunners’ fifth and final goal, adding to an earlier strike from Lukas Podolski and a hat-trick from Spain midfielder Santi Cazorla. Reading replied with goals from Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe in the first meeting between the clubs since the 12-goal thriller in the League Cup in October. Arsenal won on that occasion as well, 7-5, with Walcott grabbing a hat-trick.

And having come under fire following their Capital One Cup exit at the hands of League Two Bradford a week earlier, Walcott feels the real Arsenal came out against the Premier League’s bottom side.

We showed people the true Arsenal. We don’t really take notice of the outside. We’re a big family and we know our quality and that we’re good enough,” Walcott said.

The England international was selected to play as a central striker against Reading, with Podolski on the left flank and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right. It is a position Walcott is understood to want to take more regularly, and his failure to do so is said to be at the heart of the contract standoff between Walcott and the club.

Walcott admitted he enjoyed being given a central berth at the Madejski Stadium. He said: “ “I enjoyed playing up front and the boss gave me that opportunity. I thought I did very well and the players around me always make my job easier.

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