December 5 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Theo Walcott believes he is reaping the rewards for ignoring his critics as he enjoys his best campaign yet in an Arsenal shirt.
Walcott, 23, has hit 18 goals for the Gunners so far and finally ended speculation about his future when agreeing a new contract extension at the Emirates last month.
The England forward has been given more of a chance deployed in his preferred central striker role this season.
Walcott says he feels more mature in his approach now, and is no longer concerned with critics who argued there was no end product to his pacy attacks.
“The big thing this season is that I do not ever want the games to end,” he said in Arsenal’s official magazine.
“I am really enjoying every second, I love performing in front of the crowd, for my team-mates as well, and if I make a mistake I know to forget about it because something else will come up, so I don’t really think about mistakes too much.
“That’s another side of it - not dwelling on something that’s happened previously in the game.
“Also I am not thinking too much in front of goal, I am just doing what comes naturally to me, which is finishing and it is working so far.”
Walcott, who has hit two hat-tricks this season, added: “I feel like I can create opportunities, that even if I am not in the game for a while, I would be able to come up with something.
“I have learned more about the defensive side of the game and about formations over the years.
“I have also learned how to play with other players better, seeing what the strengths are of the players coming in and adapting to that.”