Arsene Wenger hails Theo Walcott's 'aggressive attitude' as Arsenal forward rediscovers goalscoring form

James Benge

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott’s new-found aggressive streak is behind his forward’s goalscoring renaissance.

Walcott scored in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City, his third in four games, to take his season tally to 18 in 31 appearances. He now needs just four goals to better his highest return in an Arsenal campaign, which he achieved in 2012-13.

Since that season the 28-year-old had struggled with injuries and endured an aborted attempt to transition from a wide forward to striker.

Many have put Walcott’s return to form down to his return to the flank but Wenger sees a mental shift in his longest-serving first-teamer.

“I was pleased to see Theo Walcott score again on Sunday,” Wenger wrote in his programme notes ahead of the visit of West Ham. “He now has three goals in his last four games and I think this season he has found more determination, a more aggressive attitude.

“He always had great quality in his runs, the quality of his receptions have always been very strong.

“I would say for many years he had not always an adjusted finishing quality, but he’s improved a lot on his finishing and that’s why he scores more goals.”

Walcott’s revival has not been the only Arsenal goalscoring trend of note in recent months.

Shkodran Mustafi’s headed equaliser against City meant Wenger’s side had scored a league high 14 headed goals this season.

“I would say the record is down to the fact that we keep going, to the fact that we maintain the pressure on the opponent and that the team is very determined, united, no matter under what circumstances,” Wenger added.

“That’s why maybe as well two or three accidents we had in recent games were a bit shocking. Overall if you look at the season, we are the best team in the league at coming back and scoring late goals. I put that down to exceptional spirit in the squad.”