Theo Walcott says Arsenal needs to step up to the challenge on all fronts this season, after a disappointing 2016/17 campaign.
Walcott was dropped towards the end of last season after comments he made following the 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, but although at the time Arsène Wenger said that the comments were unacceptable, Walcott told the media that he doesn’t regret what he said.
On Sunday, as reported by the Daily Mail, he told reporters: “I was the captain for the day – no-one else was going to come out and I felt like I had to say something.The team went on to do considerably quite well after all those games. There was a reaction and that’s what we wanted.”
Of course the reaction the team produced was largely without Walcott, and he’s struggled to get back into the team since, still finding his feet again so far in pre-season. But he believes that pre-season will give him and the team a chance to improve and further adapt to the new system:
“Now we’ve got some time in pre-season to work on (the new formation) and work on other things. Just to be a bit more adventurous – that’s going to change this season. It has to be this season, there’s no holding back now and there’s going to be a lot more pressure but I think we can deal with it.”
Finally he spoke about how he plans to fit into the new system with the team, but wouldn’t give much away: “I’ve spoken to the manager. Maybe I will change my role in this formation slightly, we’ll see how it goes, if it works. I can’t really say what the role is.”