A 2-0 win and the best performance of the season so far, Arsenal looked a lot better on Saturday afternoon.
The season kicked off in shaky fashion but the Gunners finally netted an Emirates Stadium goal and Theo Walcott, who scored the first in the defeat of Stoke City, insists it’s a sign of things to come.
“It’s all about results at this moment in time, getting the three points,” Walcott told Arsenal.com. Getting all three points is something Arsenal have managed in three of the five Premier League games so far, so why the concern?
“No one is going to remember the start of the season. When we do hit form people will be more and more worried. I’m sure of that. So this Arsenal team can go far if we really actually believe in it, and a lot of the players do at the moment.”
The next two weeks contain four tough away games as Arsenal start a Champions League campaign, visit Chelsea and Leicester and have to contend with the first north London derby of the season in the League Cup.
Nonetheless, Walcott is confident that the Gunners have the quality and the depth to come through. Having a good squad will be key as we compete in more than one competition
“Every game is going to be tough but I believe in this team and I think that’s important. We’ve had seasons where we’ve had very bad injuries but there’s a lot of competition for places now which is healthy for the team,” the England forward insisted. “We’ve got a lot of competitions which we are in and we want to compete in those, compete in the Premier League, to challenge for the title this time.”
If challenging for the title is the aim, next weekend is huge. Arsenal travel across the city to face last season’s champions Chelsea, who they have never beaten in the Premier League when José Mourinho has been in charge.
Mourinho has also never lost three Premier League games in a row, but that’s what Arsenal could condemn his side to on Saturday, and Walcott seems to be quietly confident.
“You can sense that Chelsea are starting to struggle this season but they’re the champions and I’m sure they’ll bounce back from this. We just need to worry about ourselves and we’re slowly climbing up there.”
With Manchester City already five points clear of Arsenal and 11 clear of Chelsea, Saturday’s clash is huge even this early in the season. Should the Gunners win, it would send a real message to the rest of the league.
Walcott, who has five goals in 14 games against the Blues, will be hoping to lead the line for the Gunners. Can he really lead a title challenge?