Theo Walcott has joked that it’s his team-mate’s fault that he was constantly offside against Cologne.

Walcott was handed a rare start against the German side in the Europa League on Thursday and wasted it with a poor performance.

His most notable contribution to the match was giving the linesman something to do by frequently straying offside.

Since then, Walcott has acknowledged that the timing of his runs wasn’t right, though he also thinks the passes could have been played earlier as well.

“I was offside too many times to be honest,” Walcott told Arsenal Player.

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“I was disappointed with that. I won’t dwell on that too long. It’s just about me timing my runs slightly better, but I say the players are playing it too late, that’s my excuse anyway! I like to make the runs and I’ll definitely be feeling it tomorrow morning.”

It was likely down to a combination of the two. A player looking across the line should rarely be caught offside, while at the same time Arsenal’s play in the first half was very sluggish.

Granted, there’s no guarantee had Walcott stayed onside and received the ball in good positions that he would have done anything worthwhile with it.

Walcott’s running in behind can be an asset to the team, but at the moment it’s something Arsene Wenger feels he has enough of from others.

With Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck in the side, Arsenal have two runners who can also say onside.

Walcott will likely return to the bench against Chelsea, before getting another run-out against Doncaster.