Eduardo da Silva’s injury in Arsenal’s draw with Birmingham completely overshadowed the contribution of Theo Walcott, who scored his first goals in the Premiership last weekend. The first was a real poacher’s goal, flicking in the ball from close range after Emmanuel Adebayor fairly challenged the goalkeeper while the second an exciting effort as the 19-year-old skipped past a marker and fired in low and hard from the edge of the area. Walcott had to wait a long time for his first goal in the Premiership but revealed he is feeling good about things going into the important home clash with Aston Villa.
“I feel upbeat, I feel confident. The goals helped and they gave me a boost so hopefully I can take that into Saturday.”
A lot of people have questioned Walcott’s development as a playert this season, with the general consensus tending to be that he has not come on as well as many Arsenal supporters would have liked. Although two goals against Birmingham City is hardly going to change that opinion I feel he has made a significant step in the right direction. When you look at how much confidence Adebayor picked up after scoring a goal it’s not improbable that Walcott’s goals on the weekend could be the start of a mini-purple patch. With Eduardo and Tomas Rosicky out injured and Emmanuel Eboue still two games away from returning from suspension the Englishman will surely get a couple more chances to prove his worth and it will be interesting to see how he goes.
After talking a little bit about himself, Walcott also became the first player to comment on the impact that Eduardo’s injury had on the squad in the days following the incident. The Englishman revealed that the Arsenal squad were allowed a couple of days away from the training ground by Arsene Wenger to get their mind of things before a tenpin bowling session was organised to give the morale within the team a bit of a boost.
“Of course Eduardo has been on our minds. It was a quiet coach ride home and felt just like a loss in truth. We had a couple of days off and then actually went bowling to keep our team-spirit up.”
Imagine going down to your local lanes for a bit of a bowl and looking over and seeing the entire Arsenal squad having a go. It would be hilarious. I can see guys like Kolo Toure and Adebayor, not to mention the resident jokester Eboue absolutely running amok, bowling multiple balls at a time or bowling as fast as they could, or even trying ridiculous trick shots. As I said before, I reckon it would be hilarious.
I’m actually quite interested to know who won. After all, these are professional footballers and as much as they love having a good time I’d think that things would get pretty competitive at times, even if they were only bowling. For some reason I can see Bacary Sagna being an absolutely gun bowler. Maybe it’s just that he seems to be good at everything he does but I can picture him bowling strike after strike and ending up with a score way over 200. Maybe I’m just going insane, but it is nice to talk about something other than the injury to Eduardo for once and I think I’m holding on to this for as long as possible. Letting go… now.
Moving along and everybody’s favourite bleach-blonde goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has spoken about the importance of maintaining a good home record in order to win the Premiership. The Spanish goalkeeper referenced the points Arsenal dropped at home to Birmingham a little while ago and stressed the need for the side to win all their remaining games at the Emirates Stadium.
“All the games we have at home must be won. Here we are so strong and that is what can help us win the title. What must not happen again is what happened in the League here against Birmingham where we dropped two points.”
He’s absolutely right, and there’s no better time to get things back on track than against Villa on Saturday night. A couple of people criticised Almunia for his part in Birmingham’s first goal last weekend and with Jens Lehmann having a good couple of games against Manchester United and AC Milan the pressure is on the Spaniard to get back to his best. While I feel he was blameless for James McFadden’s free-kick I’m sure he will be hoping for a clean sheet this week. If he gets it, Arsenal will be halfway towards getting the win they need, so hopefully things go his way.
That’s it for today. Just another reminder that if you still haven’t entered the O2 Arsenal Opus competition there is still time. You can vote for your favourite photo by clicking here and if you have no idea what I’m talking about you can read a bit about the Arsenal Opus by clicking here. Good luck.
What do you think?
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