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Walcott warns Arsenal can improve

Published: Wednesday 24 October 2007, 13.22CET
After playing a starring role in a "brilliant" victory on Tuesday, Theo Walcott told Arsenal FC are feeling "more and more confident" after each success.
by Matthew Spiro
from London features

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Published: Wednesday 24 October 2007, 13.22CET

Walcott warns Arsenal can improve

After playing a starring role in a "brilliant" victory on Tuesday, Theo Walcott told Arsenal FC are feeling "more and more confident" after each success.

Two-goal striker Theo Walcott described Arsenal FC's performance in the 7-0 demolition of SK Slavia Praha as "brilliant", before warning rivals that the side from north London are feeling "more and more confident" after each victory.

Rare start
With Robin van Persie missing through injury, Walcott was handed a rare start in attack, and the 18-year-old did not let his manager Arsène Wenger down on a record-breaking night at the Arsenal Stadium. He opened his UEFA Champions League account with a goal in each half as the Gunners equalled the record victory in the competition – set by Juventus against Olympiacos CFP four years ago – and set a new mark for the club's most handsome winning margin at home in Europe.

Scoring exploits
Delighted with his own goalscoring exploits, Walcott was also keen to praise his team-mates for a remarkable display that keeps Arsenal clear at the Group H summit with nine points, six more than their Czech opponents. "It was great for me to have the chance to start, especially up front as that's my preferred position," the England Under-21 international told "There's so much competition at Arsenal you have to take your chances, and I want to build on this now."

'Brilliant performance'
Walcott continued: "It was a brilliant performance from the whole team. [Emmanuel] Adebayor gave me a lot of support and [Cesc] Fabregas and [Aleksandr] Hleb were just brilliant. To win 12 games in a row [in all competition] is a great achievement. We're playing well, we feel relaxed every time we go out on to the pitch and we're getting more and more confident."

Collective spirit
Adebayor echoed Walcott's thoughts, stressing the collective nature of Arsenal's play. "We showed our spirit and all the guys worked hard and played well together again tonight," said the Togo international. "This performance had everything: great quality, passing, movement and goals. Plenty of goals. It was certainly one of the best team performances I have been involved in."

Henry comparisons
While Fabregas also scored twice in another masterful midfield display, and Hleb and Niklas Bendter both hit the target, Arsenal's solitary Englishman is likely to steal most of the headlines in his homeland. Comparisons with Gunners legend Thierry Henry are already being voiced, though Adebayor downplayed the link, saying: "Theo has the same sort of speed as Thierry but you can't compare the two. Thierry is 30, Theo's only 18. He's fast, can get in behind defences and can dribble as well. He's progressing all the time and could be one of the best in a few years' time."

Last updated: 24/10/07 13.23CET

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