Saturday 06 October 2012
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger praised Theo Walcott after the forward came off the bench to score in the 3-1 win at West Ham United.
Walcott, who has yet to sign a new deal with the club and has made it clear he wants to play as a central striker, was introduced in the second half and slotted home the goal that put Arsenal ahead for the first time.
Wenger has stated his belief the 23-year-old has the ability to play as the main forward and was happy with his contribution to an important win at Upton Park.
"He is slowly getting there," he said. "You're confident now when he gets in front of goal that he will score. Of course he scored an important one today at a moment where the game was a bit 50-50.
"Theo has an outstanding attitude and I don't rule anybody out. If I did then I would not bring him on in a crucial moment in the game. I believe in him."
Mohamed Diame opened the scoring for the home side before Olivier Giroud grabbed his first league goal for the Gunners to take the sides in level at the break.
"Theo scored an important one today at a moment where the game was a bit 50-50"
Walcott then added the second before Santi Cazorla bent in a spectacular third. Wenger was pleased with the performance of the Spain playmaker.
"He was overall a delight to watch," he said. "From the first to the last minute today. He was very influential in our team and it's fantastic to watch him play."
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce revealed he did not envisage playing Andy Carroll for the full 90 minutes as he continues to find his fitness after his lay-off, but injuries to Guy Demel and Ricardo Vaz Te, with the latter missing for up to 12 weeks with a dislocated shoulder, meant Allardyce had no choice but to keep Carroll on.
"We didn't want to play him for 90 minutes because he has only just come back from that long spell injured and hasn't played that much, but unfortunately our injury plight continued as the game progressed," Allardyce said "It is a little worrying because we got injuries against QPR and we got three more injuries today, Winston Reid was suffering badly with sciatica but we had used all of our subs.
"We are disappointed with the result and disappointed with those injuries we have picked up but I'm not disappointed with the lads' application and performance.
"We tried our best, it wasn't quite good enough, but we are pleased with our performance and perhaps a little disappointed that we didn't get a draw."
You can read a full report, follow how the match unfolded, view the best photos and stay up to date with all the statistics by clicking on the link below.
West Ham 1-3 Arsenal #WHUARS