Sunday 30 April 2017

Walcott dreams of Henry return to Emirates as attacking coach

Jeremy Wilson

Theo Walcott has set himself the target of at least 15 goals this season and made the intriguing prediction that his idol Thierry Henry could return to Arsenal as an attacking coach.

Despite playing almost exclusively on the wing for both Arsenal and England, Walcott (below) has always regarded himself as a central striker and was hugely encouraged this week by his manager Arsene Wenger's observation that he is now almost ready for that role.

It is something that Walcott would like to develop in future years with the direct assistance of Henry.

"He will always be in my heart," said Walcott. "I will always look up to him and, you never know, one day he might return to Arsenal. You have all these past players coming back. It would be fantastic for young players coming through to learn from him."

From the 'Invincibles' team of 2003-04, Sol Campbell and Robert Pires have both trained with Arsenal recently, although Henry is playing in Major League soccer for the New York Red Bulls. With 226 goals, he is Arsenal's all-time record scorer and is widely regarded as the club's greatest player.

Chance

England manager Fabio Capello will be at the Emirates for tomorrow's match against Newcastle, where he will also get the chance to watch Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Magpies striker Andy Carroll. "I believe Carroll will be good enough to play for England," said Wenger. "He has something special. He has presence, charisma, confidence and he is intelligent on the ball."

Arsenal's own star striker, Robin van Persie, took part in his first full training session yesterday for more than two months, with Wenger still deeply unhappy at his call-up to the Holland squad.

Wenger also highlighted the lack of Fifa sanctions when England players miss internationals in similar circumstances.

While Van Persie will not be ready for tomorrow's match, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Andrei Arshavin and Denilson are all available after missing the 2-1 Champions League defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk. There is grow-ing concern for Abou Diaby, who may require surgery on his ankle. "It is very worrying," said Wenger. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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