Monday 18 December 2017

Walcott urges Gunners to approach United 'with no fear'

Jeremy Wilson

Theo Walcott has urged Arsenal to go on the attack against Manchester United on Monday and says he is certain that they are now ready to consistently win at venues such as Old Trafford.

Arsenal have lost every season-defining match against United or Chelsea in recent years, but they travel to Manchester this weekend with the confidence of being top of the Premier League and having the league's best away record.

"The way we are playing away from home, we can beat anyone," Walcott said. "We must go to Old Trafford and play with no fear. We must enjoy ourselves and express ourselves. Then, our best performance will come out.

"Away from home, we can do anything this season. We want to win some silverware for the fans. They have waited too long."

Walcott has started only one Premier League game since August, but, after scoring as a substitute in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Partizan Belgrade, believes that he has now given Arsene Wenger a major selection headache. Samir Nasri has generally been starting on the right but, with Cesc Fabregas a doubt for Monday's game -- a decision on his fitness will be left until the last moment -- Walcott could be included in a reshuffled attacking formation.

"I wanted to show the boss what I could do and he probably has a headache now for Monday's game," he said. "These are the games you always want to play in "

Walcott believes that Arsenal's dismal record against United and Chelsea -- nine defeats and one draw since April 2009 -- is not explained by any psychological deficiency, but simply the fact that they kept losing to better teams. However, he is confident that the relative strength of the squads has since evolved in Arsenal's favour.

"We have new players in the squad and we have had less injuries," Walcott said. "We have now got great experience to progress. Our away form at the moment is fantastic.

"It is a big test, but we did it at Man City and so hopefully we can do it there. As long as we don't lose; that is very important for us. We need to get something there.

"We may play fantastic football, but if you do not get it in the back of the net you are not going to win. We know these are the games Manchester United step up in and hopefully, we won't catch them on a good day. We need to get a few points ahead of teams." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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