Theo Walcott Claims to Challenge After 10th Consecutive Away Win

Theo Walcott claims his Arsenal side will be genuine title contenders this season.

Walcott says there is an unshakeable belief within the squad that will ensure they can end the club’s eight-year trophy drought.

England winger Walcott admitted he did not know about the Gunners’ record-breaking away form until after their 10th straight win on their travels on Wednesday night in Marseille.

But the 24-year-old says the challenge is now to emulate that form at the Emirates – and he is convinced they can maintain a title challenge.
Walcott said: “I think we’ll push on and we can definitely challenge this year, for sure.

“There is so much belief in this team at the moment and I think it’s showing. We just need to make sure we get that home form going now, the away form is absolutely fantastic.

“It’s 10 successive wins away from home, someone told me in the dressing room. It’s a record. I didn’t know that until after the game.

“To be part of a team that has done that, in the amount of years that Arsenal have existed, is a great honour and a great achievement for everyone.

“It just shows how good and how talented these players are.

“We haven’t got the biggest squad in the world and we’ve got a lot of injuries, which doesn’t help, but the players that are playing and contributing and the players that aren’t playing as well, it’s important that everyone is focused.

“We’ve got to stay fit, which is crucial as well – we don’t want to lose any more players. As soon as the players come back there is going to be more competition for places as well. That’s only going to be a good thing for Arsenal.”

Walcott scored his first goal for Arsenal in Marseille to help them get off to a flying start in their tough Champions League group. But Aaron Ramsey is stealing all the plaudits with his remarkable run of form and Walcott believes it is just reward for his great start to the campaign.

Walcott added: “People would criticise his goalscoring [in the past], but I see him in training every day and he’s looking a totally different player. He’s like a new signing. It’s an absolute honour to play with him at the moment.

“Aaron had one of the worst injuries in football. He’s had a hard pre-season, he’s worked really hard and it’s definitely paying off now. He’s enjoying his football and it’s going to be difficult to get him off the pitch, I’m pretty sure of that.”

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes their away form can see them through to the Champions League knock out stages but says they must also repeat their heroics at home.

Wilshere said: “At the end of last season, we knew we had to keep winning to get fourth. I said at the start of the season that we had to take that form into this year.

“We started off badly with the loss at home [to Aston Villa] and we’ve picked it up ever since. We won at Fulham, which is not easy, and kept it going with some good away wins.

“The last 10 away games which we’ve won have not been easy. We’ve had to hold out or we’ve won them right at the end. We’re on a good run at the moment. We’ve got to keep that going.

“We’ve got two home games up next in the group. We’ve got Napoli up next. That will be tough but if we play to our full potential, with our fans, then we should be able to win that game and then Dortmund up next.

“If we win both those home games then we’re sitting on nine points and after three games that’s a great position to be in.”

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