Young Gunner ready for brush with greatness

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Despite being a fully-fledged England international, Arsenal's Theo Walcott isn't adverse to being star struck, and when Thierry Henry arrives at The Emirates Stadium at the end of the month, it will be a similar story for the winger.

Henry's New York Red Bulls arrive in north London for the Emirates Cup on July 31st, and the Frenchman, the club's record goalscorer, is expected to demand a strong reception.

And Walcott, who spent 18 months with Henry before his move to Barcelona in 2007, admits the forward still had a big influence on his career.

"He's been a great influence to me so it will be nice to see his face," Walcott said.

"I think he changes his phone number a lot so it's tough to keep in touch with him! So many people want a bit of him but he will always be there for me, definitely.


"Thierry has always given me advice, telling me just to enjoy my football and not believe what people say about you. He told me just to go out and play my football and not worry about the hype. That's what I've been doing and hopefully it's working."

Having recently returned from their tour of Asia, Arsenal head to Germany to continue their pre-season preparations before the Emirates Cup kicks off on July 30th.

Even with the numerous trips the squad is undertaking, Walcott admits he's looking forward to getting back to home comforts.

"It will be great to play at the Emirates again and hopefully show the fans what we can do, that we're ready," he said.

"We won't treat the Emirates Cup games as friendlies, we don't treat any pre-season games like that, we like to go out there and win. If we win the Emirates Cup hopefully we can move on and win something bigger.

"We have two very exciting opponents. It's going to be an interesting battle on both days and, of course, it's nice to see Thierry come back as well."

Premier League
Thierry Henry
Theo Walcott
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