Theo Walcott has called on Arsenal to move on and forget about their 8-2 defeat to Manchester United eight days ago, in a match the winger described as one of the worst he’s played in.
Walcott scored at the end of the first-half to place Arsenal in a respectable 3-1 position, but in the second-half United ran riot, scoring five goals to the Gunners’ one.
And while Walcott says he won’t ever forget the low feeling in the dressing room after the match, the 22-year-old is putting the pain in the past and focusing on challenges ahead.
“Old Trafford was probably one of the worst games I have ever been involved in. We shouldn’t be losing games by that much and the fans were absolutely fantastic, the last 20 minutes especially,” Walcott said.
“That’s all in the past now, we can’t dwell on it. Now we must concentrate on playing Wales on Tuesday and then I‘ll be reflecting on Arsenal – and probably get a battering from Mr Wenger!”
Walcott, who has cemented his place in the England squad once more after missing out on the 2010 World Cup squad, believes that the leaders in the group will bring everyone back up in time for the visit of Swansea.
He recalled: “It was completely dead in the dressing room afterwards, it is hard to recover from that result and it could hurt a lot of players.
“We’ve a couple of players who will lift the spirits. You can’t sulk, if that situation does happen again and you have younger players there. You have to help them out because you don’t want them to be a part of that.
“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his debut in that game and I’ll be picking him up. Carl Jenkinson got sent off, so we will be picking them up. But you’re at Arsenal which is a big club and you have to be able to react to those sort of moments.
“I’ve been involved in so many massive games. We lost 5-1 at Tottenham in the Carling Cup. I just forgot about it. There’s no point sulking about what you could have done better. The better team won on the day.”
Despite things goings against the Gunners, the former Southampton starlet believes he and his teammates never gave up at Old Trafford, something that should provide heart for the rest of the campaign.
“A lot of people dropped their heads as soon as that fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth goal went in. I wouldn’t say we gave up. We tried our best, but Man United were very strong. They scored some great goals,” he said.
“I ended up playing right-back and gave away a penalty. Maybe the organisation wasn’t quite there either. We’re just going to have to catch up now in our results.”
After the visit of the Swans this weekend, Arsenal face Blackburn before a trip to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.