Football

Theo Walcott: Champions League qualification is the priority

Walcott has scored 18 goals this season (©GettyImages)
Walcott has scored 18 goals this season (©GettyImages).

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott insists that in the season run-in, securing Champions League qualification is more important that his own personal goals.

The Englishman has had his most prolific season in an Arsenal shirt since joining the team from Southampton several years ago, netting 18 times in all competitions.

Despite having a very impressive season, which has also seen him earn a substantial pay-rise, the forward hasn't scored since the side's 2-2 home draw with Liverpool back in January.

However, since his last goal, Walcott has picked up a couple of knocks that has seen him miss a couple weeks of action. But now he is back and ready to help Arsenal achieve another top-four finish.

Before the season, Walcott gave himself the target of reaching 20 goals in all competitions but, despite being just two away from the milestone, he has insisted that the team's goal of qualifying for the Champions League comes first.

"Getting injured on the international break was frustrating, and the one thing I’ve been a bit disappointed with since then is the goals element - I haven’t scored for a while now," he told Arsenal's official matchday programme.

"But there are only four games left now and it’s not the time to think about myself. I set a 20-goal target for the season and only need two more to reach it, but the biggest goal for me is to help Arsenal finish third or fourth.

"That said, I’d be perfectly happy with a goal against United to kick off a great end to the season!"

Scoring against Manchester United is a lot easier said than done and Walcott knows that after seeing the Red Devils ease to their 20th league title.

"They look strong all over the pitch," he said. "At times I’ve seen teams that have seemed to play better than them, but they’ve managed to get the result and that’s what has been good about them.

"They’ve run away with it this season and made a lot of teams look pretty ordinary - it just shows how strong they’ve been. It’s a challenge to face them this weekend but that’s nice - we want to be champions just like them so let’s see how we match up."

 

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Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Theo Walcott

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