Theo Walcott: Self-belief helped me score goals
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott says his increased self-belief allowed him to score 21 goals last season
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has admitted that his own self-belief helped him achieve his impressive goal-tally last season, and he has revealed that he has started to believe in his own hype for the first time since joining the club back when he was a teenager.
The England international had his best season in an Arsenal shirt last campaign after he contributed to the side by bagging 21 goals in all competitions and setting up numerous assists.
Not only was it a superb season on the pitch for Theo, it was also a great season off it after he penned a contract extension at the Emirates Cup and saw his wage increase to £100k-a-week, which sees him be the joint-top earner along with strike-partner Lukas Podolski.
The 2012/13 campaign was the first time in Walcott's career where he managed to net over 20 goals - and he has admitted that it was down to his own self-belief rather than anything else.
“I was very proud of being top scorer, but it sort of went unnoticed really,” Walcott told Arsenal.com. “The season was hard work, everyone knows about the contract situation and to play with that on your mind is tough, but is was a massive achievement for me to be top scorer for the season for Arsenal.
“The likes of Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Dennis Bergkamp have done it, and now I want to push on from that. I don't want to stay at a steady level, I want to push on and push the Club on so we realise our potential.
“I was very proud of myself last season - not just the goals but the assists and what I contributed to the team itself. That has come from me believing in myself a bit more.
“Even the seasons before last, I scored quite a few goals. And being out wide, a lot of wide men only tend to get 10 to 15 goals a season.
“I had a few games up front but most of my goals were form the right. When things are going well, I wouldn't change a thing. If I can contribute anywhere across the front line then I will take that."
Despite his impressive goal-tally, the striker has admitted that he is still putting in the extra hours on the training ground to help his finishing improve.
“Even if there wasn't a goalkeeper there [after training] I would put cones out in the goals and practise [my finishing],” he said. “If they are in the corners, you can aim there because no goalkeeper is going to get there if you hit the side netting.
“The keepers would stay behind most of the time and that helped me, I practised on my left and right foot. I wanted to do it, that is my desire to improve.”
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