Theo Walcott is hoping he and his Arsenal teammates can establish themselves among the pantheon of club greats, and has identified further success in the FA Cup as a way in which this ambition can he achieved.
The Gunners begin the defence of the trophy they lifted at Wembley in May, some silverware for the club after a barren nine years, against Hull City, the side they defeated so dramatically in the final.
Walcott missed that encounter having sustained a season-ending injuring at the very beginning of this run to glory, with the Arsenal winger rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament in the third round defeat of Tottenham a year ago.
The 25-year-old has played only three times for Arsenal since, most recently the New Year’s day defeat to former club Southampton, but is expected to start against the struggling Tigers at the Emirates Stadium.
Walcott has tasked his colleagues with using a victory over Steve Bruce’s side as a springboard for success this season and in ones to come, as they strive to become Arsenal legends.
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“It’s important to have a good start, especially against Hull. We have our home support and we have to bounce back from the Southampton game,” Walcott told the official Arsenal website.
“We want to become those legends [in Arsenal’s history] so we need to knuckle down and start performing.”
Walcott will have only a year remaining on his Arsenal contract at the end of this season, but Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that the club have opened talks over an extension. His comments will now offer encouragement that he intends to stay with the club.
The England international was able to hold out for £100,000-per-week when he put pen to paper on his last deal, but will be in a position of far less strength on this occasion given his terrible injury record.