Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott answered his critics with a fine goal in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Burnley, but revealed captain Cesc Fabregas was a doubt for the Champions League clash with Porto.
Walcott, who turns 21 later this month, had come under fire following his midweek outing for England, when he was replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips after a largely ineffectual display. However, the Arsenal winger produced the goods as his fine second-half finish helped the Gunners close in on the top of the Barclays Premier League, moving level with leaders Chelsea.
Wenger said: "Theo Walcott gave you the great response you waited for. He does what a player has to do - not talk in the newspapers and let your performance talk on the pitch."
He added: "He didn't answer any critics other than with a good performance and that's what you want from a player. That shows he is mentally strong.
"I was quite sure he would respond with a good performance but you never know, it affects you when you get criticised. The way he answered that at his age is remarkable."
Wenger, though, admitted the loss of Fabregas was a concern, the skipper leaving the field just after he had fired Arsenal into the lead.
"He has a hamstring problem and how big the damage is we don't know yet because it's too early.
"We have to make a late decision over whether he plays on Tuesday, certainly. It is the same hamstring (he hurt earlier in the season)."
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