Arsene Wenger discusses Theo Walcott's role as Arsenal penalty taker

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Theo Walcott quickly went from zero to hero during Arsenal's clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

The much-maligned winger won a penalty just before the half-hour mark but saw his spot-kick comfortably saved by Simon Mignolet.

But two minutes later, in what can only be described as a 'Walcott moment', he found the back of the net with a lovely finish into the bottom-left corner from Alex Iwobi's through ball.


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In the aftermath of what ended as a disappointing 4-3 defeat, though, the 27-year-old's penalty miss was still very much fresh in the memory for fans.

Indeed, the question on everyone's mind was: why did Walcott take the spot-kick with Alexis Sanchez on the pitch?

That very query was fired Arsene Wenger's way in his post-match press conference and, according to the Frenchman, Walcott is Arsenal's designated penalty taker.

The veteran was then asked whether the England international will stay on spot-kick duties, to which he replied: "I don’t know, it can change game by game."

A typically reserved answer from Wenger, but he undoubtedly hints at the fact Walcott could be replaced as penalty taker at the Emirates Stadium.

Nevertheless, there are far more pressing issues for Wenger to deal with after suffering another disappointing defeat on the opening weekend of a new season.

Aaron Ramsey (hamstring) and Iwobi (thigh) both limped off injured; Calum Chambers and Rob Holding lack experience at the back; whilst a number of first-team players are unavailable.

When asked why Arsenal lost to Liverpool, the 66-year-old added: "Physically we are not ready.

"You are in a Catch-22 situation with the Euros - do you give the players a rest and start the season without many of your players? Or do they play in this kind of game and get injured, like Ramsey today?"

And just to add insult to injury for Arsenal fans, there's a high chance Laurent Koscielny, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud will miss next weekend's meeting with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

"We will try [to make them available], but when they have not enough preparation they get injured."

A second successive defeat will be another nail in the coffin for Wenger who, 12 years on from his last Premier League success, is under pressure to deliver.

Fail to make one or two new signings in the summer transfer window and there's every chance Arsenal will finish outside of the top four for the first time since 1996.

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