Wizard Walcott sparks 7-3 win over Newcastle

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Theo Walcott evoked memories of the great Thierry Henry when his dazzling hat-trick inspired Arsenal to a 7-3 win over Newcastle United yesterday in one of the best Premier League games of the season.

The England winger has been pleading for the central striker’s role for some time and, playing in his new position, Walcott proved he has what it takes to fill the boots of the London club’s all-time top scorer Henry.

“He can play through the middle. I am convinced of that,” manager Arsene Wenger told reporters after Arsenal climbed to fifth in the table, 16 points behind leaders Manchester United.

“He can only get stronger there. He has done very well and it just typifies what I think he can do.”

Walcott was on target in the 20th and 73rd minutes before adding his third goal in stoppage time.

Olivier Giroud (2), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski also struck for Arsenal while two-goal Demba Ba and Sylvain Marveaux replied for Newcastle.

Former France striker Henry, who hit 228 goals in all competitions in two spells with the club between 1999-2012, applauded from the stands as Walcott produced his outstanding display in attack.

The 23-year-old burst free down the left and cut in to deliver a clinical finish beyond Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul for the opening goal.

Three times Arsenal led and Newcastle hit back to equalise on each occasion before the visitors were finally buried under a late avalanche of goals in an end-to-end encounter.

Walcott’s second effort was a powerful close-range strike into the roof of the net but it was his hat-trick goal that had the stamp of Henry at his best.

ACUTE ANGLE

The England international weaved his way round three defenders. He then stumbled and fell to the ground before picking himself up to delicately lift the ball over Krul from an acute angle.

Walcott, at the centre of a contract dispute with Arsenal, cradled the match ball in his arms as he lapped up the adoration of the crowd at the end of the game.

He bowed and clapped all corners of the stadium while cries rang out of ‘sign him up, sign him up, sign him up’.

“I think he loves the club and the club loves him,” said Wenger. “My desire is to extend his contract – I think he belongs here and hopefully we can do it.”

New York Red Bulls striker Henry, who is training with Arsenal during the Major League Soccer off season, has been working closely with Walcott behind the scenes.

“I believe Theo takes advice from Thierry,” said Wenger. “It’s good when you need to talk to someone who has played in there (as a central striker).”

Walcott said he was delighted with his performance and that of his Arsenal colleagues.

“I’ve always said that I’m a striker,” said the former Southampton winger who wears the same number 14 jersey Henry used to parade. “I’m not saying I want to play there all the time but it’s an option for me and the team.

“It was a manic game today, it was so open and that played into our hands. Newcastle have got some top quality players and they play some good football at times but as soon as it went to five we could see some of their heads dropping.”

Newcastle, who lost 4-3 at Manchester United on Wednesday, have now conceded 11 goals in two games and are struggling sixth from bottom.

“It was a heavy pitch at United and we looked leggy after our exertions there,” said manager Alan Pardew.

“We did not have the energy to cope with Arsenal in the last 20 minutes. We put the ball at risk too often and we gave away some soft goals.”

More in Sports

default placeholder

Herath spins Sri Lanka to memorable win over Australia

(Reuters) – Rangana Herath claimed four Australian wickets to spin Sri Lanka to a remarkable 106-run victory on an intriguing final day in the weather-hit first test in Pallekele on Saturday.

Miguel Cummins

Holder stresses execution, consistency for second test

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC – After a hiding in the opening Test last week, West Indies will seek to haul themselves back into the four-Test series against India when they second Test bowls off here today at Sabina Park.

default placeholder

Boxers sign contracts for ‘Bad Intentions’ card

The ‘Bad Intentions’ card set for August 27 at the Giftland Mall is now official. Boxers for the five-fight all-pro event inked their respective contracts yesterday, effectively sealing the deal and virtually putting an end to weeks of speculations and verbal sparring.

default placeholder

DCC annual Summer Camp bowls off August 8

National youth Cricket Coach Garvin Nedd, said the annual Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) summer camp is likely to bowl off from August 8 at the club’s Queenstown ground, weather permitting.

default placeholder

Alves unsure of date of resumption of new season

Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Director of Competitions Ian Alves said he is unsure of the exact date for the resumption of the GFF Stag Beer Elite League and if the number of participating teams will be increased.

default placeholder

Alpha United making moves ahead of upcoming season

With only two days remaining in the official transfer window, Alpha United has secured the services of several high profile signings in their attempt to regain their position as the number one team in the nation According to sources close to the club, the Georgetown unit has acquired several players from their Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Stag Beer Elite League rivals ahead of the season.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: