Backpage roundup: Warning For Walcott, Giroud just needs one goal, Watt wants loan move, Wenger’s RVP pain and more

Wenger Warns Walcott to Sign New Deal or Risk Losing First-Team Position

Arsene Wenger has admitted that if Theo Walcott’s contractual situation continues to drag on then there is the possibility of him losing his current place in Arsenal’s first-team squad.

The 23-year-old England international’s current contract will expire next summer and so far talks between him and the club have failed to result in an extension.

Wenger wants to keep hold of Walcott but he has hinted that if the situation goes unresolved for too long then he would have to take some action in this regard.

Earlier today, when the Arsenal manager was asked if Walcott’s contractual situation could affect his first-team position, he replied: “It can, but at the moment I still hope to extend his contract so at the moment, it doesn’t affect me. Of course at some stage….If in April it (the contract) is not done, you can think it will be difficult to do.”

 

Wenger: Giroud ‘Just Missing One Goal’

Arsene Wenger says that he is happy with the overall performance of Olivier Giroud and believes that a single goal will take all the pressure off the French international.

The former Montpellier hitman, who hasn’t found the back of the net for Arsenal yet, is clearly low on confidence and comparisons with former talisman Robin van Persie haven’t helped his cause either.

Wenger is aware of the pressure on the misfiring striker but he is confident that the 25-year-old will eventually come good for the Gunners.

In a recent interview with French magazine L’Equipe, the Arsenal boss said: “We can see he [Giroud] has not become liberated. But we have to go beyond that and it always takes a little time for a forward. The fact that he has not scored presses heavily on him.

“It is obvious there is a comparison with van Persie. The comparison is difficult but inevitable. And if you can’t score, you think you are not capable of standing comparison. However, I am happy with his behaviour and runs during the match. He is just missing one goal.”

 

Watt Seeking another Loan Move for His Footballing Development

Arsenal youngster Sanchez Watt says that he is prepared to spend some more time on loan away from the club if it could speed up his footballing development.

The 21-year-old striker has had several short-term loan spells in the past three years and while he is still open to such a move, he says that he wants his next move to be helpful in the overall development of his game.

In an interview with Arsenal.com, Watt said: “I want to go somewhere where I’m learning from it. If the deal’s right, my agents and Arsene Wenger will tell me. I’m waiting for the right club. Last season’s loan spells were about maturing. You’ve got to work hard for your place every week. You’re on your own. You have to grow up.

“We were fighting for promotion and every game and training session was vital. You always had to be switched on. It was good for me.”

 

Watching RVP in Man United Shirt Is Painful For Wenger

Arsene Wenger has admitted that it is painful for him to watch former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie play for fierce rivals Manchester United.

In his column for Eurosport, the Arsenal manager heaped praise on the Dutch striker and wrote that it hurts seeing him plying his trade for the Red Devils.

Wenger stated: “Robin van Persie is the kind of player you rarely meet in your life: an exception, the very definition of the word. He has everything a coach dreams to have in a single player: he’s smart, classy, clever when he moves, has killer-instinct, and is focused during 90 minutes. He spent eight seasons with me, and he never stopped developing himself.

“We could never imagine he would become the player he is right now. It hurts to see him wear another shirt when he is at top level. Now he’s gone, don’t ask the fans to understand what is not understandable. Even I do not understand, and I am deep at the heart of the decisions. You have to deal with it. That’s life. We are here to help people to express their talents. A coach must have a positive influence on their players’ lives.

I would have preferred van Persie to sign for a club in a foreign country, in order to avoid playing against him several times per season, but it’s a fine challenge for us to prove we can exist after such a move, to show we can score goals, play well and survive everything.”

Parlour’s Advice for Walcott

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes that Theo Walcott should hurry up in deciding his long-term club future as long drawn-out contractual matters have the tendency to damage players’ performances on the pitch.

In an interview with talkSPORT, Parlour talked about Walcott’s situation and said: “Everyone wants to see Theo Walcott sign a new contract. He’s got a lot of work to do on the pitch though and, at the moment, he’s not playing. He’s a good player, but he needs to say whether he’s staying or he’s going and then concentrate on his football.

“All these contract talks can sometimes affect your game. He’s probably thinking more about money and less about his game. It’s one of those situations where the player has got to be happy with what he’s got. I can never understand these wrangles over contracts.

“Sure you have a figure in your head which you’re happy with and once that’s been agreed then it’s done. Whether Theo is holding his cards close to his chest and saying, ‘well, I’ve got one year left on my contract, I want £100,000 a week’, I don’t know.”