Theo Walcott's brace in the Capital One Cup was big.
Not that the result was ever in doubt—the Gunners were, after all, playing lowly Coventry—but in terms of what the goals mean for the England international and his future at the club, it was a big, big night for the 23-year-old.
Walcott's playing future had been the subject of much speculation throughout the week, with reports emerging that he was not going to re-sign for the club—reports that Walcott was quick to deny via ESPN Soccernet, stating that:
I've never said I wanted to go, I've always wanted to stay.
I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry [Henry] joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me.
The winger went on to state that while he feels like he isn't being fully utilized by Arsene Wenger at the club out on the wing, he would continue to remain at the North London club. He did, however, drop a not-so-subtle hint that he should be tried up front in attack.
I posed the question during the week as to whether Walcott should be given his chance during the week—stating that it could only mean good things for the club if he succeeded and if he didn't, well at least we'd have clarity on his place at Arsenal.
Nearly 90 percent of readers agreed with the thought process, and would have been delighted to see that for Wednesday's Capital One clash against Coventry, Walcott was given his chance to prove his worth in the Gunners' attack.
They would have been even more delighted to see the result—a 6-1 victory for Arsenal and a two-goal haul for the 23-year-old.
It might have only been against Coventry, but Walcott proved to himself and to the world that he can indeed be a focal part of Arsenal's attack this year. He proved that he can create chances, beat defenders and most importantly, showed that he can finish attacks by putting the ball in the back of the net—something that the North London club have struggled with so far this year.
And his performance didn't go unnoticed either.
Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said (via Club Call) that he was greatly impressed with Walcott's performance and has no doubt he will be a part of the attack this year.
"He is a great finisher in front of goal, absolutely amazing. At the moment there is big competition up front and the team is doing well [but] his time will come. At the moment we have to be patient..."
Frenchman Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla all made big-money moves to the Emirates over the summer transfer window, and have so far led the Gunners' attack well—despite the lack of league goals Giroud might have provided so far.
If Walcott is to be considered in that company by Wenger, then the England international will certainly receive plenty of playing time this season for the club and is likely to net himself plenty of goals and assists along the way.
Which, in turn, should quell the discussion about him leaving Arsenal.
The 23-year-old is still young, and as long as a new deal is agreed upon before the end of the season, is poised to have a strong and successful future at the club. He has clearly stated his intentions to remain at Arsenal, and his brace against Coventry could well spark the on-field success required to lead him back into the Gunners starting side.
So yeah, Theo Walcott's brace in the Capital One Cup was big.
Especially if it's just the tip of the iceberg.
Is Theo Walcott an important part of Arsenal's attack this season?
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