Walcott reveals Wenger’s half-time ‘kick up the backside’ for Arsenal

Theo Walcott says Arsene Wenger gave Arsenal a "kick up the backside" with his half-time team talk in the Gunners' win over Wigan

theo walcott
Theo Walcott has scored 21 goals for Arsenal this season Photo: Nike

Theo Walcott has revealed that Arsene Wenger gave Arsenal a “kick up the backside” with his half-time team talk in the Gunners’ 4-1 victory over Wigan on Tuesday.

The north Londoners went in level at the break after Shaun Maloney’s free-kick cancelled out Lukas Podolski’s early opener at Emirates Stadium.

But the Gunners came out battling after the break, with second-half goals from Walcott, Podolski and Aaron Ramsey wrapping up what was in the end a comfortable win.

And Walcott says Wenger’s team talk at the break filled the Gunners with confidence ahead of the second half.

“It’s great that the manager has that passion and it got a bit more out of the players,” Walcott said.

“We all knew how big it was [to win against Wigan], not just for the manager, the fans, the players and the club itself.

“It’s massive to be in the Champions League. It’s in our hands. The manager gave us a kick up the backside. I felt we did show some good play in the first half but we didn’t manage to take our chances. Thankfully we did in the second.

“When it was half time, we had 45 minutes. We didn’t have to panic. We had plenty of time left. We just had to keep making the right decisions and not force it.

“That’s the important thing. We know when to play at the right times and when to commit bodies forward and I think we got that balance right. We need to make sure we do it on Sunday as well.”

Arsenal can secure a top-four finish and Champions League qualification if they beat Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday in their final league game.

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