Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date:Friday November 24 2006
Le Boss has brought Gooners across the world a sense of joy by announcing that Theo Walcott could be in line for a premiership start against Bolton tomorrow. Apart from his start against Watford Theo has been limited to cameo roles in the league this season.
Walcott came on for Freddie Ljungberg against Hamburg on Tuesday and set up two late goals to give Arsenal an all important victory.
After the game Wenger praised Walcott saying: 'Theo at the moment is in a kind of mental state where he knows he can affect the game when he comes on, and you know he has the physical ingredients when the game needs some pace."
However, Wenger now feels that with Henry and Van Persie injured and suspended respectively, Theo is ready to start the game against Bolton: 'I don't know whether I will start with Theo. It depends on what inspiration I get in Bolton before the game.
'Theo is getting closer and I understand people's desperation to see him start but it's up to me to manage him well and at the moment he is making a good impact off the bench.'
Wenger also feels that Walcott needs to be allowed to develop without the expectation of a nation on his shoulders: 'There's a lot of expectation. I feel the boy is under a lot of pressure, because if he plays and doesn't deliver, people are very, very aggressive with him. That was already the case,' Wenger said.
'There is a strange attitude with Theo. People can quickly be negative about him because they still think as he went to the World Cup at 17 years of age he must be a superstar.
'He is surprisingly level-headed. He makes no demands on you. He is a very intelligent boy because he analyses very well what happens with him. He's humble, listens and wants to learn so it is positive.'
Date:Friday November 24 2006
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