Wenger - Walcott's level raised
Arsene Wenger hailed Theo Walcott's composure in front of goal against Newcastle after his Carling Cup brace.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 29/10/10 8:37am
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed Theo Walcott's composure in front of goal against Newcastle after the forward's Carling Cup brace.
The England international, returning to action after a spell on the sidelines, netted two one-on-one chances against Newcastle keeper Tim Krul in an emphatic 4-0 win for Arsenal on Wednesday.
Krul had himself opened the scoring with an unfortunate own goal, with Nicklas Bendtner scoring in between Walcott's double as the Gunners reached the last eight of the competition.
Wenger was full of praise for 21-year-old Walcott, insisting the former Southampton winger's fifth and sixth goals of the season are only the beginning of his drastic improvement.
"Walcott is more composed in front of goal this season," Wenger told Sky Sports. "His first touch is better, he is an intelligent boy and because of that he will always improve.
"He was flying at the start of the season and now he is just coming back from injury.
"You can see today that he is ready to go to another level." Wenger added.
Bendtner has also enjoyed a goalscoring return to fitness and boss Wenger is delighted both were able to complete the entire game at St James' Park.
He said: "You are always happy when your strikers score. They got through the game without injury and now physically they have a couple of days to recover.
"I'm glad they both got through the 90 minutes."
Arsenal's night was soured somewhat by a knee injury to full-back Kieran Gibbs, who went off after less than 20 minutes with a knee problem.
Asked if it was serious, Wenger said: "We hope not. It's a knee, we hope its not a twist of medial ligament.
"I'm cautious. The way he walks now doesn't look too good."