Theo Walcott believes his achievement of finishing as Arsenal’s leading scorer last season slipped under the radar - but said he was determined to build on his progress in the forthcoming campaign.
The England winger scored an impressive 21 goals in a season disturbed by lengthy discussions over his future in the run-up to the January transfer window, with his strikes helping guide Arsenal to fourth place.
Now Walcott hopes he can build on his status as a consistent goalscorer as he looks to establish himself among the Arsenal greats in the years to come.
“I was very proud of being top scorer, but it sort of went unnoticed, really,” Walcott told the club's official website.
“I was very proud of myself last season - not just the goals, but the assists and what I contributed to the team itself. That has come from me believing in myself a bit more.
“The season was hard work - everyone knows about the contract situation, and to play with that on your mind is tough, but it was a massive achievement for me to be top scorer for the season for Arsenal.
“The likes of Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Dennis Bergkamp have done it, and now I want to push on from that.”
Walcott revealed that hard work on the training ground was the primary reason for his goalscoring touch improving last season.
“I don’t want to stay at a steady level, I want to push on and push the club on so we realise our potential,” he added. “Even the seasons before last, I scored quite a few goals and, being out wide, a lot of wide men only tend to get 10 to 15 goals a season.
“I had a few games up front, but most of my goals were from the right. When things are going well, I wouldn’t change a thing. If I can contribute anywhere across the front line, then I will take that.
“Even if there wasn’t a goalkeeper there [after training] I would put cones out in the goals and practise. The 'keepers would stay behind most of the time and that helped me. I practised on my left and right foot. I wanted to do it - that is my desire to improve."