Walcott to force himself into reckoning

April 19, 2008

Theo Walcott is ready to confront Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over his lack of first-team opportunities.

The 19-year-old forward has been used mainly as an impact substitute since joining the Gunners for £12million in January 2006.

He spoke to Wenger earlier this season about what he needed to do to figure more prominently.

Walcott insists he has done everything asked of him and is frustrated his hard work has not paid off.

'I had a word with the manager in October,' Walcott said in the Daily Telegraph.

'I basically said `what do I have to do to start a game?' He said, `you've got to be a bit more aggressive'. Not kicking people. But running at players, doing defensive duties and tucking into midfield when we haven't got the ball.

'Of late, I've been doing all those things, but I still haven't had a run in the starting line-up. Hopefully this weekend I will, and if not I'll knock on the door again and say, `now what do I have to do?'

He added: 'I have been working hard the last couple of months. I deserve a couple of games on the trot I think.'

Walcott is also ready to challenge his boss over the position he plays.

The former Southampton star sees himself as a striker but Wenger has used him almost exclusively on the right wing.

'I've been playing out wide all season, but when I've played up front I've done really well,' Walcott said.

'He sees me as a striker, which is nice, so hopefully I'll play a bit more up front next year. We'll see.'