Arsenal's promising talent,Theo Walcott, reveals about his intention to play centre-forward, his and team's future in an exclusive interview: Excerpts:
Q: Theo, you seem to be on good form going into this massive game against Tottenham which could help decide which North London team finishes in the top four. How do you feel about your performances in what has been a tough season for Arsenal?
A: Well, I am certainly enjoying my football from that point of view. Things weren't going too well at the start of the season, having to come
off the bench quite a lot, with all the contract side of things. But that is out of the door, that is all sorted. I am enjoying every minute when I
am out on the pitch. I want to pay back everyone that has been faithful to me, and I'm ready for that battle.
Q: So the big question every Arsenal fans wants to know is can you catch Spurs? The gap is currently four points!
A: The gap doesn't worry us. We can't worry about them. We hope they do drop points. But we've got to concentrate on ourselves, win games and make sure it happens. Getting into the Champions League is vital.
Last year, we were so many points behind; no-one ever thought we would make it. So we need to clock up these points fast; including at White Hart Lane, but it's not just about that game. We have to be winning points everywhere now.
Q: But if you look at the way Arsenal lost at home to Bayern recently, it's hard to see you winning at White Hart Lane?
A: We just have to start believing in ourselves. We need to believe how good we are because we didn't show it against Bayern. But we know we can beat anyone on our day - we have some amazing players in our dressing room.
Q: How important is it to the club that after a difficult year you at least finish in the top four, no matter where Spurs are?
A: It means a lot. It's one of the reasons why I decided to stay and sign a new contract. I feel we can and should be there. I still think we will
make the top four and I think we'll be fine. We have some amazing players here and we need to start realising how good we are. We've done it in spurts but we need to do it all the time."
Q: European football is vital for players too, isn't it?
A: The Champions League is massive in all respects. I've had so much experience - I'm only 23 and yet I've played so much in the Champions
League and not many players my age would have had that experience.
So I know how good it is, I know that the players in our dressing room will get better from playing in the Champions League, playing against the
best in the world. It turns you into a better player, definitely.
Q: You have said a lot of times this season that you want to play up front and not on the wing; what makes you so sure you are going to be a top centre-forward?
A: Because I believe in myself. I always have. Even though it's been so long since I played up front, that's just the way it is. I enjoy scoring goals, and when you enjoy it you want to be there getting the same opportunities, you want to keep on hitting the net. At the moment I don't want games to end. You want to get as many goals as you can every year. That's what I'm doing at the moment.
Q: It's easy to forget you are only 23 - you started your career at Southampton and Arsenal so young. Is there still a lot more to come from you?
A: Certainly. I've still a lot to learn, a lot to prove, a lot to do. I know that. I'm not going to let anyone take me off my track. I know the best people to listen to - the manager, my team-mates, my family. That's my goal and that's what I'm like.
Q And you have signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal after a lot of speculation that you could leave. Is it a relief now that everything has been sorted?
A: A real relief. It's a good feeling. The last three weeks before it were signed were tough because it was on my mind a lot, maybe too much. My dad was always on the phone. My fiance Mel as well. Luckily I coped with it all, because it was very difficult - so I'm glad it's all sorted!
Q: It's going to be interesting to see you up against Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane - after all you two know each other well!
A: es, we were in the youth team at Southampton together. We even shared a room at the academy! I remember we once signed our names on the wall there - to make our mark! I don't suppose it's there anymore but it's great that we are both now playing at the top of the Premier League. Gareth is a fantastic player as everyone knows and he's a great guy too. We still keep in touch of course, but that goes out the window when you play against each other!
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