Theo Walcott, who just returned from four months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury, wants Roma players to have a real go at him as he wants to get used to the physical side of the game because at training fellow team mates come down very soft on him.
“The injury feels fine but I still haven’t experienced a real whack yet. As weird as it might sound, it would definitely be really good for me if the Roma players give me a clattering. In Arsenal training, you obviously don’t want to injure your own team-mates, so you tend to be a bit softer in the tackle. I’ve tried to encourage people to test it out in training but it’s not the same as in match situations. Our new doctor, Gary O’Driscoll, comes from a rugby background. He has regularly dealt with dislocated shoulders and says players tend to come back without suffering any reaction. It should be a good battle against Riise. He was one of the players telling me to stop running when I set up the goal for Emmanuel Adebayor at Anfield last year. But we still ended up losing that tie so, hopefully, I can do better against him this time.
“I have learned so much from watching Eduardo while he has been injured.Even though he was out for a year, he took everything in his stride and came in to the club with a smile every day. It’s given everyone at the club a lift to have so many of our injured players coming back at such an important part of the season.”
I hope Walcott survives the physical battle against Roma and puts up a performance to remember. The way he played against Burnley, he never looked like he had been out for so long. Lets hope he continues this way. I can’t wait to see him play against a much tougher opposition in Roma and see how he fares against them. As for Eduardo, all I can say is hats off to the Croation. One wouldn’t find such an emotional story in football’s recent history as Eduardo’s injury and return.