Arsenal: Arteta admits Gunners "shot themselves in foot"
Theo Walcott added pressure on Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta by scoring against his former club for Southampton, who came away from the Emirates Stadium with a 1-1 draw in the Premier League on Wednesday evening.
Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton as a teenager in 2006 but he has since returned to his boyhood club.
The forward showed he has still got his blistering pace as he raced past the Gunners’ defence before chipping the ball over Bernd Leno to put the Saints ahead.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first goal since July to earn the north Londoners a share of the spoils.
Arteta’s side remain 15th in the Premier League table and there are calls for the Spaniard to be axed.
However, Walcott has backed the ex-Everton midfielder to remain at the Arsenal helm.
“The Emirates has changed but I feel like they’ve got the right man here for the job,” Walcott said.
If Arteta is to turn his side’s fortunates around, he may want to address the mentality of the squad.
“I felt a lot of fear in Arsenal tonight, to be honest,” Walcott explained. “They’re going through a very difficult time – credit to them they got the result tonight.
“But it shows how far we’ve come that we’re very disappointed to come away without the three points. We were going into this game with so much confidence, arrogance at times.”
Arsenal will need to start picking up more points as quickly as possible if they want to challenge for the European places.
And Arteta hopes to use the draw against fourth-placed Southampton as a springboard to kickstart the season.
“At the end if we lose the game again that would be a difficult one to take,” he said.
“The players showed what we expect them to do. Some will be with more or less quality but at least the work is there.
“I saw all the players that weren’t participating and they were on the stands shouting and they were being right behind the team and living the game with them which is a really strong signal as well and I’m really proud.”
He added: “We had some good moments and some good opportunities where we didn’t score.
“Hopefully that’s going to unlock us because in the last few weeks it’s been a struggle. In this case for Auba individually I think it’s really important.”
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