Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been stirred by the news that winger Theo Walcott could be back into the first-team reckoning for the match against West Brom during the weekend.

It looked like Theo Walcott would miss not only the rest of the season for Arsenal, but also the Euro 2012 as well. However, he has made remarkable recovery from a hamstring injury he suffered in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea a few weeks back. Wenger criticised the Walcott for not coming off and remaining on the field only to worsen the injury. However, the return of Theo Walcott is a massive boost for Wenger in the hopes of finishing in the top three.

Finishing in the top three positions of the Premier league will ensure Champions League qualification to the group stages automatically for a club. Arsenal blew their chances of finishing in the top three after the 3-3 draw with Norwich during the weekend, but were rescued by the fact that both Tottenham and Newcastle failed to take advantage of this slipup. As a result, Arsenal going to the match against West Brom with their fate in their hands, and the return of Walcott, who has scored eight Premier league goals and has 13 assists, will be a massive boost.

The news is also a major boost for current West Brom manager Roy Hodgson, who was recently unveiled as the next England manager. Roy Hodgson would have been hoping to take Theo Walcott to the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine this summer. England will be hoping for a much better than just a quarter-final finish, which has become the norm for the team in the last decade or so in major competitions. England failed to qualify for the Euro 2008, and they will be hoping to do well this time around.



Arsene Wenger has said that the chances of Arsenal winning the Premier League this season is all but over after the 1-0 defeat at the hands of leaders Manchester City.

In the process, Arsenal also surrendered as their eight match unbeaten run in the league. The 1-0 defeat, which came courtesy of a David Silva strike in the second half, condemned Arsenal to the first defeat in eight matches. Even though Arsene Wenger said that the defeat was hard to take, the possibility of Arsenal staging a late comeback for the Premier League title race seems all but over.

It was only a week ago that the title race looked like being opened by Chelsea after the London club defeated Manchester City for the first time this season. It closed the gap at the top of the table to just two points, but the win over Arsenal just confirms the superiority of Manchester City. Arsene Wenger, though, was critical of the refereeing decisions in the match, as he believed that Arsenal should have been awarded a goal that was wrongly disallowed for offside. Despite the defeat, Wenger has said that there have been plenty of positives for Arsenal to take from the match and they should not be looking to downtrodden.

"There are lots of positives; the team has done well since August. The progress is encouraging, but we need encouragement and points. Today we only got encouragement. It was a game which could have gone both ways. It was very intense,” said Wenger after the defeat. He also said that Arsenal will not be making a move for French midfielder Yoann Gourcuff in the January transfer window. Manchester City have continued their perfect start at the Etihad Stadium with this victory, despite suffering a defeat last week to Chelsea.


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