Date: 21st April 2008 at 1:10pm
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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hailed the developing maturuty of Theo Walcott and intimated that he will be a feature in the starting line up for the rest of the season. With the entire world riding the youngster’s back and hyper analysing his every breaking of wind and jumping to wild conclusions based on the poison the media feed, Walcott has come under intense scrutiny in his short Arsenal career.

But Le Boss thinks the teenager is coming along nicely, ‘It (against Reading) was his most complete game,’ Wenger told the club’s official website. ‘One where he looked most ‘the man’, the most mature.

‘At the start of the season, when Theo was on from the beginning, you did not see a lot from him.

‘There were only glimpses when you could say ‘there is something there’ and you wondered when he would come out. Now he is starting to show that.’

Having recovered from a debilitating shoulder injury, Walcott has visibly improved on his physical attributes. But months after everybody had concluded that he was not good enough, some inspired cameo performances, including an 80 yard dash at Anfield, now have everybody claiming he is the bestest footballer ever and by not playing him on his own in every game, Wenger (responsible for the early careers of Thuram, Weah, Vieira, Henry and Fabregas) clearly has no idea what he is doing.

Wenger went on to suggest that his increasing confidence has supplemented the physical side of his game, Theo is not a monster, but he has great body power. When he starts on the first five yards, it is like you throw him away.

‘You do not see him, he is gone. That is more important than just more power. But the way we play, we can take advantage of his qualities.’

Wenger concluded that Walcott could be given a starting berth in the three remaining games in readiness for next season, ”I feel next season began on Saturday for him. I don’t know yet if I will start with him for the rest of the season, but there is a good chance yes.

‘It is down to him now, how much he wants it. But I hope he continues to produce this type of performance and on his account are 10 or 15 goals, because that is what you should aim for.’