Date: 20th August 2006 at 12:01pm
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Arsenal fans got their long awaited wish yesterday afternoon as Arsene Wenger saw fit to introduce young Theo Walcott into a game in which the Gunners were losing 1-0, and it proved to be a masterstroke.

Walcott signed for Arsenal in January for a world record fee for a 16 year old (a not for a world record fee for a teenager as I wrongly reported last week) but hadn`t featured for one single minute since then, but after finding the net after only two minutes of his England under 21`s debut last Tuesday, this proved to be a very important week in the career of Theo Walcott.

The young Englishman was welcomed on to the Ashburton pitch yesterday with a standing ovation which seemed to spur the player on rather than wrack him with nerves. Wenger played Walcott and the left flank as a replacement for Freddie Ljungberg and in the short time he was on the pitch, he rocked the Villa defence & the entire stadium.

Everyone knew of this lads pace, but to actually be there to witness how fast he actually is, is a sight to behold. Not only is he fast, but he`s fast with the ball at his feet. He`s also very tricky and not afraid to run at a defender. I believe, as Wenger has already said, he will be a revelation this season.

Le Boss seemed more than pleased with Walcott`s performance.

‘I am happy because we were in a tricky situation when he came on, one-nil down. I know there is a lot expected from him. He played with freshness and straight away he became dangerous on the left flank and he was involved in the goal we scored. I must say that overall when he came on his performance was very positive.’

The emergence of Walcott is not only good news for the Gunners, but for England fans as well.