Wilshere: We saw the old Arsenal tonight

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After the 5-2 win over Reading, Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott were tasked with facing Sky Sports’ prat-with-a-mic Geoff Shreeves. Here’s what the boys had to say on the win, getting over the defeat at Bradford and their respective contract talks.

Wilshere on getting over Bradford…

“It was a disappointing result in the week and we knew we had to come here and be strong against a strong Reading team who we knew would be up for it. We showed great character tonight and Theo and Santi were different class and the boys round them helped as well.

“We saw the old Arsenal tonight in some patches. We still have to tighten up defensively, we gave a few sloppy goals away. We had Theo up front and Chamberlain on the wing; it was great. We need to continue [playing the old way] going forward.”

Wilshere on criticism of this season’s performances…

“We don’t take any notice [of the criticism]. As players we’re naturally disappointed if we go out to Bradford, it’s natural to be disappointed when you lose to a lower league side. We had to bounce back and we’ve a tough game next week away at Wigan. We need to get three points there and slowly climb up the league and push on.”

Wilshere on Walcott’s contract talks…

“I’ve been working all year [on getting Walcott] to sign, but that’s between Theo, his representatives and the boss. Hopefully we can sign him up, he showed tonight that he can play up front and he can play there in the future.”

Walcott on the recent criticism…

“We don’t really take notice of the outside [criticism], we’re a big family, we know our qualities, we know we haven’t been good enough in recent weeks but we showed people the true Arsenal. The goals we conceded were disappointing but going forward we looked very strong and now we’ve got a busy schedule.”

Walcott on playing up front…

“I enjoy playing up front; it’s just having some more opportunities. I had that today and I thought I did very well and like Jack said the players around me made my job easier. They play with such quality and can spot a ball which makes my job easy.”

Walcott on his contract talks…

“Talks are on going and like I’ve said before it’s going to be a slow process. It takes a long time but I’m sure something will happen soon.” [Must be noted he didn’t say this with the enthusiasm of a man who necessarily believed what he was saying… plus the idea that something takes a long time but is going to happen to soon perplexes us].

Arsene Wenger on the performance

The target was to win in a convincing way. At 4-0 we had bit of a wobbly period, but overall it was important to go out and play and give the right answer on the pitch tonight. I don’t want to talk too much, we need now to go from strength to strength.

On why he played Walcott through the middle

Training sessions, he’s shown ability to play in this position, the timing of his movement is good and there are encouraging signs there.

On the last week

Difficult, because obviously you prefer for things to go well, but interesting because you see who are the characters, who is strong, and inside the club we are united.

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