Laudrup issues Walcott warning

05 January 2013 11:11
Michael Laudrup has warned Swansea they need to stop Theo Walcott if they want to emerge victorious from Sunday's FA Cup tie against Arsenal. Swansea may have won the last two meetings between the sides, but Arsenal are unbeaten in the Premier League since the Swans' 2-0 triumph at the Emirates Stadium in December. Walcott, with 14 goals to his name so far this season, has been an important figure in Arsenal's resurgence, and has flourished since being deployed as a striker, claiming a superb hat-trick in the 7-3 thumping of Newcastle. And while many focus on the 23-year-old's electric pace, Laudrup knows the England international is more than a one-trick pony. The Dane said: "He is a threat when he plays wide or through the middle, he is not a centre forward but his pace makes him dangerous to every defence. "He is faster than 98% of centre-backs so you know you have to be careful as one ball and he is gone. "Speed is very important - obviously speed without quality is useless - but he has quality as well. He is dangerous even if he is not a number nine. "I have seen players with only pace and nothing else, but you have to know when to run and what to do with the ball. "If you are just a runner it is not enough, you should go star in 'Forrest Gump' or something like that. "This is football, even if centre-backs are not as fast they can be clever so you cannot only have pace. "He has real quality and it means it is a different Arsenal team to the one we played at the Emirates last month." Laudrup is looking to strengthen his squad during the January transfer window, but rumours have persistently linked Danny Graham with a £5million move to Norwich or Reading. Graham has scored twice in his last two appearances, but Laudrup has not received any offers for the striker, although he will speak to the player before tomorrow's game to make sure he is not unsettled by the speculation. He said: "I haven't heard anything official. We have important games coming up and everything else is second to that. I don't know how it will end up. "I haven't spoken to Danny yet. I have spoken to some other players, but I have said I will do it. "I will have to ask the question to players who are involved in potential moves if they are focused. "I will ask them to answer honestly. If they say they have a lot of things going on then I say okay at least you are being honest and they will be ruled out for the coming game. "If they say they are 100% they will be part of the squad if I think they should be part of it."

Source: team_talk