Theo Walcott eyes Arsenal first team return

07 November 2012 11:17

Theo Walcott hopes he can establish himself back in the Arsenal starting line-up after helping to secure a Champions League point at Schalke on Tuesday night.

The 23-year-old overcame illness to feature in the 2-2 draw in Germany, opening the scoring in what his first start for the Gunners in the Premier or Champions League since late August. Walcott is in the final season of his deal at the Emirates Stadium and his lack of game time has coincided with contract talks stalling.

"It is nice to be back playing with the guys, that is all I want to be doing now," he said. "It is going to be a tough month for us. It is going to test us all, not just physically but mentally as well and I think we are ready for it."

That period sees rivals Tottenham come to the Emirates Stadium in the league, as well as two decisive Champions League fixtures.

Arsenal would have gone into their next match Group B match with Montpellier in charge had they not surrendered a two-goal lead against Schalke.

Walcott gave his side the lead after 16 minutes and the Gunners doubled their advantage eight minutes later through Olivier Giroud's superb diving header.

The goals were against the run of play, however, and Klaas Jan Huntelaar's strike close to half-time and Jefferson Farfan's deflected effort meant Arsenal left Germany with just a point.

"When you come to a difficult place with a difficult atmosphere against good team that beat us at home, [it was great] to get the two early goals," Walcott said.

"It is just a shame we couldn't kill it off. It was a good point in the end. Schalke came at us in the second half and we found it difficult to be honest.

"But we dug deep and before the game we probably would have taken a point, so this is a good result."

Source: PA