Theo Walcott Arsenal
Theo Walcott celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Arsenal in the English Premier League game against Manchester CityReuters

Mesut Ozil was given the man of the match award for his two assists that won Arsenal the game against Manchester City in the English Premier League on Monday.

While that is a difficult award to argue, there was one player, in particular, who probably was "up for the game" just that wee bit more.

Theo Walcott scored an absolute peach of an opening goal to put Arsenal on their way to a 2-1 victory over Manchester City, but it was not just that goal, that was the highlights, even if the strike was worthy of your eyes popping out cartoon style.

Walcott was all over the pitch, making runs down the middle when Giroud worked the channels or was caught a little deep. The forward has also realised the need to work on his defensive game if he is to become a regular fixture at Arsenal, particular down the wings, and he was that and more in this match on Monday.

Indeed, there were a few times when Walcott was in the left-back role with Nacho Monreal either caught playing too narrow or upfield, and for the most part, the England international did his defensive duties well.

That more than anything else would have please Arsene Wenger, who dropped from the wide attacking role after a below-par defensive performance against Tottenham last season.

If Walcott continues to add the defensive side to his game (and that is without trying to sound like Jose Mourinho) Wenger should have no problems playing Giroud and the pacy forward together, which in turn gives Arsenal another dimension.

"I change it a little bit game by game and see where he can be efficient because Theo is a decisive player," Wenger said when asked about playing Walcott out wide. "At Aston Villa he did that and got a penalty and before the final pass he gave the ball to Ozil.

"[Against Manchester City] he finished. One of his strengths is the quality of his movement and if you can get it to Ozil, he can find him and his quality of movement is exceptional.

"I think Theo Walcott had a very good, strong, fighting performance and his defensive performance was top level today."

Walcott is not only able to pick up the knock downs from Giroud when necessary, he also has the ability to make the right runs, be that through the middle or from out to in, which, again, gives the assist-king Ozil another option.

Having pacy wingers with an eye for goal – and that is the problem with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he just doesn't score enough – is invaluable, and if Walcott continues his upward trajectory in his all-round game and with Joel Campbell getting better and better and Alexis Sanchez almost ready for a return, the sky is the limit as far as Arsenal's attacking versatility is concerned.

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