Walcott: Gunners aren't weak

  • Last Updated: August 28 2013, 16:18 BST

Theo Walcott denies Arsenal have fallen behind Tottenham despite a frenzied summer of transfer activity at their north London rivals.

Theo Walcott: Believes Arsenal have a very strong squad
Theo Walcott: Believes Arsenal have a very strong squad

Spurs have spent £43million on Paulinho and Roberto Soldado and, with Gareth Bale set to join Real Madrid, they are ready to fund a £30million move for Roma forward Erik Lamela.

Etienne Capoue and Nacer Chadli have also moved to White Hart Lane, while Arsenal have only recruited striker Yaya Sanogo on a free transfer.

It has been a frustrating summer for manager Arsene Wenger that has seen targets Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain slip through his fingers.

Arsenal and Tottenham clash at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday and Walcott issued a rallying cry in response to suggestions that the Gunners are weaker.

When asked if Tottenham are stronger, he replied: "Not at all. I feel we're very, very strong.

"Everyone makes out our squad is very weak and there are not many of us, but we showed in the last few games that we can bounce back from a bad result, proving a lot of people wrong.

"Every club is different and Tottenham invested their money very well. For us players we just want to do a job on Sunday, we don't care if they have brought in £30million stars.

"They have some very good players and a very good manager, but we need to make sure we focus on ourselves. The way we're playing at the moment we believe we can beat anyone.

"Tottenham is a massive game and I always enjoy these derbies. The fans make it very special.

"It's very early in the season considering there is an England game coming up, but us players love it and it's a fixture I always look at straight away.

"Tottenham are playing very good stuff at the moment but we are looking very sharp so for the neutral it's going to be a pretty impressive spectacle."

Arsenal warmed up for Sunday by defeating Fenerbahce 2-0 in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier, completing a 5-0 aggregate victory that secured a 16th successive season in the competition's group stage.

"We didn't start too well against Aston Villa on the opening day, but this was a fantastic result against Fenerbahce. We're playing good football and are starting to take our chances," Walcott said.

"We're now looking forward to the Champions League draw tomorrow, but it's really important that we can now concentrate on Sunday."

Walcott insists Arsenal's ambition must stretch beyond simply qualifying for Europe's most prestigious club competition.

"It's massive to be in the Champions League. For a club like this with the stadium, fans and players we have coming in and out, we have to be there," he said.

"In the Champions League you're playing against the best in Europe and you want to be judged on that.

"If you're playing against the best players you're only going to improve. But we don't want to be challenging for the fourth spot any more, we want to be challenging for the Premier League.

"That's the main goal. In the Champions League we're playing against the best players in Europe and we want to be judged on that."


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