Walcott hat-trick keeps Wenger loved-up

Theo Walcott underlined why Arsene Wenger is determined to keep him at Arsenal, scoring a hat-trick in the eventful 7-3 win over Newcastle. It was a match dominated by comical defending, but Walcott stated a case for being considered one of the Premier League's more dangerous forwards.

He also created two more of Arsenal's goals, confusing the issue slightly by showing off his credentials as a speedy winger. Whatever his best position, Arsene Wenger knows that the club needs to secure his signature on an extended contract. He ruled out any possibility of Walcott being sold during the January transfer window.

The manager reached for the language of romance to describe Walcott's relationship with Arsenal. “The club loves him and he loves the club and reciprocity in love is the most difficult thing to find," Wenger said. "My desire is to extend his contract and I think he belongs here. Hopefully we can do it."

Wenger thought Walcott was capable of playing wide or through the middle. He pointed out that Walcott's finishing had been improved by working closely in training with Thierry Henry.

The margin of victory flattered Arsenal who had struggled in the early stages of the match, but exploited the opportunities presented by a tiring Newcastle side towards the end. Newcastle had levelled the game through Demba Ba in the 69th minute, but Walcott led Arsenal's rampage in the final quarter.

The result completed a bad week for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew, who saw his team twice score three goals in a match and lose both games. He also had to endure being called a hypocrite by Sir Alex Ferguson and told he was merely the manager of a “wee club in the north-east”.

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