LONDON – Theo Walcott is convinced he will rediscover his touch in front of goal for Arsenal. The 26-year-old made his first league start of the season at Newcastle on Saturday, but saw chances go begging as the visitors battled their way to a 1-0 win.
â€œI enjoy playing anywhere in the front line and the manager gave me the opportunity,â€ he said. â€œItâ€™s a shame I couldnâ€™t help him out there by getting those goals, but theyâ€™ll come, definitely. It was difficult after they went to 10 men, but you need to be able to adapt.â€
Newcastle lost Aleksandar Mitrovic to a red card and his manager Steve McClaren was baffled by the decision: â€œI couldnâ€™t believe the sending off. You canâ€™t win with 10 men.â€
West Brom manager Tony Pulis was full of praise for record signing Salomon Rondon after the striker got his first Albion goal in Saturdayâ€™s 1-0 win at Stoke. â€œSalomon scored a great goal. Iâ€™m really pleased with him,â€ Pulis said. â€œHe is still not [fully] fit. But his movement off the ball is first-class and his finish was very good.â€
Saturday was a less constructive day for Stoke, who had two sent off when Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam were shown straight red cards. â€œWe were devastated we lost to opponents who we really felt, given 11 v 11, we would have won,â€ the Stoke manager, Mark Hughes, said. â€œIâ€™m encouraged by what I saw.â€
Tim Sherwood is convinced that Aston Villa were denied the victory they deserved against Sunderland because of an incorrect penalty decision. Instead of pointing to the spot, referee Robert Madley booked Carles Gil for diving when he went down under a challenge from Younes Kaboul.
â€œI still think itâ€™s a penalty,â€ Sherwood said after the 2-2 draw. â€œOtherwise he rolls it into the net. Why else would he go down? He is clean through and Iâ€™ve asked Gilly if there was contact â€“ he said there was.â€
Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has backed Lee Cattermole after the midfielder conceded a second penalty in four matches. Advocaat said: â€œThere was no need for that kind of penalty but I will never say anything bad about Lee because last season he did brilliant for the team.â€
Tottenham midfielder Mousa DembÃ©lÃ© is hopeful the foot injury he sustained during Saturdayâ€™s 0-0 draw with Everton will not keep him on the sidelines for very long.
DembÃ©lÃ© posted on Twitter yesterday: â€œPity we couldnâ€™t win yesterday. Letâ€™s hope the injury is not too bad.â€ – The Independent