Walcott told to get nasty
Almunia tips Arsenal team-mate to shine
By Rob Parrish. Last Updated: August 10, 2008 11:20am
Walcott: Almunia advice
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has been told he needs to get nasty if he is to fulfil his huge potential in the Premier League.
Gunners goalkeeper Manuel Almunia believes the talented teenager needs to work on just one aspect of his game ahead of the new season.
Almunia believes Walcott, who joined Arsenal as a 16-year-old from Southampton in January 2006, has to stop being such a 'lovely guy' when he steps onto the field.
The Spanish shot-stopper told the News of the World: "Theo is ready to take on more responsibility. He has the support from the fans, the club and his team-mates.
"He is one of the best players in the squad. The only thing he has to improve is an aspect of his character.
"He's a very lovely guy - maybe too lovely on the pitch.
"I keep saying to him he has to become more nasty. After this he will be one of the best players in the Premier League."
And Almunia feels Walcott should follow his own example as he emerged from Jens Lehmann's shadow to establish himself as the club's No.1 last season.
He added: "I believe I'm a good example. I came from a small club in Spain and when you are young at a club like Arsenal it can be difficult.
"But if you use all the facilities on offer and have the determination you would be stupid not to improve.
"Theo knows it's going to be his season and is ready to give 100 per cent."