By Alex Stevens
Roy Keane has poured scorn on Theo Walcott in the wake of his matchwinning display for Arsenal in their 2-0 Champions League win over Basel.
Walcott maintained his brilliant start to the new season with both of the Gunners’ goals as they delivered a dominant performance in the group stage clash at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night to secure three points.
But Republic of Ireland assistant manager and Manchester United legend Keane insisted the jury is still out on England international and his teammates.
Keane, who famously branded Arsenals players “weak” and “cheating the fans” following their Champions league exit to Barcelona last season, wants further evidence Walcott can deliver when it matters.
“It’s taken him a while to get a settle at the club, hasn’t it? Ten years?” Keane said on ITV Sport’s Champions League highlights show on Wednesday night. “Listen, the guy [Theo Walcott] needs to relax; he’s had a good week.
“Try playing well for the next seven, eight, nine months when the real crunch games come.
“I wouldn’t get carried away about Walcott. He’s got to keep doing it over the next year or two.”
“He’s had a good week – the guy needs to relax” – Roy Keane on Theo Walcott https://t.co/ncAggP6Bs1
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) September 29, 2016
Walcott has scored five goals in seven Arsenal matches this season after reclaiming a regular starting place in the team following an indifferent 2015-16 campaign.
The Gunners have won four matches on the trot, and six of their last seven games, but Keane is not getting carried away.
“Tonight was a lovely game for Arsenal, when they’re in that form they’re great to watch,” he added to ITV Sport. “They could’ve score seven, eight, nine goals easily: a joy to watch.
“But the crunch games are coming up for them over the next few months, when the cold nights come in and we’ll see half the Arsenal players with their gloves on.”
The Gunners top group A on four points with back-to-back fixtures against Ludogorets coming up next.
In other Arsenal news, fans have reacted on Twitter to Walcott’s display against Basel.