Arsenal's Theo Walcott doesn't regret outburst after Crystal Palace defeat
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has no regrets about speaking out after last season's demoralising loss at Crystal Palace, saying his comments got the reaction he was looking for.
Walcott said that Palace "wanted it more" after the 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park in April, which marked the low point of Arsenal's disappointing Premier League campaign.
That loss, which saw fans turn against the team during and after the game, caused manager Arsene Wenger to switch formations and Arsenal subsequently went on a strong run that saw them win the FA Cup but fall just short of making the Premier League's top four.
Walcott drew some criticism for being too outspoken in the media, but he says that he will keep speaking his mind.
"I was captain for the day, no one else was going to come out and I felt like I had to say something," Walcott told reporters in Sydney at the end of their preseason trip to Australia. "The team went on to do well after all those games. I'm an honest guy, I say what's on my mind. I just want what's best for my team."
Walcott only started one more game for the rest of the season, but that was mainly because of the new system, which has no natural place for a winger.
And he noted that the entire team had a different attitude after the Palace game.
"There was a reaction and that's what we wanted," he said. "There were a lot of unhappy faces in the dressing room. We all got together, worked hard and got results in the end.
"We just missed out on the top four, which was disappointing. But considering how it went through the season, winning a trophy was positive. But this season there has to be more, it has to be this season, there's no holding back now."
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.