Theo Walcott has admitted that Arsenal players know that they need to do better and insists that there is a change of mentality at the club which will ensure that teams like Burnley, who Arsenal play on Sunday, will not relish taking them on.
Arsenal have produced two of their best and most coherent performances for years in beating Chelsea 3-0 and Basle 2-0, with Walcott impressing with a new-found aggression and focus this season.
The winger, who faltered in form at the end of last season and missed the cut for Euro 2016, acknowledges that the status of the club means they are expected to improve on last season’s second place.
He said: ‘As players, we don’t think we have anything to prove. But we are experienced and we know this is such a big club and we know we should be doing better.
‘It’s easy to say that, but you look how we performed last year, even though we didn’t have a particularly great end of season yet still finished second. We are playing well this moment in time, but we’ll see.
‘The way we’ve been performing, the intensity which we’ve been showing right from the start catches a lot of teams by surprise now. Burnley won’t be looking forward to playing us, but we need to make sure we’re ready meet the different challenge.’
Burnley impressed against Liverpool and in beating Watford on Monday and don’t allow any team to rest on the ball but Walcott said:
‘No, they don’t but I don’t think we do either.
‘We don’t give any team the benefit of the doubt any more, and that’s the change in this whole mental state of Arsenal Football Club at the moment. We are very positive going into games and I don’t think Burnley will look forward to playing against us right now.’
Asked about the need to win a Premier League title – Arsenal haven’t done so since 2004 – Walcott said:
‘I genuinely don’t think that far ahead. It would be easy to do that considering how well we’ve been doing.
‘You need to think about now, but come the end of the season then we’ll see where we are. But now we don’t want a backlash. We need to perform professionally at Burnley because that’s the important thing now.
‘The new additions have definitely helped. We are more and more experienced in the league now and it (the intensity) starts from the front, the way we act when we lose the ball, when the opposition gets the ball and we do it as a unit, everyone does it, not just one or two.
‘We are all clicking at the same time and it bodes well. Things are going well right now to be fair. We are working so hard in training as well and it’s nice to see it paying off.’