Football - Walcott demands dynamic start

Theo Walcott has challenged Arsenal to hit the ground running if they want to mount a sustained bid for the Barclays Premier League title next season.

PA Sport

The Gunners recorded a 10-match unbeaten league run, which was sparked by their European win away to Bayern Munich, to snatch fourth place ahead of Tottenham and with it another shot at the Champions League, with a two-legged play-off ahead next month. However, it was inconsistencies earlier in the campaign - including shock cup exits to Bradford and then Blackburn - which cost Arsene Wenger's side.

"We need to remember those moments that we had and make sure we do it from the start, because we could be challenging for anything. We could beat anyone," Walcott told www.skysports.com.

"We want that sort of fear factor, especially at the Emirates. It is quite frustrating at times, because we should have done that at the start of the season. Who knows where we would have been."

England forward Walcott, who was top scorer with 21 goals, believes if the team can get off to a flying start when the new campaign opens, then they should be confident of lasting the distance and ending the best part of a decade without silverware.

Arsenal have started their summer dealings with the free transfer of France Under-21 attacker Yaya Sanogo, and more signings are expected as Wenger takes the squad out to Asia for a pre-season tour which will include matches in Vietnam and Japan.

Additional funds of more than £75million are understood to be available for Wenger, should he wish to spend them.

Arsenal have been strongly linked with Real Madrid's £25million-rated forward Gonzalo Higuain, Liverpool's Luis Suarez and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, as well as Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, although the England international now appears set to stay at Old Trafford under new manager David Moyes.

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar is another reported target as he is set to leave QPR. Arsenal have already moved on several fringe players such as Andrey Arshavin to ease the wage bill, with Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner the next likely departure as he holds talks with Eintracht Frankfurt.

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