Walcott Looking Up After United Strike

Theo Walcott wants his accomplished strike against Manchester United to help ignite a prolific end to the season for Everton.

Walcott replaced Richarlison shortly after half-time on Sunday and promptly sparked jubilant scenes inside Goodison Park when he slid the ball beyond David de Gea to put Everton 4-0 up.

The Blues’ convincing beating of United followed home successes against Chelsea and Walcott’s former club Arsenal.

Walcott’s most recent start for Everton coincided with the outset of the Toffees’ four-game unbeaten Goodison run – last month’s scoreless Merseyside derby.

He has come off the bench in Everton’s past six games – most tellingly on Sunday, when the 30-year-old timed his forward dash to meet Gylfi Sigurdsson’s though ball, before advancing to finish expertly across United goalkeeper De Gea.

“I have so much experience and know how the game works and I feel like when you get your chance, you have to try to make a difference and affect the game,” Walcott told evertontv.

“As a forward, you have to score goals.

“That is something I want to do more often. I work hard every day, every player who is not playing wants to get back in the team and it is very healthy competition.

“The ball nearly got away from me to be honest [as he closed on United’s goal]. But the pitch had dried up and I felt I had to take a bigger touch.

“I thought De Gea was going to come out and I was going to chip him. But he didn’t and I kept my head cool – and what I loved was the fan right in front of me when I celebrated. I won’t forget that face.”

Walcott has started 23 Premier League games this term and featured in all but one of Everton’s 35 top-flight fixtures.

He scored in successive matches against old club Southampton and Bournemouth early in the campaign, following a fine start to his Everton career when the 46-cap player contributed directly to six goals in 13 starts after joining from Arsenal midway through 2017-18.

Walcott had been on the field only 13 minutes when he completed the scoring at the weekend.

And the player confessed he was straining to be involved as he watched Everton tear into United during a compelling opening 45-minute display.

“I was… the manager has stuck to his team and results have been going well,” said Walcott.

“And when you are not starting, you need to be ready when called on.

“You have to work hard and I’ll keep doing that.”

From a team perspective, Walcott reckons Everton are making significant headway in their attempt to establish Goodison as an authentic stronghold.

Everton won five and drew three of their opening nine home games. And they have emerged from a difficult period following the turn of the year to claim 10 points from four matches against teams all currently in the Premier League’s top six.

“As of late, at home especially, we have been fantastic,” added Walcott.

“We have kept four clean sheets as well.

“The fans have been that extra person and they were amazing again on Sunday.

“We were playing a Man United team that has stars in its dressing room and we made them look very average.

“We were fantastic from start to finish.

“We want to make this place an absolute fortress, how it was when I used to come here with Arsenal.

“It was always very difficult. We are getting that sense of home support and feeling no one wants to play Everton at their place.

“We have one more game at home – then next season, I feel, we can push on.”

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