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Gunners kids fed up being pushed around: Walcott

sports Updated: Dec 14, 2009 19:53 IST

AFP
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Arsenal's second-half fightback at Liverpool was proof Arsene Wenger's youthful side is not prepared to be bullied out of the Premier League title scrap, according to England winger Theo Walcott.

A half-time rollicking from Wenger proved to be the catalyst for a 2-1 Anfield victory which, after slip-ups by Chelsea and Manchester United at the weekend, has catapulted the Gunners right back into the reckoning at the top of the table.

With a game in hand over both the teams above them, Arsenal are only six points behind Chelsea and three adrift of second-placed United -- a position that seemed highly unlikely last month when a 3-0 home defeat by Chelsea left Wenger's men 11 points off the pace.

Walcott said: "Results like this show we are no pushovers. Being 1-0 down at Anfield, it is a hostile place, but we showed great spirit to come back and win.

"We wanted to give something back to the fans because they were fantastic for us."

An own goal by Glen Johnson and Andrey Arshavin's winner enabled Arsenal to overcome a Liverpool side that had taken a first-half lead through Dirk Kuyt.

The London club's hopes of challenging for the title were widely seen as having been fatally compromised by the loss of Robin van Persie to an ankle ligament injury which has ruled the Dutch striker out until April.

But Walcott insisted the Gunners could still thrive without their leading goalscorer.

"Robin will be an unbelievable miss, but we have got people like Andrey coming in to fill the gaps. He is fantastic as well and will definitely clock up plenty of goals."

Arsenal's first-half display prompted Wenger to accuse his players of "not being fit to wear the shirt."

The rant did the trick and, at the end of the match, Wenger applauded his charges into the away dressing room.

Walcott added: "None of us were happy with the first half. We were 1-0 down and hadn't played well.

"The boss just showed his passion for the game and that he has belief in us.

"It woke us up and that's what you have got to do as a manager.

"It worked, because coming in at the end of the game and getting a round of applause from the boss showed that we listened to him."