Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has warned the Gunner's Premier League rivals to expect significantly improved performances from the north London side.
The 23-year-old England international recently signed a three-and-a-half year, £100,000 per week extension with the club, bringing an end to speculation regarding his future. And the Southampton academy graduate believes the second half of the 2012/13 campaign will see the Gunners produce improved and consistent performances.
"I think the team just needs to realise how good we actually are and not read into too many bad thoughts. We have a very good team, very young and great on the eye at times. I'm very confident in the team," Walcott said, after a hard-fought 3-2 win over Brighton on Saturday.
Arsenal travelled to the Amex Stadium to face the Championship side in the fourth round of the FA Cup and despite an early goal from French striker Olivier Giroud, needed an 85th minute winner from Walcott to avoid a replay in London.
Had the Gunners drawn at the Amex or, worse still, lost, it would have only served to highlight the inconsistency in the first team's performances and bring back memories of the defeat to League Two side Bradford City... as well as the outpouring of criticism Wenger and the Arsenal board received after the defeat.
And the fact Arsenal went into the match against the Seagulls on the back of a thumping 5-1 demolition of West Ham United in a league match only emphasises the inconsistent nature of the club's season, something Walcott admits to and hopes to improve.
"We can be cold a times as well, but we're starting to learn and we're starting to get back to our best," the forward said, in a report by talkSport.
Wenger on Brighton Win
Meanwhile, Wenger has praised Brighton for the scare they gave the Gunners on Saturday. The lower-rated hosts twice pulled their visitors back, with goals from Ashley Barnes and Jose Ullola cancelling goals from Giroud.
"They gave everything. We expected a tough resistance and we weren't disappointed, hey played with a high tempo, and we were twice in front and twice they came back. It shows not only can they play football, they're also mentally strong. We needed to dig deep to win the game. We dominated the second half but they played very well," the manager said afterwards.
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