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Theo relishing St Mary's trip

Arsenal striker Theo Walcott says his return to former club Southampton on New Year's Day will be "special."

Last Updated: 02/01/13 at 07:26 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  Premier League. Click here to bet.

Former Saints Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Former Saints Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Walcott came through the youth ranks at Southampton before joining Arsenal in a big-money move as a raw teenager in January 2005.

Arsenal raided the Saints again last summer when securing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a £12m deal.

Walcott's celebration when he scored against Saints in Arsenal's 6-1 victory earlier this season was muted, and he told the club's website: "It will be a very tough occasion against Southampton, but it is one I am really looking forward to.

"It will be a very special moment for me and Alex, and also for some of the fans to see us come back to the club."

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger feels Southampton deserve praise for their player development.

"They have done a fabulous job - you also look at Gareth Bale and what he is doing now at Tottenham," he said.

"It is down to the quality of their scouting, the quality of their coaching and education."

Saints boss Nigel Adkins said he was looking forward to seeing his former charge Oxlade-Chamberlain back in Hampshire.

"I think he will get a fantastic reception," the Saints boss said. "He is one of the players that came through out system.

"We are excited watching him play. We'd love him to still be at Southampton, but he is an Arsenal player now and an England international.

"I went to watch him against Reading the other night and he was exhilarating, with his acceleration to go away, a desire to get on the football. He is a joy to watch.

"I think everybody at Southampton is proud of what he is doing now."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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