Arsenal boss Wenger drops Walcott

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has dropped Theo Walcott for today's clash with Fulham.

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Walcott will prepare for Tuesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg at Tottenham as the first team travel to Fulham today, despite the fact that Wenger has only 17 outfield players available.

"He will get where I expect him to be," said Wenger. "At the moment he is not, but I am not worried. He has qualities that will come out.

"I tried to force him to play wide but I am convinced he will be a central player. He is a direct player and times his runs well, so he will get a chance up front."

Walcott, now 18, looked lost on the right wing against Birmingham last week and was substituted early in the second half.

"He was a little troubled," said Wenger. "It can happen at that age and it's part of the learning process to deal with that.

"Expectation levels are high and Theo has been projected into the spotlight early, but I still believe he is strong enough and good enough to make it.

"He is not happy when he doesn't play and you don't expect him to be but he is on the way to being in the team and I am confident that by the end of the season he will make that step. He wants to fulfil the ambitions he has and respond to the expectation levels people have for him."

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