Wenger admits he considered taking off Walcott as boos rang around Emirates stadium everytime he touched the ball.
"The crowd was starting to get on his back and you wonder if [it won't] do him a favour by leaving him on. But I felt that he has the qualities that, considering the rest of the team, are highly needed," Wenger told arsenal.com.
"He is a player who can be straight and go behind the defenders - nobody else is like that. He is a very direct player, he can sometimes miss a first touch but considering the balance of the team I thought it was important to keep him in the side."