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Arsenal cannot afford sluggish start, declares Walcott

Arsenal cannot afford a slow start to the season, says winger Theo Walcott.

Arsenal face Newcastle United in their opening Premier League game on August 13 before playing Liverpool and Manchester United, while they also have a massive two-legged Champions League qualifier to come.

Walcott said: "We don't expect any game to be easy but we will be ready when it comes.

"We want to start off well and we want to challenge for something this year. Only time will tell what we do.

"The supporters have been so loyal to us when we have not been winning trophies, which we should be for such a big club.

"As players, we are disappointed in ourselves but that is in the past now.

"This year is a massive one for everyone, for the club itself.

"The fans are very important to us all and hopefully we can make them proud."

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Arsenal transfer market news and gossip.

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