Theo Walcott claims Arsenal have been the best team in Europe in 2015
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has claimed that his team are 'the best in Europe', in comments that have been greeted with a predictably negative response on social media.
While Arsenal's form in 2015 has been impressive, Arsene Wenger's side have crashed out of the Champions League last-16 stage against French side Monaco and stumbled into the FA Cup final after an unconvincing display against Reading at Wembley.
Yet Walcott was quick to suggest Arsenal are not showing the kind of form that would make Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich take notice, as he said: "In this calendar year, we’ve been the best team in Europe.
"It’s the strongest the squad has been and everyone is staying fit as well. There aren’t many injuries in the squad, which is important. If we had an injury-free season, I think we could lift the title."
Walcott also appeared to put himself on a pedestal alongside some of Arsenal's most celebrated players as he stated: "
"I’ve grown from being a little babyface to a man," Walcott added. "From when I joined the club to now, it’s completely changed.
"The likes of Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Sol Campbell and so on were there and had won the league before, going undefeated. Coming into that squad was a big achievement."
His comments have attracted a predictably jovial response on Twitter:
Weird that the best team in Europe in 2015 couldn't beat Monaco.— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) April 29, 2015
A) When was this Arsenal title challenge? B) The best team in Europe? Oh Theo, you daft sod.— John Brewin (@JohnBrewinESPN) April 29, 2015
Theo thinks Arsenal are the best team in Europe this year? Shame Monaco didn’t get that memo… Talk is cheap, do it on the pitch.— Andy (@yorkshiregunner) April 29, 2015
Poor Brendan. Now he's not even top of the unsubstantiated and ridiculous optimism table. Congratulations go to Theo Walcott.— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) April 29, 2015
Theo Walcott says Arsenal have been the 'best team in Europe' since the turn of the year. pic.twitter.com/7upRZul9e8— Paddy Power (@paddypower) April 29, 2015