Arsenal 7 Newcastle United 3

How many saw this coming? Theo Walcott has made it clear that he wants to stay at Arsenal, and Arsene Wenger has stressed that he has every intention of keeping him. The sticking point remains a new contract, but Walcott can only do what he does best. Continue in his rich vein of form, and Wenger will have to retract from playing hard-ball over the forward’s salary, and his preference for a central strikers position. After Walcott’s excellent treble at the Emirates saw Arsenal win for the fourth consecutive time, and just as importantly sees the team proving that they can rebuild after some high profile departures. Surely it is now time for Arsenal to act over Walcott’s contract impasse.

Demba Ba twice levelled for the Magpies, who also drew level at 3-3 through Sylvain Marveaux. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and a quick-fire double from substitute Olivier Giroud however ensured that the Gunners would record a sensational victory, with the France striker almost grabbing his own hat-trick with an effort that crashed off the bar with the last kick of the game. Eight goals would not have been a unworthy Arsenal tally, and a strike force that continues to deliver is having to contend with a defence, which having started the season so well, continues to to cause Wenger some concern.

Walcott’s treble now makes it a fourteen goal total for the season and the Arsenal number 14 knows that he has more to offer. That is where Wenger and he agree. If only all sides could finally agree on all other outstanding matters, then one can only wonder what Walcott could be capable of when left to focus solely on his football.

With the watching Thierry Henry present at the Emirates, Walcott opened the scoring with a goal the Gunners legend would’ve been proud of. Racing onto Podolski’s pass, Walcott beat Tim Krul with a beauty of a curler after 20 minutes and a goal that Henry stood to applaud.

The visitors were in no mood to sit back, and it was that approach that would ultimately cost them , but not before they reminded Arsenal, what they were capable of, with Ba their tormentor in chief.

Bacary Sagna gave away a needless free-kick, which Ba struck past Wojciech Szczesny after a deflection off Jack Wilshere, who could and should have stood strong. 1-1 at the break and not the team talk Wenger had envisaged. He and the rest of us had no idea what was about to follow.

Santi Cazorla fed Podloski, and his pass to Oxlade – Chamberlain enabled the former Southampton player to strike with power past Krul six minutes after the re-start. Just past the hour mark and Marveaux’s tap in made it 2-2 after some good work from Gabriel Obertan, who had Sagna’s number all evening.

Wilshere has always been happy to get on the ball under pressure, and his willingness to run at Newcastle’s rearguard restored the Gunners’ lead, with Podolski heading in, after the ball came off the bar. That man Ba then levelled again. Marveax created the move, and with Kieran Gibbs caught napping, Ba struck for 3-3 after 69 minutes. That would be the last time the scoreline showed parity and cue the Walcott and Arsenal onslaught.

Gibbs raced forwards and with Walcott in traffic, the 23 year old still managed to beat Krul with a shot into the roof of the net. 4-3 with seventeen minutes still to play, and now a cameo from Giroud coming off the substitutes’ bench. This time Walcott turned provider, with a cross that the France striker’s low diving header hit home after 84 minutes for 5-3. Giroud then doubled his tally after latching onto a loose pass and firing past Krul again after 87 minutes with the visitors visibly tiring. Their torment however was yet to be concluded.

Walcott deserved a hat-trick, and the Emirates faithful duly got what they and he wanted just on the 90 minute mark. Surrounded by Newcastle defenders having received the ball from Wilshere, Walcott cut past four. He was clearly caught, but refreshingly stayed on his feet to chip the most delicious of chips past Krul. Giroud hit the bar late on, as Arsenal’s rout of Newcastle was deservedly completed with a 7-3 final score that was classical Arsenal, with the odd nervous moment thrown in for good measure.