Theo Walcott’s two Premier League displays against Manchester United last season reportedly shaped his new approach.
Arsenal’s in-form forward has been on fire at the start of the new campaign, silencing his critics.
The 27-year-old has left many at the Emirates frustrated by his lack of progression at the club, but Arsene Wenger has stuck by him.
The manager’s faith has been repaid so far this term, but even Wenger was at breaking point during the 2015/16 campaign.
According to The Telegraph, Walcott had left Wenger and his staff angry at the parallel performances he put in against rivals United. The winger was pivotal in last October’s Emirates clash, registering two assists in the 3-0 triumph.
But his dip in form and ineffective 62 minutes at Old Trafford in February had the club fuming at his inconsistency.
It is claimed Walcott was prompted to look in the mirror and alter his regime surrounding his game.
The Gunners man was down around friends and family, but he then spoke to Wenger to convince the boss of his commitment.
Walcott now runs after games, trains hard even on days off, changed his diet and speaks to Arsenal’s psychologist weekly.
The effects have been clear to see, as the England international has been recalled by Gareth Southgate and he is currently an integral part of Arsenal’s first XI.
Fans will be hoping the run continues indefinitely following Walcott’s five goals in the Premier League and Champions League this season.
Theo Walcott by his own admission knew that this season would be a make-or-break campaign.
Speculation was rife that Walcott would leave the Gunners this summer after being left out of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad.
The 27-year-old should, in theory, be entering his peak years and he admitted this week that he held talks with Arsene Wenger in the summer about his role in the side.
There was pressure on Walcott even before a ball had been kicked this season but the forward’s responded in emphatic fashion so far this term with three goals in six Premier League matches.
But it’s Walcott’s efforts off the ball that have repaired his reputation with Gooners so far this term and the stats show he’s really upped his game out of possession.
It was imminent that Walcott will have to become a more consistent performer, both for Arsenal and England this season, if he is to resurrect a stagnating career. Fitness, though, will be key. He has made a good start to his eleventh season at the Emirates, but the same old frustrations are still far too prevalent in his game.
But Walcott has put his desire to play centre-forward to the side and is now happy to play across the front-line in an effort to help Arsenal.