Arsene Wenger hailed Theo Walcott's growing maturity after watching the young Arsenal forward grab three goals in the 6-0 demolition of Blackpool.
Walcott bagged a hat-trick as the Gunners crushed the Seasiders at the Emirates Stadium on yesterday with an Andrey Arshavin penalty and goals from Abou Diaby and Maraouane Chamakh - his first for the club - completing the scoring.
And Arsenal manager Wenger believes Walcott's impressive finishing and all-round play is further evidence that the 21-year-old is maturing as a player and is determined to put the disappointment of being omitted from England's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ squad behind him.
"He is more electric than he has been," said Wenger. "He was sharp. I like the way he mixed the final ball and his finishing. That is always a sign a player is more mature. He plays at a very high pace and it isn't easy to make the right decison. But he got many decisions in the final third right."
Having had a complete break since last season, Walcott appears to have shrugged off the injuries that have hindered his development over the previous two campaigns.
"He looks better for the break," Wenger added. "He's had good preparation for the first time in a long, long time. Without being interrupted by an injury or coming back late. You can see that. For two or three weeks now he's been sharp because he's had a good preparation."
Wenger insists Walcott has recovered from the shock of being overlooked by Capello and is now even more determined to prove the Italian wrong. "He is a guy who keeps his feet on the ground," said Wenger. "He takes life in a positive way. The glass is half full, not half empty. So he took that as another challenge. That's what's amazing about Theo.
"He is 21, he is now at an age when players normally start. He is not at the peak of his game. He has to keep his attitude right. And he has to avoid injury."
With Cesc Fabregas also making his first appearance since committing his future to the club, Wenger had much to be pleased about after such a comfortable win. The Arsenal manager is also confident of making one more signing before the transfer window closes.
"I'm confident we will have at least one," he added. "Maybe one plus one. The market is quiet but I know it gets crazy in the last five days and on the final day it gets completely mad."