Theo Walcott has lauded the Arsenal squad for displaying a big improvement in their approach to games so far this season.

The Gunners have responded to surrendering the 2015/16 Premier League title to Leicester City by mounting a new title challenge this year.

Arsene Wenger’s men can consider their title hopes very much alive heading into the end of the first half of the campaign as they sit just three points behind league leaders Chelsea.

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Contributing to that surge to the top is Theo Walcott who added another goal to his tally during Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Stoke City.

According to the 27-year-old, the entire squad is now pulling its weight after not being “quite ready” last term.

“The players that have come in have really stepped in the work ethic at the club,” the England international said.

“The intensity, the commitment and the hard work is showing, not just from 11 players in the starting XI, but it’s the whole squad.

“The manager always digs that into us – how important the whole squad is. When called upon everyone who has been involved coming off the bench or starting has done a fantastic job and that is the difference this year to previous years, where maybe we weren’t quite ready as a whole squad.”

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