Sunday Kickoff: Wenger won't sell Walcott in January, Vilanova to return in a month, and more

Sunday Kickoff: Wenger won't sell Walcott in January, Vilanova to return in a month, and more

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Sunday Kickoff: Wenger won't sell Walcott in January, Vilanova to return in a month, and more

By DAN KARELL

With Arsenal’s all-time leading goal scorer Thierry Henry in attendance, Theo Walcott produced a performance that even Henry would be proud of, by scoring a hat trick in an emphatic 7-3 win over Newcastle on Saturday night at the Emirates.

Walcott and Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger have been locked in a contract showdown for the past three months, but the Arsenal boss stated after the match last night that he would not consider selling the 23-year old Englishman in January if a new contract isn’t signed.

Walcott now has 11 goals for Arsenal in 19 matches in all competitions this season. Arsenal recently announced the contract extensions five young British talents; of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs, and Carl Jenkinson.

Here are some other stories to get your Sunday going:

Vilanova to return to the Barcelona sidelines in January

Missed in the all of the soccer action in England, was the news that Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova will be back with the team in the middle of January, according to Barcelona president Sandro Rosell. The Barcelona boss, who took over for Pep Guardiola this past summer, had a recurrence of cancer in his saliva glands and underwent surgery on December 20.

Barcelona currently hold a nine point lead over Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga, with 49 points from 17 games.

GOALS GALORE IN EPL ON SATURDAY

A wild Saturday in the British Isles saw 35 goals scored between eight matchups.

Walcott stole the show as he bagged a delightful hat trick at the Emirates in the 7-3 victory over Newcastle. Demba Ba, maybe on his way out of Tyneside, scored two in the loss.

Ten-Man Manchester City defeated Norwich 4-3 in a tightly contested match at Carrow Road. Samir Nasri was shown a red card in the 45th minute by referee Mike Jones, but Edin Dzeko’s brace and Sergio Aguero’s brilliant chip goal helped keep City out front.

Clint Dempsey made his return to the pitch as a 75th minute substitute, as Tottenham went on to defeat Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. Goals from Spurs striker Jermaine Defoe and an own goal from Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar gave the Londoners the lead after John O’Shea opened the scoring for the Black Cats. Of note, Tottenham winger Gareth Bale was given a yellow card for simulation, his fifth bookable offense of the season, and is in line for a one-match ban.

Here is a rundown of Saturday’s English Premier League Scores

Arsenal 7, Newcastle 3

Manchester City 4, Norwich 3

Tottenham 2, Sunderland 1

Manchester United 2, West Bromwich Albion 0

Wigan Athletic 3, Aston Villa 0

Stoke City 3, Southampton 3

Reading 1, West Ham United 0

Swansea City 2, Fulham 1

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QUICK KICKS

Yesterday, Sheffield Wednesday’s Jeremy Helan was given two yellow cards, but was not sent off, during their league match against Huddersfield. (REPORT)

English clubs have taken notice, as German-English midfielder Lewis Holtby has stated his intentions of leaving Schalke 04 at the end of the season. (REPORT)

A.C. Milan legend Paolo Maldini says the club have lost it’s way. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Will Theo sign a new contract within the next month? Or will Arsenal eventually be forced into a sale? Did Gareth Bale dive, and if so, should it be a longer suspension? Can Brad Guzan help save Aston Villa’s fortunes before it’s too late?

Share your thoughts below.

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