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Published: 10:34 | 21/12/15

Walcott: Cech has changed us

Theo Walcott has praised goalkeeper Petr Cech for helping to transform Arsenal's defence record since joining the club in the summer.

Cech equalled David James; record of 169 clean sheets as the Gunners defeated Aston Villa 2-0 on Sunday to move to the top of the Premier League table.

His shut out was his seventh in the league this season and Walcott believes the goalkeeper has completely changed the club's back four.

"From when we signed him, we all knew how good he was [after] what he achieved at Chelsea. On a personal level, for him it’s great," Walcott told Arsenal Player.

"He’s changed us completely in that back four. He’s a talker, he believes in us all.

"That’s why he wanted to join us and having with that presence behind you is always nice to have. He’s very commanding, he’s a leader in the dressing room as well, he always likes to talk."

Meanwhile, Walcott has spoken of his delight at playing alongside Olivier Giroud after the Frenchman netted another goal for the club.

"It’s not just his goals, it’s his general play and everything about him. The way he holds the ball up, he blocks it and defends it, and he works hard from the team from defensive corners and everything," he added.

"He’s in great form at the moment. He’s a dream to play with and he makes our job a lot easier. As soon as I won the penalty, I just knew that he would score.

"Confidence is streaming through him and you want that in the busy Christmas period. You want players that are on form and he’s definitely one of them."

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