Theo Walcott says there were glimpses of "the true Arsenal" last night when the Gunners made up for their Bradford disappointment with a 5-2 Barclays Premier League victory at Reading.

Walcott was given the chance to play up front by manager Arsene Wenger and repaid his manager's faith by slotting in the fifth goal, following Lukas Podolski's strike and a Santi Cazorla hat-trick.

When asked about recent criticism following last week's exit from the Capital One Cup, Walcott said: "We showed people the true Arsenal.

"We don't take notice of the outside. We're a big family and we know our quality and that we're good enough.

"I enjoyed playing up front and the boss gave me that opportunity.

"I thought I did very well and the players around me always make my job easier."

Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe denied Arsenal a clean sheet but Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere was quick to echo his team-mate's sentiments.

He said: "I think we saw the old Arsenal in patches here.

"We need to tighten up defensively as we gave two sloppy goals away."

Referring to the Bradford game, he added: "We're disappointed, naturally. It's a natural feeling of disappointment when you lose to a lower-league team."

Of last night's opposition, Wilshere said: "They're fighting relegation so we knew they would be up for it.

"Theo and Santi were different class and the boys around them helped as well."

Walcott is in talks over a contract extension at Arsenal.