Theo Walcott has hailed David Beckham for helping him become a more consistent performer, with the Arsenal flyer admitting he now realises the importance of putting in the hours on the training pitch.

18592 - Beckham is my role model - Theo Walcott

Walcott may only have started two Premier League games but the 21-year-old is in a rich vein of form, slotting his ninth goal of the campaign in the 3-1 victory over Chelsea.

Former England skipper Beckham trained with the Gunners during the MLS off-season and Walcott saw a work ethic from the 35-year-old that he is now trying to replicate.

"I practise my crossing and finishing when I can after training," he said in the Sun. "I remember when David came to train with us, he still practised his free-kicks. It was great for me to see and I learned from it.

"It's something I've worked on and, hopefully, it can continue because I've missed a lot of the season -- but I've got nine goals and I'm pleased with that.

The Gunners' title tilt continues tonight with a trip to Wigan, but Walcott admits the Chelsea win is still fresh in the memory.

"It was nice to get a win against the champions. It was great to be part of that, it's a dream, really," he said. "You could sense the atmosphere and all the fans were right up for it, just like the players were.

"But we can't dwell on the Chelsea result. We could be disappointed if we beat Chelsea and then lose at Wigan. These games are very important and just as big. We need to go there and show what champions are made of and try to win."