The mere mention of the name Theo Walcott brings mixed emotions. It has been seven years since a precocious 15-year-old from Southampton arrived at Arsenal and what happened next has been there for
everyone to see. Theo Walcott is an enigma to say the least.
While his contract is up for discussion he has been making some very loud noises. Maybe we all need to have a
reality check and ask ourselves does he deserve to play for us?
easy answer would be yes. No-one has the same pace he possesses. Last season he was our main assist contributor, had his
highest goal tally and was one of the main reasons for the revival against Spurs at
the Emirates in that 5-2 classic.
Walcott was supposed to
have it all - pace, skill, ability and composure. At the age of
17 he went to the World Cup, he was a hat-trick hero when England beat Croatia and even now when rival left backs see him, they think twice
before committing a tackle because he is that quick. So the question
of whether Walcott should stay or go should never have arrived, right? Wrong.
Theo is exasperating. In those seven years at Arsenal his awareness and
ability to think on his feet has simply not improved. He may have moments
in a game but that's about it. Where is the consistency? If his game
borders on taking risks, then he needs to take calculated risks. He can't
be a one trick pony, however good the trick (read pace) it may be.
defender may be outpaced by him, but they recover and know that most often
than not his crosses defy logic. Does he care to look up when he
crosses? I seriously have my doubts.
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying
he is a bad player, but the question is how long do we continue to wait
for him to be a finished article? Again having waited for certain other
players to become the player they can be (Song, RVP, Cesc, Nasri etc),
all it took for those players was to offer a stupid explanation and
leave. So we may continue to wait for Theo to take that one final step,
but once he does will he stay?
The noises he is making do not seem to
indicate so. "I want to play as a central striker", "I was promised
that I will be played there", "My instincts are of a striker" blah blah
blah. That's all well and good Theo and yes your finishing is definitely good, but again
where is the consistency? Last season he had close to seven one-on-ones
against the goalkeeper and missed them all.
His crucial finish against
Udinese may have helped us win qualification to the main draw of the Champions League, but his misses in the league did cost us games as well.
Reasons may have been there and he can very well say that if I am
played regularly as a striker, my finishing will be better and I agree,
it can be. The whole point though is does he fit in a lone striker role?
will play the lone striker and Theo simply can't do that job. He can't hold up
play nor can he be the target man upfront holding off defenders. We all
know if our midfield gets crowded, those through balls will not be
played at his feet for him to score, so the odds are stacked against him
playing as a striker.
Finally even though he denies it, money is
apparently a factor too. Demands include a 100k per week deal. My grouse
against any player except say a certain Ronaldo or Messi is, how can
one demand things when they themselves can't guarantee anything? Even if Theo hasn't asked for that kind of money, the fact is he cannot demand things
to the club.
He should take a step back and check what has he done for
the club to demand things. How does he feel now when he doesn't get a
start? Arsenal are not vindictive but Theo has been shown his place in
no uncertain terms. If he feels he can play as a striker, then first
things first he needs to play and show us why he needs to be a part
of this team.
Honestly, if he is not there Arsenal have backups. Gervinho,
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky and even Ramsey can play right wing. They may not have his pace
but they have guile and awareness much better than his.
and his agent say they have received a lot of offers but he will be welcome
to join any club he wants. Yes he might still be young but Arsenal have waited seven years for Theo to prove his potential. Prove your worth Theo and then talk.
Should Arsenal plead for him to stay? No. Never. It's
not a loss and we don't need to plead with any player. When we
believed in him at a time when no-one else did, we have a right to tell
him to take it or leave.
Theo Walcott can do what a lot of his former
friends did, go out for greener pastures, but as they say the grass is
not always greener on the other side.
So go on Theo. Do what
you wish. We neither bother nor care. If you stay you will need to
earn your place the hard way. You see greatness is not about big talk,
it's about walking the walk.
Calling all Arsenal fans: What would you do with Theo Walcott? Does he deserve a better contract? How would you feel if he did leave the Emirates this season? Do you think he deserves a starting role in the team? Would you play his as a striker? Would he be missed? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
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