Whither Walcott

What do we do with Theo??

Sunday was frustrating in so many ways, but for me what was so disturbing was the non-performance of our Boy Wonder. He was lacking in everything apart from speed and energy. If the last two games are anything to go by, he cannot pass, cannot beat a player, has little control, cannot head a ball, doesn’t know how to lose his marker, cannot shoot, actually his contribution was less than nothing – the fact he was on the pitch meant  others were looking to pass to him, and thereby we lost possession.

So what does AW do? Theo has all the talent to be a super player. Wenger says he needs time and he will achieve greatness by the age of 24, but how does he get the games to develop. Games like Sunday will sap his confidence even further, however if he cannot play against the Big Boys how can he learn?  We can ill afford to carry a player for a whole game (even Denilson!) and 20 minutes here and there are not enough. Should he go out on loan? Well, not this season.

According to some Gooners  Walcott should be be sold. To me this is illogical, the training staff clearly see a super talent, and  as good a talent spotter as Fabio Capello predicts greatness. We have seen what he can do when he is confident and it all gels.  However, would Arsenal be better off with the money from his sale (assuming we buy another striker) and can we wait for his talent to blossom ? Plus he earns €60k a week which could be better used elsewhere.

I have been saying ever since Thierry left that we need a Worldwide Marketing Tool. TH’s smiling face was beaming out of advertising boards all over the World, with his loss we lost our “face”. MU have Rooney, L’pool SG and Torres, Chelsea have Fat Frank, Drogba and JT.  We have Cesc who somehow doesn’t cut it as the focus of our public relations (remember his embarassing TV show?). Theo Walcott should be the future face of Arsenal. Good looking, articulate and unassuming (with a childhood sweetheart), he is  the perfect advertisement for AFC. We need him to come good, but can he?

Your opinion?

written by BR

53 Responses to Whither Walcott

  1. Rasputin says:

    Morning all,

    Nice post Raddy. I am disappopinted in Theo. He’s been blessed with exceptional pace – something that can’t be learnt, he lacks trickery and technique – something that can be learnt.

    He comes across as an intelligent, articulate, level headed young man in interviews. I’m sure he works very hard to try to improve in training. We have legions of training staff. They couldn’t stop Ade drifting offside, they can’t teach Sagna to cross a ball and apparently they’ve failed in helping Theo develop his ability to the required level.

    Maybe the backroom staff need a shake-up and are too comfortable. Gazidis has enlisted numerous well-paid assistants and yet our PR is still an embarrassment, and it appears the training staff are similarly over-manned and ineffective.

  2. Alfa says:

    BR, Rasp, you’ve highlighted some good points. Maybe Theo isn’t as good as we all thought. Alliadiere had similar or better skills but not the pace, and he seems to have found his level. Michael Owen had it all until he lost his pace. Maybe Theo will peak at 24, but I don’t think the peak is going to be that high and by 28 he could be a permanent sub at wherever his.

    Sorry to say it 😦

  3. Alfa says:

    By the way, Peaches, Rasp, I didn’t pick up your techy queries until just now. The Firefox one has me stumped if peaches tried clearing the cache (press Ctrl, Shift and R together on the page that isn’t working)

    As for the pictures moving around in different browsers, if the screen size etc. is the same, then I would guess that the version of Internet Explorer that shows the wrong layout is old (IE6 or before) or has some funny add-ins loaded. I would say that most people will be seeing the page OK.

    Sorry I can’t be more definite.

  4. irishgunner says:

    Morning/evening all.

    There is a good player in Theo somewhere just not too sure if it’ll be ever found.

  5. Morning again

    Theo is a frustrating problem, his numerous injuries have also hampered his development. Rasp, you and I saw him on his return against Hull last season and he had really bulked up. He started to do that ‘weeble’ thing – falling over and getting straight back up again like the childrens toy which was an improvement on staying down.

    I think he probably needed another couple of seasons with Thierry to hone some impressive skills. He didn’t start playing football until about 10 I think so he’d not watched footballers and wanted to eminate them. Surely this is very important in a young footballers development.

    As for the ‘face’ of Arsenal – he along with The Yummy One, another player that we’re not getting the best out of – could be the pin-up for us and for England. Is that why AW is persevering with him?

  6. Hi Irish – how’re you today?

  7. irishgunner says:

    Lovely and warm Peaches 🙂 Sat by the pool most of the day – bliss.

    Who is The Yummy One?

  8. Carlos Vela of course 😆

  9. irishgunner says:

    Agh see you said “face of English” at the end and I thought you meant another English player and I was thinking is she saying Sol or Gibbs 😆

  10. irishgunner says:

    Bartley has gone out to Sheffield United on loan, hopefully he’ll get a couple of games would do him good.

  11. Sorry, I didn’t construct that sentence very well – what I meant to say was ‘Is Arsene perservering with Theo because hes English in addition to the fact that he thinks hes the next Thierry Henry?’

    Mind you both Sol and Gibbs are quite handsome too – I think Gibbs has had a lucky escape from the media circus that will surround the England team this summer at the World Cup – at least by the Euros 2012 he’ll have cemented his place as left-back for Arsenal.

  12. irishgunner says:

    Not too sure him being English matters. Jeffers went pretty quickly on the grand scale of things while we were stuck with Aliaderie for NINE YEARS.

    I reckon its the Henry part.

  13. What is it about Theo that makes him the next Henry – only his pace?

  14. kelsey says:

    Morning everyone.

    Rasp said “He comes across as an intelligent, articulate, level headed young man in interviews”

    Now that is half the problem IMO. He hasn’t got that aggressive streak in his make up, and on Sunday he was bounced about like a timid fly.He has had plenty of injuries however after 4 years(this March) one has to say,does he add anything to the side apart from the obvious that BR has posted.
    Maybe the decision to take him to the World Cup at 16, has been and still is a huge mental pressure on him.So much was expected from him which may happen but I have my doubts.

    It is a difficult scenario.He is arguably playing the worst he has ever done,no fun being subbed in a big derby.Does one perserver or not. I don’t know the answer.

  15. irishgunner says:

    His pace and appearance – he hasn’t starting handling the ball yet 😉

    Seriously I am over it… 😆

    Seriously Peaches, you’d have to compare Henry at 20 to Theo now. Think Henry was well ahead – at what age did he move to Juve?

  16. Rasputin says:

    Hi kelsey I agree. I was only saying to another gooner yesterday that some of our players are not mean enough. Nik, Theo, JD, Almunia, Denilson all need to be more aggressive. Tomas, TV Gallas and Cesc are feisty – to beat pool we’ll need 11 players who are prepared to get stuck in…..

  17. Morning kelsey – nice to see you

    Although it would be a waste, why not let him come off the bench and give him 30 minutes for a few games to see if he can actually add something to the game. Not 17 minutes though Arsene!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Rasputin says:

    Compare Theo now to Ronaldo at the same age when he joined Utd. He was a laughing stock with his pointless stepovers at first – but boy, did he learn and improve!

  19. The non-feistyness in our players is all part of the Wenger Fair Play Fantasy isn’t?

    He doesn’t want us to be an aggressive team he wants us to outplay teams with our skill not thuggery.

  20. irishgunner says:

    The main problem seems to be the lack of any signs of improvement in Theo.

  21. Rasputin says:

    It’s not working is it peaches? 🙂

  22. No rasputin its not working – but will he want to change? Vermaelen is strong but not aggressive – like Sol really – not a pushover. Do you think Djourou is too dainty?

  23. irishgunner says:

    Oh God a “dainty” centre back isn’t good…

  24. Thierry was at Monaco until he was 22 when he moved to Juve and then to us after one season – so Theo still has a couple of years but if you compare him to Anelka who was 17 when he joined us and broke into the first team the next year and was part of out Double Winning team 1997/98 – hes way behind in his development.

  25. Irish – what do you think of Djourou?

  26. Rasputin says:


    If you’re reading. I could have dropped a pic of Theo into your post if you’d wanted. The same goes for anyone writing a headline article, just give me 24hrs notice and I will be able to offer you some options.

  27. irishgunner says:

    I think he is tall enough, strong enough and has a “footballing brain” but does he have the mentality?

    I honestly thought Senderos could have been good enough, just doesn’t have the mental capability to survive at the top.

  28. Is the ‘mentality’ the desire, the will to succeed, a little bit of aggressiveness?

    Does Theo have that?

  29. Rasputin says:

    It wasn’t like that in my day ….Put them all in the army … hrumpphh 🙄

  30. irishgunner says:

    The “mentality” is everything: the desire to win, the will to succeed, aggressiveness, doing what it takes within the rules to win, never giving up, walking the walking and talking the talk.

    Its a winner’s mentality.

    People like Roy Keane (sorry), Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Paolo Maldini, Michael Schumacher, Rodger Federer and Serena Williams have that “mentality.”

    Basically its never being beaten in your head and if you not beaten in your head then you’ll fight to the bitter end.

    Senderos gave up on himself after getting turned by Drogba and Torres. Walcott seems to have given up on himself without ever starting…

  31. Rasputin says:

    It looks like Gibbs and Eastmond do have ‘the mentality’. It will be interesting to see how Coquelin progresses after his disappointing game against Stoke. He’s a real little battler for the reserves, I hope he has the mettle to bounce back.

  32. Maybe Arsene thinks he can instill the mentality into the players by his own will – I think thats the problem………..

  33. irishgunner says:

    Coquelin isn’t a right back is he?

    I’d see him more as a midfielder.

  34. irishgunner says:

    I think players either have the mentality or not.

  35. Alfa says:

    AW’s latest quote, about not signing a striker on loan:

    “First of all you must find the players who are better than the players you have,” he said. “And I believe that our basic problem was not offensive in the two games we lost just now. It was more defensive.”

  36. Rasputin says:

    I’ve seen him play RB but his choice is a DM type… an understudy for Song – or even better, a sidekick for Song!

  37. Rasputin says:

    Hi Alfa,

    re: the AW quote … I’d add … yes, exactly, what are you going to do about it? But having a recognised striker would also have helped gggrrrrr 👿

  38. Alfa says:

    He did also say he tried to sign a striker on a permanent contract. Presumably that was Chamakh.

    If he thinks the problem is defensive maybe he is going to get a GK?

  39. irishgunner says:

    Yeah that’s what I thought Rasp. I’ve seen him play RB but thought he was bought as the “next Makelele”

  40. Alfa says:

    I don’t see how we can score 1 goal in 3 games against teams who have worked out how to play against Wengerball, and say our problem is more offensive than defensive.

    No doubt in the summer he’ll be coming clean and saying that he’s signed Chamakh because we were missing a striker this season. gggrrr indeed

  41. Rasputin says:

    Chamakh looks a good strong player. His conversion rate (8 goals in 25 games = 0.32 per game) is not that impressive, I’d imagine he’ll find it harder to score in the prem. I still think Huntelaar would have been worth a punt, but I agree it looks like the Chamakh deal is all but done.

  42. irishgunner says:

    I watched Chamakh this season a good bit and he is a strong lad who will run the channels and work hard up front, but as you said Rasp, he doesn’t seem much of a finisher.

  43. Rasputin says:

    Lil’ Jack Wilshire is apparently going to make his debut for Bolton against citeh tonight. Go on son, show the exiles what they’re missing back at THoF … run rings round PV 😛

  44. London says:

    A clever conversation provoking post today BR.

    Wenger has said on so many occasions that forwards don’t start making their mark until they are 23, Henry is great proof of that, although, if that memory is getting a bit blurry you don’t have to look any further than Rooney who has exploded this season. We have got Walcott for a few more seasons yet. I hope he makes the world cup squad, go get some more experience at somebody else’s expense, failing that maybe a loan deal next season might help.

  45. Big Raddy says:

    I am pleased I don’t have to answer the Theo conundrum. If he stays & is crap we will villify the decision. If he is sold and comes good, the same.

    Ras. I think it will be the other way round (PV v JW)-

    I watched Chamakh on the weekend, and he is a very AW player. Pacy, skilful an eye for a pass, and can play right across the frontline. But if he signs, who goes?

    Eduardo, Bendtner, Van Persie, Vela, Walcott, Chamakh, Simpson, Arshavin. Wedon’t need them all & I do not see Vela hanging around without the prospect of a regular start. Nor Nik.

  46. Rasputin says:

    Hi Raddy,

    If Arsene let’s the players you list know that another striker is coming in the summer, then they can show their desire to stay by giving the over-used phrase ‘110%’ for the rest of the season. I think contracts are pretty much unenforceable if a player wants to go. My feeling is that Simpson will go any way and (sadly for peaches) Vela will not hang around if he’s pushed down the pecking order.

  47. Rasputin says:

    Hi London,

    I have an idea for a slightly controversial post for tomorrow, unless you or anyone else has something prepared? I know it’s match day but we may need something to take our minds off the impending duel.

  48. London says:

    Go for it Rasp.

  49. London says:

    Absolutely, get another striker, if your scoring, you stay in and if your not, your on the bench.

  50. Vieira and Ade in the same team – its just wrong 😦

    LJ is doing really well so far – Bolton behind from a penalty but they should have had their own pen when Toure threw himself in front of Elmander

  51. Big Raddy says:

    Strange how Baptista and Gilberto Silva are good enough to be in the Brazilian WC squad but not good enough for Arsenal.

    It was a costly mistake letting GS go

  52. Morning all


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