Should Theo Be On The Plane to South Africa?

I’ve been a bit out if the loop this week what with Chav Flower Show to visit but found myself  listening to the Talksport pre World Cup party yesterday evening on the radio. There was lots of talk about whether Rooney is really fit and who should be his partner, why Cashly is the only real left-back now that Bridge won’t be in the dressing-room with Terry and of course who should be first choice to play on the right Lennon or Walcott.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really want Theo to be a huge success – a huge success for Arsenal that is. Will it be good for Arsenal if he has a good World Cup? Will it be good for Theo if he has a bad World Cup? If we could welcome back a pumped-up Theo brimming with confidence to kick on and fulfill his potential that would be fantastic but a crushed Theo, shorn of his self-belief will be useless.

Theo is unproven in my opinion. He has pace, he has the looks, he wears the Arsenal shirt with pride but what has he actually achieved. It was pointed out during the radio show that Capello loves Theo – loves the fact that Theo scored a hat-trick for England and this fact alone puts him in front of Lennon.  This can’t be a good enough reason to give him a starting berth when his form for Arsenal has been almost non-existent. Obviously his injuries haven’t helped him to play  with any consistency but the way the commentators were on his back from the start of the game against Mexico the other night left me thinking that it can’t be a good idea to send a player to the World Cup hoping he’s going to find some form. I fear for him as the expectations are so high.

The accusations are always the same – fantastic pace but no end product. As gooners we have actually seen Theo whip a cross in –  sadly often to no-one in the box – but he can do that. We’ve watched him race down a defender to a ball or track back to defend deftly. We know that he can do these things. We’ve seen him unleash a precise shot that sweetly hits the back of the net and watched as he’s come off the bench to terrify tired legs with 20 minutes to go. He could be Arsenal and England’s not so secret weapon – the secret would be whether his performance would be a success or a failure on that particular day. Which Theo would turn up?

In addition, if its to be a successful day for him, will the other mid-fielders in the England set-up see the signs as only too often they forget to include Theo in the game. He needs them to know he’ll deliver, I hope he’s shining at the England training camp, I hope it won’t be a wasted journey for him as it was in 2006.

If Theo is on the plane I wish him all the luck in the world but if he’s not I don’t think it’ll be a disaster for him or for Arsenal  although its always nice to have one of our own in the England team.

70 Responses to Should Theo Be On The Plane to South Africa?

  1. brdgunner says:

    I think he will come good. Leonnon was gulity of the smae things as Theo as little as 2 years ago. And Ronaldo was often cursed for his lack of end product in his early 20’s.

    So I think Theo has time, if he can play 30 games in a season I expect him to supprise a few people. He needs to be stronger, and I think he looks more eager and confident for England than he does Arsenal.

    It might be that I think evrything and everyone behaves differnet towards Arsenal. Ha ha, I love the gunners


    both lennon and walcott have had a injury plagued season and are not in form. Lennon has more to his game by naturally being able to cut in and out with ease. And theo… well a hat trick with england is a hat trick with england. I doubt he will ever score another hat trick again but this potential alone puts theo ahead of lennon in capello’s mind. If it was a choice between rooney and walcott then there would be only one winner BUT its not.
    I dont think he deserves it with his current form but I really expect Theo to be on that plane next week… actually i would bet my house on it.

  3. Big Raddy says:

    brd. I agree.

    He will come good as long as someone passes him the ball. He needs the ball played behind the full back, and against Mexico he only had one pass to chase. Given the ball in midfield with two defenders in front of him is not his game – he doesn’t have Messi like skills.

    And Theo is improving his defensive game.

  4. Rasp says:

    Morning paches,

    Good post.

    I don’t think (despite injuries) that Theo’s game has improved as much as we’d hoped. He still lacks the trickery to beat players other than with pace. I’m sure he works very hard in training and you can see how intently he listens to instructions. He did a lot of good work defending for England against Mexico and maybe that’s an advantage he has over Lennon.

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, I going to play the Raspers role by saying I think Theo should NOT go to the World Cup.
    Is it just me or does it seem that Theo rates his England prospects as more important than how he does for his club? During the games I attended this season and I saw Theo warming up togo on I’d check to see if I could locate Capello in the stands so I knew whether Theo would be trying hard or not.
    He seemed to put on a show for Fabio but less so when it was “only” Arsenal fans he was playing in front of. I don.t feel he has done enough this season to warrant a place in the World Cup.
    I reckon a summer at home, with a bit of soul –searching for him to find who he really owes his best efforts for (us or the England fans)would do him good.

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. That is a very reasonable argument.

  7. brdgunner says:

    Big Raddy,

    I agree that he needs that type of pass. But watching him play for Arsenal he plays like a conservative right back at times.

    With the pass masters we have at Arsenal if he got down the channels more he would get the passes.

    I trust him to come good. We have a culture of cutting players short. Lampard, Gerrard, Barry, Rio, these players would get stick if they were in their early 20’s because they did not look world beaters then. No one could have predicted Lampard would be as good as he is now when he was 20. So it is very short to give up on Theo.


  8. brdgunner says:

    I agree Charry, I am not convinced he likes playing for us as much as he does England. Which might be a good thing. We have come to expect English players to care more for club than country.

    Maybe Theo is just Country first. And he does like Arsenal.

  9. Rasp says:

    Morning chary,

    I tend to agree with you. There were a couple of games at the Emirates when Theo came back from injury when he seemed more aggressive. He got angry when defenders fouled him and tackled back with venom – it made him a far better player. Unfortunately he lapsed back into his Reyes-type personna. I think lack of aggression is a feature of too many of our players.

  10. charybdis1966 says:

    Radders, I had high hopes for him and for the last 3 seasons or so whenever Theo would start warming up the crowd would expectantly start the “Theeee-oh, Theee-oh” chant, but that’s been a bit less enthusiastic this season.
    I know you have a higher opinion of him than me and this season the long injury break can’t have helped him, but objectively speaking can we really say he’s done enough to be in the 23?
    I suspect Capello will pick him, but the upside if he doesn’t is that we won’t have to hold our breath whenever a hard tackle goes in on him during the WC and he stays down.
    brdgunner – that’s how it can look to me also, England first for Theo, a bit like Vela who trains with us and plays for Mexico.

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    Hi Raspers, I noticed that too, he had a bit of fire in his belly then, but that determination and fight seemed to go as the run in started, much like it did for quite a few of our team.

  12. London says:

    Morning All

    Good post Peaches……for me the jury is still out as to whether Theo is going to make it as an Arsenal player — it could still go either way.

    A good world cup would naturally help his development but if he has a bad World Cup it should speed up the jury’s decision about his future at Arsenal and that is all I really care about.

    I like the fact that Wenger is much tougher with him: if he plays well he stays on and if he doesn’t he is subbed. And I would like Wenger to be even tougher to the same degree that he is with Vela.

    As things stand I expect Walcott to be the one who looses out due to the arrival of Chamakh not RVP as many people have suggested. Chamakh plays the channels; his control and passing ability are light years ahead of Theo’s.

    So Theo, I know you are reading this; you better have a good world cup and kick on if you want a first team place at Arsenal next season.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    I echo the feelings of the Emirates crowd. My championing of his cause is on the wane. However, his injuries cannot be discounted and I have always believed that a run of games and being an integral member of the team will improve him no end.

    Like many wingers, he is a confidence player.

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning London,

    Just checking that you are aware that peaches wrote today’s post.

    I had thought that Nik might be the one to miss out to Chamakh, but as you say, MC is a much more effective ‘hammer’ than Theo 😉

  15. Rasp says:

    Hi Raddy,

    Is he a winger then? – by choice or under instruction?

    Pacey players are always thought to be best suited to wing play, but I’m not sure that is true with Theo.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    I thought you would pick up on that when I wrote it!!

    He is a winger purely because he is played there by both AW and Capello.

  17. London says:

    It is still natural that all Arsenal supporters want him to do well which of course I do; it’s just that I don’t want him to have a starting berth at Arsenal just because of his potential.

    If it is realised after this World Cup that he is never going to make the grade then there should be no shame or hesitation in moving him on…… that point I will be starting the rumour that his great grand mother was Catalan 😉

  18. Rasp says:

    Agreed Raddy, sorry to be so predictable 😉

    I’m not sure Theo knows his best position. It is clear that he is still lacking in confidence. Surely the best barometer of confidence is whether a player pulls the trigger when the best option is to shoot – too many of our players opt for the ‘clever pass’

    Theo has a great shot and seldom blazes the ball over the bar opting for the trademark ‘Overmars put it low in the corner’ strike.

  19. brdgunner says:

    ha ha your right about Vela. I never looked at it like that before.

  20. irishgunner says:

    ” I am increasing getting fed up with the amount of Arsenal blogs popping up from nowhere on a daily basis, most set up by young 20 year olds from all over the world with twitter and facebook as additional useless features.,and mainly have authors who do not live in England and have never even been to a football match”

    Well if that’s not telling me to fuck off I don’t know what is – except I’ve actually been to a football match that is….

    What does it matter if we live in England or not? Some of us non-English not living within within five minutes of the ground fans can often be more diehard than those that are seen as we have to bloody fly to see games.

  21. Rasp says:

    Morning irish 😉

    I expect kelsey would be pretty upset if he knew you’d taken it so personally, I don’t think he had someone like you in mind when he wrote that.

    Please don’t ‘feck off’ 😆

  22. charybdis1966 says:

    Hear, hear Maire – it takes me 2 hours to get to the Grove, does that mean I should shut up too?
    Or is that just my wife talking?

  23. irishgunner says:

    I know Rasp but it genuinely annoys me – “your not English you shouldn’t support an EPL side and because I’m English I’m going to look down on you and consider myself more worthy” etc.etc.

    I don’t get easily annoyed by stuff like that, I can generally take things in my stride but just because I’m not 80, haven’t seen the “real bad old days” and don’t sleep on the doorstep of the Emirates it makes me no less of a fan.

    I’m bloody proud to be Irish and I’m equally as proud to be a Gooner.

  24. kelsey says:


    you know very well that was not aimed at you. you are priceless. i was talking about new blogs springing up all over the place, which look like they were scripted in the playground. i regard you as you know as one of the best writers around.i ALWAYS PUT MY FOOT IN IT, BUT YOU NEVER CROSSED MY MIND WHEN I WROTE IT, YOU KNOW THAT 😉

  25. Big Raddy says:

    Let IIrish have her rant Kelsey 😀

  26. kelsey says:

    furthermore I haven’t been to a game for years and that hurts.Surely, you don’t take that personal, especially from me. i was just hacked off with all the trash i have read around this week .

  27. andy says:

    I do feel a bit for Theo. He has had injuries, even when fit he has been used very sparingly by AW. Its going to sound bad but I dont think coming to us was really the best thing for his career. He had the potential at 16 to be a Michael Owen type forward with bags of pace and an eye for goal. AW’s pushed him onto the wing and add to that the niggling injuries and the boys confidence is all over the place. I hope i’m wrong but it strikes me like he’s been a bit over-protected and may have missed the boat. Its not an attack on Arsene just an observation that everybody says we have a young side but not many young players seem to get a good run. Or is it just me ?

  28. dandan says:

    Hmmm Morning all, Irish what side of the bed did you get out of today, you know full well how highly regarded you are on here and Kelsey would call you to your face not by innuendo.

    Nicely done peaches, very good read, as one who doesn’t go to the emirates and is an armchair fan, I suffer from not seeing the whole picture on TV you cannot for instance see enough of what happens off the ball. But it seems to me that Theo gets a fair amount of stick when without enough playing time to bed in to the team he is never going to be the finished article.

    When a player as good as Matt Le Tis says it would do Theo the world of good to go to a club who will play him. Because he has the potential to be a real player as he regards him as a super finisher, I begin to wonder if we are being fair to him.
    As for his priority being England you only have to listen to Theo speak, an intelligent and articulate young man it is easy to see the high regard in which he holds Arsene and Arsenal

  29. George says:


  30. Rasp says:

    Morning George,

    Is that an unbiased assessment?

  31. charybdis1966 says:

    I reckon McCartney was the better song writer of the two, George.

  32. dandan says:

    Indeed they wrote nowhere man George

  33. kelsey says:

    I won’t change my stance on Theo. There are a lot of factors to consider. Going to the last WC was a massive mistake IMO, as it was only on heresay from AW to Sven that he went. Four years on,and regardless of injuries, he is not an automatci first choice player for the club.Impact sub and the term cameo role are often used.

    He appears frightened not to do the wrong thing when playing for england, as if he is under orders by the older players.he lacks self confidence and his ball control and shooting is not that great.For us he is still easily dispossessed in the tackle,and though he himself has said he would prefer to play in a more central position, i don’t think he will get that opportunity with us having so many options now.
    I can’t see him featuring much in the WC, but i wish him well, as I do all our players, but I am not convinced he will make it with us.

  34. SharkeySure says:

    Wow…slow day…..!!

  35. Davi says:

    I think the kid needs a few knocks in his career as hes been given everything so far without earning it. He took eboue’s place in the 1st team early in the season when manu had been one of our better players in almost all his appearances, just because he was fit, and he’s done nothing to justify that huge contract of his.

    This is not his fault. Its not his fault wenger saw something in him that hasnt quite emerged yet. Hes clearly got a lot of talent. Hes not just pace at all, but hes so inconsistent its just not enough.
    Imo he should not be starting as many games as he does when fit for arsenal OR england, and the setbacks will do him good. He thinks he deserves his place in the england squad, ie he thinks hes actually been playing really well for arsenal this season. Hes been ok, but if he makes it into the england squad it will be because the manager likes him or because theres simply no one better.
    Being honest, wilshere has more of a claim to go to the world cup than theo. Hes not perfect but has been much better playing for bolton (although there is less pressure in that situation).

  36. Big Raddy says:


    There is competition for Theo’s place. SWP, Johnson, Lennon to name but 3.

    Theo gets the vote because of the hatrick. And he is better defensively than the others – it’s what makes Milner so valuable

  37. Davi says:

    Big Raddy – thats the thing, are any of those others really that good?
    Lennon was on fire at the start of the season but relatively average nearer the end. Same with johnson really. He was great when he first joined man city, but tailed off near the end. He looks a great player but this year is probably too early for him. And wright-phillips just doesnt have it. He’s too inconsistent – HE is better defensively than theo however.
    However, all of those mentioned have had better season’s than theo – and milner and downing have been even better imo.

    But if theo is being picked for england based on his defensive quality, it shows what trouble the national side is in.

    BUT I think theo has more potential than those players. But honestly I think being left out would do him good. He thinks hes good enough already, when hes just not. He doesnt have to do anything to get big contracts and a place in the 1st team. He needs a knock to show him he has to do better.
    He has skill on the ball but gets tackled too often still. He’s good at crossing, passing and shooting, but too often fails when it really counts. He shows these skills only in very brief flashes and its not enough. Hes just been led to believe hes already made it, when he still has a way to go, I think.
    And he shouldnt be playing so much in the arsenal 1st team.
    With the same number of opportunities, I have no doubt in my mind that vela, wilshere or merida would be much more effective by now. One has left already, one might leave (who knows) and jack has sensibly decided to go on loan to get matches, and may well be there next year as well.
    I even think players like barazite and randall would be more effective by now.
    Honestly, the only other player who has been treated so kindly (ie given SO many opportunities at a young age) is fabregas, and although not signing a replacement for vieira and edu hurt us for a short time, cesc was definitely worth it as he is now one of the best CMs in the world, and even in his 1st season he was not poor.
    Actually, maybe clichy counts as well. Hes been a bit up and down, but mainly up, and he certainly hasnt played as poorly as theo during his time in the 1st team.

  38. London says:

    Good comments Davi

    The only thing I slightly disagree on is the idea that Theo already thinks he has made it. In my opinion he lacks confidence, he still doubts his own ability and justifiably so, although, a good World Cup should do him the world of good.

    Many Arsenal supporters think he is ridiculously over paid and would have him sold now, the problem is that at 23 he is still to young to be certain of exactly what he is going to turn into. By the time he is 26, personality wise, he could be a different person, a very confident person capable of setting the world alight and we would have sold him too early…..and could you imagine just how much the Wenger haters would revel in the opportunity to beat him with that stick.

    There is no doubt in my mind that it is in our best interests that he go to the World Cup and score a few goals.

  39. Big Raddy says:

    The converse could be true. He could go, play terribly and be the butt of jeering throughout the country.

    It happened to Becks, but Becks was a better player and stronger character.

    However, at some point someone has to say enough is enough, you have had your chances and you either deliver or leave. I think AW will give him this season to prove himself and if Theo fails, he will be sold.

    London. I don’t give a rat’s arse what AW haters think and I would be surprised if Mr Wenger did either. Ingrates the lot of them

  40. kelsey says:

    London, he turned 21 in March 😉

  41. Davi says:

    Hi London,

    The reason I think he believes he has already made it is because he said he deserves to be at this world cup. And during the season, while his form was not that great, he was bragging about how he’s quicker than henry etc.
    At times on the pitch I see what you mean, he doesnt always look confident, but there are also many times when hes over confident and tries to do insane skills that are beyond him and 95% of all footballers.
    I dont think he should be sold because I do think he has talent, I just dont think he should be quite the 1st team regular he appears to be. Eboue was on great form at the start of the season and seemed to lose his place for no good reason as soon as theo got fit. It just wasnt fair imo.
    I disagree about him going away and scoring goals. The croatia hattrick turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing. He played well for the next few games, but then he just descended back to a pretty average level. I think that’s complacency and over-confidence.

  42. kelsey says:

    Hi Davi,

    I already mada a comment about theo, earlier today,but I wouldn’t say he is a first team regular as yet, and he definitely benefits the team when playing a cameo role by coming on in the last 30 minutes against tired legs, as opposed to starting games.

    I have a similar problem with Nasri. He scored the goal of our season against Porto, as voted on the official website, but in away games he goes missing far too often.

  43. Davi says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    Yes but I think that even when nasri is off form, he plays a role. He may not make a lot of chances etc, but he retains the ball well, and uses it more intelligently. Hes not as much of an impact player as theo. Hes similar to hleb really.
    Id say theo is about as much a 1st team regular as you can be in this side. I think if everyone is fit, theo doesnt start, but usually one or two forwards are out, and wenger seems to pick him over eduardo, rosicky and eboue. Even bendtner actually when van persie is fit.
    My main problem with it is that I really think if wilshere, vela or merida had been given anything like as many chances as theo to this point, they would be far better players. I think wenger overestimated this guy in thinking he could quickly adapt and fullfill his potential, when in fact it will probably take a few more years for that to happen, and he is unwilling to give up on the player he spent 5-10m on. Unfortunately it has held back the team and some other promising youngsters who deserved more chances imo.

  44. London says:

    I don’t believe that the amount of money the club paid for Walcott enters Wenger’s head.

    The very reason that this is a subject of debate is because nobody is certain exactly what Walcott is going to turn into.

    It is reasonable to suggest that if other players with the talent of Wishire for example were given the same amount of playing opportunities then they would have done better than Theo but then again it was a reasonable bet when he joined that Theo would be more advanced than he is right now.

    Fabregas cannot come into this equation; he is a one off.

    Everyone is on the fence about Walcott in one way or another; if he has a bad World Cup then at least it will push the situation in one particular direction.

    Right now he is still an Arsenal player so I can only repeat that it surely would be for the best if he go to the World Cup and at the very worst gain some more experience for the betterment of his time at THOF.

    21 you say…….it seems like he has been around forever.

  45. Davi says:

    London – Im not sure fabregas is a one off. Messi did it, and a lot of the players who become world class are discovered and play from a young age.
    I personally think wilshere, vela or merida could do that although perhaps arsenal isnt the best environment because rather than being a talented youngster in a team of experienced professionals, theyd be talented youngsters surrounded by other talented youngsters..

    “it was a reasonable bet when he joined that Theo would be more advanced than he is right now.”
    True, but I think arsene should have realised that theo wasn’t quite the prodigy he thought he would be, and then respond by limited his first team appearances and maybe even making another signing to cover that position. I personally think this has been quite significant and has cost us a lot of points over the years.

  46. Davi says:

    I mean, arsene should have realised after the 1st or 2nd year* that theo wasnt as advanced as he clearly believed when he signed him.

  47. andy says:

    I like the bit about a talented youngster in a team of talented youngsters. I agree that somewhat surprisingly The Arsenal dont actually give young players as much of a chance of first team football as many others. We have a great academy but do seem to groom players to move onto other teams. I do however disagree with the theory that Theo has had too many chances. IMO At another club he would have been playing regularly as a centre forward but with our softly softly approach to youth development we play him sparingly out of position in order to “educate” him and as such his confidence is shot and he is trying to re-invent himself. It does make me wonder that if we weren’t desperate for midfielders at the time would we have done the same with Fab ?

  48. RockyLives says:

    Look, it’s simple. Theo will never be brilliant. You can see in an instant that he doesn’t have an instinctive football brain like, say, Ramsey or Wilshere.
    But… that doesn’t mean he can’t be a damn good player. I happen to think he had a pretty good season for us this year, We all know he’s as nippy as a cold day at a nudist colony and in many games this year he made excellent crosses into the danger area (they weren’t always seized upon by our strikers, but that’s another issue).
    Last year he was rubbish, but he’s made good strides and I bet he has an excellent WC.
    He’ll be a good player for us. Give him a break.

  49. kelsey says:

    Looking through this season’s goal scorers and trying to make a comparison on yesterday’s debate about Theo makes quite interesting reading, especially as we were literally scoring from all over the park for the first half of the season.

    Who can remember the very first game when we won 6-1 at Everton ? The first 3 goals came from Denilson,Vermaelen and Gallas.

    Look at these stats for PL appearances (+ subs) and the goals returned.

    Diaby 26 +3 (29) = 6 goals
    Rosicky 14 +11 (25) = 3 goals
    Nasri 22 +4 (26) = 2 goals
    Eduardo 13 +11 (24) = 2 goals
    RVP 14 +2 (16) = 9 goals
    Vela 1 +10 (11) = 1 goal
    Walcott 12 +11 (23) = 3
    Arshavin 25 +5 (30) = 10 goals
    bendtner 13 +10 (23) = 6
    Fabregas 26 +1 (27) = 15
    Ramsey 7 +11 (18) = 3

    All our other goals came from defenders.

    So when we talk about Theo, it is worth bearing in mind apart from Cesc, RVP, Arshavin and Bendtner, the goals against appearsances is not that impressive for a side who nearly always have a high percentage of ball possession.

    One can argue that to have scored goals from a variety of players is better than being reliant upon one striker, but several attacking player’s goal ratios are pretty average, and that’s why I feel with Chamakh arriving we might get a more direct route to be more lethal in the box. Any thoughts ?

  50. andy says:

    Apparently becks is teaching Theo how to cross the ball better. I dont know much of Chamakh but I think he’s more of a predator than we have had for some time so crosses are going to be more commonplace at The arsenal this year. From what little I know of him I think he will mix it up a bit more and give us options.

  51. Alfa says:

    Morning all.

    I think a lot of you are being pretty harsh on a 20 year old (for most of the season) who is one of the few players that Arsenal or England have that can get behind defences at will. Andy, you said he had the potential to be a Michael Owen but AW had blown it. Michael Owen was about 18 months younger than Theo is now when he scored that amazing goal against Argentina and I suggest that Theo is the only person in the current England squad capable of scoring the same kind of goal.

    He makes mistakes but then so did Michael Owen at that age.

    Brd mentioned that he should run down the channels more but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen him at the Emirates poised to make the run and have to give up waiting for the pass because it got put sideways again.

    My prediction is that even though it could go either way for him at this world cup, he is one of the few players we have that the other big teams will worry about and have a plan for.

  52. Davi says:

    Kelsey – Every side has stats like that. Every player cant have high goals to games stats. You cant expect ramsey, rosicky, diaby and nasri to have extremely high goals:games stats. They could improve a bit, sure (although diaby did pretty well) but its not their game. They play different roles. In Utds team for example, its well documented that up until well past halfway through the season, OGs were their 2nd top scorer. So our situation is not actually that bad.

    3 goals in 12 starts isnt bad really for a right winger to be honest. The thing is I think hes lost his ability to be a quality “impact sub” this year. Last season I thought he was the most effective sub I’ve seen, he could come on and change a game. Whether we were winning or losing, he’d change it in our favour. This season, only against barcelona did he come on and look particularly dangerous – and even then, if he hadnt scored that goal (which was a bit lucky to be fair) I dont think people would have raved about it. Keita came over pretty quick and they shut him down in the end.

  53. Davi says:

    RockyLives – Give theo a break???? How many does he need???
    He’s been getting breaks his whole career! A huge contract and a place in the first team without earning it at all, and he still needs a break?
    What about vela and merida? They are both MORE talented imo but they never get/got a real chance.
    Even mark randall did a lot more with his appearance in the 1st team than theo has done.
    If these players were given the same chances theo has had, they would be FAR better players by now, and there are a few more in reserve who this applies to. Why cant anyone give them a break?

  54. Alfa says:


    fair point but when Vela (whose talent I admire) comes on, he never seems to do anything.

    Merida I agree we haven’t really seen much of at all.

    Can’t agree re Randall.

  55. Davi says:

    Alfa – randall has only made two league appearances, and scored once (although it was wrongly disallowed) but his general play was far superior to what i see from theo. He knows how to keep the ball at least, and so giving him the opportunities does not really harm the team as much as someone who cannot even keep the ball – which is how theo was for at least his 1st year of PL football.
    The same can be said for wilshere, merida, vela, JET, lansbury etc.

    On vela, he hasnt often impressed greatly in the 10 minute slots hes been given, but not everyone can come on and do something in 10 minutes. Also he hasnt been given the time to adapt to the LW position. Its different to how he played at osasuna I think, and the only times hes really looked good out there is when eduardo has also been on the pitch, because they seem to link up well. Carlos did seem to be improving towards the end of the season in that position though, and again, he at least knows how to retain the ball. His main problem seems to be he can struggle to get into the game. Which to me says its a movement issue. He doesnt find space very well. This is probably in part due to him playing a different position than is natural to him, but probably more that he just needs experience. In terms of talent, though, he is far above theo, and imo pretty much as talented as any player ive seen of a similar age.

  56. Davi says:

    And these days, when theo comes on, he doesnt do anything either btw. He seems to have gone backwards as an impact sub.

  57. andy says:

    Morning Alfa
    I think you misunderstand me. I am a fan of Theo and i dont actually think he gets enough game time. Mainly through niggling injuries though. I think he will come good. My concern was more that Arsenal have restricted his progress somewhat by playing him sparingly and out of position.

  58. Davi says:

    Alfa – on your theo analogy. After owen scored that amazing goal he maintained a consistently high level of performances for years.
    After theo’s run against liverpool or his hattrick against croatia, he played well for a few games, and then dropped off again.
    This right wing position suits him quite well imo. He is good at crossing and getting to the byline technically, and the position allows him t make diagonal runs and get into goalscoring positions – and hes a good finisher really. He’s just so damn inconsistent, he shouldnt be playing so regularly.

  59. kelsey says:


    I was purely stating the facts. Which ever way you look at it, Nasri,Vela,Walcott, Eduardo and Rosicky have poor returns to games played.We have all seen the amount of chances they have had, yet none of them are consistently clinical in front of goal.

  60. Morning kelsey – I’ve moved your comment so that it can come up as a post. If you’re around for a while I publish it now so that you can chat about it ……..

  61. kelsey says:

    Morning peaches,

    I am around but my Internet connection is another thing 🙂

  62. Ok 🙂

    Can I leave it until nearer 10 and take a chance on your internet then?

  63. kelsey says:

    Fine, but maybe the headline title should be changed (the second bit )

  64. kelsey says:

    …….May just lead to Another Title. (This is for peaches)

  65. Davi says:

    Kelsey – vela doesnt really have a poor return. Sub appearances and even starts dont tell the full story. Minutes on the pitch would be better for most of these players as they are often brought on or taken off.

    Anyway, I dont see your point to be honest. Vela and eduardo aside, whom I discussed earlier, the players you mentioned who arent scoring much arent really supposed to get large numbers of goals, but really theo is meant to be a major goal threat.
    Bendtner is perhaps a fair comparison, along with arshavin and rvp. They were our main forwards who were expected to contribute goals. The others are meant to chip in, which they did, so I dont see a problem..

  66. Excellent kelsey 😀

  67. You did know that the 2nd part was not meant to be in the title didn’t you?

  68. rasp are you there?

  69. Rasp says:

    Morning peaches

  70. Theres a NEW POST

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