Let me start by saying, Stewart Robson is a man of courage. I’m not just saying that because I agree mostly with his recent comments deriding Theo Walcott. I sometimes disagree with his opinions during matches and on talksport and Arsenal World. I say it because he is employed by Arsenal, and I’m sure they were not pleased with his outspoken opinion against a current player. There are some franchises that would sack a commentator for something like that, but I’m a big believer in free speech, especially if it’s unpopular, or politically incorrect. I’m proud that Arsenal are confident enough to handle criticism, even from within.
As you can see from the title where I’m headed, let me first admit that I do recognize some positives about Theo. I am not one of the many Walcott haters out there. I really appreciate everyone on our club, and Theo is not a bad player by any stretch. I see that he has improved his game in some areas. He’s a better finisher than before, he doesn’t overshoot the goal as much as he used to, and he has improved on his chips also. He’s also developed a nice little relationship with RVP. That part can’t be underestimated.
I don’t know if we’re going to sign another forward or winger, so i will only consider the squad as it is at the moment, but if we do add up front, it may make this even more relevant. When I look at our team, i just don’t see that much potential for improvement in Theo’s overall game. I think he has a definite ceiling on how much better he can get. Despite his improvement, I don’t see him as a future striker, as has been discussed, and he wishes. I don’t know if he can score from a header, or that he will develop great touch. I’m the kind of person who is very afraid to give up on any raw talent that might come back to haunt us, especially in the EPL. What I am fairly confident of with Theo is, that he is not going to turn out to be a GREAT player. That we won’t be lamenting for years that we let him get away.The skills that he lacks are really not the type that are developed at this point in a players career, even though I admit he may still improve in some areas.
He seems from reports, to be seeking a fairly big raise in salary, and I’m not one who always comments on peoples wages, as you know, I think that’s more the club’s business in general. I just think that his salary as is, seems to be in line with his value to us. I also believe he MIGHT never be worth more in a transfer fee than now. I wouldn’t mind if Chelsea’s interest is real. I don’t feel that would make them stronger, or us weaker. I would take Sturridge over Theo on talent and upside in a minute, except that he seems unhappy on the wing, and is not shy to complain about it. ( Another good thing about Theo is the way he conducts himself as a person, I must say. ) I wish Manchester City were interested, more money, and I’d love to have Adam Johnson instead.
I’m not going by Hodgson or Capello’s opinions either. I just feel that playing the amount of minutes that he did for Arsenal, in our setup, we should be getting more production – plain and simple. I agree with alot of what Robson said, he needs to show more effort tracking back, although he’s not alone in that, and obviously we all know he lacks some ball skills, which are very hard to learn at this point. So many matches, when defended deep, he can’t create an attack, and just disappears.
Now, one big reason for my position, is that I’m betting big that Gervinho is going to really break out for us next season. He has great skills, pace, moves, scares defenders, and although he needs to work on his finishing, I believe his biggest problem with that is confidence. Podolski will play on the left side probably most of the time. I also would like to see the Ox get a little more playing time in league matches next season, and if our midfielders are healthy, that position will be crowded, so, it would have to be on the wing. Ryo will probably go out on loan again, but his potential is exciting, and again, a much higher upside. None of this includes possible new signings, and honestly, all the names rumoured around interest me more than Walcott for us. I think we could improve ourselves, and make a profit at the same time. Of course, I wouldn’t mind selling him, and using the proceeds to add on to a big fee for a superstar, but I am realistic.
So I write, with no animosity, that it may be time to sell Theo, shake things up a bit this summer. I would wish him all the best, except against us. Because he’s not a bad kid.
I want him to do well, and mostly, I want us to be better.
Written by jnyc