Today we start to look at the players who are members of – “The Arsenal Century Club”. We start today with the player who took the most games and we will finish the series of posts with the player who took the least.
Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Theo Walcott sits at number 19.
Theo James Walcott was born 16 March 1989 in Stanmore, London, but grew up in Compton, Berkshire. He attended Compton Church of England Primary School and The Downs School. Nike agreed to a sponsorship deal with Walcott when he was fourteen years old. He is a product of the Southampton Academy and started his career with Southampton before Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal in 2006 for £5 million.
He initially joined as a scholar, having agreed to sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday on 16 March 2006.
On 30 May 2006, Walcott became England’s youngest ever senior football player aged 17 years and 75 days. In December, he received the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. On 6 September 2008, he made his first competitive start in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra. He has represented England at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012 and has 47 caps, scoring eight goals. In September 2008 against Croatia he became the youngest player ever to score a hat-trick for the full England side, aged just 19.
His first goal for Arsenal came in the 2007 League Cup Final against Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on 25 February 2007. His 12th-minute strike was overshadowed by events later on in the match: John Terry was knocked unconscious, Didier Drogba scored twice to give Chelsea a 2–1 victory and three players were sent off following a mass brawl.
Some words from the man himself-
“I was only 17 and hadn’t even played in the Premiership when I went to Germany. It wasn’t my decision to pick me. But it was good experience to train with world-class players, see the way they handled themselves.
“I never read the papers, so I never know what people are saying about me. That helps. The environment I’m in with the other players around me, I don’t really see what is in the papers. Of course I wanted to play for Arsenal. But I was only 17 and I didn’t want to play too much and get injuries. The boss has done brilliantly with me and now I’m ready to push on.”
Some more words-
Football is about opinions, but love me or hate me I don’t really care,” he said.
“I have been so pleased with everything I have achieved and I’ve enjoyed everything about it. Even with the injuries, it is part of the game. I genuinely wouldn’t change anything, I don’t have any regrets.
“I’ve seen players come through who everyone says, ‘They’re the next best thing’ and they put so much pressure on them, but then they go down the leagues and down the leagues and you just don’t hear about them anymore. But if you’re strong up here [mentally] and you have good people around you, then you can get through it.”
This may come as a surprise, but Walcott is a published author.
He has written no less than four children’s books for his “T.J and the…” series.
He was just 21 when they were published in 2010. The lead character, TJ, appears to be based on the author. Goodreads rated every one of the books at least 4.5/5.
In his 370th game for Arsenal on February 20th 2017 he scored his 100th goal in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Sutton United.
Throughout his last season at Arsenal, he was mainly used in the Europa League and in the EFL Cup, and he only made 6 substitute appearances in the Premier League. By October, he was increasingly on the fringes and was criticised following a poor performance when made captain in a 2–1 League Cup victory at home to Championship side Norwich City.
On 17 January 2018, Walcott signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Everton, ending his time at Arsenal.
Great idea for a series GN5. Many thanks for this one
Will be fascinated to discover who’s on the elite list of nineteen, and also whether it appears to be easier in the modern game or back in the black and white era
Theo, Theo, Theo. Through the middle? Cutting in from the left? Who knows. I doubt there were more players for whom I did more u-turns
GN5. Fine idea for a series of posts and as always, well researched and writeen.
Theo has been one of my favourite players. He could have been an Arsenal legend and still be playing for a mproper team and not a mid-table Northern outfit..
As it is he is a multi-millionaire, a husband and a father. Not bad.
Cheers GN5, that was a great read. I love the versatility of your writing these days.
I especially love the quotes you have used in the post. Theo had three strengths: speed, mental toughness and cold-bloodedness in front of goal. As such he got the best out of himself and turned a limited player into a successful one. I think he is making a good point that not giving a shit of what others think of you – and not reading the media comments etc about you – is key to success for a player.
I liked him in the beginning of his career but in the end I found him too calculated and detached from the Arsenal game, and so was glad to see him go. I expect him to do big things after his football career, either at a club as a commercial director, PR person or for TV.
Very good idea for a series.
I was a Theo fan for all of three games and then I realised……..
Excellent yet again, GN5, thank you.
It does not surprise me that Theo took the fewest games to reach the 100 goal mark because he was gifted with the ability to take his chances – especially in the early days.
Rather than repeat my oft declared high hopes for Theo at the start of his career, including while he was still at S/Hampton and then my disappointment that he seemed to get burned out too soon, in the last part of his career (injuries would not have helped) — I can simply say that I agree with TA, above.
Theo is well mannered, intelligent, and has attributes other than just football, so I too agree with TA that if he wants to, after his career closes, he could be a successful media personality.
I think Theo could have a fine future as an amateur schoolboy sprint coach. Forgot all about the round leather object 🙂
Thank you all for the comments, but credit has to go to Chas for the idea to create a series on our 100 goals scorers. But this time around I sent Chas the pictures.
As I did the research I was surprised that so many (19) players scored 100 or more and just like Micky I was intrigued to find out what era they came from.
I will keep you all waiting until the final ost to find out the answer and the player who was the quickest to reach the century mark; Theo was the slowest by a long shot.
I’m away for the afternoon as I have an appointment for laser surgery on one eye – it does not sound too serious.
Hope the eye surgery goes well — they have become pretty routine ops nowadays.
I must have been applying wishful thinking earlier, because I read that the order of the reveal would be the players who took the longest number of games to get to 100 goals, and then typed that I was not surprised that Theo took the ‘fewest’. Doh!! 😛
It’s my fourth laser surgery RA. I’ve had cataract surgery on both eyes and corrective surgery on the left. Today’s appointment is for a condition knows as iritis – which is an inflammation of the iris.
Thank you for an interesting article. I look forward to the rest.
I always like Theo and was sorry to see how he became marginalised and then left.
He had his limits and yet, one saw how the top teams used to double up on him so as to try to minimise his effect.
I thought that he was deadly in front of goal and rarely missed when he had the chances.
I suspect that what did for him was the injuries, especially the one against the scum in that cup game, which happened at a time when he was almost unstoppable.
His friendly and affable nature must have made him a popular person in the dressing room and the fact that he never complained or criticised the club or AW in public always stood to his credit.
I think he will always be successful in what he does and that he will usually choose the correct path.
What you meant to type is, given the era he played in and the number of chances made for him, he SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE FASTEST TO 100 GOAL!
Nice boy but inclined to agree with LB.
Rarely has there been a player arriving with such an incredible scoring record at Southampton between 14-16 who then forgot more often than not how to hit a barn door. Sorry!
One player I actually wish he finished his cars at arsenal
Very informative and interesting post GN5.
I’m looking forward to some of the greats from the 1930’s
Good point about a future media career for Theo. Could easily see him taking over from Links at MOTD
370 games to get to 100 goals playing as a winger? – tell that to Cliff Bastin. 🙂
It was a shame his career with us never quite hit the heights it might have done.
Nevertheless being an Arsenal Centurion is something to be very proud of.
Random video …………..
More random videos please
Loved it. S
…Some people just get on with living don’t they
Not me. I am watching France v Iceland. Mbappe is wonderful
Blimey Erik, you’ve lived. Must be on about your third or fourth body what with all the wear and tear forward slash abuse
Have a day off chaps, there is a post in drafts.
That why we should take in a woman game Ants
Anyone good at quizzes?
Doing a quiz with the theme “Grains, Seeds and Pulses”.
2 clues I’m stuck on
1. Almost the end of a town in Wales apart from 1 letter?
2. I’d rather have cider or lager.
Any help much appreciated, ta.
Thanks very much, LB.
BR is in the driving seat today, so I imagine he’ll put it up either today or tomorrow.
Now if berries were included, I was thinking goji and obscure Welsh towns ………..gogogoch!
Is there a bean called ….bitter?….
Here’s the whole thing.
Don’t think bitter beans exist.
That quiz is good. I failed miserably