Let’s talk about Theo Walcott

Let’s talk about Theo Walcott

With news at a premium today I thought I’d go back over one of the topic from yesterday that I merely brushed over; the role that Theo Walcott will play for Arsenal this season.

But before I move on to the recent comments made Arsene Wenger regarding Walcott, I want to present you with a statement I made about the young Englishman before the start of last season:

“Van Persie recently suggested that this will be a big year for Walcott but I think he is still a little bit too young to have the impact that everyone expects and I think it will be another season of transition for him.”

And – surprise, surprise – that is exactly what it turned out to be.

This year, however, I think Walcott is ready to have the sort of season that many predicted him to have last season. That doesn’t mean buckets of goals or man-of-the-match performances every time he plays – it simply means becoming a more consistent threat to opposing defenders.

I definitely think he has it in him and it’s interesting to see the manager does too. Indeed, Wenger was quoted after the Barnet game as saying about Walcott:

“Theo made a step forward last season and you expect him to improve again. The target last year was for him to play 15 to 20 games and show quality. The target this year is to become a regular player. I expect a lot from him, this season.”

I have to say I’m glad to see the manager make such a public admission of his expectations for Walcott – it should both challenge and motivate the player. What is exciting for Arsenal supporters is the fact that Wenger would not go out on a limb and make this sort of statement without thinking things through very, very thoroughly. The Frenchman is a careful nurturer of his young players and does not like to put pressure on players he does not feel are ready, so these comments suggest that he absolutely believes Walcott can make the step up this season.

The manager also went on to speak about the position that Walcott might play for next season, suggesting that he is currently more at home out wide then up front. Given that Arsenal have an abundance of striking options and only three players who I would consider capable of playing on the wing – Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri and Emmanuel Eboue – I see Walcott challenging the latter for a starting spot on the right. Indeed, I believe that by the end of this season Theo Walcott will be the first-choice right winger for Arsenal.

He has the raw ability and simply needs to build his experience to add more consistency to his game. I think he can and will do it and I’m certainly looking forward to watching the young Englishman play.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

PS. Here’s a little bonus link to an article in The Guardian which illustrates what a great guy Theo appears to be. Cheers to Naeem for emailing me the link.

Have your say on Theo Walcott by leaving a comment.

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30 Responses to “Let’s talk about Theo Walcott”

  1. kens
    July 22, 2008 at 5:46 pm #

    1Almunia
    3Sagna 5Toure 10Gallas 22Clichy
    14walcott 4Cesc 16Ramsey 7Rosicky
    9Eduardo 11Van persie
    sub.
    Fabianski
    Senderos
    Song
    Diaby
    Nasri
    Bentdner

  2. Wallace
    July 22, 2008 at 5:47 pm #

    Theo definitely played better on the right. I really hope Wenger to start him as a right winger instead of the central striker or on the left.
    I feel Walcott is better than Eboue in that position.

  3. butterfingers
    July 22, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    I think theo should play on the right as what he did against milan and luckypool in the cl was pure class. Still don’t understand when sagna was injured eboue was rm and toure at rb and I still think that cost us the league as chelscum and manure both scored going through toure at rb as he was still feeling the effects of the afc.
    Also being given no.14 says it all from arsne lets hope he can copy the greatest player I have witnessed play with my own eyes.

  4. j.o.e
    July 22, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    1Almunia
    3Sagna 5Toure 10Gallas 22Clichy
    8Nasri 4Cesc 16Ramsey 7Rosicky
    9Eduardo 11Van persie

  5. Renae
    July 22, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    I think Walcott is a very exciting young player and has really grown into the right wing position.
    I don’t see him as a striker, his speed and runs make him more useful on the wing.

    I also agree that he’s really coming into his own at the moment and I am very happy about it. He’s a joy to watch and I have enjoyed following his progress. I really wish to see him tearing up the pitch this season.

  6. Erichero
    July 22, 2008 at 6:59 pm #

    I am concerned that Walcott doesn’t have the defensive qualities to be a right winger, which is why Eboue was chosen ahead of him.

    All the times we’ve seen him used effectively was in a role where we needed his offensive qualities. How will he do when we’re defending a 1-0 at the death?

    Remember Ljungberg’s shock when he arrived at Arsenal and was told he would have to defend?

  7. MEB
    July 22, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    Just as John Terry’s penalty (hahaha)showed, there are very fine lines in football.

    Theo’s performance away at Birmingham when he scored 2 and his performances against Liverpool and Milan showed that if circumstances were different around him, he could have been talking about him as the player who turned our season around.

    On the other hand, he showed against Tottenham away in the Carling Cup that he’s not yet ready and may not ever be ready to play up front.

  8. AndreaR
    July 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm #

    1Almunia
    3Sagna 6Senderos 10Gallas 22Clichy

    14Walcott 4Cesc 5Kolo 7Rosicky

    8Nasri

    11Rvp

  9. Grant
    July 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm #

    I like the fact that there are a lot of new people commenting on here SF. You must be doing something right 🙂
    I must disagree with our wide options however – Eboue shouldn’t be one of them… When Wenger moved him last season I thought it was a stroke of genius, but time and time again, Eboue was ineffective, wasteful and ill-tempered. He should be our second-choice right back – and a great one at that.
    Walcott can definitely step up a notch this season and prove his worth to the team. With pace like that, I can certainly see him as a regular starter by the end of the season.
    One other thing… What’s with people putting Ramsey in what I assume is their best starting eleven?

  10. TDP
    July 22, 2008 at 7:51 pm #

    I think Theo should count himself extremely unlucky and unfairly treated if he isn’t a regular starter next season. If the roles were reversed and Theo had been starting and producing the performances Eboue did last season, I just don’t believe that Arsene would have kept faith with him. Eboue has offered very little on that right hand side and while he links up well with Sagna and is a defensive option that Wenger likes, Theo’s end product dwarfed his.

    I’d even be interested to see Theo play up front a bit more alongside Van Persie or Ade or Niklas as the guy has a precious commodity in top flight football – blistering pace. I’ve heard he runs the 100m in a little over 10seconds and can be absolutely deadly for us next season.

    I think the biggest mistake Wenger made was not starting Theo after a) his performance against Slavia Prague when he nearly bagged a CL hat-trick and b) after the run against Liverpool. Theo is very much a confidence player that can be unstoppable when he is white hot. He appears to be so level-headed and focussed on improving rather than money. Someone this rare is someone we should cultivate and be happy top have.

  11. C-Bass
    July 22, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    I think Theo deserves a nod to the starting eleven if he continues to improve. He’s a brilliant talent. I also caught that article from the guardian and if you haven’t read it you really need too. Walcott is the next name I put on a jersey.

    I still personally think he can develop into a striker. That position however is not open to him this year and he needs more seasoning out on the wing anyways. The lad can finish just give him some time. He’s been mainly a winger since he came to the Gunners and he’s only 19.

  12. Mexican Gunner
    July 22, 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    sorry but does anyone knows where I can see the game of today online???

  13. Mexican Gunner
    July 22, 2008 at 9:09 pm #

    btw this is my perfect team:

    – – – – Almunia – – – – –
    Sagna – Wallas – Clichy
    – – – – – Toure – – – – –
    – – Fabregas – Rosicky –
    Walcott – – – – – – Nasri
    – V.Persie – – Adebayor

  14. Mexican Gunner
    July 22, 2008 at 9:10 pm #

    LOL
    *Gallas*

  15. jay
    July 22, 2008 at 9:43 pm #

    my team :
    Almunia
    Sagna – toure – Gallas – Clichy
    Nasri – Cesc – Ramsey – Rosicky
    V.Persie – Walcott
    Subs:
    Fabianski
    Traore
    Djourou
    Diaby
    Wilshere
    Adebayor
    Bendnter.

    Walcott is my 2nd fave arsenal player and i really like him upfront, many bloggers have said play him on right wing but i still say play him upfront.

  16. Steve 4 Advertising
    July 23, 2008 at 12:10 am #

    Theo is a natural replacement of Henry in my opinion. With his speed, he should play a wide roll and be allowed to run into the box with the ball – scares the life out of defenders!

  17. tunde
    July 23, 2008 at 1:35 am #

    its very exciting to see arsenal fans commenting on the upcoming season…i rili dont care who plays i just want us to destroy the premier league and win 6 trophies(emirates and amsterdam cups included) its a pity we are not in the community shield…lol…i think its portsmouth isnt it?

  18. klyn, gunner fan.
    July 23, 2008 at 6:50 am #

    star
    ting XI. ALNUINA
    SANGA,TOURE,GALLAS?,CLICHY
    WALCOT,CESC,ROSICKY,NASRI
    VAN PER,ADE

    i have to say that we need a good defensive mid.

  19. jay
    July 23, 2008 at 7:13 am #

    rosicky will not play in the centre, thats for sure klyn, gunner fan. however it is unsure whether AW is to use Nasri as a cm or a winger.

  20. Spanish Fry
    July 23, 2008 at 7:55 am #

    It’s definitely exciting to see all of these predictions for starting line-ups. Interesting to see Adebayor is not in a lot of them – he’d be in there every day of the week for me.

    And I’m certain there’s still a first-choice centre-midfielder to come in. If not, it has to be Diaby in there.

  21. Le gunner
    July 23, 2008 at 8:44 am #

    Coquellin this is the one. What a find.This kid has no fear in him at all.Brilliant.
    Walcott is a striker not a winger. Study time is over for him its time to do the business upfront. He’ll come good this season.

  22. Spanish Fry
    July 23, 2008 at 8:53 am #

    @ Le gunner – I don’t think Walcott will be playing up front. When you compare our striking options with our wide player ones there is a big difference in numbers.

    Strikers – Adebayor, van Persie, Eduardo, Bendtner, Vela

    Wingers – Rosicky, Nasri, Eboue

    It just makes logical sense that Walcott will play wide unless injuries force him up front. It should also be remembered that Wenger was quoted as saying that he considers Vela as an out-and-out striker like Eduardo and does not want to use him wide.

    Thoughts?

  23. butterfingers
    July 23, 2008 at 9:19 am #

    my starting 11 would have to be…
    almunia
    sagna toure gallas* clichy
    wallcot cesc denilson* sicky
    ade rvp
    subs… fabianski,nasri,nicky,vela,hoyte
    * would love to see replaced by richards and alonso.
    Also big up to silva who has come out and said he only left to get more playing time and it’s a 3 yr contract compared to a 1 yr extension we were offering hleb take note buddy if barca win nothing next year their new manager will prob get rid of you to play alongside him.

  24. Mexican Gunner
    July 23, 2008 at 11:46 am #

    No comments about the game of today ??
    How was Vela???
    (I only see highlights of the first half and Carlos Vela and Bendtner looks good)

  25. Le gunner
    July 23, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    Mexican- Vela has done Mexico proud. He was good and had few good chances to score.
    I’m quite happy with Arsenal goal it was a well worked out goal a nock down from Bendtner and a great finish from a tight angle for Walcott.
    SF I’m not saying Walcott will start every game upfront but I think Wenger will play him a bit more upfront than last season and ease him in his natural position which is a striker.

  26. Arsenallcc
    July 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    As a die hard fan of Arsenal and Wenger, i was disappointed by the performance of Walcott last season. He wasn’t up to the expected standard. He has been a bit overvalued. With the price we made, I will only judge him on his performance, not potential. I still have faith in Wenger and hope Walcott will explode soon.
    I know and see he run fast, very fast. But he can’t read the game well, he can’t make a good pass, he can’t control the tempo, he played shaky to me. He could only beat those aged defenders from Liverpool and AC Milan as a fresh sub in the late second half. I hope he can improve alot all of the sudden. Seriously, many great players played very well at their early age like Messi, Fabregas, Rooney. Theo, don’t tell me how good you can be, I don’t care. Just show it to me!!!

  27. Mexican Gunner
    July 23, 2008 at 4:52 pm #

    Thanks Le gunner

  28. SK
    August 7, 2008 at 12:25 am #

    I think Walcott should be a left winger. Nasri should take right. I’d sell Eboue if I were Wenger.

    I personally like the 4-4-2 Diamond formation. So my XI would be:

    Almunia – Goalkeeper
    Sagna – Right Back
    Toure – Right Centre Back
    Gallas – Left Centre Back
    Clichy – Left Back
    Diaby – Defending Midfielder
    Nasri – Right Wing
    Walcott – Left Wing
    Fabregas – Attacking Midfielder
    Adebayor – Right Striker
    van Persie – Left Striker

    Walcott is a winger NOT a striker.

  29. ray
    July 6, 2009 at 12:11 am #

    theo will play upfront next season and he will become the next thierry henry that i and every arsenal fan miss so much omg im desprate for him to come back this season or whenever he was our number 1 legend

  30. ray
    July 6, 2009 at 12:14 am #

    theo will play upfront next season and he will become the next thierry henry that i and every arsenal fan miss so much omg im desprate for him to come back this season or whenever he was our number 1 legend,

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