Friday, August 19, 2016

Theo Walcott, should he stay or should he go?

By James Bale
As regular listeners will know I very rarely write for the site. Mainly because I am significantly better at talking than writing, but I feel I have to have my views immortalised in textual form. Why oh why is Theo still at the club?
There are several issues that I have with Theo and these are the main ones that I feel get on my nerves the most as a fan…
Firstly, why can he not decide where he wants to play? As we all know, Theo is a quick man around a pitch and was the fastest player at the club (until a certain cockney Spaniard took that crown). One year he wants to be a loan front man; the next year, a winger. This constant cycle then continues over and over again. He isn’t a typical lone striker as, for starters, he is fairly short when compared to the big, imposing, classic centre-forwards of the game. We have one of our own, so why do we need Theo to try his best to impersonate our favourite bearded Frenchman? If Theo is trying to be a player such as Sergio Aguero, arguably one of the best players in his position, he is falling very short of the mark. Calling Theo a ‘Prolific Goalscorer’ would just be a false title. As an all out striker, for me, Theo doesn’t make the impact that he should. As a winger he does fair slightly better, but we do have significantly better options. Ox is a much better all-rounder, and if injury hadn’t put a stop to his development over and over again, he would surely be first choice above Walcott all day long. Theo is very much a player with a positional crisis.
Secondly, why does Theo choke constantly? I’ve noticed these instances occurring more frequently where Theo almost forgets how to play football. In recent games we’ve seen him do some of the following: fall over the ball, forget how to dribble, forget what tackling is for, get confused when his team-mates shout at him for not passing for an easy tap-in and try to take players on and leave the ball behind to name a few. I don’t see how someone who has been playing a sport for over 10 years suddenly forgets how to play said sport. It baffles me quite honestly.
Thirdly and finally, his lack of defensive effort. As a winger (if that is his position of choice for the weekend), he should be tracking back with runners and generally helping out the full-backs. Does he? Most of the time, no he doesn’t. To me he doesn’t seem like a team player in this regard. The key to good build-up play after a break from the other team, is to defend, reset and try again. Theo loves to mess around, again forgetting his duties as a player. Sanchez, Ox, Giroud and Welbeck all track back and help out with defending. Theo seems to think he is above that most of the time, and even when he does track back, he can’t seem to put a tackle together to save his life.
Theo for me has definitely lost his edge. His attacking strategy is predictable and easy to counter with the right defender. He is very much a one-trick pony, and everyone knows what it is going to be as he’s been doing it for the past 10 years. Is it time for him to hang up his boots at Arsenal? Potentially. If we sign an attacking player (wouldn’t that be a miracle) then Theo will be slowly edged out of the team because of the wealth of youth players we have coming through; Iwobi, Akpom, Gnabry and Reine-Adelade to name a few. Personally, I think his time is up and we should be concentrating on younger, more exciting, players who are breaking into the first team with passion and desire. Theo has definitely lost his edge.