Monday, 25 January 2010

Is The Faith Being Shown In Theo Beginning To Wear Thin Now?

I hate to dig out individual players at the best of times. It's something that I very rarely do. In fact I can't actually remember the last time I dug anyone out who's wears an Arsenal shirt.

Today I feel I have to because it's something that has lurked in a dark place at the back of my mind for a long time and despite my best attempts to keep it there, hiding in the shadows, its waiting to get out.

Is Theo Walcott actually Arsenal quality? Because I'm beginning to have my doubts. He needs to liven up. And liven up quick.

There I've said it. I'm ready to be berated.

I love Theo and I want him to succeed so badly in an Arsenal shirt but I have a lingering doubt in my mind about him.

I don't think I'm the only one either and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe the fact that he is English is the reason we have tolerated his lack of development for so long.

I understand that the above is quite a strong statement to say. Let me say now that I have no problems with nationality whatsoever. If a player is good enough then I don't care where he is from. He could come from my sock draw for all I care, it matters not.

The thing is Arsenal have been mullered more than Muller Rice in the English media over the fact we field eleven foreign players on a regular basis. Being English Theo kind of balances it out in a strange way.

Is that enough though?

There is no doubting that Theo has his moments. But I've only seen flashes and glimpses of what he can do. He doesn't do it regularly enough.

I know he has suffered though injuries, and you can point to this being a factor, but surely there is only so much time you can allow someone to 'develop'?

It's not like Theo is a kid with promise anymore either. He will soon be 21 and has been at Arsenal for 4 years already. There comes a time when that potential must be fulfilled.

In the past I've seen Theo talk about the 2010 World Cup. Well, if I was him, I'd concentrate on getting fit, playing regularly, getting some decent form to repay Arsenal who pay him a lot of money, and us Gooners who show a lot of faith in him before I think of England.

My patience is wearing a little with Theo and I hate to say that. I really hope he makes me eat my words, I really do, but at the moment I can't see it. And that is sad.

Walcott needs to start showing that he is worthy of the Arsenal shirt. My heart says that he is but my brain (despite how small it is) tells me different.

I know its easy to sit here behind a keyboard and criticize a young man who has many years ahead of him but I honestly believe that its becoming make or break time with Theo.

Keep it Goonerish.................


Gooner Pete said...

I don't think you should be berated because what you say is true.

He needs to forget the WC and start showing why we pay him £60,000 a week.

Probably the best solution would be to loan him out but then we need bodies in the squad.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think I'm the only one either and I'm beginning to wonder if maybe the fact that he is English is the reason we have tolerated him for so long."

Took the words from my mouth.

Anonymous said...

i have to say i totally agree with your article, and if we are to use yesterdays match then what about Vela as well, when we signed him he was the real deal but all he does is fall over, ask for a booking and moan, Vela is not a premiership player full stop.

as for Walcott, the minute i saw him with both ears pierced i thought what an idiot, and since that day he has done nothing, i know this is not a fair judgement on him but i would swap either of theses players for Babel, who is bigger stronger and has a point to prove.
theo walcott will not be going to world cup on this form and i would put him back in the reserves to find his form and make him realis you need to work harder tobe in this first team, and now Clichy is back play Traore and left wing and dump vela off to spain where they do not play as physical a game, he will not handle the premiership.

Philip said...

well if he can just stop running into the opponents when dribbling and actually try going around them, he may well still be arsenal quality.....

midoco said...

I think what you're saying is definitely true.

He is a talented footballer and a naturally gifted player but doesn't seem to have a football brain. I'm not sure that his childhood was the same as other footballers, playing all the time as a kid will instil certain instincts.

I also think it's true that being English makes him more popular, you just have to listen to the cheers when he comes on as a sub.

I personally think we should get rid of him and buy a player who knows where his best position is. We need wingers so Milner or Ashley Young would be good replacements, they are English and would definitely want to play in the Champions League. Walcott plus cash for either one would be good.

Anonymous said...

anyone remember how bad alex song was 18 months ago?

he's barely played 90 minutes this season. he was starting to show what he could do last year before he got injured.

he's not got the technical quality of someone like nasri or arshavin but he's got the pace to make up for it. let him get a good run of games before you lose patience - it's not really fair to count this season as one of his years at arsenal given he's hardly kicked a ball!!

Anonymous said...


Has he impressed you in the previous 3 years then?

Philip said...

but then again in his defence, theo is a striker in the michael owen form, wenger only ever meant to play him on the wing in his early career so he can improve his passing and team play, wenger said eventually walcott will play up that position i see him being the nippy little striker on the last man ready for the final ball to score....Lets give him a chance in his righful position when he eventually gets there but that could take longer with the fact we now play 4-3-3.

Anonymous said...

These thoughts have been with me for sometime as well. I like you are willing him to succeed, but what I find frustrating is that if the ball gets away from him he doesn't track back or put the defence under pressure with his amazing speed. I so much want him to be better than Lennon, Beckham, Milner and be successful for both The Arsenal and England, but he frustrates the hell out of me and my two sons. I am starting to worry that Wenger will give up on him and all of a sudden he will go somewhere else and be successful.

Anonymous said...

He stated at the start of the season it was more important for him to win the world cup thaen to win something with Arsenal which I feel is totally disrespectful and will not be going near the world cup on current form Lennon has been outstanding this season and has learnt how to cross a ball which Theo needs to do,id have wright phillips as back up. 1 example in Burnley away and another yesterday against Stoke totally miskicks a cross and it and goes for a goal kick which in my eyes is disgraceful for someone who gets paid 60k plus.You dont need to be match fit to cross a ball he must do it 100 times in training a day!!! As for his general contribution that will improve massively if he gets 5-10 games in a row, however i dont think wenger will be starting him unless injuries force him to. People forget easily he was exceptional at times last season and croatia hat-trick shows the talent is there he needs games and a bit more bite and determination he wouldnt say boo to casper.

Anonymous said...

Walcott needs a run of games before we can start judging him really.

He has only had 5 starts this season and we nearly in febuary, thats not enough time.

I think he is a victim of his own success and now everyone expects him perform like he has past.

I think we all know what he can do and some players just need to find their rythm after being injured.

Anonymous said...

He hasn't got any confidence at the moment (all season... when fit). He should have listened to Wenger and turned down the U21's competition.

When things aren't going for you you should put a shift in for the team, putting the opposition under pressure and working them with runs in behind... he just seems to watch the game drift past him.

TheDom said...

Whether this is part of the general football mentality or just an Arsenal thing, but these attacks on players from our own teams seems nothing but destructive.

Theo has been at the club for 4 years – True.

In that period however
He has had at LEAST a year of it injured (still less than VP, Rosicky, Eddy or Diaby)
Had 6 months (first 6) where Wenger didn’t play him and rested him (still went to world cup though)
Had almost an entire season where no matter how badly Eboue played he got picked in front of him

So in his four years he has had very little chance to grow into the team. You could also maybe argue other players have been given a lot more playing time to improve (Eboue, Diaby and Song)

Diaby is finally starting to show signs he might be quite good (signed same time as theo) and Song has gone from team joke to we cant wait for him to come back.

We fans seem way too quick to write off players that Arsene doesn’t. I cant think of many examples where we have been proved right.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry boys but he's been pretty crap for years now. If he wasnt English we would have long since ditched him. Has he ever put two good (and by 'good' i mean 7 out of 10) performaces back to back?
I am not a huge fan of Babel but I'd rather him over Theo anyday.

NashIsArsenal said...

Come on man.

Is anyone forgetting the back end of last season when Theo was one of our best players, culminating in the delightful goal against Villareal. He's hardly played this season and we're writing him off.

And basing it on yesterday, a place where none of our players came out with any credit, is a bit harsh. Our first team lost there last season. That was a team with Robin, Cesc, Nasri, Clicy. Outplayed. I don't see why anyone really expected any more this season.

Some perspective needs to be used, because we as fans are far too reactionary.

digger26 said...

Bill Shankly once said famously of Bobby Gould "He couldn't trap a bag of cement" this easily could apply to Theo, it's as if the ball and his shinpads are the same poles of a magnet! Nothing sticks!
I think it's time Wenger started him through the middle to see if he really is the striker he sees,and if he can't cut it there then I agree, he certainly isn't Arsenal quality and Wenger should cut his losses, I'm sure the Arabs will give us our money back as they seem to be buying anyone who has a pulse at the moment!

Anonymous said...

THEO had no support frm Coquelin or Denilson.Theo plays better with a target man!!

Anonymous said...

I just took the time out to read this article and all the comments along with it. Its true that he hasn't gotten a good run of games, but in the games that he does play in walcott has been lost. Walcott is probably the fastest player in the league currently but he is way too predictable which is what separates him from Lennon and Shawn. He needs to know when to run a opponents when link plays with his teammates and so forth. Yes there are both different players but this is what TH14 knew how to do and he mastered. With our style of play its not entirely for walcott to use his speed... if that we the case we would b throwing long balls n diagonals like crazy. Vela is another case "Was that a shot or a cross cause i really dont know".
Honestly i just believe that in order for us to come out on top for the remaining competitions we need more from our players. Cesc is on the form of his life right now but the last thing we want is to b like Liverpool we need other players to start getting jealous/Inspired by Fabs form and step up their game as well. The league will no longer be determined by which is more tactically or technically skill or gifted but who is more hungry. We havent have a trophy goin on 5yrs now. We arent suppose to b hungry were suppose to be starving and its time we show just how starving we really are. Gunners4lyphe

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Has he impressed you in the previous 3 years then?

Remember last year when he got a decent run of games and scored 4 in 3 games including a beautiful first time lob whilst running at full pace?

Remember when he scored both goals at birmingham 2 years ago?

Remember when he ran the full length of the pitch to set up adebayor in the champions league semi?

Remember his inch perfect pass for fabregas against villa 2 weeks ago?

Remember his hattrick for england against croatia?

Remember his second anfield dash to set up arshavins 4th last season?

There's a few off the top of my head that make me think he deserves some time.

Anonymous said...

and i forgot his 2 goals in 2 carling cup finals against chelsea.....

not bad too shabby really considering he's young and has had some bad injuries.

Anonymous said...

He needs a run of games but our games are so important now that we can't carry passengers and Theo is very poor at the moment. But so is Eduardo so maybe Theo needs a chance up front because he would've reached many of Fab's thru-balls that the scittling eduardo failed to get to.

anyway... Here's hoping Cameroon get knocked out tonight and Alex Song plays against the Mancs on sunday

Brentwood Brad said...

Agree completely about being English, Theo is always a threat with his pace but when do we ever see him use it? He is not a ball player so our intricate passing style just doesn't seem to work round him. when he came to the club he was basically a sprinter with scope to be moulded but after four years im not seeing any consistent progression. He comes across a shy bloke on TV and also shows little confidence on the pitch, which is surprising when 60,000 gooners at the Emirates are chanting his name just hoping to see him for fill his undoubted potential.

Anonymous said...

Wrighty i couldnt agree more and have had the same convo many a time!

Fact is minus the few who say blindly that he hasnt been given a good enough run of games- 4 years at the Arsenal and what has he done for our views to change..nothing!!

Vela showed initially what he could do- finish and finish with style. Yes this year he has been poor but that is poor by his own standard and that is from the GLIMPSES that we have had the chance to see him.

Theo is below others- below Young, Milner, SWP, Lennon and Joe Cole in my eyes- he has an advantage over the lot but doesnt have the footballing intelligence to ustilise it properly.

I believe that he is a sprinter turned footballer and pace can only get you so far..Henry learnt to adapt and look what happened.

"Theo needs to liven up fast"- so so true. £60K weeekly isnt "developing" wages- its World Class and that isnt him by a long long way...and who has noticed his new found attitude! Berating Arshavin the other day- would you have passed to him on current form....

Anonymous said...

i have to disagree yet agree. he has the ability, its blindingly obvious, and this is why wenger has invested so much money in him. to the few of you who referred to theo as a nice, shy boy (and whichever of you compared him to michael owen): please pass what ever you're smoking. this guy has a cockiness about him that is absolutely more embarrassing than b52's. plain and simple, he may not be a big-time charlie like lansbury or bentley, but he has that typical young, english, out-of-its-depth arrogance. honestly, to speak casually about his place in the world cup squad? i'm really sick of him and wish his attitude would come around.

Anonymous said...

come on now guys the boy is only 20 i remember the same was said when we bought TT, Song, Hleb, Flamin etc what i dont ge is we dont lean from the past. my cuz was saying 2 me it wont be long when people start saying a 15yr old is playing bad lets sale him. if Theo was 25 i would agree with u all but for me and AW we know he's stil has 5yrs to improve period

Anonymous said...

I agree in that I have expected more from him than he has given. He has had a lot of injuries, which is not his fault but then the quality should still shine through and so far it has not...I also desperately want him to succeed but time is running out. I also think that Stuart Pearce should not have been allowed to take him for the under 21s. In my opinion when you are England seniors you stay England seniors. Going back down helps neither party.

Anonymous said...

About that situation with Theo n Arshavin with Bolton. That was funny Walcott was their charging up the field Arshavin wasnt gonna pass it not bcuz of walcotts form but hell he wanted his first touch of the game to b a goal. lol the look on walcotts face was like WTF u russian midget i was wide open!!!!

Anonymous said...

One good thing that came out of the Stoke game is the players below are not Arsenal quality and I doubt they will ever be,

Fabinski had a terrible game he is he not the answer to Alumina and never will be I'd rather see Scenzey given a chance.

Tarore was a joke at left back I know he is third choice but he has not got the defensive know how required

Denilson just too small and weak to be a midfielder for Arsenal.

Walcott this lad is a joke he can run fast granted but this is football not sprinting you need to be able to do something with it when you get on the ball

Thomas lacked any drive to make a impression on this debut poor player.

Instead on presisting with those average players they should be sold on and new players brought in to give the team real strength in depth.

Sophisticated Purity said...

Mate Bang on ..this was meant to be Walcott's make or break season the moment its a break ..he need's to pull his bloody socks up and fast ...
and run with the ball..not leaving it behind...the amount of times I've seen him do that in the past 4 seasons by now I would be a millionaire..

Anonymous said...

Theo needs to play up top and fabregas needs to split the defence down the middle for theo to run onto ,

he is awful on the wing because that is not what he is good at ,

play him in his position for a season in the division below and he will learn what to do and then bring him back , he is not ready.

He cant cross , centre forward playing off a tall man - is the only way for him.

Wenger play him where he is supposed to be or send him on loan.

Anonymous said...

Wrighty have to disagree for once

Theo has only started 5 games this season due to injury and fatigue. He played xtra games this season as he went to under 21 championship. and in 141(wiki)or 118 ( apperances with over half of them as sub he scored 15( with 17 assists(wiki) not that bad and he scored that hatrick in crotia.

You cant write someone of in the middle of a injury stop start season esp someone with the capacity to learn like theo. Also judge the guy as a striker! him and vela are not wingers. bit like judging cesc, ramsey,Van P, Arsh etc playing on the right instead of central. Cesc didnt look special playing on the right wing when wenger put him there.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous 17:09.

Are you insane. How can you judge Thomas after one game!
He was played out of position for a start. He has been brilliant at reserve & youth level and Blackpool were desperate to extend his loan. Why was that.
So is your attitude that if a player doesn't put in a would class showing on his debut we get rid of him!
I know maybe the answer is to get rid of half of the team every season so people like you can get all excited by new signings. While we are at it why don't we change the manager every other season. Before you know it we will be achieving the same success as the Spuds!!!
Rossa AFC

Anonymous said...

Pennant no2 except the crack-dealing father. Fuck him, he is everton material like that c*nt Senderos. enough with all these non-Arsenal quality stupid little c*nts that we have to tolerate cause they're English. fuck Thomas aswell, he is Adecunt no2 and walks like a retard

Anonymous said...

Sadly I have to say that I agree with the sentiment of article, but would like to point out that Theo should not be compared with other Arsenal signings mainly because Theo came at a high cost, a 9-10m signing on fee. His development seems to be going backwards at the moment, but he is still very young and could be a late developer. Nonetheless he currently offers the team very little and is very frustrating to watch. Ho hum, lets give him more time.

Anonymous said...

More overeaction as normal from many so called 'fans' YOUNG players always suffer dips & no matter what the hype Theo is very young & has had a very stop & start time due to injuries. I agree he has not got the best technical ability but he has certainly shown enough glimpses of potential to stick with. Was never goin to get a lot of change against stoke up against a burly opponent in a compressed game with no space to run into. He def needs to develop & will hopefully given time. I actually think our final third short possesion game doesnt particularly suit him & he is far more dangerous on the break when he has room to run into. Dont forget players like Ashley Young, SWP & A Lennon hav also suffered major dips in form at certain times, ( lennon was virtually written off 18 months ago) & i dont believe any have had the misfortune with injuries that Theo has had. Still have faith that Theo can be a big player & he just needs to stay injury free, knuckle down & work hard. At the moment i dont think he should be first choice but he is a great option to have on the bench, as for the so called BIG fee, well its all relative but i have seen various figures quoted from 5M up + add ons & i doubt he cost as much as many assume.

Anonymous said...

THANK GOD people are seeing the light at last at this over hyped one trick pony without any football intelligence. sell him for a profit before we get caught out

Anonymous said...

I'd swop Walcott for Victor Moses -a proper natural footballer - in a heartbeat.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Walcott eventually turns out to be yet another of Wenger's worst English buys, along with Wright and Jeffers.

Shivendran said...

he should be played on the left not right... that way he can do what messi and henry do and cut in onto his right when attacking the defence. If he needs to hold up the ball or head away from the defenders he can take the ball into the corner. this should suit him better and give him more options with what to do with the ball

then if he's still not performing get berating

I hope some one at Arsenal sees this

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as much as i hate to do this but, I do agree Theo has been a passenger in the team for a long time now, ok he's been injured and yes he has the odd good game but serously he's not very good.
Someone mentioned Vella as being poor, excuse me fella, Vella has more going for him than Theo ever will and as for JET, it was his first game for the Arsenal first team and he was being played out of postion, give him a break.

Juan Carlos said...

This thread is weak wrighty, you really surprised me today. you usually write good stuff and i often understand your sense of humour or sarcasm when you apply it, but today...

I'm sorry but you say theo is not a kid anymore, but you then point out that he is 21. Im sorry mate, but he IS still a kid.

And that is EXACTLY why he is only showing his brilliance here and there. he certainly has his moments, but he also provides his stinkers. much like ramsey, merida, wilshere.

its why there youngsters. Not everyteen is a world beater like fabregas was. FACT

you also point to his injurys as point for concern. well mate, its no surprise that he hasn't gotten a consistent run in the side, cause of his injuries, but if you analyze the games where theo has made an impact he is priceless to our attack. his speed and runs always either make him a dangerous weapon or opens space for our other creative players.

Theo is a baby mate, he is only 21 and when he "beefs" up abit in the next years, he will unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

So harsh...

The lad is coming back from serious injury after serious injury, he needs time to heal.

He is clearly one of those that needs match time and game time to get to full fitness, he can't just walk back in and perform to his maximum levels.

He is also adapting to a completely new 4-3-3 formation and he has played what, half a dozen games in this formation this season? It took RVP half a dozen games to really adapt to this formation.

Give him a break for crying out loud.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Something is seriously wrong with our backroom staff. Why are we always losing players through injury? It's ridiculous. Every week we have a "new signing".

Theo is talented but if he's never fit then what do you expect? Somewhere along the line our preparation isn't right.

Give him a clear run of games and he'll come good.

Anonymous said...

to anon above -
'Overrated' is ONE word. Go back to school if that's your only contribution to this site.

More importantly....
Strong rumour Huntelaar will sign this week - loan, then £10m in summer if Wenger wants him.

Mo said...

Young Theodor is prone to injuries because he invites them to put it simply. The boy has a lack of control when he has the ball, and to top that poor awareness overall. I am not having a go at him, is just that he has made no progress in my eyes if any at all. Even when he is on the wing his crossing of the ball is shambles. Believe you me if Vella had the same amount of match action Theo has had he would come through guaranteed...

Ok lads if I gave you the choice between Aaron Lennon and Theo Walcott on the team, who would you pick....exactly my point.

They both fast players we know that, but Lennon clearly shows better composure during crucial times and ball control above all.

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