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.................