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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Wenger Sticks Up For His Own

Arsene Wenger has spoken out against those who have critisised Theo Walcott after he made England's world cup squad despite not even playing a league game since signing for the Gunners.

Eriksson stunned the world when he chose to take the youngster to Germany ahead of the likes of Darren Bent & Jermain Defoe, and Walcott has suffered some serious abuse ever since.

It was obvious to anyone with half a brain that Walcott hadn't earnt his place in the squad, but it should have been even more obvious to someone with even less brain than the first lot that none of this was Theo's choice and it's not as if he was going to knock back the chance to gain valuable experience just because a few people had a gripe with the decision.

Neverhteless it still hasn't stopped the media and rival fans alike having a pop at the player, but now, Wenger has spoken out against the minless fools who chose to slate the 'pickee' rather than the 'picker'.

'I think the criticisms he has been given have been harsh,' said Wenger.

'It's a lot of pressure for a very young man to deal with. I can accept players being criticised if they play badly but to criticise them when they don't even play is harsh. He's very young but people want him to be a star in England.

'I never said he should definitely go to the World Cup, I just said that I would be happy if he did go. Was he ready? He is playing against Aston Villa and that is no harder than playing against Costa Rica or Ecuador or a side like that. Sven [Goran Eriksson] decided to take him and then he didn't decide to play him. That's an issue for him and not for me. Theo shouldn't be criticised for that. He will also get much better. He's a very good listener.'

Walcott went some way to silencing his critics with an excellent first 17 minutes of his Arsenal career against Aston Villa last Saturday.




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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday August 21 2006

Time: 6:01PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
The England fans always use a scapegoat, Walcott didnt even play maybe you should blame Lampard he had more shots than any other player in the team.
gunnergooner
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21/08/2006 18:50:00

Damn right, but what do you expect from the moronic English press, who also fail to hold Rooney responsible for stamping on someone's boll*cks. Now he's behaving like a total moron, thtreatening to strike on the F.A for having the temerity to suspend him for another act of thugishness. Also take a bow Steven Gerrard, criticising a 17 year old to i) cover up your own averageness being exposed on the biggest stage and ii) to flog a few books, classy. I'd like to see Theo score a hat trick for England and then immediately retire from international football.
Little Dutch
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21/08/2006 18:51:00

exactly, all hat ever happens after we loose its a scapegoat, this time it is poor Theo, its not like he picked himself if sven beilived in this worder kid that much why not play him vs sweeden when we had qualified?
Walcott
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21/08/2006 19:19:00

I think Walcott just might have been England's best player this summer. At least he didn't look totally out of his depth sitting down. Unlike the criminally overrated Gerrard, who was so concerned about his own ego having been outplayed by T&T, that he blamed Theo.
Little Dutch
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21/08/2006 20:10:00

I'm a big fan of gerrard, but felt it was out of order to lay into theo how he did. Lampard, so many shots, no goals. Terry, characteristic ****-ups ni the tournament - seems to make one slack piece of defending per match, giving a chance on goal. Sol, just plain pony. robinson - didnt inspire confidence in the defence. All in all, none of that engish team did the nation proud - lacked the talent, the composure, the passign, the fluidity, and in this world cup, EVEN THE ENERGY AND EFFORT. and for this gerrard must shoulder the blame too. But no, let's criticise a kid who never even played. not the players who had the chence on the pitch, yet still arsed it up. »»Arsene Knows««
Wingston75
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21/08/2006 22:21:00

Dont like Wenger, Hate Arsenal but he is right, Walcott was not going to turn around and say no take Darren Bent or Jermaine Defoe instead of me I think it is in the nations interest or please Uncy Sven don't pick me I don't get on with the big boys.
MarteenGottspennes
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22/08/2006 01:42:00

no i must agree with the critics on this one, he didnt occupy the bench half as well as any soccer professional would. he was fidgety and distracted and sometimes he wasnt watching the game for the entire 90 mins which made me question his fitness. absolute disgrace
mish
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22/08/2006 04:43:00

yes, the camera was firmly focussed on Theo for the full 90 mins wasnt it? watching his every move, Pathetic!
jim_the_gooner
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22/08/2006 10:03:00

What do you expect from a moronic press that finds a WAG's bowel movements interesting?
Little Dutch
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22/08/2006 10:51:00

I think Mish was being a little bit sarcastic there JTG!!
Rocky7
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22/08/2006 11:28:00

That manager is off his f*****g rocker! Whilst it's nice for England to see Theo actually playing etc etc, and it's not the players fault. Can Arsne Wenger seriously stand up and say "ha told you so" when he had, as you put just 17 minutes against a side who had defended for the remaining 73? Of course he looked good, the Villa defence was knackered.
murph
Report Abuse
22/08/2006 11:37:00

Then surely if he'd had come on as sub in the world cup the defences he'd have faced will have also been knackered?? Thats why managers make tactical substitutions, to get the best of of a player or situation, and it paid off!!!
Rocky7
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22/08/2006 11:55:00

exactly rocky, why england never utilised him in the last 15-20mins amazed me. as his pace would've destroyed defences at that stage of the match. and AW never said he told us so, but said that for a 17yr old theres no point in starifying him cause he won't produce excellent performances all the time coz he's very young. but lets hope so. c'mon theo, c'mon the arsenal...
protocal
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22/08/2006 12:58:00

theo walcott is class. maybe sven was the idiot not putting him on. he could have made england the best team in tournement if not the winners
pabz999
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22/08/2006 14:39:00

THink I typed that before I put my brain into gear there! sorry Mish!
jim_the_gooner
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22/08/2006 16:16:00

thats cool JTG, hey murph isnt that the point? he is most valuable refreshing the momentum towards the end, and thats something we realy needed i was getting frustrated coz it seemed like it was taking 4ever to equalise and he created some uummphh (for lack of a better word) into a team that is not yet fully prepared for the season.
mish
Report Abuse
22/08/2006 23:59:00

Still, ikkle theo scored a great goal on the night he become the youngest england scorer.
red_chattey
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23/08/2006 23:04:00

 

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