Arsenal - Wenger: Walcott Is NOT A Winger
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Wenger: Walcott Is NOT A Winger

Arsene Wenger had conceded that Theo Walcott is a striker, and that playing him on the wing may have been a mistake.

Walcott's form has been patchy at best, but with the weight of a nation on his shoulders, it's easy to understand why.

Arsenal gaffer Arsene Wenger has consistently forced the little Englishman, yes that's Englishman out-wide, when even the most myopic of gooners can see that the pacey frontman is better suited to a more forward role.

However, it seems Wenger has finally given in and Walcott (when he gets selected again) will play in his preferred role.

'I tried to force him to play wide but I am now convinced he will be a central player. He played well in that role against Slavia Prague and he may play in very similar games in the centre." Said Le Boss in the Sun.

Wenger also commented on Theo's poor form, suggesting that Walcott was not quite the player the Arsenal boss wants him to be, though he had no fears whatsoever that the striker will make it at Arsenal.

"He will get where I expect him to be but, at the moment, he is not, there is always a risk when you step up a level but I still think the sooner you are at the top, top level the better it is.'

"He was troubled a little bit when I took him off last weekend.'

'It can happen at that age and it`s part of the learning process. They have to deal with that.'

"The expectation level is very high because he is very young and he has been projected early into the spotlight.'

'He feels the pressure. He wants to fulfil the ambitions and expectation level that people have for him. But I still believe he is strong enough and good enough to make it.'

"He plays on confidence and he has qualities that will come out."

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday January 19 2008

Time: 10:14AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Wenger has no choice but to keep Walcott with no other Englishmen in the squad whatsoever. Wenger needs him, because if Walcott goes, Arsene will have nothing to stifle the press with. Pretty pathetic, actually.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:21:00

I believe Justin Hoyte may be English.............
Scott Spur
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 10:24:00

If your username is acurate I'm not sure what right you have to pour scorn on the situation?!?!
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19/01/2008 10:25:00

RH - idiot that knows absolutely nothing about Arsenal football club or Arsene Wenger's methods.
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19/01/2008 10:57:00

I'm sure the 1st time I saw Theo at Southampton he played on the left, I recall he came of the bench with 20min to go and set up a goal and scored one.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:02:00

I remember seeing him scoring a superb chip from the left wing, dunno whether he was playing there or not. It is plain to see that he isn't a winger though. Upfront his pace would terrify defences, he finds space pretty well and would crucify most centre backs in the PL. Also he often doesn't work hard enough tracking back when playing on the wing!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:14:00

RH, what's pathetic is your contribution to this forum... Theo is a special case - he came to us a talented boy and is still a boy... not everyone matures at the same way/rate, so making comparisons to players like Cesc or others is innapropriate. The guy is 18 (for god's sake - 18) and it shows how impatient we are if we expect him to be a world-beater because he's been with us over a year. I admit its not easy to stop expecting miracles when he comes on as he has shown glimpses of magic, but thinking he will do it all the time is probably going to create frustration.
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19/01/2008 11:26:00

Perhaps the worse thing that happened to him was Sven taking the lad to the 2006 World Cup, what was that all about?
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19/01/2008 11:29:00

I think it is left wing, up front or nothing. He has played well on the left wing when I remember seeing him play there. He cuts in and passes rather than having to take players on and cross the ball.
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19/01/2008 11:31:00

I agree there Merlin, bad decision for the player and the team. He was thrust into the spotlight and it hasn't left him since. But everyone speaks so highly of him that you've got to believe he's good enough!! I still think he needs to wash the Thierry Henry out of his hair and shoot more often. He needs to realise that Adebayor, Eduardo or van Persie aren't going to chastise him for not passing!!
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19/01/2008 11:36:00

Agree that Left Wing or a striker. His shots are pretty poor and hence he doesn't score that many. On the right flank, his crosses are usually disappointing. So I don't think anyone knows what his position is really. Left Wing? Striker? I have no clue!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:38:00

Or hug him like his daughter before games in a peverse manner....
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 11:39:00

i seem to remeber that henry started life as a winger and then mooved to centre forward - and i think this time last year, Wenger said that he expect walcot to move towards a centre forward role later in his you could say that the man was right all along!
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19/01/2008 12:20:00

Henry had already played 3 seasons as a winger already, 2 with Monaco, 1 with Juve (and was also a winger during the 1998 WC). Walcott however had only played 1 full season as a winger, because of injuries and whatnot.
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19/01/2008 12:58:00

He's not a left or right wing player, he is and has alwayes been a striker. Playing him out on the wing is not going to make him a better striker no more than Diaby will be a better central midfield player by playing on the left wing. Arsenes problem is that he has such riches in midfield and up front that thease players are not getting the games they need in their best positions and therefor are not developing as quickly as they otherwise would, the best solution would be for Wenge to loan Walcott out to a Manager he trusts and where he will get the playing time he needs.
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19/01/2008 13:00:00

I said on here months ago that Walnut was a costly flop and that is exactly what he is. He has speed but very poor technic and awareness of how the game is played. If he hadnt cost so much or wasnt english he would be playing in the reserves league/championship.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 13:04:00

Arsene's always said that moving Theo to the wing will help him in the sense that he'll not encounter much opposition. It will give him time to blend into the game. I don't think it's because of the embarrassment of riches he has going forward.
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19/01/2008 13:05:00

Jermaine Pennant Mk2 anyone? If so, it simply proves that Wenger cannot fully realise the potential of English players irrespective of how much natural talent they have .. Theo clearly has the attitude and work ethic .. all those alledgedly talent young English players simply may have to ultimately move away.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 13:14:00

Initially is was because of what you said WYBI but now it is because he has no place up front for him.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 13:15:00

...we would love to see walcott be loaned too you reckon arsne trusts harry enough to let him join your retirment village for a short spell/ we are desperatly in need of a stiker, and he needs games...and anyway, he probably wouldnt notice the difference!!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 14:06:00

I'd say that Wenger trusts Harry will he loan him out is different matter.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 15:10:00

ES - Are you suggesting that Wenger can improve players from other countries but not from England? That's racism that. You should be ashamed of yourself. Now go to your room!!!
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 15:39:00

I agree with you WouldYouBelieveIt?!...EnglishSpur can you please talk some sense please...pompeycarpet,I won't mind Theo being loaned out as long as he will get opportunities to start games like Bendtner back in Birmingham.
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19/01/2008 17:34:00

great, well seeing as you agree to it, ill get on the phone to arsne now ;-)...we would love to have him at fratton, as despite benjanis second hatrick, we have been short of goals lately
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 17:47:00

Guess we will all see whether Walnut has or hasn't got it Tuesday night..............if Wenger has the gonads to field the same team.
Scott Spur
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19/01/2008 17:52:00

Woot, I prefer Theo up front 'cos on the wing he seems like a lost soul. He finds problems getting round some defenders, CANNOT cross and just seems troubled there over all.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 18:25:00

Scott Spur- You think Wenger might change his mind and play first teamers? He didn't do that against the mighty Chel$ki last year in the finals, why on earth will he play some of the "Big boys" aginst some tinny little girls from across the lane? Don't flatter yourself will ya?
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 18:34:00

you manged to beat fulham and keep the pressure on united well done the arse
ozanne park rangers
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19/01/2008 19:19:00

i think theo will start as a striker..dudu play today so he might not play vs scum and i agree that his best position as a striker..look what he did during England U-21 the last time he play there..don't give up hope yet..his time will come..sooner or later..
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 19:26:00

Just an observation, Rocky7. Aside from Ashley Cole, which English player has he really developed?
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 21:32:00

Pennant, Bentley, Sidewell, Harper, Hoyte, Upson etc. and all the young English players in the youth team.
Report Abuse
19/01/2008 23:03:00

Goofle, which one those that you have mentioned made it at Arsenal and are regular first XI players? Should not the credit here go to Brady? Pennant developed when he moved to Birmingham as did Upson, Bentley has only really stepped up and shown consistency under Mark Hughes, Stevie Coppell was the manager that made Steve Sidwell and James Harper .... seems like you are giving credit to Wenger for the hard work of others.
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19/01/2008 23:29:00

Nah, Wenger uprooted the youth system when he came to Arsenal and made it what it is today. As Arsenal news Review pointed out there is a former English and Foreign XI currently plying their trade in the Premiership. Foreigner ex-Arsenal XI 4-3-3: Taylor (grandparents etc;) Lauren, Hughes, Diarra, Volz; Midfield: Ljungberg, Larsson, Boa Morte: Forwards: Stokes, Anelka, Aliadiere or Kanu and English ex-Arsenal XI 4-4-2: Wright, Ashley Cole, Upson, Campbell, O'Hara: Midfield: Bentley, Sidwell, Muamba, Harper; Forwards: Pennant and Andy Cole.
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 00:03:00

Tell me an Englishman that would get into the Arsenal team. not only Ex Arsenal but in general. only rooney and Ferdinand that I could think of.
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 00:05:00

Ok, we'll do this again.......and how many English players have been developed at Tottenham ES? 1?
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 03:30:00

Oh not again!
Lou the Gunneress
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 05:28:00

Hahaha Goofle, how did he develop established players like Ljungberg and Lauren, players like Diarra who stayed 5 months, Campbell who'd already been to a World Cup, O'Hara who was barely there, Wright who had to leave after one season and had already been capped etc etc etc. My favourite is ANDY COLE ... Goofle, my comment was about Wenger's inability to help English players progress ... Cole left to join Bristol City in 1992, Wenger became manager in 1996 - is Arsene a time traveller? - the comment was his ability to develop English players into regular first XI players and how he'd not achieved this, so it would be no surprise if Theo didn't develop LOL
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 08:27:00

Rocky7, using the Goofle model, we can look to: Steve Carr, Luke Young, Sol Campbell, Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Simon Davies, Michael Carrick, Matthew Etherington, Peter Crouch, Nick Barnby. All of them started their careers at Spurs or joined at a very young age and developed into full and regular internationals except Etherington who IMO is unlucky not to have been given a cap or two. Whilst Carrick admittedly was 'known' his value raised from 2.75m to 18m in 2 years at Spurs.
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 08:35:00

And not using the goofle method......Ledley King.
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20/01/2008 09:07:00

diarra await the departure of one more kid from your side,diaby that is...and i hope we thrash and burn you at the lane..
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 09:37:00

diaby has stated that he relishing his chances as there is less one midfielder in the squad..i think when diarra leave, it will give him more playing time and he will be happy with it..if not just discard him as we have randall, lansbury and gibbs waiting...
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 11:40:00

Iceman 10, not using the Goofle model, you would include Luke Young, Steve Carr, Sol Campbell, Peter Crouch and Nick Barnby - they all started their pro careers at Spurs and with the exception of Crouch became established in the first team and were capped at full international or u21 level (in the case of Young)
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 12:51:00

this is an intresting point. why do people pick up on arsnal for not develpoing THAT many english youth players (who are all to impatient to wait there chances anyway) when sides like portsmouth have not had a single player come out of there youth system. To say arsnal are not developing english talent is simply not true - as it is simply a case of englaish players not being patient enough to wait there chance.
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 13:43:00

But with Campbell, Crouch Carr and Barmy you are going back quite a way, and if we went back that far I'm sure we could come up with a few mediocre players (Sol Campbell aside) like those also.
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 13:44:00

oh, and if you look at it, there are 6+billion people in the world, and only 60+ million live in england. what are the chances that even 1 of the best 11 players available are english?
Report Abuse
20/01/2008 13:46:00

I don't understand why Walcott cannot play on the left side.. I think he wouldnt be a bad left winger to be honest.. he would cut inside naturally and that would help him in maturing into a striker.. I never understood why Wenger made him play on the right wing..
Report Abuse
21/01/2008 03:22:00

It wont matter where walnut is played because he lacks technic and awareness, he is a very poor player and very costly too......englishspur give it a rest with the old englander arguement if you had any brains you would realise that the scum have produced 3 times as many english players over the past ten years than we have.
Report Abuse
21/01/2008 09:58:00

ES with this same old stupid worn out really know how to hit all the low notes...I thought you were more intelligent than that. Too bad. I'm not even going to bother commenting on the whole Arsene-Englishplayer thing. Theo showed promises as a young player in s'thton...Arsene gave him a chance - too bad if it doesnt work out. But methinks he is always going to be a better gamble than 16.5m Bent.
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22/01/2008 09:52:00


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