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Wenger Should Grant Walcott His wish

Wenger Should Grant Walcott His wish

With all the speculation, anguish, statements, wailing and gnashing of teeth regarding Robin van Persie, the issue of Theo Walcott and his slowly winding down contract has taken the metaphorical back seat, however the situation is a concern nonetheless.

With only a year left on his contract the rapid Englishman will be free to talk to any club who tickles his fancy (assuming he tickles theirs) in a little over 6 months, and in my humble opinion, it would be a huge mistake if we let him go.

Walcott is a player who can amaze and frustrate in equal measure, sublimely intricate one minute, tripping over his own feet the next, but when alls said and done, his goals and assists numbers are still fairly impressive.

Theo himself appears to be an articulate, pleasant and polite young man, everything you wouldn`t normally associate with the modern day footballer, and one thing he has articulated on a number of occasions is his desire to play in the striker`s role.

Maybe the time has come to grant him his wish if we`re serious about keeping him?

Chris Walleddlele once infamously said that Theo Walcott does not possess a footballing brain (quite the slant coming from a person with no measurable intellect), it was a comment that has been repeated almost every time Theo makes a mess of a cut-back or chooses the wrong pass, but it`s garbage. There`s no way Walcott could become a regular at one of the top clubs in England if he didn`t possess footballing intelligence, but that said, he`s not fulfilling his potential.

Theo is not being the best he could be simply because he isn`t a winger. Much like Laurent Koscielny wouldn`t excel in the defensive midfield role (probably), Theo isn`t always going to play well when asked to do something he doesn`t particularly excel at.

For me, Theo is a player who plays better when acting on instinct, much like Ian Wright, Walcott is at his masterful best when he has to act instinctively, running onto the ball rather than with it at his feet. Walcott is a fantastic finisher, being able to bend them in at the far post like Henry, dink them over the keeper like Ljungberg or smash them home like Wrighty, his talent lies in scoring goals, not in beating a man with chalk on his boots.

The change in footballing philosophy since the days of Henry, Pires, Bergkamp and Ljungberg has seen the Arsenal style become much more considered and slower paced, taking 50 passes when back in 2004 we could go from defending to scoring in a matter of four or five touches, however having now lost the spine to the team to which that style was built around (assuming van Persie will be sold in the next couple of weeks) maybe a change in style will see us try to resort to the more devastating style of yesteryear?

With the acquisition of Lukas Podolski and Oliver Giroud we`ve got a couple of quite different strikers, one big, powerful and apparently aerially dominant, and the other very similar to van Persie. Two players to really push us on in the goal scoring stakes.

However two strikers is simply too small a number to keep us going for an entire campaign, and let`s face it, Chamakh and Park aren't going to give us anything in the way of … well … anything at all, we need another striker.

Walcott should be that man.

Wenger rarely lives to regret letting a player go (of course some players have gone on to greener grasses but their positions had become untenable at the club) but I sincerely believe we would go on to regret losing Theo Walcott if we have the chance to keep him and get the best out of him in a more advanced role.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Monday July 23 2012
Time: 5:52PM


Can't harm to give him a go. He's played a couple of times in the striker position and didn't impress but in his defence, he's playing in an Arsenal side that doesn't seem to exploit his weapons effectively. Who knows what Wenger will do though? He needs to get rid of Chamakh and Park first.
Professor Calculus
23/07/2012 18:21:00
LD can probably recollect better than I, but I think everytime Walcott as played upfront has been in either an injuty ravaged side or a weakned Carling Cup team. I really think he needs a run up top.
23/07/2012 18:29:00
Can he control the ball in tight spaces? I think not. His current position is the best suited for him.. Running at defenders from wide areas - suits him and us. But I do agree he is too important a player to let go off.
23/07/2012 18:40:00
I should hope he could control a ball in a tight space...
23/07/2012 19:20:00
Running at defenders doesn't suit him at all, he never varies the speed in which he tries to move which makes him extemely predictable. When someone plays the ball for him to run on to then you can't defend agaist him. Troube is tThat when that happens out wide he’s still got men to beat or pick the right pass once he gets there, not his strong suit at all, but when he’s through the middle he finishes very well a lot of the time.
23/07/2012 19:40:00
Theo is not ready to have that responsibility foisted on him. He still lacks that presence of mind and quickness of thought all good Top strikers require. If we are in a siege situation and need a goal with defenders tiring; if the opposition is going at us gung-ho and we need a speed-star to catch their defenders cold from a long ball; if we need to utilize his speed in tight games; etc. Maybe, we can throw him in and gradually ease him into the role in about a year or two (if he signs that contract).
23/07/2012 19:45:00
Be careful what you say about Chamakh, Prof Calculus. Have you seen the latest pics from our team's training session at the Bulit Jalil National stadium today? Someone in Asia thinks he is a big thing ;-)
23/07/2012 19:49:00
Be careful what you say about Chamakh, Prof Calculus. Have you seen the latest pics from our team's training session at the Bulit Jalil National stadium today? Someone in Asia thinks he is a big thing ;-)
23/07/2012 19:49:00
If Theo plays in the middle, he will always have 1 or 2 plays on his arse. He will need RvP-eqsue skills to keep possession and bring others into play. What theo is good at his beating people for pace and finishing. Hes a very good finisher. He doesnt need to be a Ronaldo or a Nani to beat defenders.. he can beat them for pace anyday. But that he needs some room to run at - whcih he will get if he plays out wide
23/07/2012 20:30:00
walcott is certainly the m. owen type of player and would suit any teams that play direct counter attacking tactic. the problem with employing him in such role with us is, teams against us are parking the bus at the final third. there is not enough space for him to unleash his pace
24/07/2012 05:00:00
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