Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Monday September 24 2012
Theo Walcott has refuted suggestions that his Arsenal contract remains unsigned for fiduciary reasons. The Gunners winger has nine months to run on his current deal and has found himself a peripheral figure in the first team this season. How far that is down to the manager sending him a message or just, you know, other players in his position are playing better is open to conjecture.
Reports suggest that Theo is holding out for £100k a week from Arsenal, with the club refusing to budge from £80k. But speaking to Sky Sports, Walcott has suggested there's more to it.
It's a slow process,' Walcott said. 'My last contract took over six months to happen. Hopefully it can be sorted out.
'I've never said I wanted to go, I've always wanted to stay. I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me. I've played on the right wing and had the opportunity to play up front a bit more so I think it's about time.
'That speculation on the money side of it has never been me. That's not me. I'm not the sort of person who's influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football. Hopefully something can be sorted out. I'll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there.
'It's one of those things that happens in the game. If it comes to it, if the club had to sell me, I'd be disappointed but, like I said, hopefully something can be sorted.'
My own view is that that's a nice piece of spin. Frankly, Walcott has never shown any sort of evidence that he could succeed in a central role with two centre halves sitting deep and minding him, forcing him to play with his back to goal etc. So I'm not quite sure why it's 'about time' he played upfront any more than it's 'about time' Cazorla had a shot at the left back position.
Frankly, I don't really think his contract has much to do with his 'exile' from the team right now. Simply, Arsenal are a more disciplined side now and Walcott isn't really capable of playing more discretely in my view, same as Arshavin.
Date:Monday September 24 2012
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