Arsenal: Theo Walcott- The new Thierry Henry?

Ok, I won’t get ahead of myself here.

Arsène Wenger in 2006: “Theo Walcott is a very young player, but has already shown in his performances for Southampton that he is a talented player with huge potential. I also like the fact that he is a versatile player who is incredibly dedicated, shows great determination to succeed and is blessed with electric pace. We are delighted Theo has signed for the club and will make a fantastic addition to our squad.”

When Theo Walcott signed for Arsenal in 2006 as a 16 year-old, he came with a big reputation. A lot was put on his shoulders,*cough* Sven, World Cup *cough*, and for a boy of such a young age, it could have proven too much. At least that’s what some pundits would have you believe. Although Theo Walcott has never really lived up to the hype that came with him from Southampton, has he ever really been given the chance?

The alleged successor to the king, Thierry Henry, Theo has shown glimpses of the player many thought he would become. I could copy and paste stats but it would be pointless to be able to compare players, surely it would only be fair to do so if they play in the same position?

To be honest I’m not a very big fan of stats, as human beings we have a measurement for everything, can stats measure a player’s determination or his confidence? Anyway, enough of that. Theo Walcott probably divides opinion amongst Gooners more than any other player. Some see him as too inconsistent to be an Arsenal great, whilst others, including myself, believe he should be given time to gain this consistency.

There is no denying that on his day, Theo Walcott is devastating. He can tear defences apart with his blistering pace, pick out the corner of the goal with a beautifully slotted shot or find the head of a teammate after reaching the by-line. But why, oh, why can he not turn out performances like this week in, week out?

I’m afraid I can’t answer that, but what I can tell you is that Theo is dying for an opportunity to play up front. In the six years that he has been at the Emirates I cannot recall one occasion where he has been given this opportunity. He has served his time, for the majority, as a right winger, and on the odd occasion he is deployed down the left.

Walcott is a direct player, he likes to run at players. He has troubled some of the best full-backs in the world. His main weapons are his dribbling ability and his pace. Fair enough these abilities are best used on the wing, where there is more space, but Theo also has the ability to slot the ball home. He finds himself in great positions and this is no accident, some criticize him for not having a ‘footballing brain’, but I beg to differ.

OK, maybe he doesn’t have the passing ability of Andrea Pirlo, or cannot cross the ball like David Beckham, but is anyone as fast as Theo Walcott? When he gets in behind a defence there is only one outcome, and he won’t be holding the ball up, believe me.

I’m not saying he should replace Giroud, I’m just proposing something that I have wanted to happen for years. Rotation is key to any side battling on four fronts. I think Theo should be given his chance as the number 9 in the Capital One Cup tie vs Coventry, I think he has the ability to strive there. The King started on the wing, Theo can try to emulate this.

And with the creativity in the side at the moment it won’t be long until Theo is on 20-30 goals a year. I truly believe that.


Written by Ken Spring

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  1. Duc

    September 10, 2012 at 15:29

    I doubt TW will ever even moderately emulate TH as he has no support from AW. What evidence is there through the 6 years that AW intends to make TW a striker in the TH mould as he promised? None. TW’s rotting at Arsenal due to AW’s indifference and as painful as it is to say, TW should leave and find a better manager/set-up more suited to his needs.

    • Dylan

      September 10, 2012 at 21:08

      Would you say that TW is at the stage where he can take on players, beat them and go for goal on a regular basis?? Me neither.
      That’s why AW is keeping him on the wing. Its part of his development.

  2. DocBrody

    September 10, 2012 at 15:37

    Agree 1000% with the idea of giving him a shot in a few Capital One Cup games. Maybe in a few other games as well. What has to be frustrating for Theo is that Wenger has told him for years that he will get a chance to play up top. We haven’t won any silverware in 7 years. We lost RVP to Man U. At this point, what would be the harm in experimenting with something different? I bet Cazorla could feed Walcott some nicely weighted balls that only Walcott is fast enough to get to. Then its just a matter of seeing if he can score when he’s one on one with a keeper.

  3. Widge

    September 10, 2012 at 16:11

    I couldn’t agree with you more! I’ve always said that Theo’s position when we are defending a corner should be the halfway line, or level with their defender/s, imagine the threat of a Theo counter attack when he’s already ahead of 90% of the opposition! To counter this the opposition will have to leave more defenders back so the corner becomes easier for Arsenal to defend! Either way it’s a win win!

  4. almariaa

    September 10, 2012 at 17:33

    He should be given every chance, I am surprised at Arsene that he has not done this before now.

    He is a great little player

  5. paul

    September 10, 2012 at 17:39

    theos a nice lad but to compare him with henry is absolutely ludicrious when henry came it was better and better he got as for theo well sadly theo seems to have come to a full stop in his progress his pace is his strength but im afraid once that starts to go he”ll struggle big time in saying that i hope he proves me totally wrong ….

  6. Aminu

    September 10, 2012 at 18:28

    Am very sure that is the discussion he held with Wenger , because Wenger said his contract is not about money, and i know Wenger is going to convert him to striker that is why he is been benched in most game now.

  7. Killian

    September 10, 2012 at 21:11

    Do none of you remember in the champions league against Milan I think when he came on as a sub and played as a cf?

  8. Tomiczo

    September 10, 2012 at 23:38

    He doesn’t have the ability to take the defenders but he is super fast and accelerates like a lambo! If we can play balls into the spaces between the defenders he can easyly run into them before the defenders will know what is going on and shut! I am sure he will score more likely then olivier. On the other hand with games like Stoke when the opposing team is compact I would play Olivier as he is big strong and takes attention of the defence.