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Ten years ago, Arsenal took a gamble on an unknown 16 year old Englishman with all the attributes and abilities to be the very best. The world was at his feet, he had electrifying pace, and ice cool in front of goal. Many were expecting him to be the very best in the nearest future. Fast forward 10 years, the only thing that has changed is the beard. The questions still remain the same: Is he a striker? Is he a winger? Or just an over-hyped squad player sitting on a fat salary?
On his day, Theo Walcott is unplayable and absolutely brilliant making runs behind the opposition defence line and a lethal finisher. How often are his “on- days” ? Walcott is very exasperating, ten years and he still finds it difficult to go past a player. Ten years and Walcott’s composure in front of goal is still that of a 10 year old. Ten years and Walcott’s decision-making remains diabolical. Ten years and Walcott is still the same as he was 10 years ago.
I can finger-count the number of great games Walcott has had in an Arsenal shirt.
Arsene Wenger persistent inclusion of the Englishman in the first 11 makes the script more pathetic. As a winger, pace is an essential tool which he has enough to burn. However, Theo can’t take on players, can’t defend, and can’t track back to cover his full-back when the team is under pressure. As a striker, his finishing is decent. However, he can’t compete with aerial balls and he’s even worse when his back is towards the goal. He can’t position himself, sandwiches himself in between the centre backs, can’t hold up play and can’t switch wings.
I watched the game against Liverpool in the Champions league and I saw Theo hit one of the finest solo counter attacks assisting Adebayor for the goal. The same Theo came on against Southampton just around the 60th minute, made 3 passes and misplaced one of them.
He played as a centre-forward against Manchester United and these were his stats:
6 passes with 2 from the kick off.
0 take ons
0 aerial won
0 chances created
Time for him to warm the bench
So where is Theo Walcott’s best position? Honestly, he belongs on the bench. With Welbeck returning to full fitness, Theo should further push down the pecking order. Welbeck’s zeal and workhorse attitude are things Walcott can only dream of. Creating chances, Walcott is nowhere near Joel Campbell. Campbell can drift in and out, can take on players, and can play anywhere across the front three.
Defensive duties, Campbell again does a better job. He protects Hector Bellerin defensively and when the full back bumps forward, Arsenal fans are tired of seeing Theo Walcott and other average players sitting on a fat salary making schoolboy errors, even worse: making the same error every season.
Theo Walcott’s continuous inclusion in the first team is like a good comedy – it just gets funnier.
Written by Adesina Oluwatosin
Follow Adesina on Twitter @Gingerstiff
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