Wenger punts ball into Walcott’s court

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Arsene Wenger insists he wants Theo Walcott to stay at the Emirates but admits the player must decide his future one way or another before Christmas.

The England international, whose hattrick against Reading took him within one goal of a half century for the Gunners, has made clear he wants assurances of a future as a frontman while repeatedly stressing that he is not stalling because of money.

Maintaining that he thinks a deal can be done before the January transfer window opens, Wenger firmly put the ball in Walcott’s court by also hinting he will use the 23-year-old as a striker.

“There is urgency, how much I don’t know, but there is urgency,” Wenger told press ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Old Trafford.

“We want to sort it out before Christmas, one way or the other. I would not like to [sell him]. I have not even thought about that, because at the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him.

“I always said it is important that he plays in the correct position and that certainly would be through the middle in the future.

“The positions on the flanks are changing – you need to do a lot of defending. He should be dedicated more to offensive work.

“I have always come out publicly and said that I see him in the future through the middle as well. He loves to score goals. He has good pace, [makes] excellent, intelligent runs, and what has changed with Theo is he has [become] a very good finisher.”

So Theo, Arsene wants you to be a striker. It’s over to you. You’ve said yourself that you want to ‘be a legend like Thierry Henry’ – time to prove it.

Or has this been about money all along?

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Dodgeza
Dodgeza

Maybe Try a 4-4-2 proper sometime see how he and Big G play together?

Bibendum
Bibendum

zcesz
Bac BfG Verm Gismo

LegoH Jack
Caz Podo
Walc
BfB

Looks quite nice indeed….

Bibendum
Bibendum

… and the picture is even better 🙂 (i miserably tried to make it look like a football pitch)

Entre Dans La

hahahah Gizmo. He does look like Gizmo

CountLeaf

the other day there was article on bbc how brazil tries to adapt to the system without a classical striker. in which, for instance, kaka is put into a false striker role, so the team ends up with three attacking mids. i would like to see that tried in the Club, although i don’t believe i’ll witness it…

on the other hand, isn’t that the first time Wenger softens about Theo’s desire to play center forward? i don’t recollect him ever going public with how he sees Theo of the future in the cf position…

Matt Jarvis' Uncle
Matt Jarvis' Uncle

Are you being sarcastic? Wenger has said that a million times already now.

I want to be Dennis Bergkamp's BFF
I want to be Dennis Bergkamp's BFF

You may be able to view an Arsenal strikerless formation by watching some old games.
http://www.zonalmarking.net/2010/02/12/teams-of-the-decade-9-arsenal-2001-04/
Despite all his goals, Henry was pretty unstrikery as he always drifted left. And God was playing deep so no out and out strikers, which I remember was very annoying when there was nobody in the box to cross to. How times have changed eh?

ETID
ETID

We have tried the false striker plan many times, bendtner, chamakh, park all played it perfectly

TomJ
TomJ

True I think they might compliment each other very well indeed. Even against QPR I think Giroud improved when Walcott came on. Maybe that was down to an overall improvement offensively in the last quarter though.

Lord Teddy Ears
Lord Teddy Ears

Come on Theo the boss is going to give you a chance to become a legend sign on the line dont be a bottler. I would love to see him and Gman attacking the Manu goal.

austingooner
austingooner

I think they’d make a great pair up front. Are we done with the Ramsey-as-a-winger experiment yet???

ETID
ETID

More importantly are we done with the santos as a defender experiment?

New Yorker
New Yorker

Methinks this has been about money all along…

Sign da ting!!!!!!
Sign da ting!!!!!!

Me thinks walcott is a toddler and the dotted line is the scary place he doesnt want to go. He says he likes the cheap barbie doll but when alone likes to play with the expensive action figure. His crush is some little girl called Arsenal but he’s still undecided if it’s really who he’ll end up with.

Spooner
Spooner

WTF?

Tenuous metaphor overload, me thinks 😉

jimtoe
jimtoe

Bare hilare

Sign da ting!!!!!!
Sign da ting!!!!!!
David O'Leary's Dad
David O'Leary's Dad

As well as declaring he “is ready for the striker role” Wenger has also heavily hinted he will up the offer to Theo. I read that he said “I will talk to my finance minister” . Fingers crossed but it looks more likely we may get him to sign up. Come on Theo you know it makes sense!

David O'Leary's Dad
David O'Leary's Dad

Oh sorry, also wanted to say muchos gracias to Norwich for stuffing the Spuds last night.

Mach III
Mach III

Theo? What? SIGN DA TING!

Mental Strength
Mental Strength

Give him what he wants, Arsene. If we lose Feo, I’ll be convinced that Arsene has lost his mojo to keep the best players in this club.

Voldermort
Voldermort

Fed up with hearing the same shit every time we are about to sell a player, of course arsene wants to keep him, but not enough to offer him his terms. This can aply to any player we have in the squad or have sold. It’s bolox.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Any player? How about Cesc Fabregas? We didn’t fail to meet his terms.

TomJ
TomJ

Fabregas was a special case. I know you cant take the word of a footballer for shit when it comes to loving a club but I truely believe he would not have gone anywhere else, not in England anyway. Thats the thing with Van Cunt. He could have gone anywhere else it wouldnt hurt so much, anywhere, even City. The fucking swine

gee
gee

Of course if we offered him £120k today he would sign and wouldn’t care about his position.

I find it very galling (sp?) that we get a player at 16 and invest time money patience and energy into his inconsistency and when he looks like he can now produce regularly he naffs off.

The fact that it is Theo who is in no way an England regular who can hold us to ransom like this defies belief. Wenger no longer has any sway over keeping players. He is too soft and weak and they run riot showing no loyalty or respect to him.

Theo is playing a very very very clever game here constantly saying I love arsenal I want to sign a new deal, i want to stay …… oh I was sold but I wanted to stay….

Dr Baptiste

It’s not about being soft and weak, the rules have changed to the point that it is entirely based on player power these days. If you can just run your contract down and sign for a free with 6 months left on better wages, then what is the manager going to do? Don’t play them and they leave, play them and they leave, show patience and faith through injuries and they leave, etc….

To blame Wenger, when he doesn’t deal with the contract negotiations, shows a blinkered view of our club.

Anon
Anon

“Of course if we offered him £120k today he would sign and wouldn’t care about his position.”

And of course you have no definitive proof of this, making a lot of your points moot.

cs
cs

common sense, have you ever heard about that?

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Theo has good advisors, apparently. They have told him what to say to hold off the anger of the fans and he has stuck to his script. As long as he says he dreams of emulating Thierry Henry we have laid off of him. This has coincided with a couple of very good appearances that have surely added to his value to any team that can afford him, and made us appreciate him more.

Wenger also is a smart man. He has waited for Theo to show his stuff as a goalscorer, and then immediately asked him to prove his claims and do the deal to become a future Arsenal striker and legend.

If Theo chooses to go he will no doubt say “But I didn’t want to…”, but it will do him no good with most Arsenal fans as I think we are now wise to the bullshit footballers talk about loyalty and love for the club. I’ve heard many people say “But he’s only doing what we would do in the same situation” and I suppose that is true, but though I have looked for a better job in the past I never publicly declared to the massed admirers of my company that I loved it and them and wanted to stay there til the end of my career.

It is going to be fascinating to see how it all pans out. I just hope the club and the Gooners are the winners at the end of it.

gee
gee

Sorry another thing is that if we had a better wage structure i.e. not rewarding kids bumper deals for producing nothing then paying Theo £100k a week would not be a problem. Not saying he is worth that but then I don’t think any footballer is worth that either

Look at the dross Squillaci, Chamakh, Arshavin, Diaby, Rosicky, Park all clearing at least £50k per week each. So £15m per year in wages down the tube on absolutely nothing

Dr Baptiste

Not sure you can call Rosicky dross. Injury-prone maybe but when he plays he is a very good direct player

goontang
goontang

You must of missed the whole of last season speaking about little Mozart like that

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Unless he was supporting some other team last year. Not all fans stick with one team for two whole seasons in a row. Some decide who to support based on the latest kits. Those rings around the sleeves of our shirt must have won us a few fans this season. Many would surely be United fans. Disheartened by the decision to swap their normal shirt for a tablecloth this season, and seeing that a local London team has taken the brave leap to purple stripes, they have come to us and will save a few pounds on petrol fares into the bargain.

ETID
ETID

Well rosicky missed half of last season and so far has missed all of this. lets not even get started on the previous seasons. if u could roll diaby and rosicky into one you would get one hell of a player or one permanent member of holby.

santi's panties
santi's panties

Those bumper deals have kept kid Theo at the club. So your argument is a bit shaky.

Arseblood
Arseblood

Alumina
Toure Gallas Senderos Clichey

Nasri Flamini Fabregas WALCOTT

RVP Adebayor

This side would beat our current side. Walcott on his way…..

Ace McGoldrick
Ace McGoldrick

Toure at RB?

Comedian
Comedian

Senderos at cb?
I still like senderos ,stupid dogbra its all coz of you.

Dr Baptiste

The fact you have Gallas and Senderos at CB means that this has to be a joke. Also, most of that side played together and won a total of zero trophies.

Arseblood
Arseblood

Gallas at his peak was one of the best CBs in Europe. They may not have won trophies with us….but most of them have a few now. My point being we could have had a better team if AFC would pay the going rate (apart from Cesc who went ‘home’). Walcott wants what knobs like Downing, Milner and Johnson are getting…..and I think he’s right to ask for parity.

COYG
COYG

Szczesny >> Almunia
Sagna > Toure
BFG > Gallas
Verm >>>>>> Senderos
Gibbs = Clichy
Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla Midfield = Nasri Flamini Fabregas Midfield (very strong either way)
Walcott = Walcott
Giroud Adebayor

The only real advantage that side would have is RVP. The current backline is certainly better and the midfield is about equal. Plus Almunia is not very good. Advantage current Arsenal.

COYG
COYG

Oops I meant Giroud > Adebayor

Mental Strength
Mental Strength

Seriously? Almunia, Senderos, Gallas, Clichy and Adebayor? I’m glad these guys left Arsenal. Others may be not so much. even though they decided to be cunts.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Still waiting to see any sign of a positive statement about Arsenal from you. I still think there is a 93% probability that you are a Spurs fan having a wank at our expense.

Shavid
Shavid

fair enough saying to Walcott that he’s got to ‘prove himself’, but he has to be given the opportunity by Wenger first.
He can’t prove himself as a striker if he isn’t played there.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

He keeps proving himself as a striker from the wings at the moment. Pity he can’t see it for himself.

Bibendum
Bibendum

Could you please explain the meaning of this sentence in the above article : “took him within one goal of a half century for the Gunners” ? Thx

Harish
Harish

A century is 100, a common metaphor in UK sports for things like a hundred wins, runs (cricket), goals (football).

Theo is one goal shy of having 50 (half century) goals with Arsenal at a professional level. He has 49 goals on his overall scoresheet.

Bibendum
Bibendum

Very clear thx !

robbie kahlow
robbie kahlow

Wenger should try and get Theo the salary that Wenger thinks he is worth. Theo is talented for sure but is not a starter for The Arsenal or that poxy england team he sometimes turns out for.
And Arseblood, a team with Almunia, Gallas, Senderos, and the part timers Nasri and Adebyewhore in it would beat our present side? Nah. No way

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

It’s true. Arsenal would not lack confidence with Almunia in goal for the opposition. Clichy still has the look of a rabbit in the headlights on occasion, Gallas was sold because he was just about past it. Senderos still hasn’t quite got the confidence to excel in his position, and as for Adaboywhore, could the opposition be sure he could stay focused for the entire game? He tends to lose interest in working hard for a team very quickly nowadays. Though he might run hard if RVP remembered how the twat tried to remove his eye a couple of seasons ago.

In fact you only have to stop Fabregas from performing in Spursblood’s team and it would be pretty toothless, as RVP would get no service.

Theo's Bumfluff
Theo's Bumfluff

I was impressed with Theo’s link up play with Giroud, especially as Giroud seemed to drop off a lot to get the ball, got me thinking that this would be a good formation to try:

—————–Szcz—————-
Sagna—Verm—Mert—Gibbs
———Wilshere–Arteta——–
Cazorla—-Giroud—-Podolski
————–Walcott—————

Cazorla can come inside giving Sagna the space he likes down the right and Walcott gets his chance through the middle, supported by Giroud. Just a thought.

mooney
mooney

that line up illustrates perfectly how ludicrous this whole situation is

Dial Square
Dial Square

Giroud could not play in the hole, he’s good but he’s no Dennis Berkamp

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

With any line-up like this you need to consider who will come in to replace each player when a substitution is needed. If you can’t adequately replace Arteta, for instance then the midfield suddenly looks rather lightweight, the defence will be worked harder, the attack could stutter, and then you are going to have to change the shape of the team to compensate.

The Loving Hands of Wenger
The Loving Hands of Wenger

He’s obviously going. Don’t get attached people.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

That’s not a nice thing to say, even using sign language, you naughty hands. Does Wenger know you’re out on your own?

Matter of fact I think a lot of us got attached years ago and are still holding out hope that Theo will be exactly what he says he wants to be, an Arsenal legend. This is the problem you have when half your players start off as precocious kids, you can’t help but to develop an attachment for them. In a way it will feel better losing RVP than it will if we lose Theo.

The Loving Hands of Wenger
The Loving Hands of Wenger

szes
sagna met verm gibbs
cazorla arteta wilshere
theo giroud podolski/gervhino

Sorry but Walcott isn’t and will never be a striker for me. If you’re that small and want to play up front you have to have bombastic skill which he doesn’t. He should be a free-roaming right-wing forward, which he kind of his; but if he was such a striker he would score a lot more and make more chances from the right.

Dr Baptiste

I think 49 goals and 40 assists from the right is a fairly good return

Shavid
Shavid

the fact remains that when Theo is in a situation where he has an opportunity to get behind an opposition defence he is deadly.
The problem is that he doesn’t get in those situations enough.
When we play away or against expansive teams then Theo as a striker can work brilliantly, but often we face a situation where opposition sit deep and therefore most of the play is infront of the defence, and i’m not sure that in these situations (where space is at a premium) that Theo is the best option……then again he hasn’t played in that role.

we also forget that he’s only 23, and we only signed Thierry at 22 and converted him into a striker when he was about 23 so there is a long way to go yet…………..assuming we keep hold of Theo.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Theo often runs into full backs and gets dispossessed. As a striker he would be running into centre backs. They tend to be bigger and slower than fullbacks so they are going to give away a lot of free kicks and penalties when they get in his way and he ends up on his arse. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it regardless of rubbish ideas like common sense.

Gooniskey
Gooniskey

Theo has the potential to be an Arsenal great. It really is down to him. He’s improved over the last couple of seasons and will soon hit his stride if he sticks to his guns… Oh see what I did there? If he signs and someone uses the headline: “Theo sticks to his guns/gunners”, its all down to my brilliance. And don’t you forget it…
Up the Arsenal.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You’d have been guaranteed a job at the Daily Mail if only you had added to your “First with the News that Matters” by claiming it as an EXCLUSIVE!!!!.

uddeep
uddeep

Walcot will not sign. ………… Might as well get him frimponged

VictoriaConcordiaCrescit
VictoriaConcordiaCrescit

If you are genuinely wishing injury on one of our players, you are not an arsenal fan.

Voldermort
Voldermort

The fact is, because of the situation we put ourselves in regarding lack of forwards equals lack of goals, Walcott is in the driving seat. We need him more than he needs us and that is purely down to our transfer policy.
Walcott was replaceable had we kept rvp now he’s irreplaceable because we have little or no options up front. That’s the fact of the mater and that is completely of our own making.

Harish
Harish

I say try him as a ‘second striker’ and put him next to Giroud/Podolski for one or two games before Christmas.

Looking at our current squad, maybe go with:

Mannone
Sagna, Mert, Verm, Santos
Wilshere, Arteta
Cazorla, Podolski
Walcott, Giroud

To be fair though, doesnt really matter how the front 10 look on paper, pretty much all of them move forward and the front six pretty much end up everywhere.

No that I think about it, Walcott really shouldn’g get the hump at all, Wenger has serve the first four as strikers too (ST, LAM/LW, CAM, RAM/RW) and while in build it can make a difference, it’s not a real concern to be considered a striker as long as you’re getting goal scoring opportunities. The way he CAN continue to improve will allow him the freedom of being a RW striker, at continuous effort and work on his finishing will only allow that ability to develop more freedom on the pitch.

DAMMNNN
DAMMNNN

need to learn to make a formation people, got to many strikers to put theo up front need to let them show there worth no one wants to waste millions now,

szs
sagna verm kos gibbs
wilshare arteta
coza theo poldi
Giroud

Lapidarij
Lapidarij

Finally someone makes only normal formation with Walcott in the middle. But I am sad cos everything is pointing he will be sold. That will be the end of the generation which didn’t win any trophy but had some great players. We always missed two more very good players to have a strong bench and to win trophy no.1 or no.2.
At least he is not a cunt, yet… fans are more on the ground now and they understand where we are going/dropping.
I do believe in miracles and still hope he will stay.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

In this formation I imagine we would never see either striker playing the Bergkamp role, but instead would see Giroud moving left or right to to try to create a gap for Theo to charge through to receive short passes from Cazorla/Podolski or crosses from Sagna/Gibbs. I can see Theo falling over a lot in this case, and possibly getting injured more often as he will be crashing into big centre halves instead of wiry little full backs.

H. P. Arsecraft
H. P. Arsecraft

As soon as Wenger says “I think we will still manage to make a deal with him” I know the player is gone.
I’ve heard it all before and never with a positive outcome so drop the act and get rid of Feo if he wants to leave.

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Rob'67
Rob'67

If he was going to sign he would have done so by now.

We’ve been down this road a dozen times before. Sell him in January; buy a replacement and get at least one more signing of proven quality.

Whether we do or not is anyones guess.

feo walcott
feo walcott

Well, put that extra zero on my contract and I will be able to buy a court to put that ball into. 5 figures a week is a hard knock life for me, its a hard knock life for me

Gutbukkit Deffrolla
Gutbukkit Deffrolla

You lost me after the first sentence, lost me after the first sentence.

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[…] pre-game press conference (which took place yesterday). Interestingly, the manager has put a vague deadline on things, saying he wants it all sorted before Christmas, and he’s dangled an enticing carrot to the […]

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[…] pre-game press conference (which took place yesterday). Interestingly, the manager has put a vague deadline on things, saying he wants it all sorted before Christmas, and he’s dangled an enticing carrot to the […]