Sunday, March 3, 2024

Walcott: Contract talks made me grow up

Theo Walcott has shed light on his protracted contract negotiations with Arsene Wenger revealing his anger at being left on the bench and how face-to-face discussions with the boss forced him to mature.

Talking to The Times [£], the attacker – as he did throughout the ‘stand-off’ – also stressed that money was not the key factor as to why the process took so long.

“Last season I played for 52 games and then I was left out for nine — it was very difficult,” said Walcott. “Being left out made me angry.”

“Going to see the manager used to be like sitting outside the headmaster’s office, biting my nails, thinking, ‘Oh s***, what am I going to do now?’ Feeling like I was sweating,” he continued.

“But I think the whole business showed me that I had to decide what I wanted and go for it. I think that did change me. I would like to think I’m still a nice guy, well brought up, but maybe more determined now to get what I want. If I want to talk to the manager, I’ll go do it.

“Maybe in the past I would fret — ‘Should I, shouldn’t I?’ That’s a different side of me. I came out of the meeting with bit more understanding of what the manager wanted and that’s fine. As long as I did what he asked I was back in the team.”

Despite signing a £100,000 a week deal at the end of January, a contract which made him one of the club’s highest earners, Walcott stressed that so little was money a concern that he didn’t even listen to what other offers were on the table elsewhere.

“People now can surely see it didn’t revolve entirely around money. I could have hung on and walked out for nothing and who knows what I could have made then? My agent might know, but he never told me and I never asked. I just wanted to be in the team, playing well.

“I always said I wanted to stay. I know what I owed to Arsenal and to the manager, getting me when I was 16. I did want to repay the club. Others might say that and not believe it, but I do.”

Seemingly happy to have drawn a line under the whole debacle the England international suggested that rather than damage relations with Arsene Wenger the difficult period has instead taken his relationship with Arsenal and the boss to another level.

“When a club and a manager have shown interest in you at such a young age, when you’ve done next to nothing in the game, and they’ve helped you reach the top level, helped you develop and work around top players, you don’t lightly walk away from that. I wanted to stay because I still think this club can go on to achieve something. It’s ‘when’ and not ‘if’ we win something.

“If anything came out of it all, I think it’s a bit more respect between me and the manager. We’ve shown faith in each other and I feel there is a bit more responsibility on me to create something out of nothing.”

Supporters will no doubt draw their own conclusions about the above. In truth none of it really matters anymore, the key is really that Walcott finds his best form in the last few weeks and helps us finish as high up the table as possible. Given we’re without a central forward for the next three games he may even have another chance to prove himself in the one position he really fancies.

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Walcott: Contract talks made me GIVE up


Tbf I genuinely think he wanted to stay, although I would like to hear about what offers he got to see the scale of his ambition. Clearly he got some good offers, but definitely wasn’t gona be a starter at a higher club, hes not that stupid I think hes chosen his career first over money. But since his contract is only for 3 years, I think hes made it so that if next year is trophyless hes gona be off but at least we might get some money back. Lets just hope we invest properly this summer and not… Read more »


who else will pay him 100k a week?


Why didn’t he sign a ‘long term’ contract then?


Theo, you’re full of shit.

Sav from Australia

I think you’ve pretty much summed him up.


This guy just comes across really annoying


Theo can’t win with some gooners. Go and he’s labelled a mercenary. Stay and apparently he’s full of shit and annoying. 60 odd goals for the club with his best about to come, i don’t see what wrong with managing to keep him. Major coup for the club. He’ll become a legend


“He’ll become a legend”

Care to put some money on that?


Why can’t he? You’re negativity is boring mate. Hassan’s first point was very valid and you’re proof of that.



He’s not exactly Tony Adams with regards to his contract, but at least he stayed. I don’t think he’s come out of it smelling entirely of roses (he pissed me and a lot of others I talked to at games right off) but he’s here, he’s an Arsenal player, and as such we need to move on. I hope he can fulfil his potential in a shirt with white sleeves and not rot on the bench at some club prostituting itself to a wealthy sugar daddy (or a club with ‘fans’ who haven’t the faintest idea about their club, its… Read more »


Has an,
I really hope so. But in reality, if his performances on the pitch mirrored the fluidity and excellence of his press work and interviews, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.


Think he’s definitely gone off the boil last couple of months but his progression has been only upwards. Can’t see why next season doesn’t see him break the 20 goal barrier. Assists wise he’s one behind Mata.


Some gooners Just like to moan & be pesemistic [IT’S a SICKNESS REALLY] . I don’t know why -Walcott-[highest scorer at the club] getting 100,000£ a week is such abig problem while both Podolski and Arteta make the same amount, and while Wenger gets 200,000£ every week. If Walcott had been sold to Chelsea you would still be moaning about the Arsenal board.


Podolski has 108 German caps to explain why he’s on 90k pw, Arteta is on about 50-60k pw and actually took a pay cut to join us from everton, and Wenger is on 140k pw for being the best manager in world football. In my opinion Walcott is on 100k pw only so that if we get a bid it will be higher than losing him on a free.


Don’t forget that he’s got just 3 years left on his contract now, I think, which means that in maximum 12 months time we are going to go through the same crap again. I think such a short contract extension is a deliberate move to see what offers come in after the next year, unless AFC let’s it run down to 1 year again…

Rambo's jungle knife

Walcott: Contract talks made me grow up…..and hide behind defenders afterwards.

gooner in Manchester

Our midfielders did not spot his excellent runs. I feel he’s cut quite an isolated figure recently.


he’s isolating himself. Giroud who is less mobile can get more involved. That should tell you what you need to know about Theo

Double Canister

Manc, well spotted that he is trying to find good spaces on the pitch, but his offside positioning for runs needs work. A lot of work….


I have been reading blogs too….

Theo try to act Cool and Mature but it does sound fake. In fairness he doesn’t know to act as good as certain dutch skunk. But he decided to stay and fight with Arsenal than the disgraceful Nasri or join a bitter rival like ManU or Spurs. He is still wearing the Red and White shirt for FFS. You don’t have to buy his version of story, i don’t, but there is no reason to criticize him. Get behind the team.

Jim Jimminy

Reasonable responses so far…

Jim Jimminy


Santi's Class

He always seems to say the right things. Repay Arsene’s faith, stay with the club, not about the money, bla bla bla. Dunno if that’s genuine or not, though I really hope that Theo’s a nice and proper lad. Ultimately it doesn’t matter when he can’t perform on the pitch. He really has everything provided for him, the cash, the game time, even the set pieces! Time to bang a few in Theo, surely there’s no better time to start than the next game against United and van Persie.


“Contract talks made me richer and realise that if I draw things out, I can receive a massive paycheck and then give up.”

That’s how a lot of us are thinking, you can’t really complain with that. He’s been awful since his contract. Still, the guy’s clearly got talent, he’s got 177 premier league appearances at the age of 24, is one of those players that when in form, can change a game single-handedly. Let’s hope Arsene finds a plan for him next season.


The thing concerning some of us is that of his 177 appearances he seems to have influenced or played well in so few. I have stood and watched him now for 7 years and what you don’t see on the telly is the poverty of his movement, first touch and general spatial awareness. Sometimes you just want someone to tell him where to stand as he has no idea. If that’s the result of 7 years training with the likes of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Fabregas, van Persie, Cazorla then I really wonder whether he will ever improve as a player.… Read more »


Do you think it’s possible that he knows where he should be stood slightly better than you do, and that maybe he’s seeing something you’re not? I mean, in those 7 years you’ve been stood watching him, he’s been playing. Maybe he’s got a better understanding than you?


They also made you shite mate, pull your finger out and justify that 100k per week.


He grew up too fast i reckon, he’s playing like he’s in his late 30’s


Theo writes a new book: How to lose supporter’s trust in 3 easy steps: 1.Moan about being played in centre.2Score plenty till contract sign 3.Do an Arshavin after contract signed


Criticize any other player (Ramsey, Giroud, etc.) on this blog and you get all the drama queens coming out of the woodwork (“support the team!”).

But with Walcott, it’s okay. Even though he’s got the most assists and goals for us this season.

All because, horror of horrors, he successfully negotiated a good contract.


“All because, horror of horrors, he successfully negotiated a good contract.”

Criticism for Theo has NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to do with the contract itself.

It’s the performances since that are very much deserving of criticism. It’s easy to play the “loyal to my club no matter how they play” card like some supporters do.


Criticism is purely about his performance? That’s hard to square with him being arguably our most effective performer this season.


“It’s the performances SINCE that are very much deserving of criticism”


My point was that he has been a very effective performer. Most goals and assists.


Very true, but you can’t argue that after he signed the contract he’s dropped off. In my opinion, that’s perfectly reasonable for fans to question and criticise.

Perry S.

for one half of a season, yeah.



Consistency is a bit over-rated though.

Equally important is having people who can change games, even if they hide from time to time.

gooner in Manchester

Southampton, Reading, Spuds goals are scored when we were winning handsomely. Before he signed the contract, Arsenal were into a corner in terms of the transfers and he celebrated after each goal he scored as if saying “told you so, I was right, I won”. He was playing for himself. He probably was badly advised. Someone must have told him that he had had skills to play as a centre forward. He said he’s angry for being left out. But, remember he refused to sign the first offer at the end of last season. I feel that he has lost… Read more »


I’d grow up for £100,000 a week too


Well spurs just won. That’s no Champions League football for us next year.


19 points out of our last 21, quit bitching and keep the faith. COME ON YOU GOONERS


Well that’s a measured response…

gooner in Manchester

who wants that shittiest of cups which will be handed from the cuntest of all cunts Platini.

I want Emirates cup every year!

Dr Baptiste

Haven’t they got to play each other? Seems like it’s still very much in our own hands

gooner in Manchester

Yes, if we win all of our games.




If Chelsea beat Liverpool today, it’s no longer in our hands.


It’s already over. We’re finishing 5th and seasons of Liverpool-esque stagnation are to come.


Bit dramatic. 60/40 I’d say.


It’s very easy to tell a spud on this site


Lose against United and our chances are slim. Chelsea play United and Spurs, let’s hope the latter of those ends in a draw. Whatever happens we need to win our remaining games. Even then, a year out of the Champions League may not be a bad thing, it’s not like we’re a shit of a sudden and they’re a better club. If they make it to the Champions League, they’ll be under pressure to perform, they’ll be expected to finish above us and Arsenal do well as underdogs. All is not lost!! We have a stable squad now. The resurgence… Read more »


It still is. We need three points next week against United at all cost.

petits handbag

I’m a fan of Theo’s,but next week is Poldi’s.
It’s our biggest game since 2008


Theos train of thought is: me me me me me me me me ME

Wenger's Waterbottle

Theo: “What Theo wants, Theo gets. Love, Theo…..Theo.”


Europa nooooooooooooo

Perry S.

are you guys serious? we’re still 2 points ahead of the spuds, granted with a match in hand. they will drop points. keep an ounce of faith, for goodness sake.


We still play United so that’s a loss.

Perry S.

good on you to really get behind the club. hope you have some egg on your face next week.

Arsene Wenger

I think united will have the title wrapped up before they play us. If Sp*rs can beat a motivated Citeh side then we can beat United at home.

In fairness, I thought Sp*rs would get no more than 1 point from the Citeh game. Maybe they have it in them to beat the Russians. Either way, I think we are more likely to see the Russians miss out than either of the North London clubs if they lose today.


Spurs have a better record against the top teams. That has to change next season.


Oh goddamn that small team from N.L with a pet monkey that can dribble and shoot every once in a while.


how could ya have faith with yesterdays performance??????


The performance yesterday is exactly what is giving me faith. We played like shit, but got 3 points. If we do that for the last few games, hell for next season too, I wouldn’t give a flying fuck. Results first, and the performance will follow as we get rid of pressure and click better. We need to improve over the summer and if we tide ourselves over with scabby victories that will do me just nicely 🙂

Eric Irish gunner

Well said abit of belief, the spud cunts and chaves still have to play each other so points will be dropped and I think Liverpool will at least get draw today


You can start scoring again anytime now Theo.


To be fair we’ve only had two victories over good teams all season, and they were tainted:

A 10 man Tottenham.

And Bayern, when they’d already assumed they were through.

Can’t say we deserve to be in the Champions League.


Let’s look at who Spurs have to play:

Wigan – Useless
Southampton – Already on their summer holidays
Chelsea – Whatever the result, it doesn’t really help us
Stoke – Will roll over for Spurs
Sunderland – Most likely will be safe by then with nothing to play for


their chelsea game is win win win for us, 1 of the teams were competing against is guaranteed to drop points…


Being a little positive
Wigan – With their tails on fire and a victory making them comparatively “safe”, they will go for it next week
Southampton – Not much hope
Chelsea – A draw will be perfect with 1 or 2 reds/injuries
Stoke – Useless. Although if they are still in relegation battle, the orcs may prove to be of some use
Sunderland – In Di Cannio I trust.

It is our fixture list that worries me a bit. If we can win next week (I’d take even a draw), then hopefully we can take third

nii amartey

Wigan – U underestimate them during this time of the year at your own peril
Southampton – Unpredictable
Chelsea – Whatever the result, it helps us
Stoke – Have to fight to escape relegation
Sunderland – Most likely will be safe by then with nothing to play for


People, I am now getting really scared. Sp*rs were supposed to drop points against City. This makes the game against Utd a must-win for us.


I have lost count at how many times big teams haven’t deserved to beat us but have and then gone on to win the league, cups etc.

Deserve or not deserve we want to be in it and that is all that matters.

After the City match just those points look more valuable already.

Arsene Wenger

It looks like the Banconface match is now a must-win.

It is strange what a large impact the Everton draw has had.


Theo why dont you make run behind the defence. I like the young theo the present one is frustrating.

Why is my name required

No way we’ll never let those cunts win the title in our backyard. We simply cannot lose that match


They win at home to Villa = they’re league champions.

Van Persie will come to the Emirates as a champion, and in sweet justice, score to condemn us to 5th place.


Give it a rest man. Or go play with the traffic. It is dull.

Eric Irish gunner

Truth= shittalk


I stand this little cunt anymore, since you signed, you’ve been shit Theo.

Everyone was behind you and wanted you to do well, because you seemed likea decent young man and player.
You were a potentially good player, but money has turned you into the next Wayne Routledge/Kieren Dyer/David Bentley.

As far as your contract goes, the next three years.can’t go fast enough for me. I want you to fuck off ASAP! Man u, Spurs, Chelsea, fucking Zenit st Petersburg!! Anywhere other than Arsenal.

I’ll carry you there, you over-rated little twat!


wth guys he’s dead on, he could have refused to sign and he would be offered 30 40 50k a week more and you were all screaming sign da thing n now he has your hating him? grow up


I think Theo did not expect the backlash of his contract and also his new responsibility of being our highest paid. Before he shone when his consistent patch arrived and then dimmed when it left. His new stature in the team means/meant he had to be the main man, replace Van Persie and take games by the scruff of the neck. HE has yet to do so, he needs to learn from Ramsey and just get back to what he is good at. I think the reason why the manager picks him is because of his goal threat and (when… Read more »


QUOTE: With us 5pts behind city we might no need to look behind us anymore.

Guess again mate check the table


Yes Chelsea and Spurs are breathing down our necks but why is in to feasible for us to claw back City and drag them into the fight? They lose twice (with one of them being their game in hand) and we get maximum points we will be above them and we don’t have to worry about Chelsea and Spurs they will.

So I don’t know what you want me to guess or check, mate.


“I think Theo did not expect the backlash of his contract and also his new responsibility of being our highest paid”.
What backlash? His name s still sung with reverence before during and after games at the ground, despite his increasing on pitch absences. I’m sure Gervinho and Ramsey would have killed for such a backlash.

South African_Gooner

Why are some “gooners” getting nervous for the run in.. Just coz spuds won 1 game.. C’mon.. This is football.. Gotta love it.. Super excited for it.. Love the scrap.. Love the fact that we cant let up any games.. Test us yes.. Because only the best teams play in the UCL anyways.. C’mon Arsenal.. We can do it.. Love football

Arsene Wenger

People are worried because Spurs got three more points than they were meant to today. Now that they have dealt with the oil barrons, their run-in actually looks favourable to ours. Our chances aren’t boosted by the poor performance against Fulham and the fact that we have no centre forwards remaining because all 1 of them is suspended. Our only hope would otherwise lie in Chelsea failing to perform but given the pedigree of their players, even in the unlikely event they get nothing from Liverpool, they are in pole position to finish third (or even second, given City’s season… Read more »


The sp*rs have to play with Sunderland, Stoke, Wigan who try to run away from relegation.


Did I hear the Chelsea fans singing during the minute long applause?

Man, they really are a bunch of cunts aren’t they?

Trex d' Gunner

The chinless cunt and his other mercenary goons couldnt finish off monkey boy and his band of circus freaks.
Game on for us now, there is no room for error, every game is a must win. COYG


what happened to his goal scoring after signing the new contract?


Chelsea are up 1-0 at Anfield…and yes, I’m a gooner who’s worried about the run-in. We have to get a minimum of 10 from our last 12 points and even then nothing is guaranteed. One things is clear though, we cannot lose to United next weekend. We have to maintain the defensive discipline we’ve shown and add some offensive creativity and bite to that match and to the remaining 3 matches after that.


I would’ve publicly executed Theo shitting Walcunt, to have kept RVP.

Now Man u are going to humiliate us by winning the title at our place with our former best player.

Still look on the bright side, at least Walcunt earns loads of money.


Frustrated suarez bits ivanovic, ha.ha. What a mad thing


On the suarez menu: pat’ rice’ evra, paul scones, meat- sacker.

Arsene Wenger

What is going on? We can’t have have Russia FC and Sp*rs winning!

Eric Irish gunner

We don’t, YES

Arsene Wenger

Yes! You lovely Racist Man!

Arsene Wenger


Let me ammend that:

Yes! You lovely Racist Cannibal!

Podolski Sklep

Hey! They do it all the time in Uruguay…


Haha fucking chelshit bottlers.

Eric Irish gunner

Hahaha fucking love it chav cunts

Big Chief from Antarctica

hahahaha sod off, chav cunts


Boom! you got to love it when points are dropped by those around you!

Eric Irish gunner

Utd to win tomorrow and old red nose brings them on the piss so there fucked for next week hopefully

Arsene Wenger

Well let’s not forget that Russia’s next game is against Swansea at home, so they probably won’t drop points next week, whereas we might.


I don’t care if he is a racist biter of men, I would have Suarez at Arsenal tomorrow. Fucking quality player, and no worse a person than anyone on the chelsea books.

Are you watching Walcunt? This is how a good footballer can affect a game.


You’re a very rude person


You’re right that Suarez is a terrific player, but there are standards of decency which shouldn’t be crosses – and boy has this guy crossed them.


Ha! Suarez should get the PFA award just for that


Now that Chelsea have dropped points, we are guaranteed CL place if we win all our games. COYG!

Eric Irish gunner

Rednapp talking about Torres game today and then says at least Suarez showed some appetite, hahaha you could’ent write that shit fucking brilliant


Walcott is a complete piss-taker. He held the club to ransom for a massive pay rise then when he got it has done fuck all since. His non-appearance at Craven Cottage yesterday was yet another example of this guy’s pathetic attitude. He sums up everything hat is wrong with Wenger’s management style as opposed to Sir Alex Ferguson. Last summer, Walcott should have been offered a 70k-a-week deal and if he turned it down he should have been sold. Instead Wenger bent down and grovelled to this mediocrity to stay, even allowing his contract to lapse. Walcott’s only skill right… Read more »

Arsene Wenger

Cute. What would the fans have thought of me if I didn’t renew his contract after he had been so instrumental to our season? This was about more than Lord Theo, this was about bucking the trend of letting good players go (whatever you think of him now, he was delivering the goods at the time the contract saga was happening).

Adam, Watford

I thumbed up too soon. Some good points made until mentioning about getting a new manager in the summer.

I hear Alan Curbishley is still looking for a job. Do you really want to run that risk ? Or maybe Martin O’Neil will be the man for us ?



Over the last year he’s really started to remind me of one Michael Owen. An attacker with limited skill who’s only real asset is his pace. I don’t mind that part, what I do mind is that, like Owen, he seems to have a really inflated opinion of himself. It’s all he talks about! He’s very aware of his media image as a good guy, which is why he always talks about it. I hope he doesn’t go the way of Owen in his career as well.


Owen was a proven goalscorer until his injuries dampened his career. If Walcott was as good as Owen, I don’t think we’d be complaining about his contract.


yeah, never even breaking the barrier of 2o goals in a season.

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