Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Theo glad to score. SZCZ annoyed by penalty habit

Theo Walcott hopes he can be Arsenal’s top scorer again this season having finally opened his account with a superb volley against Marseille last night.

The 24-year-old looked a relieved chap as he celebrated his strike at the Stade Velodrome having passed up two earlier opportunities and Saturday’s profligacy against Sunderland still fresh in the mind.

Speaking after the win in the south of France, the England winger reflected on the goal telling Arsenal.com:

“It meant a lot getting off the mark [for the season]. Hopefully there are going to be more to come now. I started pretty late last year and I finished as top goalscorer so it’s a good sign. I’m pretty sure of that.

“The cross came in and the full back missed it,” he continued. “It felt like the ball was in the air for a decade and I managed to keep my eye on it and [it was] pure technique into the top corner.”

Having seen Arsenal only keep two clean sheets in the previous 24 Champions League away games (cheers @Orbinho), Wojciech Szczesny was desperately disappointed to have another stolen from his grasp in the dying seconds by Jordan Ayew’s penalty.

The Gunners have now conceded four penalties in their opening seven games of the season, a state of affairs which the Polish keeper admits is getting annoying.

“The penalties are not making me happy at the moment,” the stopper told Arsenal.com. 

“There have been too many of them and they take my clean sheets away but three points are the most important and we got them [on Wednesday].”

Of course, it’s a results game and the Arsenal number one did admit he’s pleased by the momentum picked up by the team since the loss to Villa.

“We’ve won the last six games, four of them away from home. We know the momentum is with us. The games are coming thick and fast because we play in every midweek game so I’m sure we can keep that going, keep the momentum going and keep getting results.

“I think it’s just the desire of the whole team to defend well. We’ve not conceded a lot of goals away from home. We’ve been defending really well and then scoring goals on the counter attack so it’s just consistency of our defensive performances I think.

“When you defend very well for 90 minutes, you are going to get a couple of chances to score on the counter-attack and that’s what we’ve been doing away from home.

“It doesn’t really matter for us who scores first as long as we’re the ones who score more goals at the end of the game. We hope we can keep it going.”

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I think our keeper is right to be annoyed, basically all the penalties we’ve conceded could’ve been avoided. Still, it amazes how our defence has improved, from the years we threatened every corner kick we conceded…


A number of them have been dodgy to say the least though. At least one of the villa pens and the one last night were arguably incorrect decisions from the ref. What can you really do about that?


Pay the referee more than the other team?

Bould's Eyeliner

Still, you shouldn’t have to put the ref in a situation to guess. Regardless, it’s Koscielny’s fault for tackling a player from behind, putting himself in between him and the ref, and then not even reaching the ball (Sunderland). As for Ramsey’s, it was a bit unfortunate, but probably unavoidable, the player was at the edge of the box with an open shot if Ramsey didn’t do anything. Needless to say, that player never even touched the ball so… Still, why was there a tepid rolling pass across the box open in front of the goal? Clearly a moment of… Read more »

Dr Baptiste

“Still, why was there a tepid rolling pass across the box open in front of the goal?” it wasn’t. It was a heavy touch that took it away from Ramsey. He tried to recover, got the ball, Ayew went over his foot and the ref bought the dive.

Bould's Eyeliner

fair enough, but the same goes for that, don’t let the ball get stolen so easily at your box, lax concentration, last 2 min, all that jazz


“Still, you shouldn’t have to put the ref in a situation to guess.”

What a ridiculous bullshit. So the players shouldn’t make a mistake but when the ref does it, it’s ok I guess.

Bould's Eyeliner

I agree it’s not a nice thing to think about, but as a pro, that is your job. It’s the UEFA or FIFA’s job to reprimand bad refereeing and we all know how that goes. We can’t do anything about referees, so don’t put shit you can’t change on them, play the game.


I think I would agree if the rules were being applied consistently within the same game, where of course they are not. In the Marseilles game, we have the incident where Per is held in the box, and as the defender attempts the desperate clearance from behind, he kicks him in the head. Clear penalty and card; neither given. In the 2nd minute of the Villa game, Per (again) goes for the flick on at the near post, and it taken out by the defender. No attempt for the ball, just hand on his back/shoulder and flattens him. Should be… Read more »

Bould's Eyeliner

Certainly, but my point was those specific challenges did not have to be made in those situations. Koscielny did not have to make a challenge – regardless of consistency you tackle someone in the box from behind, you’re asking for trouble. I don’t think Ramsey individually is at fault for his penalty, more that the defense is clearly moving slowly in expectation of keeping possession and there are 2 minutes left in the game. These were unnecessary challenges imo. That is all.

As for consistent refereeing I am completely in agreement.


Avoid situations where risky ‘hail mary’ tackles are needed in every game.


They could have been avoided if the referees weren’t such plonkers.
Last night was a case in point, Ramsey dispossesses cunt, cunt dives, and ref; instead of writing “Cunt” in the book, awards a penalty.
Are these refs at the bookies or are they trying to prove a point?


Ramsey wanted a touch. He should have cleared that ball into row Z. Then there would have been no decision for the ref to make.

Bould's Eyeliner

trying to clear at that position would have resulted in the same penalty.


Well said szczesny. He does his best to protect his goal only to see his efforts in vain by poor decision making either by the ref or a team mate, which the latter is usually the case.


the penalties have been due to our over eagerness to make tackles. Apart from the occasional lack of discipline the defending has been largely very good. once we can sort out our impetuous play I think we will have the best defence in the league


People often forget (perhaps due to lazy punditry based on a very few calamitous defensive errors) that we had the second stingiest defence in the league last term. So not a long way off making it the tightest bastard in the country!

Woolwich Peripatetic

And the third best in the air, behind those noted tiki-taka merchants, Stoke and West Ham. Just like the good old days, when you’ve got a keeper, two CBs and a CF defending your corners who are all over 6’3″ it really helps.

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

And the second worst for goals against resulting directly from player errors. This problem is actually two or three different ones that all have the same result. We would surely benefit from losing the ball less often in dangerous positions, and from Koscielny learning when a last ditch tackle is not needed, but it didn’t happen last year and there’s nothing to say it will this year either. The one thing we do have in our favour this season is that we have a much better chance of scoring enough goals to outweigh the errors than we did last season.… Read more »


Bringing on Ryo for Flamini was abit dubious imo. Small decisions like this could cost us. like for example i imagine Flamini given his defensive abilities would have stopped the situation before it escalated anywhere near the box. maybe im being paranoid but that’s just how i saw it.

Good thing we had a 1 goal cushion from the same player adjudged to have committed the foul. couldn’t imagine it ending 1-1 right at the death. I would have combusted tbh….

Zorro in the box

I found it a bit strange that he didn’t take Giroud off for Chuba. Seemed a good point to give him a run-out and an excellent opportunity to protect the HFB. Figured it must have been a defensive decision to use him for his height.


There was what, 5 minutes left? It’s annoying to concede but it was hardly Ryo’s fault. They probably did deserve one goal overall on the balance of play. Oh well, we won, that’s all that matters. I love this winning run we are on. We should be able to smash any “lesser” teams unlike in the past, and overall our first team is as good as all the other big guns in the English league. With the other top teams struggling, as long as Arsenal avoid key injuries, we should have an amazing season.


I saw the pic and my heart skipped a beat. My love for Theo is far too unhealthy. Now onto the story itself, as a ‘keeper myself, I can’t help but weep for SZCZ because we hate conceding under normal circumstances, let alone when people are allowed to have an uncontested shot at goal from 12 yards.

Ramsey's mentor

Its high time we traded the handbrake, as lng as we dnt let ozil knw we hv one


The angle through which the ref sees it could also play a big part. from refs angle it may look like a total foul no question about it but from another like in kozzer and now rambos case it shows they got the ball first.

Again in some cases I think the refs just sympathise with the homeside and awards them a penalty knowing very well the away side is winning comfortably regardless.

but with Mike dean and rest of them cunt refs it’s probably all their fault….


Kozzers fouled that Mackem moron after he dispossessed him, that was a penalty I’m afraid

Zorro in the box

I think Tim Stillman made a point about this on Twitter the other day when he pointed out how he misread the Sagna wrestle at Sunderland. Referees have to make split-second decisions without the benefit of freeze-framed video replays. We as fans get incredibly angry but this is all part of the game.


spot on.

Peter the cat

I am a 5-a-side keeper and saved 2 out of 3 penalties my team gave away the other day. Nothing to do with this article, I am just showing off!

Casual Gooner

In fairness, the goals are about this big though:


New Haven Gooner

Happy to see Theo open his account. Hope he goes on another blistering run of goal scoring like he did around this time last season.

Bould's Eyeliner

The thing is, it seems keeper have a clear record of how Theo shoots from last season – low and fast, or a lob over the keeper. Now the latter Theo can really easily do if its a 1 on 1 situation, but that means any time he has a contestable chance he has to either start putting them away even faster (which I don’t know is really possible) or he needs to get some shot variety. Giroud is such a great CF in my opinion because of his flexibility. He can head with pinpoint direction and force, he can… Read more »


I think you have a point, but let me try sharing another perspective on the same central issue: I think Theo’s been told that with his pace, if he shoots early and accurately enough, then those are going in because the keeper won’t be able to close down the angles. This is a technically sound strategy. I think an important issue is what he does when he’s missed that opportunity. Lob it? Sure, some of the time. Try to go under the keeper? Ok, he’ll sometimes do that too. But how often do you see Theo try to round the… Read more »

New Haven Gooner

That’s an interesting point. It seems that many of his goals are either beautifully placed in the corner or off the post or straight through the keeper.

Despite his recent duck, one thing to note that Theo almost always forces the keeper into a save. Rarely are his shots off target, which can often lead to second chances for us considering how we like to set up in and around the box.

Bould's Eyeliner

Agreed, I don’t think it’s a secret that he needs miles of space for ball manipulation. If you look at how much more inventive the longneck bastard RW at Madrid is in front of goal you could only imagine what kind of goals Theo might score. There was that one strike Theo put away, against West Ham I believe, which curved on the grass around the keeper’s hands. That was beautiful! Still one of my favorite goals by him; a little more composure and control from him and we can have a world class RW and backup CF in our… Read more »

Gutbukkit Deffrolla

Ozil is 24. Don’t know why I’m pointing this out. Nothing good can come of it. Wish I hadn’t said it now. Sorry. I’ll get my coat.

the only sam is nelson

Has anybody mentioned the fact that John Terry is a cunt yet?

boom boom, Basel brushed.

No, but it’s an excellent point. We wibble on about this and that yet neglect these fundamental issues.

Big O'Dread

F’ing Rambo!!! That is all… End transmission…


rambo sliding in on a yellow and emerging with ball at feet was a fist in the air moment. And im not a fist in the air kind of guy!


I’ve been confident that Theo would start scoring regularly based on what I have seen to date this season, he’s making great runs and being picked out by them.

Theo’s finishing has improved greatly over the last two seasons and more often than not he hits the target or scores in those situations, was only a matter of time.

He’s also set up a couple of important goals this season too, lets not forget that..double figures again for both goals and assists…


Nvr wrry abf dis,ol we want is the point and we got it. Up Rambo

the only sam is nelson



I’m loving this run-will be fascinating to see what happens when we face City, Utd or Chavs.


Forget the technique applied to scoring a goal. Theo can score with his arse for all I care. When the stats come rolling in, nobody asks how you scored them. I’m okay with the simplest of tap-ins even if he does that 30 times this season. I’m pleased he’s opened his goal scoring account for the season. More of that throughout the season.
Szczesny has really improved since the villa game. The team generally looks more matured. We can only get better. Come On You Guns!


Szcz needs to stop that left-right-left he does before the opponent kicks the penalty….that seems to prevent him from making a proper lunge in the hope that he unsettles the guy….but if the guy puts it anywhere near any corner he will not be in a position to get maximum reach if he continues to do that….


Its 1-1 at newcastle.


Interesting comments on here about theo maybe he just his best last season and is having a dip this season. I cant see him scoring 20 plus goals this season like some hoped hes just not good enough.


Not to say theo is a bad player but hes not world class im afraid.


I think he can get 20 again, especially with Ozil supplying, regardless of whether he’s world class or not. After all, you say he’s not world class yet he did score 20 last season


I agree that Theo is not yet world class. If he finds a bit of form and consistency, he could be.


for theo to be considered world class he needs to peform to a high level not just for a season but for years to come. Ozil is considered world class because of the consistancy of his peformances.


Just watching the match finally, this Gignac is utter shite.

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