Walcott to Man City? Deconstructing the rumour

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Theo Walcott

Given his injury problems, recent poor form and, let’s be honest, lack of development…it’s fair to say that many Arsenal fans are relatively nonplussed by the prospect of Theo Walcott leaving the club this summer.

A couple of weeks ago, even Arsene Wenger admitted that he’s not sure if the attacker’s future is at the Emirates. “I don’t know yet,” he responded, even though Walcott still has three years left on his current deal.

Since that admission, the 27-year-old, who celebrated a decade as a Gunner earlier this year, has been linked with a whole host of clubs.

In part, that’s because the subject of Theo’s future is perfect clickbait fodder for the web’s grubbier sports-related portals, but it also appears that his agent has begun a PR campaign targeting the sportsdesks of more mainstream publications.

Ignoring the spurious link with AC Milan and the plausible suggestions that West Ham and Liverpool are interested, we turn our attention to today’s ‘exclusive’ in the Evening Standard where James Olley claims:

“Incoming manager Pep Guardiola is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old and Standard Sport understands he has asked City to monitor Walcott’s situation closely as he faces a crossroads in his career at Emirates Stadium.”

The reason for this apparent long-standing admiration? Guardiola had warm words for Walcott’s performance when he came off the bench to help Arsenal draw 2-2 with his Barcelona side six years ago.

As you’re aware, we’re cynical bastards at Arseblog News…so we’re not entirely sold on the idea that the most admired football manager of his generation has had his head turned by 30 minutes of football. And that he’s chosen to ignore the averageness served up all too regularly since.

Granted, City are rumoured to be looking at available English talent to hit their homegrown quota, but it seems hard to believe they have a desire to spend big cash when their incoming boss has made a reputation nurturing young talent and their academy is in fine fettle. Moreover, City’s Qatari owners have pumped millions into their youth infrastructure, something that may well have turned Pep’s eye in the first place.

You also have to ask if Walcott is better than what City currently have? Given Sterling, De Bruyne, Navas, Silva and Nasri can all play wide, teenager Iheanacho is looking promising, big-money was spent on Bony and Aguero is world-class it’s not like there’s huge wiggle room in the squad at the moment.

You can hardly blame Walcott’s representatives for aiming high. Why not shoot for the stars (something Theo takes all too literally when he’s in the box) and hope that something sticks? It’s a tactic that’s been around for years and one that’s also being used by the agent of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

In the last few weeks the Ox, whose situation at Arsenal is very similar to Theo’s, has been linked with Southampton, West Ham United, Liverpool, Manchester United and…Manchester City. The last suggestion predominantly based on Pep Guardiola being impressed by the midfielder’s showing in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich a couple of years back.

Amazing how you can have no imagination and a wild imagination all at the same time.

Only time will tell what happens to Walcott and the Ox, perhaps they will end up at City…but we wouldn’t bet on it.

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MannyG

If he doesn’t fit into an Arsene Wenger team, imagine him in a Guardiola team.

I think he would be good for a team that plays direct and doesn’t pass the ball often. Passing, controlling or dribbling aren’t his best assets.

Third Plebeian

Yep. A low to middling PL club would be perfect for Theo. Teams used to having to defend and relying on punting it up to a quick forward when they finally clear their lines. Theo will win them a corner, free kick, etc., maybe even score on the counter. But if you’re trying to unlock a stubborn defence, the last person you want for the job is Theo Walcott.

Fuzz

Leicester in part ex for Kante?

Stillmatic

Sounds perfect for Leicester.

King Kolo

Leicester work hard.

I reckon perfect for fellow molly coddler Martinez at moneybags Everton. Part exchange for Romelu. Now you’re talking.

Leftie

Though, it is seems fitting for Theo to leave. Despite the awful season, the club is on the right track when player like him are beginning to look out of their depth. Means the quality bar in the squad has risen. Same goes for Ox, though i believe it is too early to sell him. The flaws in his game are not fundamental, like in Theo’s, so i believe there’s more to come from him.

Third Plebeian

I think what’s most damning is that Walcott looks out of his depth in a squad that is severely under-performing. Not sure that’s a reason to claim that the club is on the right track…

Miguel G

One thing doesn’t preclude the other. By definition, under-performing means those players should do better. Walcott cannot.

Third Plebeian

I just meant that the claim that the club is on the up because it’s getting rid of Walcott is baseless. Every club gets rid of underperforming players, and Arsenal have been doing it for years, only to finish in pretty much the exact same league position for over a decade. Listen, if Wenger really does work to shake up the club this summer, I’d be delighted, but I think we all know what will happen. Seeing Wilshere fit for the Euros, Wenger will decide that there’s no need to replace the departing Arteta and Flamini. Wilshere is like a… Read more »

Smart-Arse

Just because we’re selling Walcott now, does not mean the club has higher expectations, it just means we’ve finally got fed up of him. He wasn’t good enough before but we were waiting for him to develop. Now his time is up. Says nothing about Arsenal moving in a positive direction.

Chamakh

Walcott could do well in a midtable club who counter attacks so he would get to use his best (only?) abilities, speed and movement. At arsenal he plays against deep sitting defences and is expected to be able to pass the ball and dribble, which hasn’t gone to well this since his ACL injury.

ScotchEggsRules

While both have been, quite frankly, rubbish for us. You just know they’ll start pulling up trees as soon as they join their new club.

Third Plebeian

Maybe, but you can certainly bet they’ll play their absolute best when they play against us. I have bad memories of David Bentley and Seb Larsson playing like world-beaters whenever they played us, just to prove a point. Pricks.

sambo

If he misses the Euros he need to go to West Ham or someone like Leicester….if they can tolerate his work rate? Maybe a deal to take Mahrez or Kante?

Little Swede In The Number 14 Shirt

Sounds like agent talk to me – drumming up interest in a player who’s only consistent in patches.

Owlski

Where’s the poo-meter?

spinner

I would give 8 poos on this rumour.
Wouldn’t go higher as Abu Dhabi City are one a few clubs which wouldn’t see his £160k a week as a problem.

Modha

I think almost every Arsenal fan I know, myself included, had a lot of time for Walcott. We all wanted him to succeed, but he hasn’t. The fact that someone as limited as he is as a footballer is the third highest paid player at the club speaks volumes. Our desperation to not be seen as a selling club has potentially left us lumbered with a player, who we can all agree has singularly failed to develop. Sure he has had injuries, but that doesn’t excuse his lack of development. He got to train with people like Bergkamp, Henry, et… Read more »

Fan

I heared Guardiola want the ball on his player feet. I am sure Walcott
and speed as ball boy will help

greg

140k a week will not be picked up by anyone else. We would end up having to subsidise his wages.

Be lucky to get £15m for him. No one will pay him more than 100k a week so only the 2m a year to make up for the 3 years on his contract

Theo's Radar

It’s totally on, guys!

AfroGooner

And here I was shocked that someone other than Wenger sees greatness in Walcott. Seems like it’s time for tabloids to start making profits from clickbait articles and agents to get their players free advertisement.

Petits Handbag

Aside from being not very good,why does Theo vex you so much blogger?? We’ve had players just as terrible in the past who drew no such hatred from you. Is it the wages, how long he’s at the club??

arseblog

I didn’t write this piece 😉

Glory hunter

You didn’t answer the questions blogs? ?

arseblog

You know the way some people just don’t like cucumber. That.

GoonerN16

Or lettice…

Kennington Gunner

Cucumbers really are a waste of space though. Cold, slimy and nasty tasting. More than that though, their apologists point to them being inoffensive, bland and incapable of being criticised. As if they deserve a free ride somehow. #cucumberout

Sean

Where’s the poo meter? 🙁

Sean

For in poo we trust!

santori

Possible fishing by agents. Maybe not Man City but Liverpool possibly even Chelsea. We should seriously consider offers. Walcott has been erratic and his contributions when he isn’t scoring is just not good enough. At 27yrs his main asset, pace will start to wane in a couple of years. Best to sell, free up wage structure and find someone to come in who is more creative. Giroud is still useful with his physical approach and touches around the box as a node to bring in other players. Welbeck has sufficient pace and has some of GIroud’s physicality, he is still… Read more »

Mesut O'neill

Walcott’s pace has already dried up. When was the last time he actually beat someone due to pure pace.

DialSquareGoon

I dont care where Theo Walcott ends up.

Third Plebeian

…just so long as it’s not on a football pitch for Arsenal?

Olympic Gunner

City’s owners are not from Qatar but from Abu Dhabi.

Fatboyathlete

So are you saying the people from Qatar don’t want him but those from Abu Dhabi do?

DurhamGooner

Theo and Ox have had their chances, time to go.

Jimdinho

This might make me an awful supporter but i really enjoy making fun of walcott.

Ramsey's spirit

I’d keep him, but at the same time, if a good offer from a none rival came in it should be considered. 28-30mill mark. It might also be something outsider the box a little, but considering he wants to be a striker, and we run a risk if we give him the needed time to play there at the expense of giroud or whoever we bring in in the summer, a premier league loan to a club willing to play him as striker might be worth thinking about at least. top 10 club

Post January Blip

Whatchu talkin ’bout, spirit?

someone's something
OD

Arseblog, I’m pretty certain city’s owners are from the UAE and not Qatar.

Unnecessarilystupid

It’s oil the same.

Fletcher

Welcott situation is different from Chamberlain,s one, the later is still young with moderate wage and promising potentials, his injuries and lack of consistency can be further evaluated and rectified, while Welcott is..is the opposite of all that. My worry concerned Ox is the upcoming contract negotiations and I don’t think Arsenal or Arsene are in any mood to run Welcott scenario again..and my fear is if he plays in to the hands of agent,and asks for more than his worth..the door will be shown to him. I like him and want him to stay ..but the he is now..shape… Read more »

Chilli

reads and sounds like a drunk post, mate. just sayin…

Ex-Priest Tobin

Walcott being so bad has taken some of the criticism from Giroud. His wages aren’t far off and he has been truly woeful of late. Not good enough for Arsenal, despite periods of consistency.

Thierry Bergkamp

“Amazing how you can have no imagination and a wild imagination all at the same time”. Nice?

Funny how quick things change. Just the other day, we were all hoping Theo signs and now we couldn’t wish to get rid of him any quicker.

Third Plebeian

Walcott usually plays well in the months before he signs da ting. And then afterwards, he plays like shit. A bit like Adebayor that way.

'Murica

We should all be so lucky as to see Theo move to City.

Flashmob

Sometimes it’s funny to see how we fans are making fun of ourselfs… Just a couple of years ago one of our biggest wish was Walcott to ‘Sign Da Thing’ – But now: Just take a look at the comments above… I do agree that his latest performances were horrible quite often, but in my opinion: his contribution to our club’s performance (in the 10 years that he spent here) was absolutely top class. There we only 2 problems with him: 1.: Injuries and… 2.: that Wenger and Theo himself are f***ed up his last years by forcing this central-role… Read more »

David Rawlins

I am still laughing at the ‘shoot for the stars’ line…

gee

“Incoming manager Pep Guardiola is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old and Standard Sport understands…………

By that standard i “understand” that Paul Pogba is coming to emirates in a swap deal involving Walcott, a lifetime supply of hair dye and hair spray, exclusive access to Ozils barber and a free wenger out t shirt.

for more exclusive done deals visit http://www.icanmakethisshitupallday.com

Chmith

Like if you’re a dummy like me and clicked the link.

Dan Hunter

Mate, your website’s down…

Goonerheroes2004

How abt ‘buy one get one free’ buy walcott get ox for free. Or 2 for 1 something like that. And a note to say ‘ items have passed expiry date, no refunds! 🙂

Wellarsed

Not that it matters, but, if there were a choice, I’d rather we kept the Ox than Theo. It seems as if there’s still a chance the Ox will deliver – possibly under a new coach & team setup – but very little chance of fundamental change from Theo. He may try harder at another club but the limitations of his game are unlikely to be overcome.

Hank1979

West ham have the money and will want a ‘big name’ signing for their new stadium. That’s his level. Oxford probably to Everton but he could do worse than to go back and play under koeman at Southampton. Ch ch ch ch changes….

Hank1979

Ox not Oxford…

Wenger's love child

What happened to that Bellerin dash challenge? My guess is it happened and someone lost and list what was left of his confidence and hasn’t ran passed anyone since (first language where art thou!?). Won’t be surprised if he goes to shitty, they’ll do anything for their English quota, they’ll take anything coming out the arse.

EeeeUp

I’d rather have Wallcot over Guroooood any day of the week.

Almunia

For Walcott form is temporally shit is permanent. Plays better only when his contracts are up, can we put in continuous contract negotiation mode so he play

Danny

Serious question. Who’s gonna want to play for us with fans like ours?

ciderman

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!!!! Don’t you mean who would wanna play for a team with potential that gets wasted by poor management? Time for Wenger to retire and make way for someone that can get the defense in order!!!

Danny

Case in point.

Mark J

Serious question, what other fans would put up with a club with a 60,000 seater stadium, 100 million in the bank, highest ticket prices in world football, and not even being runners up in the league or in the last four in Europe for 10 years and counting ?

only the gullible or complete mugs right ?

Jam tomorrow,

Danny

I used to think the media had an anti Arsenal agenda. Now every fucker has. Being an arsenal fan for me has felt like being part of some weird social experiment for the last 6 years. I have this weird memory of it once being fun…

ciderman

Rosicky, arteta and flamini will leave in the summer having had injuries but still contributed more than Theo!!! This time for mr overpaid to find a new home and be replaced!!!!

Mark J

I see Walcott going to Villa, Everton or Newcastle who will overpay for him. I would of said Liverpool but I think Klopp is too shrewd – Klopp would take Ox now at 22 though I’m sure. Walcott has always been too interested in the money and England for me – when he was on the Wenger standard socialist wage of 50k a week in 2010 ( as all were bendy, dhourou, eboue, diaby, denilson, sanderos, etc etc) he let it be known he wanted 75k a week “because he was an established England International” . which was bollocks cos… Read more »

Rob'67

Yep ! Even if those figures aren’t exact, they are not far wrong. All hype and no delivery. Pretty much Wenger’s teams for the last ten years. It would however be in Walcott’s interest to go. He could come good elsewhere. He clearly is stale and is clearly not getting game time.

In turn we could get a fee we could reinvest. So best all round he moves on.

Dan Hunter

LOL 5 million in medical bills…

Dennis

Eh, they could sell Jesus Navas back to spain and replace him with Theo to free up a spot for a much better foreign player. I can see it happening.

Philbet

Why do people who reply, post such rubbish? 1: No one know what Walcotts wages are NO ONE, quotes of £140K could be a million miles out. 2:No one knows whether he will be sold or have any idea who would be interested and at what price , yet to read this everyone KNOWS (nothing), 3: Arsenal are not having a disastrous season last time I looked we were 4th which is pretty much where we were predicted to finish, were in the last 16 in the cup and last 16 in the CL all consistent with predictions and recent… Read more »

Jon

“Why do people who reply post such rubbish?”…. Well, Philbet, I find myself asking much the same question after reading that. Firstly, there are quite clearly people who know that walcotts wages are. Those who don’t know the exact figure are unlikely to be a million miles away from it – a £140k estimate is probably not far from the truth, and in any event, given his contribution he is paid over the odds. As to whether Arsenal are having a disastrous season, I think you will find that context is king. I believe at the beginning of the season… Read more »

greg

Spot on Jon!

philbet get yourself to Syria your insight into the problems at arsenal will see you resolve all issues there within minutes

Andy

Excellent. Walcott would be good in a mid table club? Take the second half of our season, and that is exactly what we look like.

Greh Greysh

Expect a lot more of this when the transfer window opens. Quite funny that people would believe that a manager would find a substitute appearance 6 years ago an efficient scouting tool. To be honest Theo would still be employed in the role as that of 6 years ago. Impact sub, nothing more.

King Kolo

Being a bit harsh on Ox here. He seems to be a player that just needs a different type of manager. Ox spends a lot of time pretending not to be worried, scared etc by playing the fool. It’s not arrogance, which is exactly what he needs. Ox needs a manager who will encourage him to be arrogant and aggressive and play within a system. I’d guess he’d be good with Pocchettino or early Mourinho but not say Klopp or Pellegrini. He can’t cope in Wenger’s free for all formation. And he’s never a centre midfielder. He should be a… Read more »

Philbet

Jon, £140K is just a figure , its often said if you repeat something often enough the (ignorant) people will eventually believe it to be true, Like I said you or I have NO IDEA, if this is true.
Perhaps you could provide substantive evidence to convince me?

HK

There are more than a few news sources – just google it
.http://www.cityam.com/221424/new-arsenal-contract-puts-theo-walcott-alongside-alexis-sanchez-and-mesut-ozil-premier
(£726,000 per goal)
And if you want up to date figures… http://www.whatfootballersearn.com/player/theo-walcott/

OD

But we charge more for tickets than any team in Europe. Based on that alone I don’t think it’s too much to have high expectations.

OD

@Philbet

rmpauden

Do one Theo, i.m bored to tears of your mediocrity!

Naasir

little correction city’s owners are from the UAE, also a suggestion: you guys should put the post a comment thing at the beginning of the comments, so you dont have to bother to read all the comments or scroll all the way down here, cheers.

ChrisTheGunner

Average player