Monday, July 4, 2022

Wenger: Walcott has to make his mind up

Arsene Wenger says that Theo Walcott is working hard to win his place back in the Arsenal side, but also that the 27 year old has not developed as well as expected in the central striking role.

While there have been some good performances when deployed centrally, they’re the exception rather than the rule, and when he’s played out wide he hasn’t really done as well as a player of his experience should.

For a long time, Walcott declared his desire to play as a centre-forward, saying, “I hope I’ll move inside. It just depends on the players the boss brings in.

“I was signed as a striker, I want to play up front. I’ve done my trade out on the wing. A lot of people forget I’m not a winger.

“I see myself as a striker.”

Having been given that chance by the manager, he had a fantastic game against Man Utd at the Emirates and played well at Leicester away but that was about it.

And in recent weeks he even backtracked to say he’d be happy to play on the right.

Speaking ahead of the West Ham game, the Arsenal manager has backed the player he signed at 16 from Southampton, but says he needs to make his mind up.

“The problem with Theo is he wants to play on the right and through the middle,” said Wenger.

“You have to fix yourself somewhere. When he does go through the middle he thinks maybe it’s better for me on the right.”

“It’s true that I fixed him more through the middle, because of the quality of his runs and the intelligence of his runs.

“And he has improved his finishing a lot, so he can be a player through the middle. On the flanks today you have to work very hard defensively.”

Asked if he had developed well enough as a centre-forward, Wenger said, “”Not as well as you could have expected. He had good periods in the season. I think recently he has gone through a much more difficult period. But he will come back.

“He works very hard, he puts the effort in in training. At the moment, for him and Giroud it’s a bit more difficult, but that’s part of the competition.

“He understands that as well, and he fights very hard. But in our job things can change quickly from one week to the next.”

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Hleb's dancing feet

This team needs a striker that just bangs the goals in when he is given a chance and sometimes when he isn’t. I’m not sure exactly which player I would pick though. The good news is that it seems like there is going to be a lot of player movement in the summer.

Bosscielny

Theo is a decent player. He could be deadly for a mid table team like west ham or Southampton etc. But he doesn’t fit at arsenal. Most of the teams park the bus against us, giving absolutely no space to run in behind which unfortunately is Theo’s USP. And unfortunately he is not technically very sound in the build up play. If you notice he has more than a decent record against relatively bigger teams like man city, man utd, Chelsea etc because these teams normally don’t park the bus against us (even Leicester this season). Theo can be a… Read more »

rohit

I honestly feel fans should not worry about player wages much. I think the questions that should be asked are – is he good enough to be a first team player? No. Is he good enough to be a squad player? Yes. Will he accept his role as a squad player? Well, that depends on him. And will the club like to play such a high wage to a squad player? If they think they can afford it, they should, why not. But the choice is the manager’s.

Bosscielny

It’s not really about the wages or whether the club can afford it or not.

There is a certain amount of expectation with a player when he is one of the marquee player or one of the highest earners at the club. For example the expectations from ozil is much higher than from iwobi because ozil is our marquee player. Similarly Walcott is not delivering the results which is normally expected from a player of his experience.

If you demand to be the top earner at the club your performances should justify the same.

gawd

If someone is making 140k and not performing at that level then they are impossible to sell. The business aspect of things enters into who is on the team sheet.

Kafka

Sounds like it.
Real talk from Wenger, that’s as blunt as I’ve heard him in a long time.

Jozzer

Sorry Theo but I have waited patiently for a decade for you to make up your mind and now I have lost interest. Meanwhile Alex Iwobi on a fraction of your obscene salary has my full attention. Jog on Mr. Walcott.

Redgibb

Hugely improved over the years, fair play to him. But it ain’t been good enough.

Let him go in the summer, we can do better.

Ken

Interesting these comments re Walcott, and its thumbs up all round — but its Wenger fo lyfe

Jack

Hardest thing about this is we all wanna see him meet his potential. But how long do we give it !? I live theo but I just want to see some consistency we know he is capable

PeteyB

Sadly I’m off the opinion that he may never reach his potential at arsenal as he’s too comfy. It will take a shake up to see him progress. Or maybe he never will. As discussed on Arsecast more than talent makes a player. Quite possible he simply doesn’t have the mentality to go that one step further… Again to comfortable with what he has. Maybe the kind of guy that would do well with a much lower basic wage with generous boneses for goals and assists

Jimfixed

Bye Theo.

Man

Everton here I come

que

walcott-lukaku trade anyone?

Ruddy

If you look at walcott records you would realise that this guy would improve if someobe puts faith on him.
He has done well when he was given a decent number of chances

Jozzer

I believe he gets between £100,000 and £140,000 worth of ‘faith’ every 7 days – poor lamb what more does he need to chase back and tackle (as he did vs Man City at home?). He was atrocious at Old Trafford – there is no excuse for not putting in a shift and working your way back to some form.

Ruddy

If you look at walcott records you would realise that this guy would improve if someone puts faith on him.
He has done well when he was given a decent number of chances

O2ba

Run that last me again

O2ba

Past. Bloody fone

I couldn't resist

Phone. Bloody bran

Rossi88

Brain….

Icantbelieveitsnotarsenal

If we are serious about challenging with the best Theo simply doesn’t cut it and with the wages he is on he is far too expensive for a squad player.
Wenger needs to be ruthless and move him on.

Fatgooner

But he gives such great interviews!

Rob67

Ha Ha !

I only comment on the loo

I’m just not sure what value, if any, he brings to the squad…

F.rahman

I think the problem is Theo is better suited in two strikers setup. As a sole striker he is not very good, as a right winger, he tends to forget his defensive duties.

Kinghenrythe14th

This, my friends, is where we finally draw the curtains on the arsenal career of one Theodore Walcott. It never bodes well if you get to the point where Wenger is happy to talk about your shortcomings and limitations as a player. I believe the correct term for this is “softening the ground”.

Goontang

Get off theos back. Id rather have the lad playing for us then playing against us. If we want to be competing for titles then he creates competition for anyone in the front 3. If we sell him, who are we going to replace him with that would be happy to wait for his chance. Hes always waited, some opportunities he has taken, some not so much. Hes in a bad period at the moment but theres no denying if he comes good he will be frightening.

Easy as JVC

He’s had 10 years and about 4 pay rises to come good. The only thing frightening about him is how little he has contributed in those 10 years. I admit he has a knack for scoring in big games but then decides that’s his days work done and switches off. It’s not personal Theo it’s just business. It’s time for another club to wait for this abillity to manifest itself.

Remember the invicibles

Certainly prefer to play against him. Would be playing against 10 with 11 rather than with 10 against 11. Sure, there might be a day when he’s got the bit between the teeth but we know well that there’s only 10 percent chance of that

jp

He will never be a top quality striker. We won’t sell because he is English and makes up that quota. He is definitely not warranting has wages at the moment. We should be getting much more for the salary he gets. He can stay and compete for a spot. But I see an uphill road for him as he is getting older and between transfers and youngsters he will see little time.

Don Cazorleone

We have plenty of homegrown players.
Selling Theodore is only as big of a problem as we want to make it.

Wenger in or out?

Curtains! Arsene never publicly yalk about players’ short comings.

Simon

To be honest, he’s been a disappointment. Fair play to him – he’s probably maximised his earning potential at the club but really he’s been a bit of a smiley-faced mercenary. How good is he going to be when he’s 31- when a bit of pace has gone? Well…..he’ll be as he is now…..but with a bit less pace and just as shit a first touch. Being on the wing doesn’t stop great players scoring or playing well, he just doesn’t really want to be the best. Take the physical change in (skinnier) Ronaldo. He’s a bit of a dick,… Read more »

Arsen4ever

Looks like Theo is running scared and needs a psychologist. Noticed that since he broke his leg at that Spuds game years back, he has never put in a shift again. Sad if he has to leave without achieving his full potential. Arsene ‘s faith on him seems to be wavering now. Needs to put in that shift after the session with a psychologist.

Loki

He did allright against that German team

hmm

“And he has improved his finishing a lot”

say what?!

George

Theo would be an amazing player if every year were a contract year.

Wool Martian

Maybe Arsene should offer him a new contract…..

Holloway2Holland

“Consistent in patches”.

Nuff said.

Don Cazorleone

I have the same reaction to the term “consistent in patches” as I do when I see “non-refundable deposit”. It just doesn’t make sense.

Brendan

Mans 27 and is 3rd choice or worse in either of the only positions he plays. Time to leave Theo.

Cannoner

After reading the last Sanchez article, I think alot of us underestimates how Theo has been affected by his ACL injury. We easily forget how well he was doing before that and how long he was not able to play after that serious injury. I agree that he is struggling to play consistently at that level again but the constant regurgitation about how much he makes (after a bad performance or not) is unprecedented and has been the rallying cry for many here to get rid of him. Praises for his good performances like the FA cup winning goal last… Read more »

Goodstuff

I agree – I do think Theo is an easy target. He has disappointed, but he should be supported. I hope he finds his form soon.

mach iii

Must we constantly remember, play, and rehash memories of good stuff he’s done?

It’s so few and far between… How many championships has he won for us? NONE. In 10 years, would you place him in the top 200 players in Europe? Pffff…

The boy has not developed into a man. The only ‘ting’ dat grew was his paycheck.

William Morgan

Whenever given a run at CF he does well for me. Needs to play his natural position.

He was on form, didn’t score for a few games then lost his place to Giroud.

Styles

Super sub, his record coming on as a sub is great but his wages are too great to afford us that luxury

Gervinho's Forehead

Surprising truths from Wenger! He’s said what everyone on blogs has been complaining about. if Wenger is happy to express is disappointment and lack of progress openly, then it’s definitely an issue. “you have to work very hard defensively.” Says it all really. Modern day players need to put in a shift at both ends (unless you’re such an efficient striker that you’re busy banging in the goals at the other end). It’s no wonder the likes of Welbz will be picked day in day out. Even if he’s not scoring, he’s putting in a 10/10 shift. Perhaps this will… Read more »

Trez

In other words, Walcott isn’t getting sold next season. Typical Wenger…this is what he’s going to do next season. – Walcott, Welbeck and Giroud will be our strikers. Wenger will tell us how they’ll each score 17-20 goals. – Sell joel campbell and probably tries to replace him with a goal scoring wide forward like a Yarmolenko, Griezmann, etc just so he doesn’t have to sell any of theo. – Might even decide to give flamini a 2 year deal for “his desire and leadership quality” or whatever. We’ll still be a player or 2 short as usual. Get knocked… Read more »

Mizog

Put that pipe down you’ve had enough

VJ

If ever there was a Ballon D’Or award equivalent for football agents, Walcott’s agent would win it no contest every single damn year !

MACC

I dont agree that Theo have been as bad as people want him to be, his goal scoring record for a player played mostly on the wing is ok. His assist record is satisfactory also. He was brought to a top club at 16 and had a career plagued with injuries in between then and now, one can say he has been a disappointment, yes no doubt, but he can still fulfill a potential that has not been able to accomplish yet because of the obvious interruptions. Arsenal has not fulfilled its potential this season and I think most are… Read more »

I AM ARSENAL

Just watch Walcott play football…His goals and assists are nothing to be laughed at…But watching him play he just looks uncomfortable on a football pitch…I have seen him have the worse game imaginable and score a hat trick thats the type of player he is. His game is completely reliant on what others are doing.
He gets away with far too much actually…Because he is english and he is a likeable kid….If he was a cunt and not english he would have been destroyed by the media ages ago.

Trez

Theo has been no better than Gervinho was for us. Infact I think Gervinho would’ve done a better job in our present set up.
For someone getting paid 140k, he should be doing way better.

Landry

Look at his career as a whole. He’s been awful for Arsenal. His touch has improved a bit his potential outweighs his ability a lot. Mosr importantly, he knows what needs to be done. Against United at home he played his best game. He knows what to do. Press, Harry, defend from the front. But then doesn’t do it for months. I think he’s a better finisher than Dat Guy but never puts in the shift and simply hides behind defenders.

Ns

Nowhere near being a top striker. Too weak. Aguerro ans Suarex are similar size but prove can play up front if are strong. Big mistake giving new contract. Sends message to squad that average performance will be rewarded. Best to push him out now

John C

To be fair to Walcott up until the end of last season for a few matches he’s been played on the right wing and for those few matches he didn’t play on the right he played down the middle.

This season however most of his games have been on the left filling in for Sanchez and he’s never played on the left before, it’s not a surprise then that his forms been shit.

He’s been a victim of the managers poor squad planning this season.

Diabys Boot for John Terry

Correct me if I am wrong. But how many games did he actually play for Southampton as a striker if any?

suker4punishmenyt

Sell da ting!

Ex-Priest Tobin

Sell him, and sell Ramsey while you’re at it, or at least relegate him to the bench in most matches. I suppose it makes some sense for Wilshere to have one last chance to prove he can stay fit and be a regular contributor given his recovery is almost over, but if another long-term injury comes up he should be sold as well.

The days of favouritism to the British players need to end.

bazza_wicks

when Wenger plucked him from Southampton it was a 50/50 chance he would develop into a premiership force he has pace but take that factor out of the equation and he is ordinary, cant dribble past5 players he’s control at times is awful, he does’nt contribute enough on his defending responsibilities, his game is more coming off the bench when teams are chasing to score against us leaving spaces behind,which is a nice luxury to have but limited to so few games, oh the other 50 percent chance wenger had at the same time was Gareth Bale who has gone… Read more »

Paul

Theo needs to decide which other team he wants to play for, ten years is long enough with Arsenal.

Barcay's right leg

People seem to revise history with Theo a little. He may not have developed in to a top top player we have all wanted. But his numbers don’t lie. And people pretended he can’t finish. Yeah he has been cold recently, but we all no finishing is one of his best attributes. I think that acl injure really wasn’t kind to him.

goonero

He’s just not an efficient member of this squad. I’d love if we could offload him this summer but I doubt it will be easy. He’s on ludicrous money for his talent, there’s a couple years left on his contract still so clubs that are both stupid enough and rich enough to buy him will be hard to come by. Also he’s a special player because he contributes towards both the homegrown and english quotas so that has to be accounted for too. We can’t afford to have a luxury player like him who contributes next to nothing but takes… Read more »

Anup

i think Theo’s problem is himself. He looks weak mentally at times, and this is proven by the fact that we are still discussing whether he has made the required improvements he needs to.
I think we should give him one more year, but get someone like Ibrahimovic alongside him. Maybe he could teach him a thing or two about a thing or two (namely finishing and being strong mentally).

Stav

Theo is not a footballer, hes a sprinter, he cant dribble, cant take players on and in most games hardly gets any touches. Imagine if any of you spent 10 years at Arsenal training with some of the best players in the world, all of you would improve somehow in your ability in playing football… Theo hasnt. Hes over glorified cos hes English like most of our players… Get over it Theo is not a footballer.

mach iii

One thing he has done is made a heap of money nickin’ a living.

Sometimes I wonder if maybe Wengers fingers slipped somewhere they shouldn’t have…

BODMAS

Go and ask Nigeria what changed as caused them in the country. Instead pray for Positive change instead of just change. Wenger should finish his contract. Morata to me is better than Lukaku and ahead of Aubameyang because of nations cup every year now.

Mach iii

A decade at Arsenal…

It’s time to trot on back to Southampton,
the boy who never became a man.

He was fully developed at 17, and had reached his ultimate potential. Unfortunately he has been rotting ever since.

Go on home lad.

Leave the door open on your way out for some new players to come in.

Goodluck Theo, and your welcome to have pissed on the hopes of millions.

UlsterGooner

“You have to fix yourself somewhere. When he does go through the middle he thinks maybe it’s better for me on the right.”

Theo sounds as if he is making excuses for always being in the wrong position. He’s been found out. He had one to one training from the best striker in the world…TH14! I heard a rival fan years ago, asking why Arsenal fans jumped up onto their feet when Walcott got the ball? I think he was right now.

HectaSelecta

My bet is that Wenger’s just relieved – in talking up Theo’s shortcomings- that someone other than himself is taking a shellacking from the arsenal faithful and is simply happy for someone else (anyone else!) to help share the burden. His performance at old trafford was indefensible, however I think he has, unfairly, become something of a touchstone for this seasons failures. He’s found it hard to find form after returning from injury and as such, has never had an extending run through the middle. Anyhow, Wenger’s kept him around for the last decade and if he -wenger- is going… Read more »

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