It has been a while since I wrote on Untold. Having moved to a new city for work and resolving to not buy a TV, I have caught maybe 2 or 3 games in the last few months. Rest assured I’m in touch with everything that happens at the club though.
I think that Theo Walcott signing a new deal for however long for however much is a positive sign. And here’s why.
a) His footballing improvement
Without a doubt, this had to be the main reason he got what he asked for, monetarily and from a footballing point of view. Theo at 17 was all speed ..and disappeared in games. Raw talent…yes but the expectations from him were too high, far far too high.
Thankfully he was under one of the world’s best youth managers and he was shielded from a lot of things. Yes, he probably would not have made it elsewhere…yes..we’ve given him a ton of chances…yes he has been a passenger many a time….yes he might have been dumped by many managers. But none of that is the point..right? He’s at Arsenal and has improved. There’s no doubt about that.
His crossing has improved, his finishing is so much calmer. He always had that by the way…this was clear in that Carling Cup final against Chelsea when Drogba beat us 2-1 and Kolo n Ade got sent off.
The first goal was Theo…classic Henry. And now there are more such finishes…from different angles. So many strikes from the right hand side across goal. Many great crosses…and by the way, to all those saying it was all RVP last year, many of those don’t happen without Theo and guess what…he still has plenty of assists even without RVP. So he’s not that awful. In all…he’s on an upward curve. Not yet the greatest CF of all time..no…but he’s a very good player now and can only improve.
b) From a business point of view
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It was clear that AW and Arsenal valued Theo. But how much..is what the question was..How much? Certainly enough to want him to sign a new contract and keep him into the last year at a risk. And Arsenal do not blow money away…
If they were willing to take such a huge risk, it means they wanted to keep him. And by getting Theo on a contract at a high wage, they’re saying..okay..we do believe you’re good enough for this..but if you slack up we can sell you off and our investment won’t be a waste. And obviously Theo is happy too with this. If he wants to stay on and earn more and become a legend..he will play well and keep working.
c) One more player brought through the Arsenal system
He’s been with us for quite a while. He’s a bit of a link to the past. He knows how we play, he’s a good role model for a lot of young footballers and importantly ..most importantly…it proves that the Arsenal system does generate good footballers.
That’s Theo, Jack, Gibbs and Szczesny now who have all come through the ranks and maybe Frimpong if he makes it at all..which I hope he does. That plus the other guys who signed make it a very strong core..IF they stay together..which I now think they will.
Does this mean that all is well at Ashburton Grove? No not really seeing that we’re 21 points behind. But we’re doing all the right things..and I hope..I really hope this bunch comes good. There’s a lot of potential in there; lets hope it translates into us competing again for trophies.
Oh and lastly? Well done to Theo for always always remaining professional, never saying a word more than needed…even when he was benched and always being respectful throughout to everyone. Yes he wanted money…yes he was in the drivers seat…but he could have easily sat back and said..ah wtf..someone somewhere will give me enough..I’m good enough for that and quit.
He’s kept working hard and got himself back into Wenger’s good books (enough for him to start him) and convince AW he deserved a new contract. The right way. For me..this has been a great example to a lot of footballers on how to conduct yourself in the face of uncertainty.
I’m betting there’ll be a ton of people who comment here about how this is SO WRONG..but these are my thoughts..and I for one am a very satisfied Arsenal fan. Now if we can just get Sagna and Szczesny tied up too ….that’ll be really great.
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