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Theo Walcott, is there more to come?

By Walter Broeckx

In another article I wrote about the new boys and more specific the new attacking players and how they contributed to the team this season.

Now let us talk about the “old” boy playing up front who is in fact the youngest of them all: Theo Walcott.

Has there been a young player that has divided opinion more than him? Ramsey maybe?  We had the usual lot calling him a waste of space. Not good enough and never will be good enough. Ah, you know the things people say who have no patience and who want that a player is the finished product from day one.

Of course I must admit that at times Theo could make you pull your hair out in the first years. But what I always saw was that he was being polished. Slowly (contradictory to his burning pace) you could see him changing. But the tag of just being a fast runner with no technique remained firmly on him. The tag put on him by brainless pundits that Theo had no football brain is something that will always follow him.

A few things we should remember is that in his first years he suffered a lot of injuries. Both his shoulders had to fixed a few times. But after surgery on both shoulders this has gone away. And after that he also suffered a few injuries being kicked to pieces on more than one occasion. Too soft and only speed and no end product was the word. But as usual Wenger kept the faith. Ignored the ones who said he knew nothing. And he kept on working on Theo and developing his game.

And now Theo is entering his prime years. From now on one could say he has grown up. He is 24 years old (or young from my point of view). His best years are lying in front of him. And being tied down to a long contract since this winter it is ours to enjoy.

Theo wanted to play more in the middle and on a few occasions he got the chance to play there. With mixed success one could say. But not every game can be a goal feast.  Even Messi messes up at times in front of goal. So why not Walcott. It’s part of the game. Most of the times Walcott is deployed more as a winger however. And let us have a look at his stats in this season. And take in account that these are the stats of a winger.

Now if we look at this season we see that Walcott played in 43 games in total. And he started in 31 games and came on in 12. And as we all know that means that he got in those 12 games a maximum of 20 minutes playing time.  And in those games he scored 21 goals and gave 17 assists. That is a goal contribution of 38 goals in total for the season. Not that bad for a never will be good enough player I would say.  Now this means that he contributes to 0.88 goals per game one could say. Or in other words when Walcott plays he is good for almost one goal per game. On average of course. I don’t know how that sounds to you but for me this sounds rather fine.

How good is it? Well I took the liberty to look at the stats of what can be considered the best forward in the league. This season. And the last. A player who plays as a real centre forward. The main player for his team this season and the season before. Yep sorry to bring up his name. Robin Van Persie.

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And I will show you the same numbers for the season just gone by for Walcott and RVP.

 

Name

Games

Goals

Assists

Total

Goal ratio/game

Walcott

43 (31+12)

21

17

38

0.88

RVP

48 (40+8)

30

13

43

0.89

I know that in total numbers Van Persie is showing much better numbers. But when you look at game time and then look at how many they contribute to scoring goals in total we can see that there is almost no difference between Walcott and Van Persie. I know that Walcott is no Van Persie. He doesn’t have to be a Van Persie. They are different type of player. The one more a ball caresser and the other his game is more based on speed.  But at the end of the day what counts is how many goals do they contribute to their team. And then it seems that Walcott is almost as good as Van Persie.

But what is the most interesting bit is that at this point in his career Van Persie had a goal contribution ratio between 0.30 and 0.45. And now Theo is on 0.88 goals per game.

If we look at the minutes actually played we see that Van Persie played 3948 minutes last season and having been involved in 43 goals this means that he has been involved in a goal every 91 minutes. Walcott has played 2987 minutes in total and this means that he has been involved in a goal every 78 minutes.    This is rather impressive for Walcott I would say.

The thing that excites me most is like I said before, that Walcott has been developed by Wenger. And we all know what Wenger can do with fast wingers and turning them in to goal scorers. I could name Henry. I could even add Van Persie because lets be honest who thought that Van Persie would become the centre forward he is during his injured years? Only one man I think. Most declared him an old fool when he started playing Van Persie as a centre forward. But look what Wenger made of him. And who knows is he doing the trick again with Walcott? We will know it in some 4-5 years. But surely things look great.

And to show you how much Walcott has improved I will show you the stats over the last season.

Walcott

Games

Goals

Assists

Total

Goal ratio/game

2009-2010

30

4

2

6

0.2

2010-2011

38

13

9

22

0.57

2011-2012

46

11

13

24

0.52

2012-2013

43

21

17

38

0.88

Just look at the total goal contribution he is making and how his numbers are rising to Van Persie levels. 

It is clear to see that Theo has developed over the last 4 years. From a weak young boy in to a stronger and still very fast man. And by becoming more adult he also has learned to be more calm in front of goal or to pick the right pass at the right time.

No football brains you said? I wonder who it really is who has no football brains. Theo or the pundits?

 

 

71 comments to Theo Walcott, is there more to come?

  • crusifix

    Lovely analysis

  • ClockEndRider

    Sorry but watching Theo from inside the ground every week, it is painful to have to report that he simply has very little idea of where to stand, whether to come short or play on the defenders shoulder, come inside or stay wide. This results in a rather lopsided team with the left hand side operating in a rather more orthodox manner and all sorts seemingly going on on the right.
    Further, he struggles to receive the ball on the half turn, side on and his ball control at times is childlike.
    Be honest, if he has signed instead for United or Chelsea, all those 7 1/2 years ago, do you think he would have played 250 times? That’s quite a run for someone who still isn’t the finished article. Or may be is, which is more worrying…,,
    He played much better for the final 3-4 games of this season but he needs to do that every week now, not just for 10% of the season.

  • Obinna arthur

    I think he gonner get better with time that’s if he remain with arsenal, gunner 4 lie lol.

  • naked goon

    Nice to read,
    let us compare again with our best winger of recent times, Robert Pires in 2003/04
    Played 46 + 5 Subs…. 20 goals scored with 10 assists.
    It looks to me as if Theo is ahead of our Bob, in what was the most successful league campaign in the club’s history.

  • GoonerDog

    As long as he continues to score the same level of goals as he did this season then all his other faults can be overlooked. But faults he definitely has!

  • Chris holden

    The main problem with both Walcott and Ramsey is they have consistently poor first touches. The ball is never really under control, so they are off balance and stretching, falling over. It was really evident watching Theo’s last game for England. Both also struggle to read the game and have very poor positional play, which is bizarre due to the calibre of players they have trained with. Theo’s saving grace is from 70 minutes on his pace is devastating. Ramsey’s enthusiasm is not enough to overcome his lack of pace, inability to tackle or poor passing.
    Both players need top class competition in their positions to determine if the can go up to the next level.

  • naked goon

    and in addition, he has to deal with a different strike partner every year or so, going from Henry, ade, vp, to Giroud,
    however,stats are great deceivers and don’t show the whole picture, like failing to track back, suspect positioning ,technique etc. and believe me, I’d have a Pires any day

  • Next season Theo titi will be the top scorer,i just hope he stays fit.By the end of the season if you where watching how a gem Theo will be is when he missed that would be second goal. He got all the Newcastle defenders on his tail stopped, ducked inside gave them a dummy at the moment some are still stuck in the grounds at St James park stadium and as a cool striker placed the ball but damn, it hit the post.
    That one showed me that Theo titi has become of age.
    So stay tuned for more next season starring Theo titi.

  • JohnW

    The problem with people is that the neighbour’s wife is always more beautiful, forgetting that you may also have gold in your home. ClockEndRider, Arsenal supporters always said the same about, Adebayor, Nasri, even RVP, but when they were bought by other teams, you could clearly see that they were not as useless as we branded them. Clichy has got another 4 years at Man City, but you know what was said when he was at Arsenal! If you think Theo is bad, take away his goal contribution this season and see whether you would have qualified for the ECL. Do you know that his numbers are almost similar to Bale’s? (I wish Walter compares these two over several seasons) Yet people are happy to sing Bale’s name. You drool over Carzola’s contribution this season, yet he’s 28, Theo is 24. I don’t think RVP had the same contribution as Theo when he was 24, so what’s the problem with people!Theo is not a Ronaldo, Messi or even a Falcao, but he’s steadily on his way to be a great striker cum winger.

  • ksn

    I can’t argue the fact that sometimes his decision making is questionable with regards to making runs etc but i can’t grasp why people still after Theo scores 21 goals and NEVER moans or cries about the stick he gets still find all this negativity towards him.
    The past few seasons everyone has been screaming for more goals, better crosses and he’s delivered in bucket loads (can still be improved) in both areas yet Arsenal ‘fans’ still find his performances well below par.
    Be honest would Henry or Van Persie if having signed for anyone else instead of joining us when they did have played so much, would any other team/manager have kept faith when we did?
    Look how they turned out.
    How many times did Theo save the mighty Arsenal and still no appreciation, personally Theo along with Santi was our most important players this season.

  • naked goon

    57 goals and 51 assists in his Arsenal career ain’t too shabby. Could an “iffy” winger break Thierry’s record??

  • Previgo

    He is certainly better than bale in the assists aspect.. One thing i like about theo is that he has this drogba like behaviour.. He can go missing through out the game but can pop up @ anytime i give the wining result or contribute greatly to the wining result

  • Whatever anyone says…Theo is on his way to becoming a great. Not just a Gunner great, but an England great. He really stepped up this year. Only Michael Owen, Ashley Cole and Rooney have progressed so much at his age, in the past 20 years in England.
    Wenger once more, saw what many other pple were blind to many many years ago. Its not a mistake/coincidence that Theo (along with Podolski) is now the highest earner @ Arsenal.
    Theo has it all….good manners, fighting spirit, stability both at the club and in his private life, good looks as well as of cos…a fat paypacket.
    He’s set surely for great things!

  • Tasos

    Theo Walcott can be the most infuriatingly frustrating Arsenal player I care to remember but you can’t argue with the numbers Walter has produced.

    If Theo can produce such numbers whilst still appearing to have so much to learn about the game then his future still looks bright.

    And here’s another Walcott stat to ponder. Only 4 Premier League players managed to reach double figures in terms of goals and assists during 2012/13 season.

    Juan Mata 12 goals, 12 assists.
    Theo 14 goals, 10 assists.
    Cazorla 12 goals, 11 assists.
    Rooney 12 goals, 10 assists.

    There’s definitely more to come from Theo Walcott when you consider his age. Love him or hate him Theo Walcott remains a player with huge potential.

  • bjtgooner

    lets remember that Walcott did not play as much as he could have in the early part of the season, mainly due to his contract situation being unresolved. Therefore his figures for the season could have been even better.

    Further, Walcott had new players to get used to (mainly the three new amigos from last summer) and in turn they had to get used to him. I would expect that with a more settled squad for the coming season we will see a better return from many of our players, including Walcott.

    However, I am not convinced Walcott is a potential CF. He would be super playing just off or behind the CF, but I prefer a tall striker for the EPL.

  • clockendrider

    JohnW,
    Firstly, neither Adebayor nor Nasri has gone on to play better than they did at Arsenal. Their well known shortcomings have only been magnifield. Yes they have medals but don’t overlook the fact they have been little more than passengers on the way to those trophies.
    2. Your point about taking away Theos goal contribution and seeing where we would be is at best spurious. We wouldn’t have been playing with 10 men. Someone would have replaced him. Further, that someone may not have been doing an impression of Harry Potter in an invisibility cloak for quite so many games as Theo and may have contributed more.
    I get no easure oyt if castigating the player. U just dont agree that for all the expense he has so far been a value for money signing. It is up
    to him to raise his performance level significantly.

  • Mandy Dodd

    He is starting to score more big goals as well.

  • Willy Tanzania

    Why we arsenal fans do like to Critisize our own Players we do not know how to appretiate do we..! The kid is good at at what he does so lets just hope for some addition then we are good to go

  • If leat say walcott can take all the penalty, he would have scored 25+ golas esily. Had he taken all the penlty in premir league , he would have scored 20 goals in PL an that is amaizing.
    He will be ven better next season and can definately achieve 20 pl goals.
    I am counting 50 goals + assit in total next season for him.
    he is on the verge of world class

  • WalterBroeckx

    I must admit that even though I am a big fan of Theo (come to think of it… of every player we have 🙂 ) I didn’t realise his stats would have been on the same level of that of RVP.

    And I think the most impressing thing is his total goal contribution compared to that of RVP.
    He needs 13 minutes less game play to be involved in a goal than RVP.

    I must say I didn’t know that until I started writing the article and started gathering the data.

    And still people will criticize him. Of course everything can be better. And I think that is just what Wenger is doing with him. And we are starting to see the first signs of a massive improvement in his finishing and assisting to goals.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Bottomline: Theo is making progress. Great progress. His negatives are abating and becoming less of an impediment to his goal contributions and assists. At the same time, he is developing nicely in being a goal threat coming either from the wings or from the center. His crosses are getting better.

    It was the promise Wenger saw in him and held out to him and it is the promising he is acting upon and improving in his fulfillment of it. Kudos to Wenger for his good eye and development program; greater kudos to Theo for the excruciating hard work it must have required of him.

    We tend to forget that RvP and TH14 too took their time to get to the full measure of their respective potential. Personally, I look forward to improving stats in each of the next 3years wherein we can then say that he is performing at his peak…

  • A. Stewart

    Walcott is a really strange case to judge I think. He took a very looooong time to reach the level he’s at, and some may argue that the level he’s finally reach (a 20 goal a season striker), is something that many less heralded players have achieved in far shorter time, and for far less money spent (transfer fees and wages spent, and much frustration in his play over some 7 years), or that for similar money (over time) we could have invested in a more proven edition years back that could have provided what we needed immediately or more quickly and could have added the extra quality to make that last 5% or so difference to the teams that were so agonizingly close to challenging during the Fabregas years.

    Anyway, that’s it the past, he’s finally reach that level now, does he have the consistency and nous to maintain this level? Time will tell.

    Statistically he’s been excellent this season, and had he not been frozen out a bit during the contract saga, he may have scored and assisted a bunch more.

    Theo is a wonderful finisher, and always a threat with his final ball (thus he notches a lot of assists). What I really like about him too, is that he has developed into a big game player as well as a player who can hammer the minnows. He’s turned up in our big games (statistically speaking) more than any other player we have, scoring and assisting regularly against quality opposition. That must be commended!

    However, while his finishing and threat with his final ball is very good, he remains pretty questionable in his all round game. Speed is undoubtedly his main weapon, which he uses effectively to get into the positions to serve his other strength (i.e. final ball/ shot). However, he has problems thinking his way around the pitch, with creativity, with control, dribbling and many of the football basics (at the high level of play professionals are judged on). Racing through on goal or past a full back to latch on to a wide ball, where his instincts take over, there not much to complain about with him.. However, when that is denied to him, he often lacks the cunning, invention and technical ability to be effective. His defensive/tactical application also leaves some questions.

    I think he can improve on these aspects to some extent, but that he naturally lacks them, makes me think there’s a limitation to how much he can improve on his weaknesses.

    Thus I think the key to getting long term success out of Theo and taking him to the next level is less about him, and more about the system we use and the players we have or bring in who can put him in positions to use his strengths.

    Players, who can unlock defenses with passing ability for through balls, and more quality attackers/creative players on the pitch to take more attention away from him, will make him that much a bigger threat.

    Verdict: Great season from him, but a lot of improvement still needed.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A. Stewart,
    basically we now need a Cesc to take him to the next level

  • A. Stewart

    “Ah, you know the things people say who have no patience and who want that a player is the finished product from day one.”

    Walter, in fairness though… Walcott cost what? some 12M and (admittedly guessing here) let’s say he was paid 60k a week on average over 7 seasons…We’re looking at arguably over 30M of investment into a player who has been largely and woefully inconsistent and very slow developing over that time and given the large volume of play time he has received, and has only just reached a good (not elite imo) level and output that many a less heralded player has reached in far less time and for far less investment. And still has many of the basic flaws and weaknesses in his game that haven’t improved that much (as mentioned above his strengths really have improved dramatically recently).

    I’ve accepted that I will judge Walcott on where he is now, as we can’t go back into the pass and change things, but I don’t think you can take a swipe at other fans as being “impatient” when we’ve spent so much on him, and waited so long (arguably at the expense of getting in more proven players then that could have made a difference to those teams that were very near challenging), for him to finally reach a level (which while good is not that extra special for elite players on elite teams) and he’s been afforded so much opportunity to make that slow development.. heck had Carlos Vela for example been given 1/5 of the opportunities and patience, belief and trust, and chance after chance that Walcott was given, who knows how good a players he could have been now (because he was arguably far more naturally talented and well-rounded as a footballer).

    I like Walcott and I commend him regularly for his improvement and big game impact of late, but let’s be real here, we’ve invested a lot, waited a long time, and he’s been afforded so much opportunity to improve that few players get, and his development has been relatively slow…And remember, he was expensively BOUGHT as a first team player, not a reserve kid, so naturally he was and should have been judged by that standard with regards to his development (regardless of his age).

    I really don’t think fans have been “impatient” with him to be honest.

  • A. Stewart

    “A. Stewart,
    basically we now need a Cesc to take him to the next level”

    Agreed, I think he (though I doubt he’s coming back) or someone (or a couple players) with those abilities to really exploit Walcott’s runs and finishes will take him to the next level.

    Maybe Wilshere can be that player, but he himself has a way to go in his development to be able to really see and unlock Walcott, so I think we need another player now who can do it.

  • bjtgooner

    A Stewart

    “heck had Carlos Vela for example been given 1/5 of the opportunities and patience, belief and trust, and chance after chance that Walcott was given, who knows how good a players he could have been now (because he was arguably far more naturally talented and well-rounded as a footballer).”

    Can you back this up? – preferably with a short answer.

  • A. Stewart

    “Be honest, if he has signed instead for United or Chelsea, all those 7 1/2 years ago, do you think he would have played 250 times? ”

    @ ClockEndRider, I think this is a VERY fair point, and something that I have alluded to especially in response to people who say gooners have lacked patience with Walcott.

    Walcott has had so much opportunity to develop that most players (and many other talented AFC youngsters) never had (and it’s cost arsenal a lot in money and time), and opporunities that most big clubs dont give to players at his age, and frustrating performances level over the better period of 7 years. And to be honest the development has been slow.

    And this is coming from someone who can’t stop congratulating him for his now deadly final ball threat with his scoring and assisting and big game performances of the past season.

  • A. Stewart

    bjtgooner,

    It’s clearly an opinion….

    Perhaps you missed the stated/inferred uncertainty with words “who knows”..

    And the admitted subjectivity with the use of the conditional description with the word “arguably”.

    Quite why I would have to backup a clearly stated personal opinion with already-highlited uncertainty, is beyond me..

    short enough?

  • bjtgooner

    @A Stewart

    Thank you for confirming that you cannot back up your previous statement which you now declare as an opinion.

    It would be foolish of you to think someone missed the qualification “who knows” when you make a statement which is otherwise designed to be convincing – if it is not designed to be convincing why make it?

    Short answers are good!

  • A. Stewart

    Bjtgooner, erm you’re welcome I guess….

    I made a clear personal opinion about Carlos Vela and made clear references to the uncertainty surrounding the clear opinion.

    What specifically do I need to back up about a conclusion that cannot be proved because imo it never happened as clearly mentioned?

    So therefore who knows what could have been with Vela given more opportunities than he had..? I think he would have been much better, but ultimately and OBVIOUSLY the conclusion is unknown because he OBVIOUSLY wasn’t given said opportunity in comparison, so therefore the inferred conclusion that I think he would have been much better is an opinion, and can’t be backed up (nor does it need to) because the situation in question leading to the what if conclusion, didn’t happen.

    ..

    Clearly you are trying to score personal points and making some issue out of a pretty benign opinion. I don’t think anyone needs to be convincing that my opinion on Vela is correct, heck I clearly infer (via “who knows”) that while it’s my opinion of how things may have turned out, I don’t know that they would have, if fact no-one does. So could care less who is convinced or not.

    It seems obvious that you have a problem with me and are trying settle some mysterious score, to be making an issue about nothing really it’s quite flattering really that I seem to bother you this much (<- that's a personal opinion(s) by the way, in case you were incapable of picking up on it).

    It's quite amusing.

    Hopefully this post wasn't too long for you, I suspect it may have been.

  • A. Stewart

    A Little Grammar lession here son..

    A statement can be an opinion and vice versa..

    If I STATE “Vela is better than Walcott…” that’s a statement, and obviously it’s an opinion too.

    I’m surprised this needs to be spelled out for you.

    Practically almost all of what we post on here even when quoting and interpreting “stats/facts” are opinions (without the need to highlight such), again I’m really surprised these obvious things need clarifying for you.

  • Dec

    Every game when I read the team sheet and see Theo starting, I get that distinct feeling straight away that we might score goals today. He carries a very tangible, very distinct and very potent threat. Of course he doesn’t always score (nobody does), but every second Theo is on the pitch, the opposition are concerned and need to be 100% focused on him. Often to the benefit of other Arsenal players. The same feeling happens when Theo comes off the bench. A feeling of positivity, much more tangible than when we launch any other offensive option. Walter’s stats prove just how potent the threat is. All those still not satisfied and probably baying to sign some vastly overpriced and recently discovered ‘sensation’ should consider some stats that I hope we never get a chance to prove for real –
    1. The number of top clubs queuing up to sign Theo should we ever decide to sell him.
    2. The number of shiny new pound notes ( more likely euros) that we’d add to the club’ coffers.
    3. The number of extra wheelbarrows Theo would need to cart his wages home every week.
    I hope we never find out!!

    Appreciate the exceptional talent produced by Mr. and Mrs. Walcott and spotted and nurtured by Arsene Wenger. Such does not come along all that often.
    Allez les Gunners

  • Bootoomee

    @bjtgooner,

    I love your line: “Short answers are good!”

    I mostly skip A. Stewart’s theses on here. I haven’t got the time; I have got a life!

  • Dec

    Spare me from bloody cocky school teachers!!!!!

  • A. Stewart

    Spare me from guys who INITIATE and try to nitpick at benign and harmless opinions, and the differences between statements and opinions…

  • Gunz

    @ A. Stewart
    Yawn!

  • Adam

    I had the same surgery as Theo (one shoulder not both) and it took me about four years to recover properly and be comfortable holding my weight, but still cannot take a hard fall. Although he is a lot younger than me, I can appreciate the struggle he had getting in top condition to survive playing at that level. I have also had various knock-on effects from this type of surgery so would again understand if he suffered in some way we are not told about.

    This aside he still terrifies defenders and as pointed out in the article, is a very effective player.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Adam,
    A friend of mine also had the same problem and he also has told me that it took him years after the surgery to feel completely comfortable.
    It is something that is quickly forgotten but a football player with his shoulders popping out every second is someone who cannot play fully confident. I think that confidence is there right now and if the surgery was a success it usually means that the shoulders are more secured than the ones that most people have. I think his last seasons proved that this might be the case.

  • Adam

    Agree Walter, however, every time he gets taken out and lands awkwardly, I cringe because I know what it feels like. Not only that but everything that is connected with the shoulders suffers when you sustain that sort of injury.

    Anyway, the best of luck to the young man.

  • bjtgooner

    @Bootoomee

    Thanks for the support.

    For a long time I also did not pay much attention to A Stewart’s long winded ramblings, life is too short, & then I gradually noticed he is usually very negative about some aspect of the club, so I have read his meandering ramblings recently. Sometimes he tries to be almost subtle with his comments and almost argues against his initial point – but in the end he is always negative. The interesting question then is – why?

  • kaay

    changed my view on Theo.

  • Mick

    @A. Stewart
    June 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm
    A Little Grammar lession here son..
    Please teacher sir shouldn’t it be lesson?

  • gouresh

    I am a BIG fan of Teo, as an ex-defender, I can tell you that u shit in your pants when you have players which such speed attacking you.
    There are comments about his 1st touch, but he was initally never good at that. @ Southhampton, he was at the end of every through ball with great effect. But in the PL most of the time teams play really deffensive against us, so he cannot run through, but when the get space, you can see what he can produce. remember that he is just 24, and still learning. i have a feeling that AW is protecting him by playing on the wing. if he had a central role, by now he would be hacked to death. also players with such speed have serious hamstring issue, Michael Owen? give him another 2 yrs and you will see that he will one of the best in the PL.

  • bjtgooner

    @A Stewart

    Re your posts @3.00, 3.06 and 3.43pm

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks!

    (The post at 3.43pm was the best – short!)

  • A. Stewart

    @ bjtgooner, instead of wasting the blog’s precious time on this non-issue and straying off topic more than we have, I’ll move on after this post.

    Please feel free to consider my backing down as proving whatever point you were trying to prove (about me) and notching whatever personal victory you were trying to notch.

    I see in your post above you’ve pretty much admitted (as I openly suspected before your admission) and confirmed this is a personal thing against me, and nothing really to do with critiquing the content individual posts, hence making a non-issue about an opinion about Vela into an issue.

    @ Mick, it absolutely should be. Unfortunately I didn’t spell check there, and it wasn’t the only grammatical error in that post by me either….

    @ Gunz, re: yawn, I agree it’s boring…so moving on….

    Back to Theo, excellent season, still some room for improvement.

  • A. Stewart

    “..if he had a central role, by now he would be hacked to death…”

    A Gouresh? Interesting point, would be curious for you to explain a bit further..

    I’ve always kind of thought that if Walcott had a more central role and mastered it (and important point), that CBs would have to back off of him a little more, and having space on both sides as opposed to being more compressed against a touch-line would enable him to use his strengths a bit more i.e. speed, runs and finishing, and make him more unpredictable to defenders. Especially, if as mentioned above, we have/had more players with the ability of spotting and unlocking his runs.

    I think CBs would be a little hesitant with diving in for fear of Walcott skinning them, or themcommitting fouls/penalties. I wonder if people’s aversion to Theo in the centre, centres around a perception that the CF has to be able to hold up the ball in the modern game, while it’s undoubtedly a good attribute I don’t think it’s essential providing other pieces are in place to effectively play a different style of striker and to exploit Walcott’s strengths….

  • bjtgooner

    @A Stewart

    “I see in your post above you’ve pretty much admitted (as I openly suspected before your admission) and confirmed this is a personal thing against me,”

    I don’t see where I admitted anything – have you ever had treatment for paranoia?

    “instead of wasting the blog’s precious time on this non-issue and straying off topic more than we have,”

    Have you ever strayed off topic? Have you ever wasted time via overly long posts?

    Kindly note we got into this because you included a glaring contradiction in your statement @ 2.08pm.

    I have noted you trying to analyze the posts of others on this site (almost in an intimidatory way) – so why complain when it happens to you?

  • FunGunner

    I think some people are reacting negatively to this analysis of Theo’s contribution because they think Walter is over-estimating his ability. For my part, I think that Theo will never be a great player like Henry, he will always be a little streaky because he doesn’t have the technique. What he is however is effective – he has one big weapon which he uses to devastating effect. As someone says above, you always feel there is a chance of goals when Theo plays. He does have other attributes apart from his speed – his finishing, his intelligent runs – but speed is his main advantage. I liken him to a tennis player who has a massive serve – he will beat technically better players simply because they can’t live with the power he can generate. Showing that Theo is as effective as RVP or Henry, is not to put him in that class of talent – he doesn’t belong there, not yet, anyway. But let’s not turn our noses up at such a potent weapon because he has a poor first touch now and again. Would you care if he went to one of our rivals? I know I would be devastated.

  • A. Stewart

    So bjtgooner, what do you think about Walcott in the centre vs the wing?

  • A. Stewart

    FunGunner, I think that’s a fair assessment.

  • Adam

    I think too much emphasis is put on Theo working the middle of the park, he is quick enough to take up most positions before people can react. Can he play a central role against some of the thugs in the prem is the question and should he be put at risk like that when he can blindside central defenders by coming in from the flanks.

    We in this country are used to channeled movement but some have to get used to lateral movement and are not keeping up with how football is changing and evolving. It’s almost getting to the point where you can get away without playing a recognised center forward.

    Yet Arsenal usually play with three who could be considered forwards.

  • A. Stewart

    Fair enough Adam, for clarification I think switching during games with the other “forwards” on the pitch is something I advocate too, as opposed to Walcott spending all his time in a true CF rol.

    However, I do think his strengths if properly applied in the centre strategically during games can be more deadly than outwide, and I think he can be a bit more evasive with space on both sides (I don’t think he’ll ever really be a back to goal striker inviting physical contact) and thus may actually avoid mugging by the “thugs”, as opposed to them being able to line him up for a kicking more when he is compressed on the touch line with less room to be evasive.

  • bjtgooner

    @A Stewart

    “So bjtgooner, what do you think about Walcott in the centre vs the wing?”

    If you had read my post @ 10.30am you would have a fair idea on my view on this.

    I don’t think Theo is tall enough to be a sole striker, he could be very effective in the center playing just off the CF, in fact that may well be his best position – but how that change effects the balance of the team would need to be considered.

  • Adam

    Agree to some extent, but the boy still doesn’t shield the ball as well as others, and it isn’t a size thing. Look at Cazorla and how well he shields the ball Walcott can adapt to become that good but throughout his career he has taken a different route. He is getting better with an opponent at his back but not enough to be exposed to the central role full-time. He still struggles to work the little spaces either side of him.

    But this is only my uneducated opinion.

  • A. Stewart

    I apologize, I probably didn’t read it…

    Fair enough re the rest of the post, in my opinion Walcott, operating more in the centre however, doesn’t necessarily mean being a “sole striker” in the truest sense of the description.

  • FunGunner

    @ bjtgooner
    I think he’s best as a wide forward/winger, can’t see him as a central striker, but you have to remember that Theo was brought up as a Liverpool fan. I believe he wants to be a central striker for Arsenal so that he stands a chance of playing there for England – just like his idol, Michael Owen. I can’t really see him pulling it off, but I could be wrong. He works at his deficiencies, I know that much, so it may work out for him.

  • bjtgooner

    @FunGunner

    One additional aspect of Theo’s game that has improved is his crossing, so if he continues to play wide that should stand both him and the team in good stead.

  • FunGunner

    @ bjtgooner
    June 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm
    Agree!

  • gouresh

    @ A. Stewart 7.30. ‘hacked to death’ was a figure of speech. he not the tallest or the strongest. his weapon is his speed and its got to he harnessed in the right manner and at the right time.
    looking at how the ref protect our players, do you think he would have a chance in hell? we don’t an Edwardo situation now do we.
    We are on his back because he came with a reputation but the championship and the PL is different give the boy a chance.
    as i have said, he is being protected by playing on the wing, although we saw him struggle at time…lets all hope he come good. the signs are good.

  • Pat

    There is no arguing with these figures and they do put Theo in a very positive light.

    Looks like it was worth while spending all that time and energy persuading him to sign a new long term contract.

    Looking forward to even more from him ….

  • Pat

    There is no arguing with these figures and they do put Theo in a very positive light.

    Looks like it was worth while spending all that time and energy persuading him to sign a new long term contract.

    Looking forward to even more from him ….

  • Pat

    Sorry it came up twice again!

  • Domhuail

    Walcott’s problems are not really physical, other than his inexperience and immaturity, which seem to be improving each season. His biggest issue is his mental attitude and emotional approach to the game. He knows he can easily outrun any defender (unless he is Usain Bolt) and is fantastically agile,mobile and tricky but that is too one-dimensional and he depends on this aspect of his game too much as well.
    I believe he has been receiving advice from Henry and maybe a few other great strikers over the years and is beginning to try and play across the field more. That is why he always asks Wenger to allow him to play as a CF…..he needs to vary his style of play and his direction of attack….when he succeeds, he can be deadly and he knows it.
    My guess is that next season, AW will give him a few opportunities in the pre-season to play as a true CF and also as a traditional winger…depending on who we bring in over the summer. If we do bring in a true CF, then Wenger will expect Walcott to remain on the wing and feed crosses in, as well as to run at defenders and threaten to score from the right. As well, we have the OX, whose pace matches Walcott’s but whose physique is much more robust. He is more a midfielder but showed this season that he can shoot with the best. How these two players collaborate will determine a lot for Walcott’s future, imho.

  • bob

    “[OX] showed this season that he can shoot with the best”
    Dom,
    Please demonstrate this. Cheers.

  • bob

    btw, Stan’s Denver Nuggets basketball team just got rid of its coach after a disappointing finale.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Gouresh, I’m aware of the figure of speech.

    I agree his weapon is speed and it’s got to be harnessed in the right manner etc.. I think however, that this weapon will be better harnessed with more exposure in the centre and a bit more space to operate on both sides, with defenders backing off.. What makes Theo different from Eduardo is precisely that, speed. If he gets a bit more comfortable there, CBs cannot overplay him close for fear of getting skinned, or committing fouls, his speed with more space to operate will essentially nullify a lot of that physical threat that you worry about.. that’s how I see it at least, I could be wrong. I think he can do more damage rotating into the centre more, that doesn’t mean he needs to be stationed there all game, or feature as a hold em up lone striker etc.

    I give Theo a chance, and am largely positive and congratulatory to him. I think his future is bright, has it all be good and positive along his long development route? No, but pointing that out and discussing his still evolving journey (including positives and negatives) doesn’t equate to not giving him a chance or not being supportive of him.

  • A. Stewart

    A Bob, the curious thing about that was that he was named coach of the year, (but they went out in the first round of the playoffs).

  • Stuart

    Bjt thats what A. Stewart does. write a long post opposing your view and then avoids answering your reply when you prove him/her incorrect or off the scent.

    Tony / Walter, have you by any chance checked for duplicate IP addresses recently or compared to that historic person you banned?

  • bjtgooner

    @Stuart

    Lets see how he shapes up now he knows he will be brought to book if there is any more nonsense.

  • Arun

    Walcott had a brilliant season and deservedly came third in the player of the season.