Theo to sign a new contract? Arteta signing?

By Walter Broeckx

I don’t follow up all the rumours of the transfer window. On second thoughts I do follow them by the funny way Sir Hardly Anyone presents them at Untold and I find them very amusing to be honest. But when I look around on facebook and on twitter there is no escaping some things.  But I am not going to talk about new signings but talk about people who feel like a new signing.

The rumour is that Mikel Arteta has signed or is going to sign another one year contract extension at Arsenal. The captain that has been out for most of the season because of an injury and then some surgery is likely to stay at Arsenal. The 33 year old midfielder who has been appointed captain at the start of last season after the departure of Vermaelen has had a terrible injury plagued season.  There really seems to be a captain’s curse at Arsenal for the moment. Vermaelen was more injured than fit after being appointed captain and Arteta has taken that over with the armband.  Now after having had a lot of recovery time I hope that Arteta now can stay fit.

What is important about Arteta is that he is the arm of Wenger on the field when he plays. He is one of those players that might turn in to a good manager after his playing days. So having him around in a half coaching job when being around the team and the other players can be of a high importance. He isn’t as quick as Coquelin, doesn’t tackle as good as Coquelin but that is not really surprisingly as he was more a forward midfield player in his younger days and in his first years at Arsenal.

I do like Arteta a lot because he tries to bring some composure to the team when it is needed. And of course he is a strong passer of the ball and keeps it moving from foot to foot. I know his speed has gone down but he now uses more his brains than his legs when it comes to positioning himself on the field. He might not be as effective as Coquelin in breaking up the play but he sure has a good influence on the players around him.

Keeping him is good in my opinion and he will be one of those players that you know you can call upon when needed and that will not be too heartbroken when they have to sit on the bench. At 33 at a club like Arsenal you know that you will find less game time. But as a role model for the kids and in the league cup he can be of the highest importance.

But even more important are the rumours that Theo Walcott is also close to agreeing a new contract that would keep him at Arsenal till 2019. After Theo showing his form in the last two matches of the season just gone, we know again what we have missed for one and a half years.  .

We know Theo has his weaknesses. Defending is not really his thing. He is not a player that will go in to the duels a lot to fight for the ball like Alexis does. Sometimes you wish he would do that also but that is a character thing I think. Alexis is a fox terrier and Theo is a bit more of a cuddly dog. That is just the way they are and you can need both in a team.

But Theo really is a great finisher. I know in the months after he came back and sat on the bench a lot he was rusty when it came to scoring goals. As we mustn’t forget that he got injured after being kicked to bits by several Tottenham players seconds before his knee gave way, he might have had to overcome a kind of mental block in his head. That is very natural for any player who was the victim of dangerous fouls and vicious tackles. Players hold back a bit more after that and only after being completely relaxed they start to forget about it and start playing with the needed freedom in their head.

And I think that is what happened when Theo started against WBA.  It was as if he was determined to show the boss that he had left it behind him. Wenger got some questions as to why Theo didn’t play more in the months before. But perhaps Wenger had seen the mental block in his play and didn’t want to expose him too soon to the criticism he would get (and did get already) by some part of our supporters.

Theo had a period at Arsenal (the RVP glory year) where he gave assist after assist. If my memory is still a bit good I remember having heard 15 assists or even more in a season and lots of the goal RVP scored was because of Theo providing him with some good chances. And after RVP went Theo started to score more himself. And still gave assists.

If Theo doesn’t get kicked off the field again during the season I really think he can be a +20 goal scorer for Arsenal and have at least +10 assists after his name. Theo signing a new contract resolves any issue for me about Arsenal needing to buy a world class striker. They can be that striker. And with his speed looking back to normal again in the last two matches he will be a threat for most defences.

I’m looking forward to see how Özil and Theo finally really can start to play together. Because of injuries from both players this hasn’t happened a lot during the last two seasons. With both of them having a normal preseason I really think they can start to gel together in to an awesome striking partnership. The vision of Özil combined with the runs and speed of Theo…. where is that water in my mouth coming from….?

The books

Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years

Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910

The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal

32 Replies to “Theo to sign a new contract? Arteta signing?”

  1. Sorry to be offtopic but Anthony Taylor has just been announced as the referee for our Community Shield match with Chelsea.

  2. Oh F*ck Usama why did you have to ruin this day like that…..


  3. Serious now that could mean half of the team already in ruins before the league starts…..

  4. Yes I know Walter it is sort of bad news for us. 🙁
    I just don’t understand how he gets all the big matches to officiate. Anthony Taylor has is one of the worst refs in the country.

  5. It would be nice, if someone who can actually see the pictures, would give us the roster of players it covers. To me, every picture looks like a picture of a black bear in the middle of the night.

  6. Some medja websites seem to have copies of the pictures. It looks like some players are juggling numbers, and hence multiple numbers. Where I don’t recognize someone, I just try to do number lookup.

    Debuchy (2)
    Per (4),
    Gabriel (5)
    Wilshere (10),
    Ox (15),
    Monreal (18)
    Flamini (20),
    Chambers (21),
    Sanogo (22),
    Bellerin (24, 39, 20?),
    Akpom (32, 31),
    Coquelin (34)
    Wellington (46),
    Kamara ?(47)
    Crowley (62, 43),
    O’Connor ? (73),

  7. However worse Anthony Taylor could be, he won’t be worse for Arsenal in our Community Shield game against Chelsea at Wembley before the eyes of the dignitries that will attend the match and the millions of viewers that will be watching the game on TV across the World. Referee Anthony Taylor will officiate in the game fairly and the Gunners will retain the Shield. I will put my prayers on the Boss to start breaking the ice on Jose Mourinho. We are all awaiting the breaking news from Arsenal to read, that Walcott has put pen to paper extending his deal till 2019. That breaking news will soon breakout, I am sure. Ozil should start preparing how he will viablely feed Walcott, Giroud and Welbeck as the Boss looks to play them centrally in rotation from the commencement of the new season, I suppose. Any other arrangements contrary to playing Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck centrally in rotation may not be as productive as to play the trio centrally in rotation.

  8. However worse Anthony Taylor could be, he won’t be worse for Arsenal in our Community Shield game against Chelsea at Wembley before the eyes of the dignitries that will attend the match and the millions of viewers that will be watching the game on TV across the World. Referee Anthony Taylor will officiate in the game fairly and the Gunners will retain the Shield. I will put my prayers on the Boss to start breaking the ice on Jose Mourinho. We are all awaiting the breaking news from Arsenal to read that, Walcott has put pen to paper extending his deal till 2019. That breaking news will soon breakout, I am sure Ozil will start preparing on how he will viablely feed Walcott, Giroud and Welbeck with accurate passes as the Boss looks to play them centrally in rotation as from the commencement of the new season, I suppose. Any other arrangements contrary to playing Giroud, Walcott and Welbeck centrally in rotation, may not be as productive as to play the trio centrally in rotation.

  9. Theo on the verge of signing? Fantastic news !

    Anthony Taylor? Shit !

    I too cant wait to see Ozil and Theo in harmony.

    It will be a thing of beauty to behold.

    Fingers crossed for an injury free season for both of them, and if we get it, I too see a 20 goal plus season for Theo.

  10. Off topic question:
    Is there an article here about barca’s transfer situation? I though their transfer is banned until january. How did they bought arda turan then?

  11. I see a confirmation that Bellerin has moved to 24. I disagree with that report in that 39 is a bad number. Lots of people dislike 13, but there is no reason to banish multiples of 13. 666? I doubt teams will get big enough to need that number.


    I seem to remember reading something about that a while ago. He is not allowed to play until the transfer ban is finished. I believe I asked if he could practice, and never got an answer.

  12. I’m still scrounging around medja reports, as to who is in camp. Another name that popped up is Zelalem, back form U20 World Cup in New Zealand.

    The mirror has an article with I think some different information than the main Arsenal website has on the new scholars. It has to be new in part, because the Mirror article has mentions of how much Arsenal has paid in some circumstances, which is unusual for Arsenal.

    I read the FA’s story about Taylor’s refereeing duties. Quotes (even cut and pasted) are indicated by right angle brackets:

    > Anthony Taylor, Gary Beswick from Durham and John Brooks from Leicestershire & Rutland.

    > Wiltshire’s Roger East will be fourth official, while the reserve assistant referee will be Michael Salisbury from Lancashire.

    3 previous times at Wembley as referee

    > “Indeed, he is currently in Greece as one of six referees selected by UEFA to officiate in the UEFA U19 Finals.”

    There is no mention in The FA article, as to how many legs of Arsenal players he is supposed to allow to happen, before he starts clamping down.

    Harvesting some data about Taylor from Wikipedia:

    1 red card rescinded in Dec 2009
    censured Nov 2010
    March 2011, Sunderland vs Arsenal, no penalty for Arshavin by Titus Bramble
    Nov 4 2012 produced 2 red cards, both rescinded
    2013 vs Aston Villa, two penalties, and 2 yellows to Koscielny
    Nov 2014, missed deliberate handball?
    Dec 2014, mistakenly books Cesc for diving, later apologises. Next appearance with Chelsea, sees a 2-0 Chelsea win.

  13. Thanks Porter.

    So, more names to add to the list are: Jeff Reine Adelaide (73) and Chris Willock (62).
    Zelalem is (51).

    More number juggling compared to last years numbers.

  14. I wonder if part of Theo’s extended absence last season was due to extra work in the weight room as to my eyes, he looked much more “bulked up” when he finally took the pitch. I also wonder if this was part of the new fitness regime Shad Forsythe implemented.

    We saw this first with Ozil – during the 12 weeks or so that he was off due to his injury, he did a lot of work in the weight room. I wonder if Forsythe recognized the physicality (and refereeing :P) in the PL, and told AW that both Ozil and Theo needed to bulk up before they took the pitch again in order to survive the inevitable onslaught.

  15. Wooby
    That probably was the situation with Ozil, but Theo hit the weights as part of his rehabilitation before Shad even joined the club. No one fucks with Walcott now . Also worth noting that Mertesaker put on considerable muscle to his upper body. Whereas he was previously a beanpole he really is a BFG now.

  16. Nice article Walter. You are right , Arteta will be a manager one day. I have my own conspiracy theories, I think he could possibly be the chosen one, he has sat on the front bench whilst injured last season….but let’s see what happens. I hope theo is another star signing of the summer. He is a sensible guy it seems so it should happen.
    Notice Arseblog saying we have bought in another fitness conditioning expert from the stable Shad comes from, hopefully things moving forward on that front, lickings from opponents and weak refs withstanding.

  17. Shad Forsyth comes from Gaelic Football in Mayo County, Ireland?

    Apparently, come end of GAA season, we have a strength and conditioning coach coming in. Name escapes me at the moment, a few Arsenal sites were talking about him. I dug up some other stuff, and posted it to Untold.

  18. In terms of a coach to help players in the system, I think Zelalem and Bielik come to mind. How many others?

    This may be a generic problem in making the transition form youth to adult. And is a problem for the manager. Do we send the player out on loan for experience, or do we send him to the gym for strength and conditioning? Both are important, which comes first? When doesn’t it?

    Sanogo may still be one who needs this.

  19. HITC had a headline which promised data, and almost nothing. Nothing better than what dribbles I produced above.

    I don’t memorize numbers of players for the most part. When I ran across Bellerin now having 24, it did not occur to me to figure out who was wearing 24. Abou Diaby was wearing 24, and I think Bellerin made a wise choice. Diaby is a noble person.

    I hope that guy (Smith?) who broke his leg (the first time) has a miserable life. And all the other hacks who decided to “test” him on making a comeback.

    I do agree that more number juggling is likely to occur this summer.

  20. Great article Tony. @Gord, Thanks for your thoughts on Diaby. Yeah, may that guy who started the end of Diaby’s carrier (Smith?) have nightmares every night, till he becomes a wreck, along with everyone of the ‘butchers’ and the refs that allowed that to happen.
    Yes, Theo is definitely capable of +20 goals a season. As back-up , we can promote from within, Akpom, anyone….? I wont be surprised in the least if this scenario plays out come next season. Which means no ‘brand-spanking -new’ striker. Whatever happens, I have a feeling we are going to have a very good, nay, great season if we escape the curse of injuries.

  21. Where on earth is Brickfields Gunner when you need him to make a comment? Well I sure hope Theo signs ‘ da thing’ asap, and that we see a lot more of Gnabry in this new season. No more long loans for him and Akpom. I dont want some vultures nicking them off our hands.

  22. Here I be , Stan ,and as requested, here is some humour to tide us over . This truly is a very boring transfer window ,with practically all our work done .

    A guy is looking for a place to sit in a crowded university library. He asked a girl: “Do you mind if I sit beside you?”

    The girl replied in a loud voice: “I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOU!”

    All the students in the library started staring at the guy. He was truly embarrassed and moved to another table

    After a couple of minutes, the girl walked quietly to the guy’s table and said with a laugh: “I study psychology, and I know what a man is thinking. I guess you felt embarrassed, right?”

    The guy then responded in a loud voice: “$500 FOR ONE NIGHT? . . . THAT’S TOO MUCH!”

    All the people in the library looked at the girl in shock.

    The guy whispered to her: “I study law, and I know how to make people pay for their stupidity.”

    ( I would probably have shouted , ” Sorry , I didn’t know that your condition was not only contagious , but also terminal !” )

  23. How I wish I can lay my hands on a compilation of some sort of all these ‘sayings of the wise’. Wishes….
    That would be a good companion for lonely days or nights. Make no mistake, I will come after whosoever discloses to the madam that I intend to have secret liasons with Brickfields via his writings…God help that fellow if I catch him!

  24. @ Stan The Man -July 9, 2015 at 3:54 pm – Thanks , I think. This man-love thing may be a tad bit too creepy !
    Just like this oh , so boring close season , very few gems being passed on to me to put on here .
    Here’s one from

    “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”

    — Anthony Robbins

  25. Is Walter coming back to this article?

    When solving problems, you may find yourself confronted with an infinite number of choices as to how. Wrong choice, too much work.

    In the past, I had hoped to produce statistics from looking at commentaries. I picked the wrong approach, and got nowhere. I picked a different approach, and have something workable. And I am starting from the Charity Shield (Community Shield?) game referenced above.

    That rundown was done manually, and was mostly concerned with finding when yellow cards were issued in a game. In a later comment I looked at our first game against Crystal Palace, and did some other stuff. Again manually.

    To get data from commentaries requires a little nursing. The first game isn’t likely to have all possible scenarios, and so one has to change the program looking at the commentaries. But, I have something which gets through the Charity Shield game, and compiles just about every kind of data I think I can get out. I can get out the fouling analysis I did for the Crystal Palace game (looking at who is doing the fouling, or looking at who is being fouled). I can tell you how many times any given player on Arsenal hit the left post in attempting to score.

    What I will do, is to try and process every game Arsenal played in 2014/15, and then do the same for the other 19 EPL teams in 2014/15. The object is that I only ever download the commentary once, if I have to rerun a file, the data is cached locally. As time goes on, there should be less need to edit the program analysing the commentaries.

    I am not good at user interfaces. I am doing my part in Perl, and my data structures are not as neat and tidy as people might think. I am inclined to store them to disk as Perl data structures, and not as some dbase. But, if people can figure out what you need in terms of SQL dbases, I am willing to try and write such files using SQLite (which is compatible with PostgreSQL). Or, if they can figure out what you can use as CSV (comma separated value, nominally a spreadsheet), I can produce that for you.

    I’m hoping I am not the only nerd in Untold Arsenal.

  26. Keep up the good work , Gord . Am sure that it took quite a bit of time and effort to compile .
    You may not be the only nerd here on UA , but you are definitely our favourite nerd !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *