Is it time to give up on Walcott?

As much as it was a great idea, Theo is now 26. Keep in mind this isn’t a piece slating Theo Walcott as much as it is perhaps meant to simply adjust expectations and shed some light on the situation which has become probably one of the most consistent conversation’s in football over the past decade. People all giving the misinformed opinion of “he’s a centre forward” or “he can’t cross”, have not watched him develop and is simply the opinion of MNF in 2010 being regurgitated by the masses.

Ever the optimist I would like to think he is about to “hit his prime” or “come into his best years”. But I sadly have to concede, that I am probably wrong.

The stats for Theo Walcott are extremely impressive, in fact they portray the exact opposite of what I am arguing as his goal scoring ratio has been fairly consistent with the number of games he has played. Until however he went up front.

Year                 App     Goals

2009-2010       30         4

2010-2011        33         13

2011-2012        46         11

2012-2013        43         21

2013-2014        18          6

2014-2015        21          7

2015-2016        27         5

 

This year Theo Walcott has been used as an alternative to Olivier Giroud when things aren’t going well or when Arsenal need a Plan B as such. Walcott has also had sufficient playing time this season unlike previous years after returning from a very long injury. There should be no excuses any more. Theo has been given games as a lone striker, games playing as a pair, it hasn’t worked.

Theo is a good winger however, everyone knows of his pace and contrary to belief he actually does have a fairly good delivery. His finishing is also good from out wide cutting in, but he simply does not have the ability to link play, hold up the ball, or even pass that well. Theo should be running at people. Just look below:

The position issue isn’t actually the most serious issue either concerning Theo.

I feel that the real problem that lies with Theo Walcott is the expectations upon him. Signing for £12 million at such a young age put instant pressure upon his 16 year old shoulders and it still looms over him. Being such a household name has brought extra scrutiny, to the extent that when he scored 21 goals in 2012-2013 people weren’t just impressed with that, they wanted more. But in reality we probably won’t get that, Theo Walcott isn’t ever going to be the best around. He is a good player, but his status was inflated by early fame along with and a hefty contract which Walcott’s management leveraged well at the time.

Perhaps the saddest outcome of this whole saga however is the stifling of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. Undoubtedly a more talented player, signed for the same amount from the same club, the Ox has not been afforded the same opportunities as his elder.

A real shame as Oxlade’s development has stalled as a result, similarly to how Walcott’s did.

I just hope for his sake that Oxlade-Chamberlain doesn’t follow the same route.

 

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