Friday, 26 April 2013

It's Time for Theo

If you look back over this season/year and I asked if January 18th meant anything to you, would you have any idea? No, we didn't have a game. Yes, it was a Friday but the significance was that Theo Walcott signed a new three year deal. This was the contract signing that stopped the trend and happened within months of his contract expiring, yet he did have the opportunity to discuss a free transfer with clubs abroad. The reason I pinpointed the contract signing was because Theo's form has dipped since he got a nice six figure salary and a fair amount of fans have even suggested he no longer tries, which bring me to this weeks blog.

The Stats

Since Theo re-signed he has started 10 Premier League games, scoring 3 and creating 4 goals. Not massive production from our highest earner and when you put into context that he hasn't scored since his thunderbastard against Liverpool on 30th January, which was a mere 633 Premier League minutes ago. He is in the midst of a full on goal drought. His assists don't fair too much better but then maybe you could point the finger at those who are presented with the chances. Some have resulted in inept finishing but some balls have been from poor passes, look at Lukas Podolski when he smashed home a wonderful effort against Norwich. The question is does this mean he isn't trying because the goals have dried up, much like the ink on his contract? Not at all, we all know that there is rarely a happy medium when it comes to his form. Within twelve days of his new deal he had notched three times, he was on top of his game and probably quite happy with life at that time. Imagine signing such a wealthy deal, you'd be on cloud nine for a while but the novelty can and does wear off. When I look at this side at present, we seem to have moved away from Theo's strengths and the main one in particular, which is running of his full back into the space between the left back and centre half, Theo is summed up perfectly with his goal against Chelsea in January. At present we are much happier building from the back instead of unleashing deadly counter attacks like we did against West Ham.


Theo was hit by injury whilst away with England and he missed games against Reading and Norwich and this meant he missed nearly a months worth of competitive action. Theo is very much a player that needs time and I'm going to put his last three performances down to a lack of match fitness. He looked lively against Norwich but his touch was poor, he was non-existent against Everton and similarly the same against Fulham. However, what we should have is a fresh forward, an aspect that has been sadly lacking recently. Giroud has shouldered virtually all of the responsibility of the forward line and he's been pretty much running on empty for a few games and whilst his ban is badly timed at least we'll get to see him for the last game of the season. So now it is time for Theo to take ownership of his performances and inspire his side to get the results we need in order to play Champions League football again next season.


There's just one problem when it comes to Theo inspiring Arsenal for the rest of the season and in particular this Sunday when he lines up against Patrice Evra. Now I've already touched on the two extremes in Theo's performances and it's summed up perfectly when it comes to match ups against top full backs. On one hand you have Theo v Ashley Cole and Theo wins hands down, in fact I don't think any right winger tortures Cole as much as Theo does. Yet when he plays against Evra he invariably loses out and he's only ever scored once against United to date, you know the only time we managed to net twice in Premier League at Old Trafford, that game. Yet for some reason Aaron Lennon seems to enjoy a lot of joy against Patrice Evra, yet Theo is clearly the better player and he is also more varied in his style of play.


Wenger spent some of his time today discussing the possibility of German success in the Champions League being down to a winter break, as it gives international players a rest, yet ignoring the fact that Spain also have a break. The truth is winter breaks do help players recover and Theo has had his break recently, he's had time to find his touch and now he needs to rediscover his sharpness. Personally I'd have dropped for this match, as I discussed with @goonerdave66 on his blog 1ND2OU this week but the fact is he won't be dropped and it's because Wenger trusts his ability, Walcott has notched eleven times this season, surpassing his tally of eight league form 11/12 and that's with a handful of games remaining. The fact is Theo does care because he could have spoken to foreign clubs but he elected not to and in a week when we question the lack of commitment shown by former players, we can hardly criticise those that have put pen to paper.
I look forwarding to reading your views on Theo. Feel free to leave a comment below or follow me on twitter @mj_afc. If you can, I'd appreciate it if you could share this article via the twitter link below. Thanks for reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment