You won’t score too many goals if you play like that, Theo.. by Twig
Against Reading, Theo was finally given a chance to start as Centre Forward by the manager. Before, he eventually scored, he had missed a one-on-one and has had a shot blocked. Quite amusingly, Cazorla seemed to display more attacking prowess than Theo in that game: launching himself to score with a header (while Theo looked on) and running with perfect timing to slot Podolski’s cross home.
Theo’s performance against Wigan was disappointing and this isn’t because he didn’t score any goals. It was simply because Theo seemed to interpret, or rather, misinterpret the Centre Forward as a player who would just sit near the opposition’s goalpost and wait for crosses for the easy tap-in. Honestly, he didn’t do any more than that and was completely anonymous while his team-mates toiled behind him.
You won’t score too many goals if you played like that Theo. RVP used to drop deep and got himself involved in the midfield play (he still does that for Manchester United!). Henry launched many of his assaults from the left wing even though he was our most advanced forward. Theo needs to drop back and get involved. He shouldn’t wait for the ball to come to him. We shouldn’t plea for his teammates to bring him into the game: great strikers – which he apparently feels he is – get involved and vary their games depending on the opposition.
It may be harsh to judge Theo after this one game – after all, he got the assist for our penalty goal. However, it seems there are a couple more things he needs to learn about the requirements of his new role. He obviously doesn’t have the same talent as Messi, but he could look to the Argentine maestro’s game to learn a few things. They are of similar physique and thus have some common limitations: Messi thrives as a false 9, by dropping deep, linking play with others, and spotting that perfect shooting opportunity.
The transfer window opens in a week from now and a striker (David Villa, according to some sources) is top on our agenda. In essence, Arsenal simply don’t have the luxury of time to allow Theo to settle in as a Centre Forward.
Arsenal needs a striker who will be ‘banging in the goals’ NOW and can’t continue to rely on Arteta’s penalty-kicks to win us games. Theo needs to up his game significantly within the next one month, or else should be content with regular spells on the bench. Ironically, his long-drawn insistence to play as a centre forward might just see him playing fewer games than he would have liked.