The Arsenal and England international star Theo Walcott is finally back in the match day squads after a year on the sidelines with the anterior cruciate ligament injury he picked up in the FA cup win over the spuds last January. So he is understandably keen to get on to the pitch and start to score goals for the Gunners again.
And as he told Arsenal Player this week, Walcott is even more excited about rejoining the Arsenal attack because of the quality we have in that area now, with Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck having joined Giroud, the Ox, Cazorla, Ozil and all. In fact, the pacy forward feels that this could well be the best attacking line-up that Arsenal have ever had.
Theo said, “It is a great balance and once I am fully fit, I think it is going to be some force for the Premier League to handle.
“Danny is a workaholic as well – he runs around and really works for the team. There are so many options and Alex [Oxlade-Chamberlain] is also doing very well.
“Obviously there is me as well coming back, and then you have the likes of Aaron and Jack in midfield. The list goes on, that’s how good we are going forward. It is a headache for the manager when you have that many great attacking options.
“When I came, it was Pires and Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Thierry and Reyes – that’s some attacking force as well. I think this squad probably does beat it, but we need to prove it first.
“[When] we go and achieve a little bit more than winning the FA Cup, then I think we can stand up and say this is the best attacking line up we’ve ever had.”
That really is a bold statement from Walcott, but is he correct? As he says, they need to prove it first and so far we have not had them all fit at the same time to show us how potent they can be. With a bit of luck, though, we may see that attack in full flow during the rest of this season.
When Walcott says ever, I guess he means Arsenal under Wenger as that covers as long as he can remember. There were some strong attacking line-ups before, of course, such as George Graham’s 1991 with Alan Smith, Kevin Campbell, Anders Limpar and Paul Merson. And that attack was boosted by the signing of the great Ian Wright, but I also think it’s fair to say that Graham’s success was more based on a tight defence.
Another contender could be Bertie Mee’s double winning side of 1971, with Ray Kennedy and John Radford both getting over 20 league goals and with George Graham and Charlie George scoring 14 and 10. But surely the attack that Walcott mentioned when he first joined Arsenal is the one most people will compare the current one with.
Will Theo be proved right? If not, which attacking line-up was Arsenal’s best ever?