THE CURIOUS CASE OF THEO WALCOTT by Uche
Hello folks. I think that it is obvious to everybody now that something is up regarding Theo Walcott. Two seasons ago, he was our highest goal scorer with 21 goals in all competitions. Today, he cannot even get five minutes on the pitch in an FA cup game. Something is up for sure and it has nothing to do with his fitness or we would have heard about it. If he is unfit, he will not be on the bench. Is this another Podolski situation developing? I hope not because the signs are not good. It is true that Walcott cannot dribble to save his life and lacks the aggression of Sanchez, Ox and Welbeck. But what he does, he does very well. His terrifying pace is unquestionable and a major asset to us. His movement around the box is second to none. His ability to get behind the opposition’s defense is without equal as well. So why oh why is he being benched perpetually?
Something is up and I have my theory about what is going on. I think it has everything to do with renewing his contract. Walcott is a nightmare to deal with when it comes to contract renewal. Wenger went through hell getting him to sign his last contract. In fact it became such a big deal that the rapper Lethal Bizzle had to make a sound track begging Theo to ‘sign da ting’. Theo has been out for a year since he tore his cruciate at White Hart Lane last season. Ever since he has been back, he has been understandably rusty. A year is a long time. He is afraid to jump into the tackles now and does not close down the opposition as effectively as Oz and Welbeck. But he is still more lethal than the other two in front of goal. Theo averages about a goal a game and his movement alone enables arsenal to create the sort of chances that they normally wouldn’t with any other player. So why can’t Walcott get games? An unfit Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and Giroud will get games under Wenger. What’s different with Walcott? He scores goals and gives good assists. Like Ozil, you can blame him for his lack of work rate but he is effective in what he does. Goals win games. Theo Walcott scores goals. Something is seriously wrong here and it is about time someone started asking questions.
Initially, many of us thought that Wenger was being careful with him because of his past injuries but as time goes on, it has become obvious that there is more to it. Consider this. Ox got injured when playing Man United in the FA cup over the weekend. Commonsense will suggest that a like for like replacement was inevitable. So Theo starts to warm up, supposedly under Wenger’s instructions. And then something weird happened. Aaron Ramsey, a box to box midfielder, came on for Ox instead. Hold on now. That was totally strange and humiliating. My opinion is that Wenger is sending a message to Walcott to that says, ‘I made you by bringing you into the first team at 16 years old and I can also unmake you, if you continue to give me trouble with your contract renewal’. If I am right about my suspicions, this thing will blow up come summer. Walcott is too good to sit on the bench and not get games. No right winger in the EPL scores more goals than Walcott and if he were to leave Arsenal, our loss will be our rival’s gain.
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to see Walcott in a Liverpool shirt lining up against us. We may think nothing of this now, but I only have to mention two names to get our stomachs turning – Fabregas and Van Persie. Wenger must find a better way to sort things out with Theo without humiliating him before he starts itching for a move. Freezing him out like this and embarrassing him at Old Trafford is not the answer. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it. Peace.
Lagos – Nigeria