I am not going to suggest that the in form Arsenal forward Theo Walcott did well over the last week or so in the two international games he started for England, because the pacy 27-year old certainly did not have anything like the same impact for his country as we have seen him produce for Arsenal this season.
The fact that Theo was the first player to get the hook from the interim England boss Gareth Southgate in both of their games against Malta and Slovenia tells it’s own story and it must have been frustrating for our forward to struggle to influence the game as he has been doing at club level.
Having said that I have to question the fairness of Chris Sutton’s shredding of our star in a Daily Mail report. Not only does the former Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers and Celtic striker rip into Walcott and list four big failings in his game for England, Sutton also questions the praise that has been aimed his way at club level recently.
He said, “All the fuss about Theo Walcott this season — I don’t get it.
“People are saying he is a changed player. He is neither clever nor creative and he was completely ineffective once again for England.
“The Arsenal man has no guile and didn’t link up at all or put any decent crosses in all night. His pass appreciation is desperately poor and his defensive clearance just after half-time summed his night up. Everyone has credited Gareth Southgate for having the courage to drop Wayne Rooney, but he needs to learn fast and leave Walcott out.”
A bit harsh don’t you think? It is not as if the other attacking England players did much good either, with Jesse Lingard, Sturridge and Alli all having a bad day at the office. And has he even been watching Walcott’s performances for the Gunners this season? Perhaps we should be looking at the reason why England do not get the best out of him as well as vice versa.
I can understand why some Arsenal fans might be worried about Theo’s England form but we should remember that it was being left out of Euro 2016 and the criticism he had been getting that seems to have inspired him to greater things this year. So can we expect Walcott to come back and take up where he left off against Swansea this weekend?