When Arsenal signed Theo Walcott from Southampton all those years ago, the Gunners thought they were getting a striker who was going to light up the front line of the Premier League for the next generation. In reality however Walcott’s 10 years at Arsenal have been very much up and down and sadly it seems as if his Arsenal career may be coming ever closer to an end.
Many fans were calling for Walcott to leave the club this summer, however despite a small number of rumours, I don’t think Walcott’s future was ever in doubt. Arsene Wenger is a big fan of the player and even if many of the fans may believe he’s no longer good enough for the Gunners, it seems as if Wenger isn’t going to bother listening! Instead Le Prof has had Walcott in his line-up for every Premier League fixture so far this season and to much surprise, there have been some glimpses of his former self.
Now first off I’m not suggesting that after a few games everything is back to normal with Theo Walcott. He has had a terrible number of seasons since his year of his ‘Sign Da Ting’ glory and he needs to work hard this year to prove to Arsenal that his current £140k contract reflects his quality on the pitch. In my opinion however, based upon these opening games alone, Walcott has shown signs of promise that being positioned back out on the wing, rather than up front, has given him a level of confidence to build on. Of course he has made his usual frustrating errors, however he’s also chipped in with assists and a goal. Walcott has still missed numerous opportunities in rather classic Walcott fashion, but he’s also making the right runs that last season would’ve seen him flagged offside.
Walcott has been named in the past as being nothing but a speed merchant, a player that uses pace in his game and nothing else. There were even times last season where it seemed he didn’t even know how to use his speed to be effective on the pitch. But so far this campaign, he’s made a number of correct decisions when going forward and there seems to be a boost of confidence about his game. After a whole summer of practice, Walcott may have been able to rediscover some of the form that he has lost over the past few years.
Walcott is still very much an inconsistent player and I don’t want to get excited based upon the first few games of the season, but I do think we may see a return to form for Theo Walcott. There are no doubts that the Walcott of last season is still very much the Walcott of today, however I think we may be in for a surprise this season from the Englishman, with a campaign of performances that nobody would’ve been expecting!