Theo Walcott has been one of the big performers for Arsenal this year, with the Englishman only being behind Alexis Sanchez for goals this season. The winger has found himself to be a consistent member of the starting eleven, but he was dropped from the squad on Boxing Day due to ‘injury’.
Many fans suggested that it only seemed coincidental that Walcott was missing from the squad not long after he had a very honest interview which only criticised the dressing room atmosphere and Arsene Wenger’s lack of motivational words for the team. There was no suggestion in the build up to the match that Walcott was injured, but Wenger then suggested just prior to the Boxing Day fixture that Walcott had a slight injury. He remained very quiet on the matter however.
Now however it seems that the Englishman does indeed have a injury concern to his calf, which could see him miss the next two matches whilst he recovers. It is being reported that the player’s injury is not as small as Wenger reported before the last game, with it initially being considered a precautionary measure to leave him out of the match against West Brom. Walcott will now reportedly not be in the match day squads for Crystal Palace and Bournemouth either, although he will hopefully return to first team training soon after New Years Day.
Walcott has been very important to the Gunners this season, having scored 11 goals in all competitions. He may have still caused frustrations with a lack of movement and forward drive on occasion, but overall he’s made much more of an impression on the team than his efforts last season. Walcott was limited to a bench role for much of the second half of last season due to a fall in form, but after working hard in a summer where he missed the European Championships with England, Walcott has proven his ability to become a regular in the starting eleven again.
Arsenal showed against West Brom that they could’ve done with a burst of Walcott’s pace on the wing, especially as the Baggies tired, and ultimately I think he will be a miss for the Gunners in these two upcoming games. Walcott may not be such a big a miss as the likes of Cazorla and Mustafi are in this current side, but his place on the team is still important and I’m not sure if Oxlade-Chamberlain or Iwobi are currently able to step up and replace him.