The Arsenal striker Theo Walcott was out injured for a full year but now he is fit and ready Arsene Wenger seems happy for him to sit on the bench a bit longer until he is forced to make changes to his starting line-up. Due to his continued absense, Wenger was asked by journalists if Walcott was being used sparingly because he has not fully recovered from his injury. “He is all right now.” Le Prof replied. “With the cruciate, before the age of 25 you come back and you continue to develop normally,” he said. “A cruciate after 28 is much more problematic.
“No [there will not be any long-term issues]. He is a natural athlete and a sprinter, and a very straight-line sprinter. It means every shock he gets is at full power.
“He is ready now to play games. But when a player has been out for a year, when he comes back he always thinks he is ready. When you speak to him three weeks later and ask him if he thinks he really was ready [before] he says, ‘Now I realise, no’.
“I have been holding him back because he has been out for a long time and for the fact there is intense competition.”
Many readers have been surmising that the England international was being punished for dragging his heels in the ongoing contract extension talks. Walcott will be entering his final year in the summer, and Wenger believes that the negotiations will be long, just as they were three years ago. “We have started very early with him. He is very quick on the pitch, but off the pitch not always,”
Wenger also made it clear that Theo will not be an automatic starter for Arsenal any more, and he will have to wait for his opportunities. “I always wanted to keep him and I still want to keep him now. I want him to stay and be a regular player and fight for his place, but no matter where you go if it is a big club you have to compete for your place,”
I wonder if that last statement is in response to Walcott asking for assurances that he will play. I also wonder that if Theo doesn’t “sign da ting” before the end of the season will Wenger sell him on, rather than let the talks go on after the summer break. Like last time?
For the first time this weekend, we will be using a new phone app for Android or Apple for the Arsenal fans to interact on Matchday, and this important game looks perfect to give it a first run out. Everyone can download the app on this link, and then join the Fan Club called Just Arsenal News. If you are asked for a code to join our Fan Club it is 1942M.
Lets get lots of JustArsenal regulars signed up and we’ll give it a test run on Saturday!