All Arsenal fans could dream of having a team of players that played with the energy and confidence of our star man Alexis Sanchez, but even if we had two of him up front that would make us into formidable opponents for any team in the world.
So if Theo Walcott is aiming to play like the Chilean, then this can only be good for the Gunners. He was quoted as saying in the Mirror: “When I first saw Alexis Sanchez join the club, I thought, ‘Wow, yeah, this is a big statement’. Then, actually seeing in the flesh what he does – you see a winner there.
“He wants to win and he wants to achieve things. And, with that work-rate, if he can do it, then why can’t I do it?
“Maybe that was missing a few years ago. Now, I’ve really thought, ‘I need to step up’ and players like that help.”
Alexis is a fantastic example of the complete striker, even though Wenger believes he is more effective on the left wing, and if he gives inspiration to the rest of the squad to emulate him he is worth his weight in gold.
We can all see that Walcott is improving already and his confidence as striker is growing with every game. Not only in trying to copy Sanchez, Theo has also been taking advice from his hero Thierry Henry who has been coaching the U18’s at the club. Walcott explained how this is to his benefit: “Having Thierry at the club now, I have been chatting to him on a personal level behind the scenes to learn things from him.
“He’s with the under-18s and, at times, I think some of them don’t even know who he is! I’ve had quite a few words with him about some of the games I’ve played.
“He has just given me his analysis on myself and, if I’ve needed to ask him some questions about it, he’s always there. That’s what coaches are there for.
“I think, sometimes, you see this generation of players, they’re actually scared to go up to coaches and ask something.
“Going back to the question about when it clicked about going up front, that was one of the things Arsene wanted me to do – to be more aggressive on the pitch.
“And maybe he’s sensed that I’ve had more aggression.
“I actually said, ‘Do you want me to get stuck into people?’ That was my reaction. He said, ‘No, I’m not saying that’. He wanted me to be more aggressive, in terms of running at players, closing them down, tracking back, being there and in their faces.”
Which is what Sanchez does all the time. Walcott is learning from some of the best in the business, and if you can’t improve with teachers like that around then you never will. I believe he is taking it all on board, and very soon we will have two Duracell Bunnies twisting opposing defenders inside out!
Onwards and Upwards!