Is Walcott becoming Arsenal’s next Podolski?


Hello folks. I think that it is obvious to everybody now that something is up regarding Theo Walcott. Two seasons ago, he was our highest goal scorer with 21 goals in all competitions. Today, he cannot even get five minutes on the pitch in an FA cup game. Something is up for sure and it has nothing to do with his fitness or we would have heard about it. If he is unfit, he will not be on the bench. Is this another Podolski situation developing? I hope not because the signs are not good. It is true that Walcott cannot dribble to save his life and lacks the aggression of Sanchez, Ox and Welbeck. But what he does, he does very well. His terrifying pace is unquestionable and a major asset to us. His movement around the box is second to none. His ability to get behind the opposition’s defense is without equal as well. So why oh why is he being benched perpetually?

Something is up and I have my theory about what is going on. I think it has everything to do with renewing his contract. Walcott is a nightmare to deal with when it comes to contract renewal. Wenger went through hell getting him to sign his last contract. In fact it became such a big deal that the rapper Lethal Bizzle had to make a sound track begging Theo to ‘sign da ting’. Theo has been out for a year since he tore his cruciate at White Hart Lane last season. Ever since he has been back, he has been understandably rusty. A year is a long time. He is afraid to jump into the tackles now and does not close down the opposition as effectively as Oz and Welbeck. But he is still more lethal than the other two in front of goal. Theo averages about a goal a game and his movement alone enables arsenal to create the sort of chances that they normally wouldn’t with any other player. So why can’t Walcott get games? An unfit Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere and Giroud will get games under Wenger. What’s different with Walcott? He scores goals and gives good assists. Like Ozil, you can blame him for his lack of work rate but he is effective in what he does. Goals win games. Theo Walcott scores goals. Something is seriously wrong here and it is about time someone started asking questions.

Initially, many of us thought that Wenger was being careful with him because of his past injuries but as time goes on, it has become obvious that there is more to it. Consider this. Ox got injured when playing Man United in the FA cup over the weekend. Commonsense will suggest that a like for like replacement was inevitable. So Theo starts to warm up, supposedly under Wenger’s instructions. And then something weird happened. Aaron Ramsey, a box to box midfielder, came on for Ox instead. Hold on now. That was totally strange and humiliating. My opinion is that Wenger is sending a message to Walcott to that says, ‘I made you by bringing you into the first team at 16 years old and I can also unmake you, if you continue to give me trouble with your contract renewal’. If I am right about my suspicions, this thing will blow up come summer. Walcott is too good to sit on the bench and not get games. No right winger in the EPL scores more goals than Walcott and if he were to leave Arsenal, our loss will be our rival’s gain.

I don’t know about you but I don’t want to see Walcott in a Liverpool shirt lining up against us. We may think nothing of this now, but I only have to mention two names to get our stomachs turning – Fabregas and Van Persie. Wenger must find a better way to sort things out with Theo without humiliating him before he starts itching for a move. Freezing him out like this and embarrassing him at Old Trafford is not the answer. I hope I am wrong but I doubt it. Peace.

Uche Edochie
Lagos – Nigeria

Tags Podlski The Ox Walcott


  1. He’s been out for a year. I think Wenger has just learned from past experience and doesn’t want to rush him back.

      1. It is contract negotiations. If he does not sign this summer on AFCs terms he will be sold.

    1. Ox and gnabry better?

      Ox – better on some areas, like defending and teamplay – worse at others, such as goalscoring and threatening the space behind the defenders. With the influence alexis has had on him, theyre doing great as our main wing-pair

      As for Gnabry, i laugh at your statement.

      I just wonder whats going to happen with gnabry, silva, campbell and poldi in this summer, we have too many reserve wingers. In addition to them, welbeck is also being played on the wing.

    2. Theo has come back to a perfect storm and there are many things conspiring that prevents him from reassuming his customary wide right slot:

      1) A year out with serious injury – no rush by Wenger to put him back on full-time duty.
      2) His contract position must be an issue – albeit a minor one. Does he want to commit to being a squad player and not an automatic 1st X1 starter?
      3) Theo had historically played effectively as a second striker and did well with his 20+ goals – but someone else has turned up who has taken a liking to being a wide second striker with a taste for 20+ goals – Alexis. Tempting to think you can put TW in the other wide slot and get another 20 goals a season on top of Alexis’s – but it doesn’t work that way.
      4) TW now has properly serious competition for his right berth slot. AS/AOC/DW/SG (and a returning Silva) can all perform in that position.
      5) Also think Wenger has gotten a taste for busy, busy players with good “engines”. AS/AOC/DW all provide more of that than TW.
      6) Lastly, most of the above is symptomatic of at last having the luxury of relatively good strength in depth – there are going to be many, many good players sat on the bench in seasons to come and the Arsenal players, and us, need to adapt to this.

      Should sign off by saying I would be incredibly sad if TW departed. Think he is a hugely important squad member for us, a proper option to have – and things happen so quickly nowadays with loss of form, injuries etc that he could quite easily re-embark on a lengthy stint in the first team.

  2. Times are changing, we can sign top players now, which means players need to give 110% if they want position is starting line up, look at cazorla, last season his defending was abysmal, but he hit ground and he is now great, fight for places are great, ask szczhesny, walcott is behind ox, and not to mention sanchez, so he have 1 year to start playing or he will be goer!!!

    1. agreed. and walcott is a huge defensive liability. not in the same way ozil is. ozil has gotten much better. but walcott at times looks like he doesn’t care about defending and isn’t trying at all. wenger’s recognized that we can’t play the same dominating possession we’re used to. so walcott needs to adapt his game.

    2. He does not have 1 year. If he does not sign this summer he will be sold. Too much risk in him running his contract down. Say his resale value is 20-25 mil. If he stays and does not extend his value will be 0, that is a big hit. He will be sold to a UK club, Pool probably as he is homegrown and that is the way to maximise his value.

      1. Man City would pay top dolla to bench him as they can’t fill there home grown quota

        Richards,Wright,Sinclair,boyata,nastasic are all likely to depart

  3. Why change a winning formula. Walcott who doesn’t track back and Bellerin behind isn’t right now the right combination as neither have learn’t to work together.
    But I am sure when they do it will be deadly.

  4. I am not very sure Liverpool will pay top money for Walcott. Sure, they’d do it just to pi$$ us off but I don’t see where will he fit in Liverpool 11. If I were Walcott I would sign the contract now and not make a fuss about it either.
    But I also think that Wenger learned fro Diaby’s story with every player we send to the physio room. Don’t rush them back otherwise they’ll crack again. Walcott is good but at this moment Ox is above him. To top it up, Wellbeck defending is much better than Walcott.
    Competition is good. We waited for this long, long time. Now is here, let’s enjoy it.

  5. this is a right carry on with walcott its always him and his contract causing us trouble the fact that he never committed to more than 4 yrs last time should tell you what kind of player he is not totally committed to the arsenal cause now he is coming into what should be his peak years he is causing trouble again.
    if he does sign this time it should be really long term like 5 yrs min unfortunately for us he is not as old as poldolski so he can play more games with the club on his wages and conditions in general, and he is a very important attacking cog in the team as when fully fit(unfortunately this is also the downside of keeping him on long term also a gamble on his fitness) and on fire he is a 20 goals a season player guaranteed.
    so that is a good bargaining chip for him as if he goes else where and gets fit full stop he will punish us in years to come lets get him tied down for 5yrs the ball is in wengers court atm.

  6. He’s been out for a year, and has only been back for a month. He isn’t ready to be playing in a game that is going to be physical (Man Utd) It is going to take time! A lot of time.

  7. Theo has not signed a contract that why he is not playing,remember the last time he made wenger sweat?he is not a guy who easily forgets.if i was theo i would take a 90k per week contract because he has not earned the right to get a raise,since he was out for a year.that fair play

    1. I agree with you @Thando. If I could reach Theo to advice him, I will tell him not to be difficult because he is dispensable. Arsenal is on the up and can afford any player that Wenger wants right now. Besides, Ox and Welbeck are not shabby either so Arsenal can win game after game without Walcot. But perhaps more than anything else, when a club continues to pay your salary even when you are injured for a year, be sensible when contract renewal time comes around. As an employer, I cannot even imagine paying anybody for a whole year without benefiting from their services. I will feel like a mug after a while. Theo has very difficult agents representing him and that could be his downfall. I really hope this gets sorted out because I really like Theo. In a team where our players are accused of being so similar, we have no one like Theo. No one.

    2. @thando,

      Or you can make it performance based pay. He gets payed on time played for the club plus a basic. That way both him and afc win.

  8. I personally see this is as a win/win situation for both Theo and Arsenal. The arrival of Sanchez, and emergence of Le Coq has redefined the individual accountability and responsibility of each player wearing the Arsenal jersey. There spirit and tenacity has permeated the team and galvanized players such as Ox and Welbeck, among others to up there work rate both in training and on match day. I do believe Wenger is being protective of Theos year long layoff, but make no mistake that a message is being sent to camp Walcott that this is the expectation level of effort and performance if you do decide to extend your stay, if not there there’s the door.

    A supplementary question that needs to be asked is if Theo was sold for $20-25M, would the Gunner Nation be that distraught if the funds were used to sign Lacazette, Dybala, Schneiderlin, Dragovich?

    1. Lacazette would be a true CF. We have plenty of Wingers including Welbeck that can play on both. I would see it as an upgrade for Arsenal.

  9. I can’t see us letting Walcott go to be honest. OT. I would love him to play as main striker against Monaco with Sanchez and Welbeck either side of him. Might as well have a damn good go from the start with plenty of pace.

    1. @mike1977
      Exactly. Bum rush them…
      We gave them too much time to set up their wall of a defense before. We need to baffle them with pace this time.

    1. could be spot on there wenger like hs players to be 110% mentally focused on the game so maybe he is waiting to get walcott 110% mind on his game and then should reintegrate him back in hope all went well for him and his wife though shame when even these things happen to people footballers or not wenger will give him the time he needs coyg

    2. It makes sence now, as a parent my self if I had to go through what they must be going trough I wouldnt even go to traning, so hats of to Walcott and his wife hope the little one is fully recovered, and as suporters we must show respect and patients untill his ready to be mentally recover.

  10. I rate Walcott HIGHLY. Podolski ws treated badly by Wenger. I don’t want Walcott to be treated badly either. PLEASE USE HIM MORE OFTEN

    Our next two games are just 3 days apart and both very important. It would be nuts not to make use of Walcott, Rosicky, Chambers. Also, Gibbs and Monreal should play one game each.

  11. Off topic and can’t help it because of ‘the specialist in bus parking’. David Luiz knew where the spare key was and removed it in full view of it’s owner and passengers. Happy for PSG after the rotten and poor sporting behaviour to influence Zlatan’s sending off, and Fabregas, Terry and the dirty mobster like Costa were the main culprits. Also nice to see them knocked out after their fans pushed an innocent man out of a train in his own country. I think most English referees are aware of Costas Mourinho inspired tactics and don’t easily fall for his tricks.

    1. Nice also to see a team with the ‘EMIRATES LOGO’ knock those arrogant lot out. PSG are like family and I hope they go all the way if we don’t.

  12. Uche are you related to the Edochie actors? Just asking coz I am a Nollywood fan from Zimbabwe

  13. change is permanent, sczecny out ospina in, flamimi out coquelin in, Gibbs awaiting monreal playing…………..time to say no to 13 game per season players @theo@jack@diaby@………..

  14. Fans one here will all convince themselves about a certain player and will either back him to the grave or discredit him no matter what..

    It was Giroud last season, I don’t know how many times I stood up for him on here but no one was having it.

    Mertesacker, this one I have never been comfortable with since we sighed him.

    But it turned to Wilshere all this season, they can’t stand him.

    Ramsey is the other one, no one wants him him the first team anymore.

    Now all if a sudden Walcott is the fall guy, they will look for stupid rubbish about a player and will magnify it, now it’s because Theo does not defend blah blah. I have watched him play and I don’t see this rubbish, he tracks back watch the games last season and season before.

    But when Ozil was not playing well and we pointed out his lack of energy and defensive abilities we were told he is a no10 who should not defend or attack. And the same fans were the ones that kept saying they could not wait for Walcott to come back as him and Sanchez on both wings will bring the best out of Ozil.

    But all of a sudden Walcott is a liability and a waste of space. This lot are so funny.


  15. Sadly, that looks to be what is happening. If we let Walcott go, we lose a bit of our old identity.

  16. It might be the contract or might be simply that Walcott is a tricky player to play right now. He is no longer a starter because he is rusty and his main contribution was assists and goals which means that you can’t simply start him for his work rate. This leaves him as a sub for a bit, specifically an impact sub but here is where the issue is. Recently, we have been defending leads in games which means he isn’t needed to come on and help the attack but we haven’t been leading games by enough to warrant giving him playing time just because he needs it. I was surprised he wasn’t subbed in for Ox at ManU because he is perfect for the counter and we wanted a goal but I also understand that maybe Wenger decided Man U was too dangerous to weaken the midfield and his priority was more to not lose appose to straight out win.

    Either way, I would say it is nothing much to worry about; when he gets game time he will score and assist; from the minutes we have seen he manages to get himself a 1v1 with the goalie every match so it’s only a matter of time before his composure comes back. Right now we have Welbeck and Sanchez as new competition for him so he needs to adapt a little (and contend with their workrate) but it’ll happen. We should not sell him, we haven’t even seen him properly with Ozil threading in through balls yet and he was already top scorer before his arrival.

  17. this is either a lesson in humility or he is gone, i think both. Arsenal have options, Theo is a taker in negotiations rather than a compromiser. Wenger has options and is throwing water on Theo’s fire, his potential to negotiate. If he plays, and scores Theo will want the world or leave, so why not be patient since you dont need him and go into the summer w the upper hand. Essentially Wenger reduced his value in the market, you only do this with players that are impossible to please,

  18. So because we didn’t use him in a game against United where Wenger decided he didn’t want to open the game up more he is not someone we are going to use? Theo has not completed 90 minutes since he has come back. He is not up to total fitness. Clearly there is something stopping Wenger using him and the answer is our new defensive outlook. If he is not used prior to the international break, then we can discuss if he is being sidelined. Until then, he is an injured player trying to get into a side of very attacking players where Wenger wants to defend well at the same time. Would you say Thomas is being shut out just because he isn’t playing every game? Why didn’t we bring Rosicky on against united instead of Ramsey? Situations demand different responses. Theo will be back. If he isn’t, there’s something going on we haven’t seen – Theo is too much of a weapon to not have in the arsenal.

  19. I think Le Prof was initially nervous about committing Theo too early when he returned, but now I don’t think he cannot trust Theo to match the commitment of the current team. We have 12 games (min) to decide our season and we cannot afford to drop more than 4 or 5 points.
    Theo can play a big part in the run-in with his goals and the fear he strikes – but from the bench probably.
    We can never truly know what’s happening behind closed doors on contract negotiations, but if Theo is (as is rumoured) asking for £150K a week, then he is smoking some good stuff. He has slipped down the pecking order and is NOT indispensable.
    If he is playing hardball we should put him up for sale in the summer and add to the £50M transfer kitty.

  20. relax relax relax. the kid was out a year after tearing his knee.. thats a career ending injury for some, while some come back relatively quickly. it depends on so many factors from the effectiveness of surgery, to proper rehab, to player confidence, to team chemistry.. even in his short cameos on the field he showed how dangerous his runs behind can be for defenders sheeeesh he has been very close to netting several but i am not worried. Ox has been playing well and Alexis is one of the best players this club has ever had.

    with that being said, i dont think anyone appreciated his temper tantrum for more money and if the price is right, i would sell him to a DIFFERENT league for 35 million and buy someone with insane speed and decent finishing PLUS PASSING/DRIBBLING

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