“We were too nice” Walcott reveals why Arsenal underachieved in Wenger’s last years

Theo Walcott says that Arsenal was complacent in the final months of Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club, and that saw them underachieve.

The Southampton attacker says that the players wanted to do greater things, but the club was satisfied with finishing the season in the top four.

Wenger is one of the most successful managers in Arsenal’s history and he managed the London side for more than 20 years.

He won the Premier League and several FA Cups, but his final few years at the helm saw the Gunners struggle.

They were even beaten to the top four spots by Tottenham before the club allowed him to leave in 2018.

Most teams would be satisfied with getting a top-four finish, and Arsenal did that for two decades, Walcott says the players wanted more than that, but the club was satisfied with finishing in the Champions League places regularly.

Walcott told talkSPORT: “We were too nice…

“Then we won a few FA Cups and got in the Champions League a lot.

“At times, that felt like it was good enough for Arsenal. It felt like a bit of a medal.

“As players we wanted to win things, but the club were happy to finish fourth.”

Tags Theo Walcott

16 Comments

  1. adajim says:

    if the club were not ‘too nice’ he probably wouldnt have stayed long, because he himself and lots others were very inconsistent and not good enough

  2. Highbury Hero says:

    “As players we wanted to win things, but the club were happy to finish fourth.”

    The club wasn’t the one playing was it? If you wanted to win things why didn’t you all give it your all? Why didn’t you play every match like a final? That one was on you Theo don’t transfer the blame.

    1. Kstix says:

      It still falls on the coach and club HH, because there was no one holding these players accountable for so long. They lost matches and got to the bus smiling and taking selfies and wenger never got mad at them(I’m fairly certain what Theo meant was that wenger was too nice with them) . Big difference between an ambitious coach in Ferguson and wenger

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        If the club didn’t make them accountable then it contradict what Theo is saying. What he say is that the players were ambitious while the club was not. I don’t see why if they were ambitious they didn’t give it their all on the pitch. They were capable of achieving more than 4th.

        If not then Theo should just say he and others were not good enough to win the title and if the club was ambitious they should’ve gone for more quality players.

        1. siamois says:

          I agree it doesn’t make sense to me either,is he saying that the club&manager stopped the players from performing better and winning more? he also said in his interview that he believes that RVP was a better finisher than TH14 who agrees with him?

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            Now if it was RVP saying the club was not ambitious I would agree with him because when fit he absolutely gave all he got. He had passion and hunger and it showed in his performances.

            In term of finishing ability I would say they are equal. The great Thierry is a more complete player though.

          2. Mikey says:

            Henry could have scored but had 10.plus assist each season.

  3. Kstix says:

    Yet another ex player who talks indirectly about wenger, the club and having no title ambitions, yet some people say wenger was a hero throughout his 20+ years for Arsenal when he should have stepped down long before then when he knew he couldn’t win the league anymore. He wasn’t accountable to anyone because kroenke didn’t care. He was as happy as Mr wenger to finish 4th. Arsenal’s best coach in his first decade no doubt but he spoilt his image for the fans by not letting go o sooner

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      If the great Arsene is told to give his life for Arsenal he will just lie down and give it. No questions asked. He has risked his legacy to protect the values and best interests of the club he loves.

  4. H says:

    Just for the sake talking to the media😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄

  5. Kstix says:

    What values do you speak of HH?

  6. durand says:

    Wanted to win things did he? Is that why he stayed so long, signing extensions, and getting pay raises? If he felt that was the limit of the clubs ambition, he could have moved on to try and win things elsewhere.

    Seems to me he was fairly content to remain at Arsenal, get his pay raises, and shoulder the expectations of a top 4 finish rather than title expectations.

    Sorry but it rings a bit hollow to me, did he mention those aspirations when he was a player at Arsenal? Honestly I don’t know, but “complacency” is a word that comes to mind regarding Walcott.

    1. siamois says:

      I remember “sign da thing”that was when he thought his best position was CF!

  7. PJ-SA says:

    What a load of rubbish! So he’s sayibg that every single game the team didn’t try to win? I highly doubt that

    Walcott being a glass house here anyway….guy rarely put it a decent effort as far as I’m concerned

    1. jon fox says:

      Walcott was the lazieast player of that era and never gave his all He would often hide ingames and my nickname for him which I still use when speakingof him, is Weed Walcott. A total lack of fight and passion and not for me at all.

      I wanted him sold after a mere few months of first seeing him And I WAS PROVEN RIGHT, THOUGH SADLY HE STAYED FOR 12 LONG PASSIONLESS YEARS. He simply did not want it enough, frankly!

  8. ken1945 says:

    Could it be that Theo holds a grudge because Le Prof didn’t think he was good enough?
    Never mind, we are always told not to take any notice of what ex players/managers say…. unless, of course, it fits an individuals opinions…then it proves said person correct😂

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