Wenger confirms Walcott will stay as Arsenal’s centre-forward

Theo Walcott rewarded Arsene Wenger’s confidence in him by scoring a first-half hat-trick as Arsenal demolished West Brom in our last game of the season, and the Gunners boss revealed that he was convinced that Theo was ready for the role even before yesterday’s game. “He was already sharp when he came on in our midweek game against Sunderland.” Wenger revealed after the match. “He was the one who created the chances and I always said that he could play through the middle because he has good movement, good finishing and he did that well today.

“Everybody adapts to the qualities of the players. The style is a bit different [with Walcott in the team].

“He’s a good goalscorer but he has been out for a year. A year in football is a long, long time and it takes more time to come back to your best so that you are sharp and confident. Jack is a bit similar. He has been out for six months and now he is coming back. He had a very convincing performance in the first half.

“He’s the right age to play through the middle. He’s 26 years old, it’s a good age for a footballer. I wish that he stays free of injuries now. He had a few downs on the injury front and that’s never good. You have to be consistently present to express your full potential.

“Without his hat-trick or with his hat-trick, we want him to stay. We are in negotiations and we have started to speak with his agent. We did that before he scored his hat-trick. Last time he got injured he was playing centre forward in a very convincing game against Tottenham Hotspur in January. He got injured and was out for a year. On that day he was injured playing up front.”

So it seems that Walcott is going to get his wish to be the new Thierry Henry, but the main thing must be that he stays out of the treatment room for a whole season. It certainly now seems extremely unlikely that Arsenal will be buying a new striker this summer, but you can imagine how distressed we will all be if Theo gets injured again in the first month of next season. In his ten seasons at Arsenal he has only managed more than 20 League starts twice, but hopefully Wenger’s patience with his prodigy’s comeback this year will have helped him toughen up ahead of next season’s assault on the Premier League title.

Come on Theo!!!

Tags Walcott Wenger


    1. At Arsenal though
      a fit and inform
      Walcott Wilshere
      Chamberlain Podolski Sanogo Wellbeck Ryo Diaby
      Rosicky Gibbs Ramsey Ozil Arteta Gabriel Debuchy
      does not happen enough 🙂

      1. Dont think you can paint Ozil Welbeck Gabriel with the same brush. They got an injury, it happens.

          1. False. In May 2013 he injured his shoulder against Malaga and he never played until he joined Arsenal. And that is not the only medium-long term injury for him. Check also stats at Schalke (most notable) and Bremen.

    2. I’m not ok, but not so ok with Theo upfront as our main striker. But in other to be a very good striker, u need to play often upfront. So, Theo is good, but I think he’s get better with more games upfront. I mean, I don’t think he’s started up to five times upfront for us since he’s been at Arsenal.

      1. Sorry, I meant I’m ok, but not so ok with Theo upfront, and in order to get better, he needs to play more upfront.

  1. The big difference yesterday was that the striker was much more involved in the final attack. It made a difference and it definitely suited Ozil and Wilshere having that in front of them.

    1. Giroud has little movement when he plays. He occupies defenders so there’s space for others to move into and get chances, but we had no one moving forward into that space, it was all just midfielders – Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla looking for a forward pass, not a forward run. Giroud was very isolated.

      Walcott offers something different. He’s very mobile, there may not be as much space with him, but he moves into that space and gets chances.

      I think if we played 2 strikers in Giroud and Walcott then we’d have a very strong attack. Giroud’s presence would give Walcott more space to operate, and with Walcott there, Giroud wouldn’t be as isolated. That’s also why I think we need Walcott as a second striker, he needs to be close to Giroud to recurve the knock-downs and flicks, not all the way out on the wing. Giroud is very good at holding the ball for someone else to take and score. Lately there hasn’t been anyone to give it to, but Walcott would give that option. Plus as a striker partnership they’d offer both pace and an aerial threat. I think they’d pair very well together.

  2. Poldolski, Sanogo and Campbell go then there is no reason we can’t add Lacazette.

    We will have many options in wide and central striker areas.

    OT: haven’t fancied Jack for last 2 or 3 seasons, but since coming back from injury he has been superb, not just this game.

    Keep it up Jack

      1. Is this based off Youtube or have you been watching their games? Because I find it quite hard to believe you have been watching Lyon’s games this season unless you’re french. Giroud can equal Zlatan when it comes to a highlights reel, doesn’t mean he’s necessarily on his level.

  3. His composure in front of goal is real top quality even before his injury he provided a massive goal threat. If he can do that on a regular basis then he definitely deserves regular chances to play through the middle. He also provides a massive goal threat playing from the right so him being versatile is important and he can’t always play through the middle. But like Sturbridge when he went to Liverpool people didn’t think he was capable and he proved everyone wrong. I think Theo. is now ready to play through the middle a few seasons ago it’s where he wanted to play but I don’t think he was ready now he is.

    1. The different between him and Giroud is that with OG upfront the opposition team have an opportunity to re organize themselves in the defensive areas due to his lack of pace and the hold up play, but Theo is more direct with his movements in and out, left and right, he tends to pull defenders away which is very helpful when playing with teams putting 11 bodies on their own goal plus he can do the counter attacks. Theo has not been given enough time in the middle due to unnecessary pressure created from the fans when he failed to perform in few matches provided and the manager responded in favor of the fans, but for me he needed enough matches as a ST before his judgement. Remember Suarez in his two seasons at Liverpool, he was not as accuracy as the fans needed, missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities but due to his intelligent movements and his pace Liverpool fans understood his potential and provided him with the support he needed. The same case to Welbz, his pace and physical strength are suited to playing upfront and to my understanding he will be a lethal in that position what he needs is the support from the fans so that he can gain the confident and the composure he needs.

  4. From Wenger’s comments that Theo can play through the middle you conclude: “So it seems that Walcott is going to get his wish to be the new Thierry Henry”?

    Sorry, but there is nothing new in Wenger’s comments. He’s said Theo can play through the middle before (just like he’s said Sanchez can play through the middle). That doesn’t mean Theo’s primary position won’t be on the wing.

    1. Before injury he was playing through the middle though and he had become quite good at that point.

      I doubt he would be a full time central player but I also think Wenger is being honest here.

    2. From Wenger’s comments that Theo can play through the middle you conclude: Theo is the new signing upfront

  5. its all clear…Wenger will buy a right winger…Sterling? fekir?? by saying that Walcott is a striker it means we need a right winger.
    nb: by playing Ramsey as a winger Wenger was sending a statement that he needs a winger .
    question- if we buy vidal, will he partner le qoc? if he does, where will ramsay, wilshare, carzola ,flamini ,diaby , and arteta play?
    verdict: arteta, diaby, flamini and are leaving…but will the other three accept to be benched as ozil is Wenger’s favourite? does this mean benching le qoc to accommodate one of them?
    am afraid we may loose one of carzola, ramsey or wilshare this season in case Wenger buys a W.C b2b player..

    1. Yes Arsenal has
      31 senior players
      and more coming in so
      logically there must be a
      a whole bunch leaving
      yet Wenger says “every one wants to stay”.
      However he did not say everyone “is” staying.
      He does not want to destabilize the squad prior to
      the cup final or give buyers or sellers any
      clue about who he wants to hock off or buy.
      Transfer season is upon us folks 🙂

  6. So, yesterday my friends and I had a very serious argument. They said the game between Stoke and Liverpool was a first half of volley ball, I said it was basket ball, but a certain idiot among us maintained it was football. I dunno, I stiLl think it was basket ball.

        1. Definitely no love for Brenda and his crumbling team here, they just lost their best player and Sterling looks like he’ll be moving too.

  7. This is the worst news iv heard in ages, that along with him saying we still have Poldi Wellington and Sanogo to come back spells disaster. Wenger, as a fan you are not making things easy for me, we know we have problems up front and too many similar players so if next season we are out of title race any time soon well i can no longer defend you.

    I am praying that Wenger wants three strikers for next season in Giroud Walcott and a new signing. Silva replacing Ox who in turn replaces Walcott. Its doubtful though, Wenger is not going to put a new striker in ahead of Giroud as well as Theo. As for Poldi Sanogo they need to be gone one way or the other.

    I suppose i can pray for Walcott to hit double figures. Its definitely plausible, however i would expect him getting unstuck against top sides and against ten man defences.. he isnt a player who can dribble past people. Like with Oli he relys on good service.

    1. I can’t see Podolski being at arsenal next season forcing a transfer loan half way through a season then disrespecting Arsene for not playing him. Potential he could come back a inform committed Podolski trying to prove himself could be a really good asset but I still don’t think he’ll be first choice or second choice so I think he’ll leave. I don’t think we’ll get much transfer money for him maybe 4-5m.

      Sanogo and Akpom are ones for the future I think both have very good potential but need loan moves getting into the first team in a long way away and need to work hard but I wouldn’t write either off yet.

      Wellington and Campbell I’ve seen a lot more of Campbell than Wellington I think the likes of the Ox and Gnabry to me look like better prospects neither Wellington or Campbell offer much of a goal threat and I’m not sure either have done enough and shown enough to get game time. Both are young enough to improve but I think we have enough prospects and with potentially more new (better) forwards comeing in this summer both will be sold.

      Verdict sold; Podolski, Cambell, Wellington
      Loan; Sanogo (not many promising big centre forwards) Akpom, Gnabry.
      1 new forward To add to Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Alexis & the ox leaves us with plenty of options

      1. I’d just like to add that with Campbell & Wellington they are great prospects but I Just think you can’t have too many players and they fit into the same category as the likes of the ox and Gnabry it’s better to identify the best prospects and develop them otherwise too many players just get in the way of each other’s development. They might be both worth holding onto and loaning again but would Campbell want to go out on loan for a 5th year in a row? Maybe it’s better to just sell. opportunities will be even harder if we keep improving the squad with better players and if we get decent fees for them then buying them shows good business and money made can go towards improving the team.

        1. @AlanFrank
          Both Wellington and Campbell have better pace and work rates than Gnabry and Ox..
          Plus they are both less prone to injury as the latter 2. which makes a big difference when vying trophies…

          1. I know Gnabry has been out for a year with a serious knee injury but hopefully that was a one off and he won’t gat any more problems. And the ox seems to be regularly injured but hopefully that will also improve. I think the ox out of all 4 looks the biggest prospect when he’s playing well he really does look fantastic. And I think Gnabry even tho he’s the youngest looks like he’s got goals in him a natural finisher and looks quality I don’t really see the other 3 as massive goal threats. But yeah like I said they could be worth holding onto and long term they could be turn out the better players but at the moment I don’t think so and I don’t see them getting many opportunities at arsenal. If they’d be happy to be loaned again maybe a premier league loan for one season could be a better option then decide. Long term tho all can’t possibly make it at arsenal.

  8. This means we have
    Giroud Walcott Wellbeck
    Sanogo Sanchez Podolski
    Akpom and Campbell as front line strikers.
    Ramsey Chamberlain Cazorla Ozil
    Wilshere Rosicky, Diaby and Gnabry
    as midfelders who score goals.
    At least 16 goal scorers.
    So why would we still spend 60 mill
    on Lacazzette and Fekir
    or 35 mill on a Reus or Benzema?

    1. Arsene must make a hard decision and sell the likes of Giroud, Podo, Sanogo and Campbell so that he can have a room for buying a world class ST to partners with Theo and Welbeck. Okpom is a promising youngster he must have another season on loan if possible to EPL team.

  9. This is an absolutely hilarious yet down to earth quote:

    “Rodgers : the fans were treated to some wonderful football this season, admittedly most of it was against us”

  10. Theo is best when he can utilize his speed. He can be spotted as a lone striker occasionally but let’s be honest WBA weren’t in it to tackle yesterday. Maybe throw themselves at a few shots but they didn’t want to throw their bodies at Arsenal players. It was an open game.
    If this was an October game against Man City where a Vincent Kompany goes right through a player to get a ball then I would say Theo might not last too many games in the thick of it. If he ever turned his back to goal while trying to receive a ball he might get torn in half. I’m happy for him and his comeback but still see his strength like Sanchez operating on a wing and cutting in for a shot.

    1. He scored 2 goals when we lost 6-0 at the Etihad Vicent Campany was there and failed to throw his body on him. Let us support our best players, instead of discouraging them. Any ST who can score hat-tricks has the potential to become a top player. Theo did did a hat tricks against Newcastle, West Brown, Totenham, and others. He often scored against Liverpool, Totenham, Chelsea, Man United and Man city. After his ACL injury the former Liverpool manager Gerald Hollier said Theo Walcot was the man to take arsenal to trophies.

      1. Not discouraging Theo at all I’m a big fan but asking him to play as a lone striker through the middle I just don’t see him lasting there for a stretch of games.

  11. It’s simple for manager and board really … do we have a best 11 to close the 12 point gap on chelski and the smaller gap on man city when both will strengthen in summer? To me it’s obvious we don’t and no talking up returning players will convince … So wenger’s recent meandering are a worry ..two real quality additions and a possible upgrade at gk and left back are minimum we need …. Vidal or kondogbia would be a clear statement of intent (and schneiderlin as a slightly lower quality option would be fine) then any of several attacking options who could promise 14 or 15 goals is fine in addition to what Sanchez and giroud/Walcott (if we keep him and I wouldn’t) can deliver.. And it’s also clear that business needs to be complete by end July

  12. Get Lacazette….French league top scorer….Shitroud was a former French league top scorer too…

  13. Compared to the other teams in the top 4 we are light on Striker, midfield steel and GK departments.

    Cech – Vidal (Kongdobia or Schneiderlin) and a quality striker from the likes of Cavani or Martinez or even Lacazette would bring us to parity in terms of squad strength with our opposition the rest is down to injuries, motivation and tactics.

  14. If (big IF) Theo, Jack and Rambo stay healthy next season and develop their chemistry & confidence in each other along with Ozil feeding them (Jack & Theo) we will murder teams. Ozil & Theo are a lethal combination as we saw yesterday once they are on the same page mentally and Ozil masters his weighted passes to suit Theo’s pace.

    I do think we need a striker as I Theo is better suited at RW but he can/should play as a striker depending on who our opponent is.

  15. Let’s be realistic here, Wenger did not show faith in Walcott, to the contrary he gave him a chance because no. 3 was already secure and the game had no consequence on where we finished on the table! Walcott took it with both hands, and now Wenger has to rethink about Walcott because he has scored in almost each game after coming from injury.

    Either way let’s wait and see who plays at Wembly

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