Why Walcott is Arsenal’s unique weapon

The Stats Don’t Lie, Walcott IS a Striker!!! by JH

Now that the window has slammed shut, leaving us with Giroud, Walcott and an Injured Welbeck to fill our CF position, one thing seems to split everyone, from fans to pundits, Is Theo Walcott a striker??

Well in short, Yes. Now for the longer version…..

Theo is often criticized for not having the instincts of a striker, this is a point often made by the likes of Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and our own Alan Smith. It is also a point I have to agree with, for now. Theo does not yet have the instinct of a striker, he cannot sense where a ball will ricochet for a simple tap in like the likes of Shearer and Lineker. At times he fails to make the correct runs, often running straight to goal instead of zig zagging to make him more difficult to mark, I have also noticed he very rarely attacks the near post, something Giroud does very well. And due to his lack of height he will not win much in the air, so failing to attack the post tends to lead to either the cross going to the opposition, or Arsenal having to slow things down and return the ball to the middle of the park. However, Theo can learn all of these traits, he has been selected as an out and out striker for Arsenal for only a few months (the tail end of last season and the beginning of this) And after 8 years playing RW it is going to take him time to adapt to CF. The runs involved are different, the overall responsibilities are different, he will now get the ball in different positions than he is used to, and even different sorts of passes than he is used to, this will take time and patience for him to adapt.

Another issue people have with Theo up top, is an issue he has made glaringly obvious recently, He misses too much when he should score, now i am not talking half chances, decent chances or even good chances, these are easy chances. The one vs Newcastle where he tried to be clever instead of just smacking it into the net, or the one against Stoke, when the ball came off the post, but a poorly balanced Theo managed to skew the ball wide with only the net to hit. It is kind of strange, I remember just a couple of weeks ago Chelsea faced Man City, Aguero should have had a hat-trick before he finally put the ball in the net, I didn’t hear many slag him off. Yet when the exact same happens to Walcott vs Stoke, everybody has their say.

This is something else I feel will come with time, the more Theo plays, the more he scores, the more he will take his chances.

Which brings me to what I believe is his greatest asset. Not pace, but his determination. Theo should have scored vs Newcastle but he did not, he should have had at least 2 before scoring vs Stoke, but missing those chances does not get him down, he doesn’t shy away from the responsibility. He could choose the easy option and pass the ball to someone else, but he keeps going, and was in the end rewarded vs Stoke with a much under-appreciated goal. His first touch killed a very difficult ball to control, and with Marc Muniesa at his back and Jack Butland charging he kept his composure and tucked the ball beyond the superb Jack Butland.

With that goal, Theo moved onto 11 goals in his last 11 starts, three of those of course being a hat-trick vs West Brom. He also put away two for England vs San Marino, meaning that despite not yet hitting top gear, Theo is on form.

Today I saw an very interesting stat on the conversion rate of strikers. Now I am sure if everyone on this site could pick a striker from the premier league to play for Arsenal, at least 9/10 of us (myself included) would pick Sergio Aguero. I see him as the best no.9 in Europe. He has a conversion rate of 20% in the last 4 seasons. Olivier Giroud is surprisingly not too far behind on 17%. Thierry Henry in his final 4 seasons at Arsenal converted 20% of his chances. And in the last 4 seasons Theo Walcott has also converted 20% of his chances.

My main point being, who cares if right now, he doesn’t have a killer instinct? Who cares that he sometimes makes the wrong runs? Who cares if he can’t win a header? Who cares if he can’t hold up the ball?

Saturday showed everyone, that unlike anyone else we have, all it takes for Theo to score is one pass. He is a weapon, and he is probably Arsenal’s most unique weapon. What, I ask you, is the primary objective for a striker?
Score goals. Simple as that, And that is what he is doing.

I think Theo should continue up front, learn his trade, and perhaps he will become the prolific striker Arsene has always proclaimed he could be.

What do you guys think?

Theo Walcott, Striker with potential? Or a Right Winger?

By JonnHirons

Tags butland Giroud Walcott


  1. As much as he seems to score more from RW, he has potential to become a great Striker…he just needs time to adjust to this position..and his pace is a great advantage to him..

    1. You have a good point. I really don’t understand how can we jump on to conclusions so early that Walcott would not be able to take that striking role. Henry was a left winger, VP played on the wings. Wenger knows very well if Walcott can be a striker or not (as he knew about one of the greatest PL players ever). We on the other hand don’t know anything to conclude this.

      1. The point we always forget is that it is Walcott who gets into such good scoring positions. It is not all the strikers, i have been watching Arsenal for a decade now, even Robin Van Persie did not get into such good positions so many times. Walcott just has to learn to bury his chances. Infact we did see that a year before he got injured and even right after VP left. Given a run of games Walcott would be very good.

  2. Indeed a striker’s primary objective is to score goals not hold up play like Giroud,we need Giroud on the bench against Chelsea to increase our chances of winning

      1. Oh stats?well Walcott has a better conversion rate which is exactly why he should start ahead of Giroud who deserves a place on the bench because of his poor finishing!

  3. Excellent article. It reminds me of the discussion Wenger had when questioned about the conversion rate of our strikers. And he gave the example of Diaz whom he trained at Monaco. This guy was training very hard and always went mad when he missed every chance on the training ground. Wenger told him to calm down but the guy replied that in Italy he’d have one, max two chances a game and he could not afford to miss one or the press would have a field day with how wasteful he is. From there I believe he understood that finishing you can learn in training. Creating chances, and a lot of them takes a special setup, you can achieve it only by PLAYING together.
    Walcott is a special player because defenders like to see the game in front of them. In fact defenders are uni dimensional as opposed to the enforcers, CDM’s if you want. And this is what annoys them at Walcott because they have to watch the space behind them. I thought (and I am still trying to understand) that Walcott can’t be prolific in front of deep defense but the game against Stoke proved the fact that is exactly this lack of comfort defense have when playing against him is what is needed.
    Make no mistake, Walcott finds himself in much more favorable positions when he plays through the middle than on the RW. Besides, Ox has a dribbling 10x better than Walcott so that position is already taken when Ramsey plays in the middle.
    Patience is what is needed but I agree that hard evidence is needed to label Walcott as our main striker because I believe both Giroud and Walcott (not to mention Sanchez) bring something different to the table.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this article and looking forward to read more of the same here.

    1. Totally agree, Teams seem very afraid to make mistakes when we Theo plays (and their fear breeds errors).
      I long for the day we see Sanchez walcott and the ox as our front 3, I would almost feel sorry for the opposition defenders.
      Glad you enjoyed the read 🙂

  4. I’m fine with playing Walcott and seeing how it goes. Giroud can be an option off the bench with 30 mins to go if we need. He always seems to score when he’s subbed on. We won’t score enough goals to win the title by playing what we did last year and the year before with Giroud, so why not try something different? Who knows, it just might work..

    1. You nailed it. He will not create chances like OG does for his teammates. Any corner or free kick, which we get plenty during a game OG is much more of a threat.
      OG has scored 2 goals and has been taken down in the box twice. Why they were not penalties against LP and SC is anyone’s guess. So he has created 4 goals in my estimation and has played fewer minutes.
      Theo is a great winger and his goal could have been scored playing on the right or left. Great pass by Ozil. If you ask Theo to hold up the ball with his back to goal he will be crunched. I wouldn’t want him on the table again. If you don’t ask him to hold up the ball then oppurtunities for our backs Bellerin and Monreal to get into the flow as it would take them time to get in position to create width. Ramsey and Sanchez simply do not create width for our team. Put Ramsey somewhere and put Theo Olivier and Alexis on the front line. They have all proven they can score 20 goals a season.

      1. I disagree, I feel that Walcott is more than capable of playing up top alone, I feel although he does not create chances like giroud can, We have Ozil, Cazorla and ramsey to do this.
        They have created over 70 chances so far this season.
        We make chances, we need a finisher, Walcott seems happy to take a shot when the chance calls, something Giroud does not.

  5. Boy do we have two contrasting strikers
    > One’s good in the air, the other’s not
    > One has pace, the other doesn’t
    > One’s good at hold-up play, the other’s not
    > One has a hairstyle, the other’s got no hair…
    If only we could get the full potential out of both, we could play them both.

  6. Rogers and McClaren will be sacked by January

    Wenger will receive an honourable discharge at the end of the season

    WENGER OUT !!!!!

  7. I have always liked and rated theo, since day one,
    But let’s be honest here, he hasn’t really progressed as much as he should have, has he?
    Yes, he has been jinxed with many injuries,
    But there seems to be something else that’s missing with him, more of a mental thing!
    I dont think it’s to do with Confidence or lack of Self belief?

    I think its more to do with Lack of Focus (concentrating)
    Maybe the thought of getting another bad injury is constantly on his mind, He was devastated on missing out on another world cup!

    1. He is to comfertbale at Arsenal. Thats the problem with him. There is no need for him to become a better players, bec Arsenal awards him with the cash he should not be getting with the performance he shows in the pitch.

  8. You cant turn into a striker just by wanting to be one, you are rather born into this poz. Inzagi, Crepso noot good football talents but they had the one thing which Walcott missses, and thas the killer insitnct.

    Edurdo had it. Walcott has it not. As long as you peple sweet tllk each other about us having weapons, nunchakos, and mistake sheep for lions, we will never win somthing mayor.

    The last good striker we had was Van Persie. With him, even with much weaker team as the ones we have today, we reached with the 3rd place with ease.

    Compare Giroud 7 yard miss to Van Persie smashin the ball against Barcelona in a very impossible angle. Whats more interesing, that goal was no fluke, bec he scored many goals like this.

    One of the biggest mistakes we ever made. Not being eable to reason with Persie him to stay. We offered him 130k a week. Just image, Walcott todays earns more and Giroud is close to that aswell. Pathetic, pathetic.

    1. RVP was and still is injury prone ?
      That was good business selling him when they did.
      Yes, he got his medal with utd for winning the league but he spent the rest of his time there mostly out injured and now
      he is plying his injury prone ass in Turkey ?
      So theres no point in still cry about him ??
      Come on ??

      1. Its not good business bro if we award rivals the title. He has the trophy and the cash, where we have only cl football. What i want to say is, that one player alone can make the diff. and thats it.

        1. They would have win it with or without Van Persie. All other teams had a stinker that season and Manure won it by 11 points clear of runner up. Van Persie’s 26 goals won only 3 or four games that season. Arsenal anticipated correctly the events and sold with huge profit.

  9. Let us be positive, who knows Walcott may have changed his playing style from running on the wings which was bringing him the endless injuries to focused striking position where he will not be hit so oftenly. And can use his pace to torment slow defenders. He might be our Cristiano who also changed his playing style and we all know what he does.

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