Wenger: Walcott is more efficient on the right

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Wenger: Walcott is more efficient on the right

Arsene Wenger says that Theo Walcott has developed into a big game player, and admitted that the 28 year old is more efficient from the right despite the fact the manager still sees him as a striker.

Walcott has 17 goals this season, not enough to get him into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, but only Alexis Sanchez has more goals for the Gunners in this current campaign.

The Frenchman tried to use Walcott centrally more often, but at the player’s request hasn’t done that this season, and he acknowledges it is to his benefit.

“I was always convinced, because of the quality of his runs, that he was a central striker,” said Wenger.

“He for a while was as well but he made up his mind during the summer break and he feels more comfortable on the right.”

“He is fair, he said if you give me the choice I would prefer to play on the right but if you want I will play through the middle, (the right) is his preferred position and it is true that it is where he is most efficient.”

And Wenger sees improvements in Walcott’s game, after a 2015-16 season which was ultimately very disappointing.

“He has become more of a complete player, more efficient,” he said. “He does better in the tactical part of his game and works hard defensively and offensively. He has been less injured as well, that helps.

“He has turned up in big games as well, he can score goals in big games. He showed that against Bayern, he scored the goal and I think it was a penalty on him and he can influence games.”

Walcott’s best goal total in a season for Arsenal was in 2012-13 and if he continues scoring at his current rate, 7 in his last 10 games, he could well top that this time around.

Check out today’s Arsecast talking Max Allegri with Paolo Bandini, and lots more

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32 Comments on "Wenger: Walcott is more efficient on the right"

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loose_cannon

Still blows hot and cold from time to time but overall he’s having a great season and no surprise seeing as he’s been relatively injury free. A lot of people have commented on how he’s tracking back well this season but what’s been more impressive for me is when he’s got involved in the build up play. Occasionally, probably when he lacks confidence, he just looks for the ball in behind which often renders him invisible. He looks a far more complete player when he gets involved on the ball and mixes it up. He needs to do that more, showing attacking intensity on the ball as well as off it. England’s loss, just hope he can keep performing for us!

GunnerDareMACEDONIA

Well fans are still criticizing him and as a winger when you compare his goals he is not far from hazard which by pundits he is best player in the league at the moment, then again alexis has double the goals an assist then hazard and hazard i still be better some thing i will never understand.

Andy Mack

Whilst I agree with you, Hazard is much more creative.
Where Theo seems to underperform is that his speed creates space for others, but he so rarely uses that speed anymore.
Yes he’s lost some speed and no longer lightning quick, he’s still very quick but unfortunately we rarely see it anymore.

sciGunner

Hazard is a consistent player, who can change a tight game against any opposition on his own. Theo is not. Alexis is what we have close to Hazard. In a system like ours, Hazard could score the same number of goals as Alexis and he is younger too.

Andy Mack

Theo has come on and changed games for us before, but yes it’s very very rare event, which is one of the reasons he’s so annoying…

loose_cannon

Hazard may be consistent but for a player of that ability I kinda feel he should be doing more in terms of goals and assists

loose_cannon

If you take away Hazard’s penalties (unfair, I know) Theo blows him out of the water completely in terms of goals, though his assists have suffered this season. Imo Walcott needs to dribble at defenders more, he isn’t the best dribbler in the world but neither is he the worst and everyone is afraid of his pace. When he’s confident he takes people on and more often than not he wins, doing it more often will add a lot to his game

Arsensarmy

Walcotts 28 and we still keep saying if he adds this or changes that. Enough said. And he finally starts tracking back and helping out defensively and fans are ready to canonize him. That’s what he should have been doing for years. Their are many many wide midfielders that I would take over Theo. That’s the reality.

IamaGoober

I am still not overly convinced by Theo at all. He has improved somewhat over the last couple of seasons, and this season in particular, but when you consider how inconsistent he has been for us over the last 10 years, I still find it really hard to quantify how good he actually is.

For me, he still goes missing far too often in games, and at the age of 28, with the amount of Premier League experience he has, he still lacks the ability to make intelligent decisions on the ball on a consistent basis, and when you step back to look at the bigger picture, also taking into consideration the salary that Arsenal play him, he should really be doing much much better.

I know this post will get loads of thumb downs, and I’ll look like a naysayer, but it is the truth. He is just an Olympic level sprinter with football boots on. I am willing to admit that he does have his uses at times, and I don’t agree that he should of been dropped in favour of a 34 year old Sunderland striker in the England squad, but I think that playing at Arsenal is just a step too high for him.

Heavenly Chapecoense

At the same time of their Arsenal careers, Theo scored more goals than Iwobi and didn’t play as much as Iwobi does.

kaius

We signed Theo expecting a young British version of Thierry Henry. Why are you comparing him to Iwobi, an attacking midfielder whose game is based on technique, dribbling and creativity?

A better comparison would be with other forwards who’ve spent 10 years at a top-four club.

PFo

This.

Cdm995

Out of interest blogs, why is David Bowies face in the background in lots of pictures on here recently? Not complaining, just curious.

Willie wanyama

You’re so unfair to Theo,, he has been sidelined more often because of the injuries,,, but generally he’s the best winger in Europe,, i love him, I love how he play

Arsensarmy

The best winger in Europe? I expect people to have built in biases on this page but your delusional if you think Walcott is the best winger in Europe. He’s above average but by 28 I expected more.

Cdm995

Out of interest blogs, why is David Bowie’s face in the background in lots of pictures on here recently? Not complaining, just curious.

TeeCee

Probably Blogs having fun with photoshop in an attempt to get some sports journo to spot this, work out that 2+2=5 and write a bollocks article about us being haunted.

Me So Hornsey

Theo would excel if he played in exactly the Jermaine Defoe role, i.e. the pacey, diminutive striker with a very powerful shot and eye for goal, plying his trade at mid to lower league prem level.

I don’t think he has ever been a natural right winger. He has the mind of a striker, just not the technical ability, tenacity or strength needed to be a striker for a top 4 team.

Andy Mack

I don’t think he has the mind of a goal scorer striker like Defoe. When someone takes a shot then Defoe is immediately following up, whereas Theo rarely does that. To me, that’s the mind-set of a goal scorer vs a winger.

COYG1001

Theo is greatly improved. My sense is that his (relative) inability to dribble is his big flaw.

When there is space, he can exploit it or create more space for others. When there’s no room behind or the other side is packing it in, Theo is relatively ineffective, and a player who can dribble should start IMHO.

Arsensarmy

That’s it exactly. Theo has speed that is up and down he can’t keep the ball close or dribble in tight spaces. Kick the ball by the defenders and chase after it.

PFo

This.

Ya Da

Theo Walcott’s shit lads, you’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise. He’s scored 100 goals for us in over 10 years – yay

PFo

Surely the truth is somewhere in between the extremes found on this thread: neither sh*t nor “the best winger in Europe” (lol). But what’s admirable is that he’s clearly worked hard to improve his (somewhat limited) game, and it’s shown this season.

Arsensarmy

On his best day Walcott is a world beater but more often than not he is painfully average.

heihaci

did it take Wenger 10 years to work this out?

Arsepedant

You really are a broken record, aren’t you?

Paul

Theo IS good enough to play for our team.
He is NOT good enough to play for the top teams with bundles of cash, granted.
We should remember who we are and what level we should expect to be at.
One of our top traits is being classy and professional as a club.
I feel lately that many of our fans are not fulfilling their responsibilities toward The Arsenal.
…COYG.

Donald's Trumps

Hi there. We are Arsenal. Hope that helps.

Daniel

It definitely seems like he has a lot more fight in him this season, not letting opposing players bully him and a bit of that is something we’ve lacked,the fan reaction to Walcott to me sums up the fickle nature of football fans, we think he’s a bit rubbish one week, then the next we’re chanting his name

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