Walcott: They wanted it more from the first whistle

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Theo Walcott says Arsenal let down their fans this evening as they were run ragged in a 3-0 defeat by Sam Allardyce’s relegation-threatened Crystal Palace.

Goals by Andros Townsend, Yohan Cabaye and Luka Milivojevic were followed by furious chants from Gooners on the terraces that the players aren’t “fit to wear the shirt.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, the England international, who was captain for the evening, did little to play down such suggestions.

“The biggest thing would be letting the fans down tonight,” the 28-year-old told Geoff Shreeves.

“We all did. That’s not Arsenal at all. I thought we’d bounced back well against Man City and West Ham at home but tonight wasn’t us at all.

“We’re very disappointed in the dressing room, as the fans are as well because we’ve let them down tonight. We need to respond. That’s only going to come from hard work that we take into Monday [against Middlesbrough].

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We don’t have a problem with that. We want to try and do a job. We don’t go out there to lose games. We try the best we can but tonight it just didn’t happen. Like I said, all we can do is apologise.

“They just wanted it more. You could tell. You could sense that from the kick off. It was an uphill battle towards the end there. Like I said before this isn’t Arsenal at this moment in time.

“We thought we’d got out of this little patch, hopefully we’ve not fallen straight back into it. Judging by that performance tonight it looks like we have.”

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Wengersnose

For fucks sake mate!

IamaGoober

This sums up Arsenal really, giving this little bottler the arm band. Like what happened to the Arsenal captaincy? Why has it become this thing that’s passed around like an open Pringle can at a Christmas party? Where’s the pride in it now? If you’re the captain of any team, let alone Arsenal, first and foremost you have to be a player that everyone respects on and off the pitch. You also have to set the level of intensity, and lead by example. You also have to be one of two things; either the best player in the team, or if you aren’t that, then you have to have the most fight out of everyone in the dressing room. Look at Roy Keane as a prime example, he was nowhere near as good at footballer as Patrick, but he had that fight in him, more then any other United player – he refused to lose games, he wasn’t afraid to go toe to toe with anyone. Nor was he afraid to take responsibility for dragging United into some sort of gear when they were misfiring. Same goes for Patrick, he had that in him too, but he was double the player Roy was. Roy Keane even said in an interview that when United played Arsenal he knew that he couldn’t have a bad game or wise United would lose because Vieira was that good.

Then you’ve got Theo Walcott. He is nowhere near any of that, at all. He is a million miles away from ever displaying any sort of character or satchel big enough to captain Arsenal. This is the same guy that totally left Hector Bellerin out to dry away at Stamford Bridge by bottling that header; He acknowledge that he was the covering defender; he looked over his shoulder, saw Marcus Alonso steaming in at Bellerin; saw the cross coming in …and he did absolutely nothing – Bellerin got knocked out, we go one nil down, and we go on to lose the game.

If I could singlehandedly pick one player who I would never ever give the captains armband to, it would be Theo Walcott. He’s spent his whole career hiding at Arsenal, and you’re going to give him the responsibility to captain the side when we are going to play Palace at their gaff? A team that have a manager in charge who is notorious for getting his players up for the physical battle.

No wonder we lost. I am just surprised it wasn’t by more.

Christopher Wreh

Spot on. People might say it’s petty but it’s mini-decisions like that that, when conglomerated, result in performances like that.

IamaGoober

People who say that a captain doesn’t make a difference just genuinely don’t really understand football, because they do. Not to blow my own trumpet here, but I play football at a fairly competent level, obviously not at the same level as these guys but still, I think having a great captain really does motivate you to go that extra bit harder. Having a really strong leader on the pitch is not to be underestimated at all.

I think you cant dismiss the correlation between Arsenals achievements when we had great captains i.e. Adams, Vieira, compared to now when we don’t actually have anyone really? Like yes Koscielny is but its actually Per who never plays? .. so I donno..

If there was a candidate to give the armband to last night, I would of given to Sanchez. Yeah, there has been discourse in the dressing recently surrounding him. But he is our best player, tries the hardest, and leads by example. I think you might even get another gear out of him too by giving him the armband.

salmok

as a person who plays football you must also recognise and know that if the ref does not want you to win…..you wont.

or has something like this never come to your attention? never?

i agree about strong personalities as captains but the vieira team was a once in a lifetime. you can not replicate that unless kroenke sanctions the purchase of mueller kroos and neuer or brought ininiesta xavi villa and puyol when spain bossed world football.

we can not expect 2-3rd tier players to perform like absolute top world class.

why we had them back then and not now you might ask? because the stadium cost us the winning mentality and the character. such players are not easy to find and even if you do find them you have to pay them astronomical amounts. this ball though (spending) is in owners court…not wenger’s

and no..you wont do shit spending 90m in one summer when your rivals have been spending close to 200m every summer for the last decade and a half…

IamaGoober

@salmok

Were you implying that the referees are somehow to blame for us currently being 6th in the table?

And I disagree that there aren’t any central midfielders out there in world football that are captain material because there are. Obviously you wont find any that are carbon copies of Vieira – but there are definitely ones out there that could have a huge impact at Arsenal.

And again I disagree with your comment regarding tier 2-3 players. Spurs their squad is littered with them and so is Chelsea’s. Players like Victor Moses, David Luiz, Alonso, Matic, Rose, Dyer, Wanyama, Walker, Trippier – I could go on.

Those players aren’t better then what we have at all. The difference is both of those teams have managers in charge that drill their squads. They have a game plan. They all adapt their tactics and players to suit playing the opposition – Arsene Wenger and Arsenal don’t do that. We just rely on the players to play and for the team to figure out how to adapt to the opposition during the 90 minutes. And yes, that definitely worked 10 years ago when the level of coaching etc.. wasn’t the same between the top clubs and the lesser clubs. But now that’s all changed. The coaching playing field has levelled out, football has moved on, the finances now available to clubs means that they are all able to buy decent players. So having better players, with a free flowing philosophy isn’t going to cut it anymore at the top level. These players need to be given a role. The teams need to be given direct instruction on how to beat an opponent – not just, we are Arsenal, we are better.

That doesn’t fly anymore, hence we turn up at Palace and get beaten 3 nil by Sam Allerdyce

Blahblahblah

It’s not people who say this,it Wenger who says this.

david

I used to be a captain. In the Army!

Do you need one, course you fucking do! When the shit hits the fan, humans need corralling, motivating, inspiring and someone to follow, to lead the way! Its a basic human need, we all need it.

What on earth is Wenger thinking? “I can do without the Roy Keane/ Viera/ Admas types”! You really can’t because when you need to pull yourself out of trouble, you need a hard nosed bastard whose not willing to lose to give everyone inspiration. Our troubles have been exacerbated by a lack of an identifiable strong captain for years.

The Loon Ranger

I can’t believe you really said this Theo. Why didn’t you want it then? Cos you’ve got as my old granny used to say more money than bleeding sense.

kafkush

Thankful that someone used that word – “hiding” – Walcott constantly hides. His PR and Agent tell him periodically to get stuck in for a couple of games, and he makes a few tackles and picks a fight. Then he goes back to looking keen and running in a purposeful crouch, without any purpose. A very lucky athlete in that he periodically scores just enough goals to not be shown up entirely.
Woe to be a gooner

Nayf.

Wow. That picture says a thousand words. The wheels have fallen off the bus. As a business, Arsenal Plc need to now listen no??

Faisal Narrage

Piss off. Neither you nor anyone else EA ft to wear the shirt.

Going off tangent for a second, but Xhaka in many ways represents everything wrong with Arsene and his tactics.

At a time when we needed a defensive powerhouse; who’s attributes are to protect the back four and be a physical beast, a time where Kante was available, what did Wenger do? He bought a “DM” who’s actually shit at defending, is immobile and slow but his greatest strength is….passing and influencing our attacking play.

Sean

Xhaka was exactly the kind of player we were screaming out for this time last year. It’s not a case of Kante vs Xhaka, but a question of why we didn’t just go all out for both. Signing Xhaka wasn’t a mistake, but a whole tonne of decisions made by Wenger since then have been though.

Loose_Cannon

A Xhaka-Kante partnership could have been dreamy. Strangely, passing is Xhaka’s only exceptional skill but Kante could of made up for all of his deficiencies. Sigh, can always dream..

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

Kante would be played with Xhaka and instead of Coquelin or Elnenny. He’s a completely different type of player. The whole balance is wrong. If you’re playing a midfield three with Ozil and Xhaka then you need a third player with the same attribute as kante. Elnenny and coquelin have them but nowhere near good enough if we want to challenge for anything.

Our weakness has been Wenger’s wrongly placed faith. He didn’t push for Kante because he believed in Coq and Elnenny, and to be fair, no one was sure if any of those Leicester players could reproduce that form again in a big team. I think if Kante were available again this season it would be a completely different story.

I’m not justifying anything here before I get Wenger out fans arguing with me. I think it’s all shit at the moment, the whole system is broken and it needs to be taken down and replaced. Whether that’s with or without Wenger next season, I quite frankly don’t give a shit anymore.

I was talking about this the other day and I believe it may have been with you @Faisal Narrage, our back four is far too small. Koscienly and Mustafi are brilliant defenders but we can’t get mad at them when they lose arial duels against far bigger center forward and center backs. Look at the first goal today, how can we realistically expect Gabriel to beat Benteke to that first header that created the chance. How stupid do you have to be to expect to get away with that, seriously such rookie mistakes.

Tottenham are shite and always will be shite. But look at the size of their back 6. Even if they’re not at their best those players are going to win the individual battles. Look at the goal dele Alli scored against watford, everyone will give him credit but look at how Moussa Dembele fought off the watford midfielder, drove through the midfield, created the chances then got tossed to the ground. Who in our team is going to do that? Xhaka can but he’s not agile or fast enough to drive in, which is why he’s forced to make rash tackles and go to ground when pacey players take him on. Everyone else is too small to compete physically with other big central midfielders like Matic, Yaya Toure, Dembele or Wanyama and the list goes on.

We can’t expect to win anything with a team of small technical players, you need a balance of both but the absolute basic is trying hard and winning the physical battles.

Donald\'s Trump

Dembele is very underrated. Everyone raves about Alli and Kane but Dembele is easily their best player.

Wenger\'s son in law

Look at the average size of the invincibles.. Viera sent shivers down the spine of players in the tunnel before games.

justanArsenalfan

Kante wasn’t really for sale at the beginning of the transfer window to begin with.

marje

This wankstain is paid seven million pounds a year by Arsenal Football Club. And this is the best he can do?

Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa
Gooooooooonnnnaaaaaaaa

He played great against west ham and the logical thing to do when a player is in that form is keep playing him. If at his age and after being at Arsenal for more than 10 years Walcott is still struggling for consistency, how naive do we have to be to fall for the same shit every year.

He along with players like Gibbs, Ramsey, Ox, Wilshere haven’t been able to stay fit for years now, and even when they were fit they couldn’t maintain any sort of consistency in their performances (other than that freak season Ramsey had). We kept faith in players like Diaby and Rosicky in the past and that’s great, I respect the club for that. But you can’t blame injuries to key players while refuse to get cover for these players you know for whatever reason won’t be available.

I’m not necessarily saying sell them, I like that we keep faith in players. But you can’t go into a season relying on Aaron Ramsey to be a key member of your midfield because you know he won’t be fit for the full season, so you have to plan accordingly. I’m not picking on Ramsey, I’m actually a fan of his, I’m just using an example.

Frank

How embarrassing. How can any player stand there and say “they just wanted it more”, Wenger said roughly the same thing as well. You shouldn’t just be accepting of that, you should be so ashamed you don’t even say it.

Walcott the friendly ghost
Walcott the friendly ghost

I know Wenger doesn’t give a shit about who the captain is, his own words were “it doesn’t matter”, but Theo is only good when opportunities are put on a plate for him. He shows no fight, no determination, until it’s time for a new contract that is.

Funniest part is we were two points better off before the game, than the same time last year, we were just as shit then as now, everyone else was just shitter. They sorted it out, we remained shit.

GoonerJust

Walcott, are you saying you didn’t want it more from the first wistle?
Shame on you…

Damobot

Of course, these guys excel in the apologies and excuses and holding the hands up routine after defeats on camera. Also the stuff about “Up for the fight” before matches. This honesty business really pisses me off from Theo. I like him as a person and a player but does he play the scenario of defeats and him talking in interviews in his head before and during the game?? Are they afraid of facing the media and their own fans enough after defeats?? And if they do, why does that not push them to be better when they have a chance to change the outcome before hands?

I don’t think it is brave to talk about how poor you were and how sorry you are because you could have been braver 20 minutes earlier and gave it your all to not stand there and spout bullshit that is not gonna make anyone feel better.
I switched off after the penalty which was the best dive I have seen in history of football. It was so convincing up until you actually saw it on replay. I don’t think they played that badly but again there was not a tactical plan to deal with this type of game, the same as there isn’t one for Chelsea, Liverpool, Man city etc.

I have defended Wenger many times and trusted him to sort this out, but it doesn’t look like he is willing or able to change tactically. Football has changed a lot over the last 10 years and we need someone that can understand and respond to these challenges. Even Geniuses like Bergkamp had to hang up there boot at some point but we still remember their ingenuity.

vino

Nothing to like about any of it. Lack of quality on the ball, remarkable for a Wenger side. The sheer amount of them that have a bad first touch and bad short range passing. Slow in the head, slow to pick a pass and slow to react to situations. Predictable play. No guile or intelligence on the ball. No invention, no natural talent being displayed.

That’s the aspect which is truly eyebrow-raising for me. I think they are getting away with the excuse of ‘not wanting it’ and ‘lost the dressing room’ stuff. Lack of effort.

Well if you can’t trap a ball or find a team mate 30% of the time then honestly it’s down to technical ability for me as much as anything. The basics of football some of them can’t do. It’s amazing for a Wenger team like I said. You can want it or not want it as much as you like but if you cannot actually play football to a level that you need to in order to win these games then you’re fucked. That’s really why most teams get relegated, let’s face it. Their players are not as good as other teams. At the moment we have none of the aspects required to be a good team, including basics.

Stuck on repeat...

The differences between the two player interviews tells you everything…You didn’t even need to watch the game. At least there was the common thread used by both players where it’s acknowledged by both they “wanted it more”.

Nice job lads…great support for the manager you stand so firmly behind.

As for the fact that Big Sam laid out the master plan to beat Arsenal in his interview. Tip for any club playing us: just watch his interview.

Now Theo, put that dinner plate sized watch away. It wasn’t a fashion shoot but an interview about how pathetic we were.

Pants…complete & utter pants.

Norn Iron Gooner

Beat before a ball was kicked. Is this us now?

Redsy

Walcott really needs to shut to fuck up
It’s performances we want on the field not how someone on 50k a week wanted it more than guys on 150k a week the Muppets

Southpaw

100 ways we could tell someone like Sanchez “we are not the ambitious club you are looking for”

pedro

Sanchez play well again did he?

pedro

sorry, that was unnecessarily snarky. My politeness has the handbrake on at the moment.

Mark

How the hell can other teams always “want it more” than Arsenal?!?!?! The players admit it as much and it is on them to come out and play as if they give a shit for a change.

Toure motors

These are the comments of the man appointed as “captain” by the manager of arsenal, the case for Wenger’s removal rests. Shame we already have two years more of this to endure

Cyganmyster

We have 3 big issues.

Issue 1. We are Mentally weak, soft, too nice.
(Wenger needs to bring in the right players and motivate them)
(The players need to fight for Arsenal too)

Issue 2. No plan B,C, D. We play the same way win, lose, draw.
(This is Wengers fault, not the players)

Issues3. Too many injuries.

If Wenger cannot fix the issues above, he needs to leave. Otherwise we are stuck in the same cycle next season if he stays.

Donald\'s Trump

If, what if?

He can’t fix them. He’s proven that.

ClockEndRider

Can you please tell me what plan A is? it isn’t clear t me and doesn’t appear to be any clearer to the players.

naija gunner

Ok so they wanted it more and u let them have it without much of a fight. Then u say it so calmly in the post match conference, like its nothing. There is something wrong with this club that I can’t exactly place and it doesn’t make sense.

Alexisshorts

Easy to place. The manager went stale years ago and he has absolute power at the club. It’s a dysfunctional set up and difficult to know how it will end unless he does the decent thing and steps down. I’m not holding my breath though……

Giroud\'s Abs

What I don’t understand is why the other team want it more than Arsenal? We’re fighting for top 4. Fighting to save the manager’s job. They should be fighting to prove they’re top players. They should be fighting to win the fucking title. There is something deeply disturbing and wrong if every time we lose it’s because the other team ‘wanted it more’. It stems from the board, from the manager, the players know it. Only the fans won’t accept this shit

Sanchez Black Boots

The fact that he is currently the captain at Arsenal sums up the problem. Compare him to Adams or Vieira. He is just too weak, too nice. He’d have never cut it with a Fergie or Mourinho. We have waited over ten years for him to come good.

SFGiants

“We try the best we can but tonight it just didn’t happen.” And the old cliche, “They wanted it more.” WTF? “We sucked” might have been a more appropriate response. This is a talented team and when you say “it just didn’t happen” it means you DIDN’T do the best you can. Bah humbug.

Eoin

comment image

pajanee

What rubbish is this clown talking about….only a job at a circus will fit him. 100 000 a week and he said palace want it more

DB10**

Said Mr.Anonymousagain.

wizardry

These pampered little brats. When we played, the team with the most talent always won the game. If you lose a game because the other team ‘wanted it more’, you get your ass kicked and won’t play again.

santori

This is the problem with Wenger and his ‘pet projects’.

English core. Gorget about it already.

AGAIN I mentioned this last game, Walcott may score the odd goal here and there but the rest of the game, he is not holding the ball enough.

In this game, he did not offer the struggling Bellerin enough protection and Mustafi had to cover wide on too many occasions.

Another who was poor Welbeck whom some how (like Elneny) people like to big up.

Again this is a Wenger project that may eventually pay dividend but enroute can cost us.

As I said after last game, Wenger needs to be practical and play who performs.

No point lumping Giroud to chase a game late on when the team has lost the plot.

The Frenchman cannot be relied on to bail us out all the time. He needs the minutes on the pitch to be effective.

No point all this pace with Welbeck if he can’t hold the ball for us properly. May as well play Giroud.

Wenger’s selection today was poor. I think he has poor choices in midfield next to Granit.None of Elneny, Coquelin or Ramsey inspire IMO.

But out wide, the Ox would have given Bellerin a bit more protection first half.

Giroud would have kept ball better than Welbeck.

By the time they came on, we leaked a second goal (again midfield) and then got punished by the Ref with the third.

Alas. It’s going to be a struggle now trying to qualify for CL never mind Toterringham who are flying this season.

We can’t keep pointing to some contract situation or silent Stan as the cause, it all starts on the pitch and the gaffer has to find a way. At present he’s not getting the maximum out of his team.

Awmyth

If Wenger stays, Giroud should leave. He is being wasted as a ‘super sub’.

Wenger does not know how to use a (traditional) center-forward. Instead of trying to create a team around Giroud, he bought players that play his style. They are failing, yet gets to start match after match.

Giroud has many capabilities that remain underutilized.

Canador

Please why can’t someone tell this fool to stop talking to the camera all the time. The sight of him disgust me. He do more of talking than playing the dam ball.

Goonerste

People can say what they want, if last night proved anything it’s because we are nothing without mertesacker, he’s the Apple to our Apple sauce, were mid table team without him. Can’t blame Wenger for that

Goonerste

Lol well 8 people don’t get British humour lol

SFGiants

Well, it’s the old joke: How do you make an Englishman happy in his old age? Tell him a joke when he’s young.

Hulk

If this was Football Manager I would have fined him a weeks wages for that comment. Actually I would have transferred listed him 10 years ago.

Rage

Did he actually say “judging form that performance tonight we actually have” or is the speech mark in the wrong place and that was the closing statement of the article.

fed up

I think between now and Monday we should a massive training session open to all Arsenal fans, pick the best 11, then replace those fakers that currently wear the shirt!!!

Brady67

Is it just me that cringes every time Theo Walcott gives a post match interview. I can’t think of a more inappropriate captain. It says everything about this Arsenal team..!!

ClockEndRider

Walcott – media trained to within an inch of his life.
Pity he doesn’t put as much effort into his football training, the talentless, spineless, Wile. E. Coyote sprinter that he is.

Des

As the song goes “We are shit and we know we are shitttttt” nice song for Theo to sing when he does his next media response​.

Mach iii

I love Wenger..

But it is idiocy to make Walcott a captain. Who makes the little lamb the captain?
Insanity.

Rooks

Watching the game Walcott may aswell have been a ghost.

Those who saw it will also know oxlade Chamberlain actually did more to create a chance in his first 30 seconds of play (flicking the ball to beller in a and running on) than walcott did in 60 odd minutes.

Having said that he received few balls that took advantage of his pace, I’m beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about his speed when he too rarely makes intelligent runs to punish the opposition.

He sums up this team, player’s with the potential to be world class but lacking the ability to consistently deliver.

Gabriel weak in the duel, ozil sloppy in the pass, Devoid of dangerous movement. Sanchez running well meaning in field whilst everyone bar Monreal stands almost flat footed.

No tactical flexibility. No personal pride. No common comradery in this team. It’s been the same sorry story for 10 years. It was as bad as it’s ever been yesterday.

Brady67

Is it just me that cringes every time Theo Walcott does a post match interview. He is the last player that should be given the captains armband & pretty much sums up everything that is wrong at the moment. Come up with a definition of a good captain & he is the exact opposite of everything you would want.

jgunner

Walcott is an awful footballer and it seems like we’re currently playing at his level. Sooner players like him are shipped out the better

Badger

Just for a little levity on the subject I would just like to point to the fact that the media have completely ignored the penalty decision last night. Giroud grappled to the ground by Sakho and then Townsend diving for a penalty at the other end. Anyone remember what happened when Eduardo did a similar thing in the Champions league ? The video highlight was played and replayed all over Sky Sports and he ended up getting banned for 2 games. Nothing happened to Rooney at Old Trafford and nothing will happen to Townsend. Why ? Because the magnification of decisions and foul play is increased for Arsenal and clearly decreased for anyone else. How the ref missed the penalty against West Ham was ridiculous but did we hear anything about it like we do if Arsenal get away with one ? I may (this week) want Wenger out but since about 2001 I’ve wanted the media bias corrected. Sadly I think because Wenger made so many journalists and TV experts look silly when he first arrived, that will also only change when he goes.

bendtnerschristmastree
bendtnerschristmastree

It shouldn’t matter if Palace wants to win a game more than us ffs. We’re the Arsenal, act like it.

Loose_Cannon

I’ve held my tongue on this but I’m just going to say it now, I feel sorry for Theo. And the only reason I say that is because for once, just once, one of our players is being honest after a big defeat and he’s now being slated for it. No deflection, no ‘oh we were unlucky’, no paradoxical comment about being motivated and mentally strong and yet being humiliated. Just the truth about what is wrong with this club

Jamesy77

Some of these players demand better contracts with more money etc!! In my opinion they should all be docked money and not paid until results improve. Including the manager and boardroom staff

SFGiants

I sent our Grandson all the TJ books and Walcott became his favorite Gunner. Then we got him a Walcott jersey. Clearly I am not grandparenting correctly.

Sam

Walcott you’ve been nicking a living as a footballer and you should thank your agent every time you get that massive payslip every month !

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