Walcott hints at change of role in new formation


When Arsenal switched to a back three towards the end of last season, Theo Walcott was one of the major casualties.

Having played most of the season as a right-sided attacker, he found that position no longer existed as the Gunners used wing-backs to provide the width. He also found himself behind Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud for the centre-forward position, and thus spent a lot of time on the bench.

He started just one game after the formation change, and questions have been raised over his future given that he seems incompatible with the new system.

However, he has hinted that he’s had discussions with Arsene Wenger about where he might fit, and that his role may change in the new season.

“I’ve spoken to the manager,” he told the Mirror.

“Maybe I will change my role in this formation slightly, we’ll see how it goes, if it works. I can’t really say what the role is.

“I’m 28 now. I’ve dealt with competition down the years. I always welcome it, it gets something out of you as well, other players become involved.

“You will see Alexandre coming in and other centre-forwards in the dressing room will be thinking, ‘Right, I need to step up.’ That’s always the way it is.

“England is something I’m not focused on. If I’m playing and working hard for Arsenal, that will come. My main priority is Arsenal.”

Weekend reports suggested that the winger is a £30m target for big-spending Everton, but until something concrete emerges we can dismiss that as pretty spurious for now.

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73 Comments on "Walcott hints at change of role in new formation"

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Take the money & run!


I dunno, 30million for an inside forward who gets you 1 goal every 3 games (since 2010-2011) despite starting many of them from the bench doesn’t seem like a no-brainer in today’s market


Round hole, square peg come to mind. Can Theo adapt to new roles? I for one don’t want to see the team possibly suffer in the meantime. I’d rather he compete as forward, or we purchase player with particular skill set for said position.


Welbs can’t finish. Walcott of all his criticisms he can actually finish and get you a minimum 15goals a season welbz has never done that in his career. Based on that I think welbs should be sold as well as Giroud although he offers a different option but I don’t think he’ll be content coming off the bench to make an impact and therefore he’ll sulk and perhaps drop his level and we can’t risk carrying anyone who won’t contribute or be a team player. I would sell welbs Giroud loan akpom keep Campbell sell ox sell Gibbs sell jenko sell debuchy buy an enforcer in midfield our weakest place against bayern was our midfield and we haven’t improved it. We need an aggtessive strong tall tackler in that midfield.

Mein Bergkampf

Anyone ever feel like our three forwards, Theo, Welbz and Giroud, are all better coming off the bench? They seem to continuously impress with their substitute appearances and then play poorly when they get their chance to start.

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

If Giroud’s on a hot streak there’s nothing wrong with starting him. The trick is recognizing when he’s gone cold and needs to be put back on the bench for the next game.


But Walcott played well starting this season. And Welbeck did as well at the end of the season. Giroud is the only one who seems especially better when he’s a sub rather than starting

Lord Bendnter

Would you sell Lacazette too?


Lol 15 goals a season, good one mate, did that sort of bullshit land you a job at Opta?

Welbeck and Walcott are both shit.

Little Mozart

I disagree, and I have been a big critic of Theo in recent times. He scores goals consistently, and he has the ability to play as a good second striker off of another forward. That suits this formation well, especially if he can keep up the active defending he contributed to the first half of last season.

Mein Bergkampf

I agree his scoring has been impressive but I just don’t know if we can afford to have a player that is so catastrophically ineffective in a lot of our games. For me he goes missing way too often and those games always seem to outweigh his good performances.

Toure motors

Change of role = starter/ sub at arsenal to starter / sub at everton


The obvious role would be 2 strikers plus Ozil. Theo didn’t work too well up top on his own but he always linked up well Sanchez so that might work.

Theo + Lacazette up top would have pace to burn …


This is what I’ve thought to get Laca and Oli on the pitch as well, with a different, more target- man character. Options.


Yep that too


30 million for Arsenal and Giroud will just stay with Lemar coming.


Between Alexis, Lacazette, Giroud, Theo and Welbz there are plenty of goals. We need our midfield and full backs to be extremely disciplined in positional play and decision making.


Believe me, I see your point. However, the decision making is also very critical for strikers. Something that Theo and Welbz can definitely work to improve on…



Interesting to that there’s really no clue as to what that position would be.. RWB? One of those 2 behind the striker roles? CM? GK? Who knows.


I thought it was obvious that he’s the new left-sided CB


You would like to think our manager would after all theae years.


Too late to cash in on him?
He must be on high wages and at 28 will have no re-sale value for any club that might think to buy him. Just hope some club feels they need to strengthen their diplomatic corp.

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on this subject

“I guess we just didn’t want WMDs to be there bad enough”


‘Spur’ious – not being what it purports to be; false or fake



Theo typifies what been wrong at Arsenal.
Wanted to be a striker when he though he had leverage. How did we get to the point of Theo having any sort of leverage over Arsenal FC?

Last season decides he’s a wide forward after 10years, and wants to go on a goal scoring run to acquire a new coffee making machine.

Gets his new coffee making machine and just like at contract renewal time one he’s bagged his objective he switches off.

He’s the definition of just cruising.

Now he’s talking about a new position.
Where’s he going to play?

RWB? surely behind Bellerin+Ox and anyway he’d petrify me playing there, he’s bad enough with a player behind him.

Striker? He’s behind Giroud, Lacazette Alexis and even Welbeck.

No10? He’s not got the technique, and he’s also behind Ozil, Alexis, Cazorla, Wilshere, Iwobi.

Centre Mid? Centre back? LWB?
Maybe he’s going to be our new GK?

If we get any sort of bid? we should toe punt him straight out the front door, once he loses pace he’s literally useless.

He can take his fu**ing coffee machine with him as well the patronising pr*ck


Why not say what you really think?


Hahahaha i really can.t thumb this up enough! Thank you


One minute he’s a winger, the next he wants to be a striker, he can’t do that so he reverts back to a winger now he’s changing formation again!

Just cash in, a move would be beneficial for both parties. This is an inherent problem at Arsenal, we keep players too long and are not ruthless enough to make the necessary decisions.

This is why we’ll never challenge for the big prizes under Wenger again.


Said in nutshell!


Sell him already!

Spanish Gooner

People write off Theo far too easily. There will be times when we go back to 4 at the back and when we do if Theo can rediscover his early season form from last year he should start in the right IF position


No, no he shouldn’t.


The new role is bland interviewee at the end of matches, coffee maker with his new(ish) machine and keeping that bench nice and warm.


Say what you want about Theo, but at least when he talks to the press he states he’s focused on Arsenal. Unlike other “professionals” who say that their priority is to play in the CL.


The other way to look at it is:
Theo is happy about where he’s at.
Sitting on the bench, no place for him in this new formation.
Unlikely to play in a World Cup year.
Doesn’t care if he’s playing in the CL or not.
Probably not playing that much at all.
Picking up £140,000 p/w
He’s simply content at where he’s at in life.
He’s just cruising.


It’s also because he currently has no leverage.
When he thought he had leverage he threatened to leave us because we wouldn’t play him as a striker.
Then probably came to the conclusion no one else would pay him what we would.
And any other top club wouldn’t start him, let alone as a striker.


This exactly.


And there’s me thinking the reason he didn’t start in games after Palace away was his stunningly moronic comment about how the players realised Palace wanted it more right from the start. So, Captain for the Day Theo utterly failed to rally the troops during the remaining 89 minutes. The man is the ultimate triumph of PR over reality.


he gave an honest response at a a post-match interview, that may have led to him being dropped. how is that a triumph of PR?


Because he still gets away with getting little or no stick from media and fans. The captain for the day realised the other side wanted it more. Then utterly failed to do anything about it. Take a second and think about it. The captain of Arsenal. It’s supposed to be an honour And this man comes out with a statement which utterly fails to address his lack of competence for the role and gets away with it.


I think you place too much emphasis on the role of the captain. Walcott has his faults, but blaming him for (one instance of) Arsenal’s long-running mental frailty seems a bit much. If anything it was mildly refreshing that he seemed as dumbfounded by it as we all are.


So get rid of Sanchez, Giroud and Walcott our main goal scorers. Then fight tooth and nail to keep the ox and welbeck, guys who can’t score a combined 10 league’s goals a season.

Are we mourinho in disguise?

Since the links and all the way after the signature of Lacazette I read countless comparisons between his numbers and Giroud’s despite the fact he was largely a sub. Never did I read anywhere anybody comparing with Welbeck’s who was our starting striker.

Considering we didn’t pay top dollar for him to replace giroud on the bench I would have been excited to see how he compares to the striker in the starting position


Honestly, I think it’s cause Welbeck works hard and we’re always rowdy for a hard worker. Coquelin’s obvious technical flaws were ignored because he worked hard and did the dirty work. Much of what Welbeck brings to the team is similar – his causes confusion in the back line one way or another and works like a workhorse – something we’ll never see from Giroud.

Crash Fistfight

Why can’t the three up front be one behind a front two instead of two behind one cf? I think Theo could work well beside Giroud/Welbeck up top.

This assumes Alexis fucking off (and seeing as he’ll do so in a year’s time I think it makes more sense to get some money for him now).

This solution means:

1. Özil can play as a proper no.10
2. Theo is actually useful
3. Giroud can stay as well as having Lacazette

There’s more chance for rotation up front without diminishing quality considerably (what happens with this formation when Alexis isn’t available) as well.


Yes, this can happen and it’s a good point. But Theo still shouldn’t start. People talk as if the new formation is the only obstacle to Theo getting in the team. But a much bigger obstacle is that he’s a stunningly average, one-dimensional footballer.

Michael Bolton Wanderers
Michael Bolton Wanderers

I like the attitude. Keep him! When Theo works he gives us goals, when he doesn’t work he gets benched.
And selling him doesn’t mean we’ll get a better player. Maybe we won’t replace him, maybe we end up with another chamakh or something.

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

I’m getting a little tired of all the Walcott negativity from our fans. The start of last season he knuckled down, scored goals and was playing some of his best stuff for years. Yes his form dipped off, but who’s didn’t last season?

He’s at the club this upcoming season, he’s a radical idea, why don’t get actually behind our players until they’re not at the club?

Groaning when his name is announced at the stadium or moaning online won’t get him sold, dropped or make the club buy a new player. However it can cause an adverse effect on the player’s mindset, how would you like it if you were booed by your own fans?


They are booed because we (me, fans who think like me, so not fans in general) are fed up the likes of Theo who emphasize all that is wrong with our club at the moment. We made our minds and there is no going back. The same with Wenger. He needs to leave IMO and nothing will change that, no signings, no spins from the spin doctor etc. Damage is irreversible.


He talks too much.

Shut up and play, when and where you are told.


He’s 28, he’s been with us for ages and is just now thinking right, it’s time to stepup??

Terry Henry

I’m strongly in the ‘sell Theo’ camp. Yes, he may get you goals, but c’mon he is shite at football. There is a chance we can actually get some money for him, and there are certainly better footballers on the market who would be a distinct upgrade.
It is time to progress and I just don’t feel Walcott warrants to be a part of that.


What really infuriates me is when fans start chanting ‘Theo! Theo! Theo!’. Sell him to Leicester and get Mahrez in. He would fit in well with that formation and score them many goals. He has been poor in preseason so far.


You beat me to it. Replace him with Mahrez. He scores just as many goals and has miles better technique and imagination on the ball. Theo is the ultimate 1 dimensional player. And it would send a message to the rest of the squad that an Arsenal shirt is not for life if you don.t live up to it

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

He may not be our best player, and perhaps he should be replaced, but what’s wrong with supporters encouraging their own players? Pretty sure it boosts their confidence and helps them play better.


“He has been poor in preseason so far.”

lol you’re honestly drawing conclusions based on two meaningless kickabouts?

A different George

Absolutely right. If I were forced to make a judgement: from the little I saw of the matches, Theo had many chances, which is a sign that he is playing well positionally and making intelligent runs. He didn’t finish, which is not likely to be his problem when he gets more match-sharp. Also, Reiss Nelson is better than Hazard, and maybe Messi.


In the Euro League he will captain the youngsters and play RW in 4-3-3


Theo’s wife should promise him freaky things if he hits 25 goals next season


A shiny new food processor ought to do the trick.


Was there a little dig at Jack with that England reference?
Can’t fault his attitude either way.

J singh

Having pace & utilising your pace are two different things ,very rarely do I see any of arsenal’s speedy players do this . Thierry was the boss of luring u in ,then exploding past you.
Theo is s player I would love to leave high up the pitch …. But he struggles to hold the ball , dribble past a player , or utilise his pace off the shoulder .
Would I sell Theo ?, depends on who replaces him ….


Keeping Walcott just seems like such a no-brainer to me. Someone who can score 15-20 (non-penalty) goals from the wing as a starter and can easily stretch teams as a sub. Regularly goals against big teams like Chelsea and City. Someone who improved in every category last season. And in a summer where we could end up losing Alexis and Giroud. The irrational hatred of him by some “fans” is actually baffling

not so fed up

So what is with comments about Theo having a coffee making machine fetish lol I guess I missed it in one of his enlightening post match interviews?

A different George

Theo mentioned after a match in which he scored that his wife had promised him a new coffee maker for his tenth goal (I think it was ten).


Your role will not change son, it was bench at the end of last season and will be bench at the beginning of this. Yet another under-performer we should of gotten rid of years ago. He has only 3 decent attributes; pace, movement and finishing. These days you need a little bit more to be a top level player.

A different George

Pace, movement, finishing. No wonder he’s crap.


Can he play as a wing back? Primarily from the right


Well considering wing backs will need to cover huge amounts of ground during a match and considering Walcott barely moves when we don’t have the ball, I think not. That’s before we get to his defensive liabilities


Always amazed at the amount of people who actually rate Walcott. His poor performances heavily outweigh his good ones. He rarely influences games with crucial goals etc (correct me if I’m wrong) he hides in matches, cannot dribble, easy to knock off the ball, distribution isn’t up to standard. Even his loyalty to arsenal could be questioned when a couple years ago he sort of held the club to ransom demanding 100k or however much it was. Overall just an average player who should not be in this team


His new position will be…..

Left back (in the changing room).


You forgot the occasional first touch that is so shocking I would of been embarrassed if it was me taking that touch on a Sunday morning in the park 😀


Always had a good attitude!! His defence was better last year and he has desire! He is also pretty intelligent! It’s nothing but good if we keep him!


Its difficult with Theo.

In some ways you feel he should be delivering more for his own potential by now at 28yrs.

Sometimes, he seems to lack common sense and guile.

BUT you never know with him, when he sparks he can go on a streak. Confidence I suppose.

There are only certain number of clubs that will match his wages, none of which we prefer to strengthen in PL and I don’t think he is marketable with his skill sets on the continent.

So if he is going to find a new role so be it.

Personally, it doesn’t matter so long as he finds the confidence to put them away.