Thursday, December 1, 2022

Wenger hoping for a different Walcott this season

Arsene Wenger says that as long as Theo Walcott can stay injury free, he can improve on what have been a frustrating number of seasons for England international.

Between positional uncertainty, inconsistency, and injuries which have seen him in and out of the team, it has been an unhappy period for the 27 year old.

This season though, he has a goal and an assist to his name, and he looked much more effective yesterday – particularly when he could benefit from incisive passing from deep which allows him to use his pace.

Speaking to Arsenal Player after the game, the manager said, “I said before the season started that we will get a different Theo Walcott this year. If he can maintain that focus, that desire and that fighting attitude then he will have a great season.

“I hope he has no setback because he is an intelligent player, he is focused and has a great desire to prove his critics wrong and he’s on a good way.”

Walcott himself spoke about the team performance and insisted Arsenal could have really put Watford to the sword.

“It could’ve been a lot more,” he said. “It really could’ve been, especially in the first half like you say. But we all really worked hard defensively today.

“Leicester, keeping a clean sheet today, I felt that the whole team worked really hard. We wanted a reaction today, we’ve trained well throughout the whole week and hopefully now everyone can go to the international break and hopefully come back fit.

“We don’t want to get carried away. It’s only three games in, but it’s a good stepping stone. We’ve got a long way to go yet. We know there’s going to be points won in games everywhere, but like I said, the international break has probably come at a bad time for us really.

“But I’m sure we will bounce back from it when we come back.”

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Ducks sake

Theo!

ClockEndRider

I’m hoping for a different Walcott this season. One that looks like Perez.

The Jinsta

I feel like Walcy has done fairly well in his first three games, I was surprised by the number of track backs and ball nicking (à la Mahrez) he did throughout those games.

JinJon

I agree. I think he clearly still has a lot to prove to the management and the fanbase, as well as himself to a certain degree, but it’s a positive start. Hopefully he can carry on and get everyone back on his side again. Arsenal have certainly put in enough time to merit a hefty return!

Maniac

I was very sceptical of Walcott staying at Arsenal this season let alone starting games and having a positive impact on our campaign, but I must say I have been pleasantly surprised. Made smart runs and passes against Watford on Saturday and consistently contributed to both attacking and defending play. The fact that he has been tracking back to help out the team means he’s certainly taken on board some of last year’s criticisms. I hope it’ll continue throughout the season!

Lettra

Yes he is much improved .. Looks like a totally diffrent player so far .. I really hope this isn’t a false dawn, long may it continue.

Anonymarse

Wenger said if he wanted to play on the wings he needed to be better defensively. He seems to have taken that on board, which is good to see.

soldierOn

Is no one posting on this blog .. Best of the season to Walcott. I hope this becomes by far the most productive season he’s had for us.

Little Mozart

Walcott seems to be doing what we’ve all been asking for. A real show of his character, and kudos to Arsène for bringing in Xhaka to make Theo more effective.

Sarbajit

With his pace, we should be rock solid defensively, with him moving up and down and ball nicking, wether he maintains that is the bigger question

Indian Gooner

It is a very positive start from Theo, this season. He has been tracking back and doing the defensive shift as well! All he needs to do now is to be more consistent and remain focused throughout the season.

Sir Stan's whiskers

And how many times have we asked those same questions – and how many times has he flattered to deceive. This season won’t be any different for him – lots of time lost due to injury and loss of form are virtually guaranteed. If we get offered £25m+ for him we should definitely sell him.

Lay of his back

Walcott 2006–Arsenal- App-238 (56) goals (Assist) 52= cost 10m

Chamberlain 2011–Arsenal-app-103 (8) goals (Assist) 12 = 15m

Premier league only*

Sir Stan's whiskers

You are not counting his wages which for his ten years will be a further £25m at least.
Chamberlain is not purely judged on his goals (as Walcott is) – he makes chances for others. I for one hold out some expectation that the Ox will come good – Walcott it’s like waiting for a miracle to happen.

Merlin's Panini

I’m holding my judgement on Theo. We’ve seen this before but it hasn’t ever lasted. If he does this consistently he can win over a lot of people. At the moment I don’t trust that he’ll keep it up, but I hope he does. Given there are so many options in his position now he has to perform or he’ll be on the bench, if that.

ENJ

To be fair he has found consistency before, which people often forget. 2012-13 he was magnificent and it seemed it was going to continue into the next season before he got injured.

PFo

“Magnificent” is a bit of a stretch. For every good goal he scored there’d be whole halves of football where he barely got on the ball and when he did he’d struggle to trap and pass it. Twas ever thus. Sad truth: his ability on the ball is just very, very average for a player at an elite club. He obviously just never developed it sufficiently in those crucial years as a kid. But he can still be deadly with his pace and finishing when he gets in behind, so he’s a very useful weapon to have. At this point,… Read more »

AusDrexler

Maybe just maybe the talk of Mahrez was the wake up call Theo needed to knuckle down and commit 100% and work his arseblog off to stay at the club.
Just maybe.

Xhakattack

And now there is Perez to deal with too.

I’m loving the squad depth! I can’t believe that we’re totally fine even though Mert, Gab, Ram, and Dan aren’t currently around.. I’m really in shock!

lovely arse

Yes. We’re ALL hoping for a different Walcott this season. Not sure there is one..

Clock-End Mike

Of course there is. Not so long ago (well, 4 years ago, before his injuries interrupted every season) he was Arsenal’s top scorer with 21, ahead of Giroud (17), Podolski (16) and Cazorla (12).

RosickyLegend7

Oh how much I miss Poldi :(. Great player who was very unfortunate. I’m pretty sure had he played as a Second striker he would have more goals to his name. Still his first 2 seasons were excellent. Scoring 28 goals from the left wing position which he himself didn’t prefer.

PFo

Yes, but his contributions to the team in every other way were still very, very average (I remember; I was there watching in frustration). Putting the ball in the back of the net makes fans overlook a multitude of sins, but it really shouldn’t. Yes, someone has to be there to stick it in, but how many other promising attacks we had were screwed up in those games in which he was scoring, due to Theo’s poor first touch, poor decision making, penchant for being knocked off the ball too easily, failure to be able to pick his head up… Read more »

Stillmatic

Always happens here.
One good game and everyone’s opinions change. One bad game and it returns back. Happens with Wenger; goes from Wenger Out 2 games ago to Wenger In after the win and 2 purchases.

How about we stop being fickle, just be reasonable and wait? I have my doubts about Theo, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and wait and see how he does consistently. We’ve all been here; after one good game we all change and are quick to believe.

Dylan

unrelated but would anyone dance with a bit of Fabregas…Conte doesn’t want him…I know it makes no sense but I’d love to see him back ?

Anonymarse

We have Ozil, as Wenger said 🙂

Easy as JVC

Cesc is the past. Ozil is the future. On the subject of Theo, I will believe it when I see it. A couple of good games does not make up for a decade of underachievement. We’ve been burned too many times, so I will save my judgement for May.

Matt

Nope thanks. No wonder Barsa didn’t want him nor Chelsea now. Ozil is so much better and we have Xhaka as well in central positions. Let him go retire to some crappy spanish team like Eibar or Cadiz

Zino

Some people would like Walcott to be transferred on deadline day but to me, if there was a choice to be made, I would rather keep him and send the Ox elsewhere. At least with Feo, we know there is a goal scorer there, even though he can be invisible for long moments of a game, he still has goals in his bag. We the squad we have, I feel it would be suicide right now to try to get Ox to the level he can potentially get when we can have options who are more effective. I don’t hate… Read more »

USA Gunner

I’ve been hoping for a different Walcott for ages

Runnings

For the 1st time in a very long time we have a well balanced squad. The boss and players now need to get it right on game day.

Locksley444

Agreed! when was the last time we had 3 proper strikers, and 2 proper defensive midfielders? All our cries have been answered at long last.

Joblow

Still waiting on a right winger that can take on the opposition left back and take the ball to the box to cross or shoot, to make life a little easier for our right back to focus more on defense. Instead I see a right winger afraid or should I say unable to take on the oppsition in an advance attacking move and has to wait on the right back to do so. This now only slows down the move but also makes us more vunerable on the counter attack…. just saying.

Chamakh

The positive side this season is that if he plays well, good, if not we have enough squad depth with 3 players really to replace him in the starting 11. Still must say that am genuinely surprised by his performances in the last 2 games, good work rate and seems fit physically. Was ready to give up with him after last season. Competition will do good for him.

Dan

Theo is intelligent? Enough to think we kept a clean sheet against Watford. ..haha pleased he seems to be working hard though

Clock-End Mike

It’s just poor punctuation. If you listen to the interview, what he said was:

“Leicester, keeping a clean sheet; today, I felt that the whole team worked really hard…”

Frank

I feel players like Walcott are to dependent on others to be good. Same with Giroud. Wingers like Mahrez or strikers like Aguero can make stuff happen on their own and can decide games on their own.

Walcott need a perfectly weighted ball into space behind the defence to be able to penetrate and be dangerous.

Bur atleast we got players capable of playing Walcott good.

Brent

I’ll give him credit. Theo has been better this year, penalty taking notwithstanding.

evertsen

There seemed to be a defensive problem with cover for the area on the side in front of the box in the 2nd half, when Bellerin/Monreal already pushed back. Wasn’t that wingers’ responsibility? I wondered how many of these were Walcott’s?

Anonymarse

Theo seemed to link up well with Alexis when we had him playing up top at the start of last season. He has pace and he can make assists and score goals. Lucas looks like he could be an interesting addition from that point of view as well. He plays LW and CF.

With Ozil making assists or popping up in the penalty area to score, and Santi / Xhaka initiating attacks and providing passes from midfield it could be a very dynamic attack.

santori

I thought he has been playing decent so far. But he needs to keep composure an assess his options better (particularly in the final seconds). He needs to keep his head up. Theo scored most of his goals coming in from the right wing. I had always mentioned it was irrelevant whether he starts centre or wide because he tends to plunder goals from wide. It hasn’t stopped Alexis either in his time on the wings. If he can spark some form, it will help us. We still need him firing even with a new signing. Should one of Perez… Read more »

Chad

I guess when you’ve hit rock bottom the only way left is up. That assumes that Walcott was at rock bottom last season.

Group captain mandrake

Yeah, I think it’s safe to say he’s not the only one.

DontForget

Through the middle, on the right, he’ll be different this year, everyone promises. They both need to just shut up with these statements and just do it.

Gudang Pelor

You know, it’s obligatory for them to say something. Since they were asked questions by the interviewer. You want them just keep their mouth shut and stand there while the interviwer asking them post-match questions?

They were normative answer anyways. A set of answers for when.we won, and other sets of answers for other conditions.

thebetterJFK

More of the same from Theo going forward would be outstanding. Maybe he finally realizes he can actually nail down that position, just needs to keep that desire and stay involved in games like that

Onenil

Lovely cross for Alexis goal. Theo’s a hit and miss player. I am happy to give him some credit, for a change.

greg

I hope he has a great season

there was a question over his character so this is a great opportunity to show us we were wrong.

He looks a different animal so far

Anonymarse

Personally I think the whole playing as a central striker thing last season did his head in. Took him a while to get his shit together after that.

Javis

Theo’s main problem is a lack aggression, games pass him by because he isn’t willing to get involved, so far this season he’s shown that aggression. I’ve always been of the opinion he’ll score and create goals at a decent rate once fit and playing games, and that’s generally been the case. Let’s see how his next few games pan out, injury free obviously vital for him.

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