Theo Walcott: at times brilliant, at times exasperating. Does he warrant a new contract of £100k-per-week?

Theo couldn't help but laugh at Mickey Hazard's comments. "You're a cab driver, you mug" he chuckled.

Afternoon, you splendid bunch of characters.

Theo Walcott is something of an enigma to me. There are moments when I could happily throttle him – these moments usually involve shots that hit the corner flag, or those occasions when relatively simple passes bounce 5 yards off him. On the other hand, he has his moments of brilliance. Ashley Cole, as much I loathe to speak well of him, is still the best left-back in the country. He can deal with more or less anyone. Except Theo. I’ve seen Theo destroy him – run him ragged and make him look decidedly average.

That’s the main reason I find him so frustrating. For everything exceptionally good he does, there’s an instance where he’ll do something equally as shit-awful.

I personally don’t think he is suited to Arsenal’s style of play. We are a possession team, and the majority of visitors to the Emirates will sit deep and get men behind the ball. Theo’s greatest weapon is how quick he is, and that’s something that needs space to be effective. Away from home, when teams come out and play, he is far more likely to do some damage.

His most notable performance this year was the Chelsea game at Stamford Bridge. In that fixture, as I said above, he caused Ashley Cole no end of problems, his distribution and crossing was good and the goal he scored was excellent – the determination, not so much the tumble to the ground. Placed into the kind of match in which he can thrive, he terrifies opponents. His Achilles heel still remains how predictable he is.

Thierry Henry had buckets of pace in his prime, but the real strength of his game was his ability to adapt. If things were tight, and space behind the defenders was at a premium, Thierry would drop out to the left and float around the pitch. He had the skill to beat his man, and the vision to bring others into the game in the final third. Those aren t attributes Theo has.

Rumor has it he is holding out for a pay increase around the £100-per-week mark, and that makes me wince every time I think about it. Do I think Arsenal should cash in on him? Not at all – I still believe he’s a big asset to the club, when he’s on form. However, in order to secure such a hefty rise in salary, he does have to show a great deal more constancy in his play.

I once heard someone say Stewart Downing wouldn’t have ever played in the top-flight if he wasn’t left footed, and that’s something I think applies to Theo – in a way. If it wasn’t for the incredible pace he has, and the acceleration over 5 yards; I don’t think he’d be anything more than a middle-of-the-road footballer. As it happens, that speed is a formidable weapon, and one that scares even the very best of them out there – Lionel Messi himself admitted the Barcelona defence where terrified of how quick he is.

Will Theo sign on? Yes, I think he will. When that happens, I hope that we see the kind of form we’ve all been hoping to see from him regularly. If we see that, and it comes with a consistent end product, then it’ll be worth the money.

Thanks for reading today, people. The comments are below. What are your views on Theo as a player and the amount speculated for his new contract? Let me know a few of your views.

You can follow my Twitter account @_ArmchairGooner

Lastly, I thought I’d share with you this picture I saved whilst playing the highly-addictive New Star Soccer. It made me laugh:

NSS: telling it like it is.

  I shall return tomorrow.

8 Comments

  1. WC

    If someone doesn’t think Thoe is anything but a flat track bully they know nothing of football. While speed is certainly a highly prized asset, it goes over time. When you run out of speed as your only weapon then what? Theo is pretty terrible at crossing and although people will point to his assist rate and RVP saying he’s the best player for him, it’s really Theo’s speed that gets him those assists but when he’s marked tightly how many assists do you tihnk he can get? Personally I wouldn’t pay Theo more than 75k tops as he’s also a brand in and of himself so that hels our image and revenue but to pay out 100k for him is paying over the odds.

    Reply
  2. Rex

    Sell Theo.

    He’s annoyingly bad, with only a few moments of good here and there

    Reply
  3. Rex

    Chamberlain will be much better!

    Reply
    1. chris from Cambridge

      Agreed. No ……….. Theo is NOT worth £100k per week.

      Reply
  4. raheem

    please pay him, he is worth it

    Reply
  5. Aussie Jack

    One hundred thousand pounds a week for a few moments of brilliance?
    Myself I can`t imagine what 100,000 pounds would look like piled on the kitchen table let alone every week. The oil nations have defied all the laws of economics by swamping the football world with money, we are drowning in our own greed. Next thing is he`ll be singing the `loyalty` song and I`ll be sick. Let him go.

    Reply
    1. cupsui

      here here!!
      Aussie Jack i’ve seen you a lot around the traps and i always respect your opinions cause you try and say something intelligent (which sadly cannot be said for a lot of gooner bloggers out there that let the tabloids decide their thoughts), good to see you made it over here to big Jim’s blog…

      F%#king oil tycoons playing real life football manager. Its just another way they are f%#king up the world, on top of the more obvious issues.
      I seriously love football but its global structure and lack of any possible levelling restrictions such do bring up issues. Especially when these rich pricks keep coming in and splashing the cash on their toy teams.
      But in saying that relegation and promotion work so well cause it gives all teams a dream and hope.Maybe the UEFA financial restriction will do something but i’m not holding my breath…

      Anyway onto theo. The guy is a helluva player, but i agree with yall that he can be frustrating. He does seem to like a big match esp a london derby and i remember champs league semi final against liverpool, where even though we went out theo was unbelievable!! Why does he just not show up or work on dropping between the lines more when teams sit deep? I remember he did a couple times this year and got assists to Robin (udinese comes to mind) but then he just gave it away again and relied on pace beating the last defender.
      I think he is a better crosser than people think (although he does produce a few howlers), and one bonus is that he does draw in 1-2 defenders and i think that helped Robin immensely, giving him that extra inch of space which is all he requires!!

      $100K/week?? lets hope its just some more media bollocks cause i don’t think he is worth that YET! $80K yes get him on board and make him EARN those 6 figures…(funny isn’t it that we all get excited by reaching annual incomes of 6 figures…greedy little pigs!!)

      Reply
  6. victor

    sell walcott and have him tear arsenal down at any team he join, he is an asset to be even if he asks for 150 a week, he is a great player and shoul be kept at all cost, he will grow

    Reply

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