Theo Walcott: Central Striker.

“The right? Again? F*ck sake…”

Morning, folks.

As we’re still writhing within a period of time where news and tidbits of intrigue are at something of a premium, I thought I’d use today’s blog entry to talk about the positional fortunes of Theo Walcott.

If you’re partial to wading through all the transfer hullaballoo the internet has to offer, you’ll quickly see a trend in all the interminable fabrication – Arsenal are in dire need of a new, shiny, fancy-pants central striker as purchasing one for an absurd amount will instantly make any perceived deficiencies vanish. It’s something I’m not entirely sure I agree with.

Admittedly, should the right player (whomever that may be) become available and they’d be an improvement on what we have, then of course – I wouldn’t be at all averse to the idea. However, folks, other than Karim Benzema I don’t see many names brandished about and I can’t see Real Madrid letting their main striker leave without first acquiring a ‘Galactico” they can parade about the city.

Unless something very surprising materialises during the remainder of the transfer window, I’d say the safer bet is to assume we’ll head into the months that lead up to January’s purchasing portal (I just made that name up) with the players we have to do the job.

Realistically, that leaves us with only Welbeck and Giroud as those capable of playing through the middle. And of course, there is the option of Theo Walcott deployed centrally – a position he’s stated on more than one occasion is his preferred area in which to operate. There have been signs he’d make an impact and score goals there – the last league fixture of the previous campaign and the FA Cup Final both are examples of his potential to do that.

He has the speed and the guile to upset defences and cause headaches. If I were a lumbering centre back at a rival Premiership side I can’t think of anything as daunting as having to try and keep up with Theo in a chase for the ball. In fact, such a thing would probably give me cold sweats and night terrors.

His finishing, although occasionally wayward and maddening, is on the whole very good. During his earlier years he could make a mess of the simplest chance should he have too much time to think about what he’s going to do. I don’t see that as much these days and fancy him to bury the majority of opportunities that come his way.

However, he does lack a great deal of what Giroud can offer us – most notably the ability to hold up the ball and bring others into the attack when his back is to goal. Our French friend is also exceptional in the air, both in offensive areas and when we’re defending corners and set pieces.

Truth be told folks, I’m 50/50 as far a the idea goes. I love Theo to bits, but feel there’s an element of being played through the middle that doesn’t suit him. A great deal of our attacking play goes through Giroud because the ball sticks when played up to him. Olivier is often maligned because he lacks that burst of outrageous pace others have in abundance, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed just how much he brings to our attacks. Theo has that pace. It is his greatest weapon and a formidable one when games are stretched and defences play a high line.

But when things are tight and the opposition sit back and attempt to soak pressure and break – something that away teams regularly attempt at the Emirates – I find, more often than not, Theo can be quite ineffective. In my opinion, he does more damage from the right side when he can break past his full back than waiting for opportunities in more congested areas of the pitch.

Yet, the notion of Theo through the middle does give us variety. As does Welbeck, who I consider something of a hybrid of Walcott and Giroud. Variety is something you need in the Premiership. Against teams that attack us, particularly when we’re away from home, Theo playing through the middle gives them reason for concern in ways Giroud can’t – if we break, they’re not catching him.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I like the idea, but only in certain instances. Giroud is still my preferred choice because, on the whole, his presence offers the team more. His doubters will see it differently, but you only need a quick glance at his stats to see he scores goals and makes goals and does both regularly.  Theo’s threat is the same – pace. Whether it be wide or centrally. During the fleeting occasions we played Alexis as the lone striker, I felt his ability to influence games wasn’t the same becuase of the responsibility of being the focal point of the attack and the same applies with Theo.

To summarise – I’m waffling slightly, here..

Giroud remains the best option followed by Welbeck. Walcott should be used sparingly in that position, but as a curveball that’s not entirely expected he could impact games greatly.

That’s just my opinion. I could very well be completely off the mark here. It has been known to happen from time to time. This blog comes with a handy comments section in which you can tell me what you think. Would you consider Theo the best option or do you agree with me? Let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be back in the morning with more blathering. Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.

5 Comments

  1. Andre

    I agree completely mate. Why buy Welbeck if we’re not going to use him as a central striker? For that matter, everyone keeps going on about needing to buy a DMF-wasn’t that why Chambers was bought? Arsena Wenger said, and I quote: ‘He has all the attributes. He was educated as a defensive midfielder and that’s where I see him’. If Wenger opts not to buy any more in this transfer window (and let’s face it-how likely is he to at this stage, unless a Kids Company-Like scandal hits Real Madrid because the fat Spanish waiter has just tried to buy the entire squads of PSG, Barcelona and Bayern Munich using secret funds stashed by the Greek government), then Arsene will need to literally put his money where his mouth is and hand chances to Chambers and Welbeck to prove themselves.

    We also, apparently, have a handy third option in Jack Wilshere, who’s put in some decent performances there under Roy Hodgson. So if we don’t buy Krychowiak or Draxler/Benzema, I’ll be looking on with great interest to see if Arsene does indeed believe in Welbeck and Chambers enough to fill both voids.

    Reply
  2. sw23

    I think whats worrying for us is that the last 4 matches giroud has started, we have only scored once and that was an own goal at old trafford. 3 of those matches were at home to swansea,sunderland and west ham. not sure what to make of it but what i know is that in all four matches, we never even looked like scoring. this is where wenger needs to earn his money and make a decision, something is just not right. I would say play walcott up there and force the opposition to play deep, that way the likes of ozil,cazorla and sanchez would Benefit from the spaces walcott creates with his movement. lets see on sunday

    Reply
  3. Alan

    Walcott would have been good playing alongside an “old fashioned centre forward” in the days of 4-4-2, but in a 4-3-3 set up he is better playing in one of the wider front positions. He is not a centre forward.

    Reply
  4. wenkev02

    I agree with you . OG as our striker Welbeck as backup .Theo on wing or certain games .Ramsey ????

    Reply
  5. Al

    I would have Walcott as number 2 as his finishing is better than welbecks and I think welbeck would offer more out wide in terms of work rate and protection of the fullback

    Reply

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