Before I start – this is not a rant, nor is it a critical analysis of our youth system or our manager. I think we have the best manager in the world and also the best youth set-up in the world, but – and it is a big but, as in everything in life there are flaws, and this post is about a certain flaw- AKA Theo Walcott..
When Theo first burst onto the scene there was a huge buzz around the club. People were saying we had signed the next TH14. A player who could run so fast that you could smell his studs burning as he ran. A player who was going to cause defences world-wide problems with his pace and he was labelled a wonderkid.
A few years back when Theo would get the ball the whole crowd would stand up in awe, there was a huge expectation and a huge buzz surrounding what he would do. As he set off running everyone in the ground would shout ‘go on theo’ and off he went.. ‘look at the speed of the kid, he’s going to be a superstar’ they would cry..
That doesn’t happen anymore. The reasons why are quite simple – techincally he is inept. He has no skill, no composure, he can’t dribble, pass, cross, head or take set pieces. Bottom line is he can’t play Wengerball..Hes just fast, which isn’t really good enough-i don’t see clubs worldwide queuing up to fight over Usain Bolts signature do you? Just because your fast doesn’t make you a footballer and the more Theo plays I don’t see a footballer..not one bit..
Now this is just my opinion, we all know that players like Theo will divide arsenal fans opinions…well thats mine
The first thing Pro Theo fans will say is that he’s always injured so its unfair to judge him. I have two counter arguments to this statement.
1- If he’s always injured then hes obviously injury prone..thats what injury prone means.
2- He’s been at arsenal 4 years!! I would argue that in that time he hasn’t improved one bit..Theos two main highlights are his CL lung-busting dribble against liverpool and his hat-trick for England where Croatia’s tactics where a shambles and they played a high line..Capello instructed Theo to hang off the last man and England hit long ball baby..these two ‘highlights’ doesn’t make Theo a top player…I once hit a 50-yarder and an over-head kick for my sunday league team but that doesn’t mean im David Beckham or Pele does it? Neither does it warrant me a 60k a week contract!!! So why fans focus on them points i’ll never know
Another excuse that I hear Pro Theo fans say is that we should stop knocking him, he’s only young and we need to be patient. He will mature and he will come good. He will prove to everyone Wenger was right to stick by him and that we don’t need to ‘waste money’ and sign quality players..which in fairness is a good point, we have a lot of young players in our team like Ramsey, Jack, Song and Gibbs – who will no doubt become very good players. I don’t buy this idea in regards to Theo..the reasons why are quite simple..
Firstly, in all the players I have mentioned above, you can actually see the improvement year by year, you can actually see the potential..with Theo I just dont..I’d say if anything he’s still the same player he was 4 years ago..
Secondly, and this is my main gripe and main focus of the post, is that strikers usually peak between the ages 25-30…we signed Theo when he was 16 for 12 million..hes now on 60k a week, which over the next 5 years works out at around 15.5million!!! Add the transfer fee and the wages Theo received before his bumper contract and we are looking at around 30million..
So logic tells me that we’ve invested 30million in cash and almost 10 years of time just to see if Theo comes good or not..my fellow Gooners – surely thats just as much as a risk as going out and buying a ready-made player like a Torres or an Arshavin or a Drogba for 30million???
The whole concept of Wenger not buying ready-made players and wasting money is a myth..especially in Theo’s case. We are wasting money aren’t we? We would be no worse of financially in buying a superstar than what we would in ‘waiting’ for Theo to maybe become one after 10 years.