With the football season done, as much as the fans despise international friendlies the game between England and Brazil was a welcome exception to the rule. The Arsenal interest much like the game against Republic of Ireland came in the form of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Given the mounting rumours of a done deal the Arsenal interest could be extended to that of Brazil number one Julio Cesar. Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the bench however the game was an opportunity for fans to see Theo Walcott in a more offensive potentially central attacking role for England against a top quality side. Roy Hodgson opted for a three up top formation meaning Theo played in a role he was familiar playing at Arsenal. Roy Hodgson did allow him freedom to drift inside to support Rooney and he also swapped flanks throughout the game with James Milner.
Overall I believe the performance of Theo Walcott showcased the argument that he is not ready to take on a central striking role for Arsenal next season. Not meaning that he can never play there for Arsenal, he can be certainly terrorise certain teams with his pace and it will be a case of Arsene doing his homework on the choosing the right teams to utilise Theo’s pace against in a central role.
In yesterday’s game it is a fair conclusion to state that Walcott played well below his devastating best. With the game finely poised against top quality opposition with no need to commit men forward Theo was faced with receiving the ball with men behind the ball and he struggled to make use of the ball when he had it. It’s in games like this you need your forward to show strength and composure on the ball, be able to hold up the ball and bring others into play instead Theo’s play was hurried, his control was off and on too many occasions he ran into blind alleys. He did manage one clear chance which was superbly saved by the keeper; the angle was closed down and would have required good fortune for the ball to squirm its way in.
Nerves may have certainly played a big part in Theo’s game however it’s the big games you want your big players to step up to the mark, that’s what sets them apart from the rest. Theo has had a good season for Arsenal, the stats speak for themselves and this article is in no way an attack on the abilities of Theo Walcott. However it is a reflection on how Arsenal needs to do business this summer to bring in a specialist centre forward to share the load and create competition with Olivier Giroud next season.
Arsene wenger cannot go into the new season stating the squad has sufficient cover with players that can play in the central role such as Theo and Gervinho. The signs were there yesterday in the Brazil game of what is lacking in Theo Walcott’s game before he can make the full on transition to Thierry Henry mark II.
In my opinion the wing is still the best option, playing with talented playmakers’ that can pick him out when flying up the flanks. Until Walcott sharpens up the parts of his game that do not require pace he may have to wait a while before the fans and the manager take his claims for a central role more seriously.
Meanwhile Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored a fantastic goal when he came on in the second half at a time when England were trailing and looking devoid of any spark to get back into the game. His brilliant snap-shot squeezed past the outstretched arm of Cesar and into the back of the net to take the game to 1-1. He clearly enjoyed his moment on the pitch and showcased his potential to score a goal out of nothing with his equalizer; an attribute that will be very welcome next season at the Emirates. He has signed off from his second season stutter with a screamer, the perfect tonic to take with him onto next season and hit the ground running.
Enjoy your day people.
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The real lesson to be gained from Brazil last night and which Arsenal must take on board next term is this:
“If you’re close enough to shoot, SHOOT”.
agreed, only Cazorla shoots from range and teams have become aware of that fact. we need more people with that element of danger and then the defenders wont focus on just the one player outside the box
it’s why I really like Ox and think he can become a fine fine ACM and cure us once and for all of our Cesc-obsession.
that will never be cured, lol. unless cesc publically states he will not return the rumours will persist
As you say Theo needs to focus on playing slowly, rather than depending on his pace all the time. I can understand why you play a striker on the wing – to get teach them midfield-like skills which a lone-striker needs to have. But Theo hasn’t learnt those finer parts. I think its time that he is given much more opportunity in the striker role, at least in cup games and against lesser opposition in EPL games. At the same time, it will allow players like Ryo and Ox more opportunity to play on the wings.
fair point, he should still get his chance like you say but in the top games he should really be on the wing. against Bayern in teh 1st leg he was anonymous though i suppose options were limited at that time
…he’s stagnating on the wing. best to mix it up and keep him on his toes
its good to mix it up, but he has played centrally in some big games for us and gone missing, i just think he still has a lot to learn
even without any new signings wenger has selection headaches, which may not be a bad thing, but it is for us fans who are screaming for some new big names. here is some of his dilemmas.
stick with 4231 or change?
szczesney or fabianski
sagna or jenkinson
gibbs or monreal
which 2 out of kos, per, and tv5
stick with arteta/Rambo or squeeze jack in there
jack or santi or tr7 in the cam role
santi or poldi on the left
poldi, theo, giroud or a new signing through the middle
theo or the ox on the right
what this all means is that we do have a fairly strong group of players, which I would say you can split into 3 groups.
I would say that these players are all good enough to be here next season and should be.
group 1 – the stayers
szczesney, jenkinson, mertesacker, koscielny, vermaelen, monreal, gibbs, arteta, ramsey, Wilshire, chamberlain, Walcott, cazorla, podolski, giroud
that means for one reason or another (contracts, form, injury, lack of matches) decisions need to be made on
group 2 – the possibles
fabianski, mannone, sagna, djourou, coquelin, diaby, frimpong, rosicky, ryo, gervinho
as to whether they remain with the first team or seek pastures new with these 5
group 3 – the leavers
santos, denilson, park, chamakh, bendtner (squillaci, arshavin – already leaving)
Even if all the possibles stay, we will have enough room to bring in 5 new players (under the 25 man rule) if all the leavers depart, permanently or on loan.
Then there is the elder statesman of the under 21’s who havent yet officially joined the first team. will they join the group? will they stay in the u21’s or will they go on loan?
Galindo, Campbell, Martinez, Boateng, Miquel, Wellington, Eisfeld, Sanogo, Afobe, Yennaris, Aneke
love your comments here, you need to write an article for me, some very valid points there
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