PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR VISION ARTICLES ARE SENT IN BY READERS AND ARE NOT WRITTEN BY ARSENAL VISION WRITERS.
By DJ Dragonfly
Theo Walcott is without a doubt one of the most exciting young talents in world football; however after being at the club for the last three and a half years, I am still undecided on whether or not he will make the grade at our great club.
During the 2006/07 season, he made a major impact for the team when he started from the bench. When he came onto the pitch for the last 20-25 minutes of matches, he created a lot of havoc with his pace, which led to him providing a number of assists for the team. Although he was a regular in the domestic cup competitions, he was mainly used as a substitute in the league and European matches.
After picking up a lot of experience from the 2006/07 campaign, he became more of a regular during the following season, where he was deployed mainly as a right winger. Wenger decided to play him on the right wing in order to ease him slowly into a central role in the years to come. Initially I thought this was the right decision, however after watching him play out there on a number of occasions, I don’t think we are getting the best out of him.
A winger’s duties are mainly to provide width, make threatening runs at the opposing fall back, create crossing opportunities and offer defensive cover for the full back. In Theo’s case, I do feel he makes penetrating runs at the opposition’s full back, however when he gets past his man, his crossing is very poor in my opinion, whilst at the same time, he leaves Sagna too exposed at times, due to his deficiency to track back.
In addition, I believe he hugs the touchline far too much for my liking, which has resulted in him disappearing from the game at certain intervals, due to his unwillingness to move away from there, in order to go in search for the ball. In order to improve his game, he has to add more trickery and variety into his game play (i.e. come inside a lot more and interchange positions with Nasri/Arshavin). No matter what you say about Eboue, at least he offers us the requirements I mentioned earlier as a prerequisite for a winger (except from goals).
If we are to play a 4-3-3 formation next season, as predicted, I would love to see Wenger deploy Walcott from the left of the front three. From this area, not only do I think that he would score more goals (he is just behind the likes of Eduardo, Vela and Van Persie in terms of finishing ability in my opinion), I feel he would create a lot more havoc in this area with his pace and also provide a lot more scoring opportunities for the team. If you were to look back at his goals for the club, the majority of them have come from the left side of the pitch.
Do I think Theo Walcott will make it at Arsenal? At present, I am still undecided, however my opinion of him succeeding would change dramatically if Wenger were to operate him as a left forward next season (a la Thierry Henry), I feel this would improve his game immensely and help provide a smoother transition to a more central role in the future. I will be very disappointed if Wenger starts him on the right again next season. We are simply not getting the best out of him from this area. If we are not careful, his career could be damaged in the long run.
Are you in agreement with me? I look forward to reading your feedbacks in the comments section.