Theo Walcott


silky (Forum Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:39 pm

A point and a question. Walcott is a more natural striker and he plays the majority of his football on the right here at arsenal.

So are we playing him out of position? If so then he needs time to adjust just like any player...

gunnertilldeath (Elite Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:40 pm

this is just rediculous. The boy is 17 years old!!!!!!!!!! sometimes football fans really shock me. if we didnt have injury problems, he would not be playing so often. any 17 year old is definitely a work in progress. i remember at the beginning of the season when he was bagging so many assists for us, everyone was raving about what a good player he was for one so young. we go through this time and time again and frankly i'm getting sick of it. last season, i was constantly defending Adebayor against his critics here and he's done a good job this season, getting some crucial goals against tough opposition. i constantly pointed out that he was very young. and i cant believe i'm having to point that out again about a 17 year old player.

ronitc (Forum Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:42 pm

We can get on his back because he's starting important games for us, was a big signing for us, and is well paid by us. We have to take into account his age, but also these other factors I've mentioned. Walcott has had 3 or 4 poor games in a row.

gunnertilldeath (Elite Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:42 pm

wenger said he would play theo in the wide positions to get him comfortable with taking on players. he cited that Henry's time on the wing is part of what made him the devastating striker that he is today. wenger will move theo to the center forward position later on.

stuart (Trusted Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:44 pm

This thread isn't the complete disater i expected it to be. But, im sick of saying it, Theo hasn't been great, he has done allright but in games like todays he was no worse than alot of the players and like with Flamini people start to target him, i don't know why, but it is supid. Theo is no Lennon but Lennon plays every week and there are some players who develop faster than others. I have 100% trust in Wenger, espescailly with the money involved. Walcott will become a super, super player for club and country, i have no doubt. Let's just get off his back and give him some time to develop before we all run around like we are Steve Rowley

gunnertilldeath (Elite Member) on January 28th, 2007, 10:55 pm

well said, stuart. he will become a fantastic player. anyone who cant see the boy's potential is blind IMO. he's had some shitty performances recently but everyone does. and the fact that he is so young and really wouldnt be playing as much as he is now if we didnt have so many injuries should make people reconsider the intensity of their criticism. i really think people should encourage him and get off his back.

patrick42uk (Elite Member) on January 28th, 2007, 11:28 pm

he's 17 but he's in the first team and will be judged by those standards. persoally i think the age thing is irrelevant. my biggest concern is that he has gone backwards. not really sure if he's been asked to take his man on more often or if he decided to start doing it himself; whatever the reason its showing him to be rather average. he's at his best penetrating off the ball or linking with the midfielders to get in behind. he was doing this ever so brilliantly till liverpool.

he's trying to play like messi when really he's more like giuly.

one question, can you be taught to run with the ball? surely you'v either got it or you aint?

ronitc (Forum Member) on January 28th, 2007, 11:30 pm

it's not something you improve in a year or two, that's for sure. other points you made were spot on. he's been thoroughly average running at defenders and should be trying to recieve the ball behind the fullbacks.

Captain (Elite Member) on January 28th, 2007, 11:33 pm

His dribbling is fine; inevitably his timing will be blunted by not playing much football. Dribbling (or running with the ball) is as much a skill dependent on experience as anything else.

YuenBiaoFan (Trusted Member) on January 28th, 2007, 11:36 pm

Fantastic for a 17 year old player when coming off the bench, his assists record this season proves as much.

However everytime he's had the full 90 mins, or rather started a game, he's been underwhelming (and alarmingly Thierry-like in his lazyness).

But he's 17 and still has a good few years to shed the 'supersub' tag, which is what I think he currently is but injuries have dictated otherwise.

Buhry (Forum Member) on January 28th, 2007, 11:49 pm

patrick42uk wrote:he's 17 but he's in the first team and will be judged by those standards. persoally i think the age thing is irrelevant. my biggest concern is that he has gone backwards. not really sure if he's been asked to take his man on more often or if he decided to start doing it himself; whatever the reason its showing him to be rather average. he's at his best penetrating off the ball or linking with the midfielders to get in behind. he was doing this ever so brilliantly till liverpool.

he's trying to play like messi when really he's more like giuly.

one question, can you be taught to run with the ball? surely you'v either got it or you aint?


Its a skill you can learn if you practice hard enough. i play football at a decent level(I'm 17). I used to be pretty poor at dribbling and rruning with the ball but i've practiced it a lot over tthe last two years or so, and now i'm actually very good at it. Part of it is natural of course, a guy like messi is ovbiously a natural dribbler, but its not too hard to improve if you practice hard enough. But you have to work on it outside traning sessions with the team.

Allyboy (Elite Member) on January 29th, 2007, 12:15 am

I dont think he has been helped by the fact the opposition have sussed he can be dangerous. At the start of the season im not so sure our opponents took him that seriously, and then he hurt them. Now both Spurs and Bolton have doubled up on him when he gets the ball in attacking positions, and he hasnt worked out how to deal with that yet.

Hes clearly trying too hard as well, but once he gets a goal he will be okay.

Its a shame that Hleb and Ljungbergs injuries (and in the case of the latter arguably the fact he seems to be in terminal decline...) means that we really need him to play well. In an ideal world either or both of them would be playing well, we would get in a winning position and he could keep coming on with 20-25 minutes to play. As it is we have no real choice but to start him, and its exposing his lack of confidence.

We should have faith though, he is tremendously talented and I see no reason why he wont become a star for us.
User avatar

FrankArsenal (Forum Member) on January 29th, 2007, 12:38 am

I was watching the same game but I didn't think he was that awfull. He skinned Gardner a few times and had some decent runs, especially in the second half. Really he was no worse than some other players and he shouldn't be targeted. I think he did his job quite well. Afterall he was our only winger on the pitch 'cause Rosicky cuts inside more often then not. (Yes I agree he's wasted on ht left).

tactica442 (Trusted Member) on January 29th, 2007, 8:05 am

The only way to get Theo to learn how to beat defenders is to let him play. Asking Theo to play in reserve and even beat defenders is of little use. It's interesting to see how Theo is picking up the dribbling. When he takes on defenders, he use very close control on the ball and try to keep defenders stepping back and guessing, a bit like Lennon. But Lennon can flick the ball 90 degree sideway in an instance and sometimes wrong-foot defenders. Theo seems have not learn how to do this. Another interesting thing is watching him cut inside and zigzag the nearest defender. I think Theo should learn a few dummies and feints from Julio. The Brazilian surely knows how to take on defenders and when to skin them.

Grampus_Eight (Trusted Member) on January 29th, 2007, 9:41 am

Theo is an out and out striker. Arsène knows...so I guess his plan of playing him on the wing will eventually pay dividends.

However, short-term, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that he would be doing much better, scored at least 3-4 goals and have everyone saying he's the next Henry.

The reality is that he is the looks more like the next Owen to me. Perhaps Theo isn't as natural goalscorer as Owen, but he has superior technqiue and long term seems like he will be better able to sustain his speed.

My question for all here is what do you think Mickey Owen would have looked like playing as a winger when he was 17? Probably a lot like Theo right now - not completely comfortable.

Again, long term I have to trust the Boss on playing him on the wing in an effort to develop Theo's complete game, but I think the used car salesman on the south coast old 'Arry was right about Theo being an out and out striker where he can use his pace and goalscoring ability to its fullest.

Furthermore, when we play on the fast counter-attack and break out fast, Theo looks a world beater in open space at pace - however with the likes of Rosicky and Fabregas, we play a slower more controlled game with an emphasis on possession as Tomas, Cesc and Hleb can all be a bit touch hungry - I don't say this as a knock against them, but they aren't one touch players like Bergkamp or Super Bob and no one ever turned defense into attack as fast as the man from senegal.

If Theo played as an out and out striker with the likes of DB10, Super Bob and Viera playing him into open space through the center channels at a million miles per hour on the slick and perfect highbury pitch - Theo would be all-conquering, but that's not really our game anymore and teams don't defend a high line against us. So Theo has to find a way to fit in with our new, more deliberate and slower midfield style.

Truth be told, Henry is in the midst of figuring a bit of this out as well...

jay-d (Forum Member) on January 29th, 2007, 10:18 am

gunnertilldeath wrote:this is just rediculous. The boy is 17 years old!!!!!!!!!! sometimes football fans really shock me. if we didnt have injury problems, he would not be playing so often. any 17 year old is definitely a work in progress. i remember at the beginning of the season when he was bagging so many assists for us, everyone was raving about what a good player he was for one so young. we go through this time and time again and frankly i'm getting sick of it. last season, i was constantly defending Adebayor against his critics here and he's done a good job this season, getting some crucial goals against tough opposition. i constantly pointed out that he was very young. and i cant believe i'm having to point that out again about a 17 year old player.


Nothing on this board shocks me anymore.

It's almost surreal.

People hail him as a great talent then after a few bad games doubt he's actually any good. He's 17 FFS learning his trade, changing his game it will take time.
You have poeple on this board who want Henry sold yet the same people advocate Song as Flamini as essential members of the squad. This place has gone to the dogs and nothing really suprises me any more.

stiiphunn (Trusted Member) on January 29th, 2007, 10:23 am

jay-d wrote:
gunnertilldeath wrote:this is just rediculous. The boy is 17 years old!!!!!!!!!! sometimes football fans really shock me. if we didnt have injury problems, he would not be playing so often. any 17 year old is definitely a work in progress. i remember at the beginning of the season when he was bagging so many assists for us, everyone was raving about what a good player he was for one so young. we go through this time and time again and frankly i'm getting sick of it. last season, i was constantly defending Adebayor against his critics here and he's done a good job this season, getting some crucial goals against tough opposition. i constantly pointed out that he was very young. and i cant believe i'm having to point that out again about a 17 year old player.


Nothing on this board shocks me anymore.

It's almost surreal.

People hail him as a great talent then after a few bad games doubt he's actually any good. He's 17 FFS learning his trade, changing his game it will take time.
You have poeple on this board who want Henry sold yet the same people advocate Song as Flamini as essential members of the squad. This place has gone to the dogs and nothing really suprises me any more.


We all know he is 17, and we all said it numerous times. But when he's not playing well, it's ok for people to mention it. He's an arsenal player right? Therefore when he's not performing, I don't see why people couldn't single it out- even though he's only 17 and still has plenty of time to improve.

When it was Song people weren't so comprehensive, and wether he was young or not didn't make much of a difference.

GoonerGurjit (Elite Member) on January 29th, 2007, 11:50 am

User avatar

jay-d (Forum Member) on January 29th, 2007, 1:45 pm

There is nothing wrong with mentioning it but it's the 'waste of money' and 'one trick pony' posts which are out of order IMO.

YuenBiaoFan (Trusted Member) on January 29th, 2007, 1:51 pm

jay-d wrote:[quote="gunnertilldeath"
You have poeple on this board who want Henry sold yet the same people advocate Song as Flamini as essential members of the squad. This place has gone to the dogs and nothing really suprises me any more.


Since this is oh so clearly aimed at me, I've never said Song's an essential member of the squad ;)

Rohit (Elite Member) on January 29th, 2007, 2:34 pm

Do Ronaldinho,Henry,Messi,Lennon etc etc beat their marker everytime they try and dribble past them,were they successful at dribbling past their man everytime they tried when they were 17 ?

Theo has shown he can go past his man,he has the pace,the technique and the ability.

The problem in the last few games has been that everytime he has the ball he,whether with his first touch or second he tries to beat his marker.
He needs to learn when to pass and when to dribble something he seemed to know at the beginning of the season.

Such things come with experience and he'll get better,Wenger didn't spend 12m on his only to have an English player in the squad.

His touch is brilliant,he has fantastic technique and he'll get better.

Clrnc (Trusted Member) on January 29th, 2007, 3:54 pm

he is something like reyes to me. tries too often to beat players and fail attempts makes him more and more demoralise. he tries too hard to make an impression, and to make things happen. i reckon wenger will solve this though.

wenger is right about the education thing for young players.

Grampus_Eight (Trusted Member) on January 30th, 2007, 1:50 am

Walcott is an out and out striker. The sooner he gets to play there, the sooner he will impress. He isn't the next Henry, he's a lot like Michael Owen.[/list]

tam1886 (Elite Member) on January 30th, 2007, 2:41 am

I think it was me and Lev who spoke about this before, but my view is that with players we've had like Fabregas, Anelka etc, we expect too much from our youngsters too soon. Not everyone can do what Fabregas did when he was 17 or 18, but now we have come to expect that of them because we have seen it. Some players take longer to mature into the player capable of playing first team football and Theo might be one of those, along with Song.

I severly doubt that if we had no injuries, Theo would play as much as he has been recently. Im not slating him, but it just doesnt look like he can consistently perform at this level, at this moment in time. He seemed to be able to make more of an impact as a 'secret weapon' ie Hamburg and Villa at home.

What im trying to say is that some look like then can play at this level no matter their age experience (Cesc and in my opinion Denilson) while others look like they may take more time to develop their game and work on how much of an effect they can have on the game overall (Theo and Song)

Grampus_Eight (Trusted Member) on January 30th, 2007, 2:46 am

I think Walcott could perform with better effect and consistentcy at this level if he were played in his actual position as an out and out striker.

Eventually, the Boss' experiment of converting him a to midfielder may prove a master-stroke, but surely in the short term it's making life a lot harder for Theo...

tam1886 (Elite Member) on January 30th, 2007, 6:26 pm

You've got it wrong. He isnt being played there to convert him, Wenger has every intention of playing him as a striker in the future, and has said so. He wants him to start and learn his trade on the wing where he can build up confidence, learn to take on and beat defenders and because he doesnt feel Walcott is physically mature enough to be challenging bigger CBs in games yet

DOUBLE-YOU (Forum Member) on January 30th, 2007, 8:12 pm

Grampus_Eight wrote:Theo is an out and out striker. Arsène knows...so I guess his plan of playing him on the wing will eventually pay dividends.

However, short-term, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that he would be doing much better, scored at least 3-4 goals and have everyone saying he's the next Henry.

The reality is that he is the looks more like the next Owen to me. Perhaps Theo isn't as natural goalscorer as Owen, but he has superior technqiue and long term seems like he will be better able to sustain his speed.

My question for all here is what do you think Mickey Owen would have looked like playing as a winger when he was 17? Probably a lot like Theo right now - not completely comfortable.

Again, long term I have to trust the Boss on playing him on the wing in an effort to develop Theo's complete game, but I think the used car salesman on the south coast old 'Arry was right about Theo being an out and out striker where he can use his pace and goalscoring ability to its fullest.

Furthermore, when we play on the fast counter-attack and break out fast, Theo looks a world beater in open space at pace - however with the likes of Rosicky and Fabregas, we play a slower more controlled game with an emphasis on possession as Tomas, Cesc and Hleb can all be a bit touch hungry - I don't say this as a knock against them, but they aren't one touch players like Bergkamp or Super Bob and no one ever turned defense into attack as fast as the man from senegal.

If Theo played as an out and out striker with the likes of DB10, Super Bob and Viera playing him into open space through the center channels at a million miles per hour on the slick and perfect highbury pitch - Theo would be all-conquering, but that's not really our game anymore and teams don't defend a high line against us. So Theo has to find a way to fit in with our new, more deliberate and slower midfield style.

Truth be told, Henry is in the midst of figuring a bit of this out as well...



Good post. At times i have thought Theo is more like Owen than Henry. You also make a good point about the speed of out game changing, which i would agree with too.

On a separate note, just imagine what it would be like if Theo manages to get a goal against spurs tomorrow.

Alfonso (Elite Member) on February 1st, 2007, 1:40 am

Another disapointing performance from Theo. Hopefully he can learn from his mistakes. But i doubt he will start against Boro. I would play Ali on the right, who had a much better game today.

Rocafella (Forum Member) on February 1st, 2007, 1:41 am

Yeah, others have performed a lot better who deserve a start over him.

USArsenal (Administrator) on February 1st, 2007, 3:41 am

hell, at this point, i would start Flamster over Theo.. (i know, put the knives away)
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