“I’ve said to the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again. I can play up front, given the opportunity, and the manager says I can play up front, so it depends on which game it is. I know I can do a job up front as well as on the right, but I want to make my position the right-hand side.”
Well, Theodore James Walcott, this is not exactly what you were saying for the last three years; as an example, in February 2013 you were telling TalkSport: “I just love playing up front, you can wander around anywhere. Not just that, you can create more space for other players when you are quiet and go through patches in the game. Defenders are always wary of my pace and going in behind.”
This sudden u-turn, coming at the exact time you’re slowly disappearing from the headlines and from the Arsenal starting XI, is frankly suspect; the talks of a new striker coming in with the same set of skills that you have – basically pace and movement off the ball – but with a better finishing and a proven goalscoring record, immediately throws you well behind in Arsène Wenger pecking order, behind Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sánchez and the new striker who will eventually join the group.
You risk to lose the power that allowed you to earn a lucrative new contract and have everyone sweating at the idea that you could do a Robin van Persie and force a move out of the Club.
We were all asking you to signdating, twice, but now the scenario has changed – massively.
You’re becoming a peripheral figure at the Club, a last resource to be thrown onto the pitch in case of desperate need of any kind of offensive threat.
Many fans are now losing faith in your ability to be a reliable asset for the team and that has very little to do with your position on the pitch; it’s about the lack of end-product and the apparent lack of hunger you are showing: fans will forget a missed chance, as glorious as it could be, a misplaced pass and a failed take-on but definitely won’t forgive any sign of detachment, like the pathetic jump off a potential tackle with Sunderland’s Younes Kaboul at the Stadium of Light, which could have resulted in the goal we were in desperate need of to keep our title challenge alive.You decided to avoid going into that tackle and it became the sign that it is perhaps time to part ways with the Arsenal.
Personally, I’m not amongst those fans you would like to see you elsewhere than the Emirates Stadium; instead, I’m confident you can be an excellent striker and valuable option for Arsène Wenger but this surprising change of mind is perceived as a sign of weakness: you stated loud and clear that you wanted to be a striker and now you’re coming back on your steps, on the back of a very underwhelming year and a lot of criticism – my advice would be to keep your mouth shut, play in any position Arsène Wenger asks you to play and give your best for the team – not for Theo Walcott himself.
Stop telling the media where you want to play, what you can do, the qualities you can show – just play and let the pitch do the talk. Whether it is as an atypical lone striker or as a winger – or even at full-back – just PLAY!
Fight for your teammates and for the badge, leave every single drop of sweat on the pitch and you would have done more for yourself and your reputation among fans that any word can do. Your time is running out, Theodore, and this time there won’t be another big-money renewal waiting for your signature.