After starting just one of the first six games in all competitions this year, Theo Walcott has explained his frustration at a lack of playing time and the failure of a new contract to be agreed. His one and only start was against Sunderland, the first game of the season back on the 13th August when there was little speculation he could leave, and a new contract seemed imminent. A poor performance during that match did nothing for his cause but I highly doubt his absence since then is purely football-related. From then his contract situation spiralled out of control and he ended up staying but with less than a year left. It was reported there was a short-term agreement between Walcott and Wenger, which was thought to mean he would sign a contract but just not at that point. Wenger claimed he knew ‘nothing about it’ and it was as simple as ‘Theo will be staying’ but knowing Mr.Wenger his denial of information is nothing new.
After speaking to multiple journalist from different media organisations at the Mars Just Play event, essentially repeating the same thing to them all, we now know his side of the story. Walcott stated that ‘it has never been about money. It has always been a football decision for me.’ claiming he had opportunities to leave in the summer, but didn’t take them because it is simply not about the money. He has also reaffirmed his position. “I want to stay, I want to play for Arsenal, I want to try and win things.” And he seems very sincere about it all, unlike players of the past who don’t hesitate to jump ship as soon as they can.
I want to stay, I want to play for Arsenal, I want to try and win things.
“The main factors for me now are I want to start playing up front. That is all it is, really.” But since when did players start deciding where and when they play? Wenger is the boss, and as an Arsenal player, you do what the boss tells you to do. Simple as that. No man is bigger than the club. On the other hand, his frustration is understandable. Starting out as a promising forward for Southampton, he joined Arsenal, who used his pace to their advantage. Many times it has been said by Walcott and Wenger himself, that the end goal was for Theo to be an Arsenal Striker. Wenger promised one day that this would be the case, but unfortunately that day is yet to come. Theo’s slow development has put pay to his very limited chances, and he has never showed the potential of the man he wishes to emulate; Thierry Henry. “I remember when Thierry Henry joined at 22 and the legend he was. Hopefully I can be the legend he was as well in that upfront position.” But until he sorts out his close control, taking on players (like Chambo), final ball, and finishing, he has a long way to go.
I remember when Thierry Henry joined at 22 and the legend he was. Hopefully I can be the legend he was as well in that upfront position.