Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Theo better than SWP, but does not deserve to go to South Africa

Theo Walcott was the “surprise” omission
from Capello’s 23 yesterday. Many pundits and journalists agreed while others disagreed with the decision.

Walcott is miles better than Wright-Phillips and has made more significant steps at the age of 21 than Shaun Wright-Phillips (SWP) has at 29. However, he's not in form and the first game is 10 days away which was a worrying factor for Capello.

Personally I could not be happier that Theo has been left out of the final team. He doesn't deserve to go for his ignorance of the manager’s advice last summer which has resulted in his omission from the final 23 for South Africa.

Large sections of the media have pointed the finger at Arsene Wenger for Theo’s lack of development. It’s as if any player that plays in Wenger’s team must without fail turn into world class material and if they don’t, then “Wenger destroyed his career”.

When Arsene signs a player, he tailors an individual development program for them that will see them rise to the top of their game. It is the reason Ramsey chose Arsenal over Manchester United. Wenger showed him his plans to develop his abilities that will see him play at the highest level. The program is in no way a guarantee or indication that the player will turn out great. The hunger, desire and motivation MUST be there. If the player does not have the motivation to do well, then their training counts for nothing. Why is it that players like Clichy, Gibbs, Fabregas, Bendtner and van Persie have all made it but Theo hasn’t? It’s because they have all showed the desire and passion to become a great. Many criticise Bendtner for all his arrogant talk yet not ONE person, Arsenal fan or not, that has watched Bendtner play can ever criticise him for the effort and determination he shows on that pitch.

Theo IS better than SWP and his omission from the squad will only do him good. He has had everything his way in football and it is now time he had a set back (that wasn’t another injury) to get him to think about his career and double his work rate on the pitch.

So far in his football career:
- He got his move from Southampton to Arsenal.
- He got into the England World Cup squad
- He got chance after chance to play for England despite not always having earned his place.
- He got Champions League football

I disagree with those that say he hasn’t made progress. Let’s have a look at his seasons since his move to Arsenal

2006/2007 he went to the World Cup in Germany at 17 but didn’t get a chance to play. Once he returned, he started to make some appearances for the Gunners in our first season at the Emirates Stadium. He will notably remember that season for that goal he created against Liverpool, running past 4 of their defenders to set Adebayor up for a tap in. He will also remember that fantastic goal in the Carling Cup final against Chelsea.

Then in 07-08, he very much looked the part to say the least. Theo scored some really good goals against Birmingham City, ripped AC Milan’s very experienced defenders to shreds.

After a quiet summer due to England not being involve in the Euro’s, September 2008 saw Walcott make his mark on international football when he scored his hat-trick away against Croatia. It was the moment when although the rest of England were amazed and talking about how he has developed, Wenger said he was unsurprised by what happened.

Now come last summer (2009) Walcott decided to play for BOTH the England senior AND the U21s team. That was the beginning of the end for Walcott’s chance to play in South Africa. He had no pre-season rest, nor preparation. And it is clear that playing well for England does not necessarily guarantee a place in future teams, but playing well over a season for your club can!

To sum up, he tried to play two full seasons with Arsenal with two summers of competitive games at international level for 3 different teams. He was warned by Wenger not to play for both England sides. Yet, Theo insisted on doing so and it proved to be the main reason for his injury problems this season. He went to matches lacking fitness and to add insult to injury, got his ankles taken by that dirty Liam Ridgewell (unsurprisingly plays for Birmingham City) and more shoulder problems.

Theo needed a negative twist in his career to get him thinking about his game. He knows he is better than SWP and also Lennon (anyone else notice he runs like a girl?). Walcott can sit back and watch the world cup and watch how the passion and desire to do well on the pitch made Capello pick SWP ahead of him. This could be the best thing that happened in his career and he needs to learn to draw strength from disappointments. Wenger has always said he is mentally strong and he now has the opportunity to show that.

The plus side for Arsenal is that he can be fresh for the new season (unless he decides to enter some England Reserves tournament somewhere).

On a final note, is anyone else getting sick of the complaints about the football being used in the World Cup? Every world cup Adidas claim to make the most spherical football(wonder what the shape of the others were) and every world cup a host of goalkeepers complain about it. The complaints are obviously pre-excuses in case they make a mess in front of the world during a game and can shift blame elsewhere so a nation of hopefuls are not ready to egg them. All I want to say to these keepers is

- you earn more in a week than I do in one year
- They’re not likely to change the balls now
- Maybe its time you grow a pair!

Just before finishing, does anyone see something wrong with this or is it just me??

Rene Higuita – Goalkeeper
69 Caps, 8 Goals

Jose Luis Chilavert – Goalkeeper
74 Caps, 8 Goals

Emile Heskey – Striker
58 Caps, 7 Goals

Keep the faith!


  1. Yes, I can see what's wrong with those Stats ... Emile should've been a Goalkeeper.

    I just hope this set back will anger young Theo and make him want to perform out of his skin for us in the coming season!

    Nice one btw.

  2. I think that Theo's attributes better suit a striker role. He never professed to be a winger and his inability to take a full-back on is symptomatic of that. Apart from his obvious speed, Theo is very composed in front of goal and is a very good finisher. If he is to develop, he needs to get off that wing ASAP.

  3. yea i think walcott would be much better up front wenger even said he will eventually play him as a striker, I dunno y hes still on the wing he can do much more damage up front with his pace.

  4. and lol abt heskey ..doesnt bent deserve the england place more?

  5. and lol about heskey doesnt bent deserve the england place more?

  6. You're right. Arsene has said that Theo is meant to be a striker but I don't see him playing ahead of RVP, Chamakh or Bendtner in that position.

    Only way to accomodate Theo for an upfront role would be to change back to a 4-4-2 ... butI don't trust Song to be able to play as a long DMF ... he's not mobile or fast enough.

  7. Fraz, you're right. Maybe it is now time Theo started playing up front. He done well in that carling cup final and once he is up front he'l stop trying to pass the ball square to no one when he's one on one.

  8. Adil, you're right that Theo can only be accomodated if we play 4-4-2. Personally, I think its time we get another DMF and switch between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 depending on who we play. We shouldn't always use the same formations as teams do figure out what we try to do.

  9. Get your Aresenal glasses off, Theo is not better than SWP. Theo should be sold by Arsenal he is not good enough to be a winger. Just because he is fast does not make him a Winger.

    Just like Djbril Cisse should not have been played as a Right Winger by Rafa either.

    SWP deserves to go to the World Cup as everytime he has come on for England he has made an impact.

    This loving of Arsene Wenger about setting a programme for all his players is a joke too. Arsene is at fault, but so is Theo as you said. I think personally he does not have the mentality to play for Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd or Chelsea. Probably Spurs or Villa.


  10. Heskey has had less caps, so will eventually beat Bobby Charlton's record - More likely that Arsenal will win the Champions League next season.

  11. I would disagree about SWP. He may have done well for England but its the consistency at club form that makes a good player.

    The difference I am talking about is that at 21 years of age, Theo has years in front to acheive that. SWP is 29 and yes he has made an impact when he's come on but that is because by the 65th/70th minute, Lennon and Walcott had run the full backs ragged.

    And I don't get why Wenger is "at fault" for Theo's lack of judgement in his development.

    Every Arsenal player has said that Wenger tailors a development programme for them. Why has it worked on generations of other players then?

  12. SWP at 28 is better then Theo and you talk about club form. Theo has not set the world alight either and before Lennon got injured his form was the best at club level.

    In your blog you mentioned that Theo has not developed, but then go onto say he is better then the other two.

    Theo is poor and is behind Nasri (had a poor season), Rosicky (too injury prone) and Arshavin (who plays on the otherside)

    You are a arsenal fan and therefore think Theo is better he for me does not have the mentality to play for Arsenal (may prove me wrong in a few years)

    As a Striker he would be better.

    Do not make me laugh about Walcott running Left-backs ragged (Maybe Lennon) before their subsituted - Do you watch International games.

    I agree with some of your articles and you have good points, but Walcott is not better then SWP or Lennon.

    Walcott needs to go away and develop he for me is not an International class player yet.

    Wenger is blamed for his development as he is the Manager and he bought him just like Rafa was to blame with Babel and Fergie was to blame for Poborsky.

    It does not matter what scientific programme Wenger puts them on, he is culpable as any other manager - As I said take your Arsenal glasses off.

    It is always both parties fault, whether the player or Manager. Arsene bought him, when you buy players if they do not do well part of the blame goes to the Manager.

  13. Lol the stats on Emile Heskey are quite shocking!

  14. I agree with you that Nasri has had a poor season. However, we don't know for sure about our wingers because Wenger is always changing them depending on who we play.

    And you can't look at things so one dimensionally and blame Wenger. He and our backroom staff have developed countless talents that has kept us going despite the financial restrictions.

    I can see the argument for SWP being better than Theo and I appreciate that. But if I had a squad, I would take Theo over him as the gap between the two, whichever way you look at it, is not big but Theo has many years ahead of him.

  15. I am not looking at it one dimentionally. SWP is a better winger currently and if you were talking about age yes, I would go with Theo as he has longer to develop.

    But in my opinion SWP is the better player and winger. Theo in my opinion in my view is not and should not really be compared with SWP as I see Theo developing into a striker.

    So if I had to pick one of them for England for the 2 spaces on the right I would go with Lennon and SWP.

    Theo has not developed as much as he should of, but I realise he is still 21.