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
- GET ON WITH IT!!!
- 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!