Arshavin’s Efficiency Replicated By Theo For England

Theo Walcott had a half-decent game for England last night, as the much-vaunted move to 4-2-3-1 passed the nation by once more, Capello’s devotion to 4-4-2 unshakeable. And with a four goal victory, who is to say that the formation was not appropriate for the occasion. Not me. England did what they do well: win qualifying games.

Walcott had a decent game but once more his attributes were underused by his team-mates. Playing possession football is exactly what should have happened in South Africa but the distribution forwards was too ponderous in the first half. Rapid passing and movement in the second created the spaces that Walcott can exploit, an encouraging sign for Theo even if he was not always the option chosen.

In general he has been well-received in the media and leaving Alan Hansen increasingly isolated in his lunacy. Which is no bad thing.

Self-evaluation is a regular occurrence for Arsenal players these days. Andrei Arshavin (thanks to Desi Gunner for the link) has observed that he is more ‘direct’ in his play, losing some of the flamboyance of his Zenit days. There is an element of truth in that and to be honest in an attacking sense if his effectiveness means playing simpler, quicker passes there is no problem with that.

The expectation placed on his shoulders by supporters is of a regular goalscorer and he has now scored two in three games. No argument there, the penalty against Blackpool of no less value than the goal at Ewood Park in that respect. Consistency in front of goal is the ideal but like a great number of his positional peers, goals come in spurts, scoring in three or four consecutive games and then nothing for another dozen. In Arsenal’s formation, he could do with a higher return, aiming for fifteen Premier League goals each season would not be unrealistic.

The Russian observed he has not scored ‘a really beautiful’ goal during his time in England. Whilst that may be true, it is a subjective matter and I would settle for him scoring of efficient finishes rather than two goals a season, both of which left you drooling. He is in a position where Arsenal has talent; the early signs of this season are that Tomas Rosicky is in good form, his fitness the question mark. The injury to Robin van Persie makes space for both of them with either able to play in the more advanced position although it perhaps suits Arshavin more.

Arshavin’s personal view was contradicted by Andrei Kanchelskis. A big criticism of the former Manchester United winger was his inconsistency; have a guess which aspect of Arshavin’s game he chose to pick on? If you need to phone a friend for the answer to that, go to the back of the classroom and put the big conical-shaped hat with a ‘D’ onto your head.

The faults found in the Arsenal player’s armoury are valid, it simply irks when a player who could not perform to that level consistently either, feels the need to find the same fault in others. In much the same way that Theo Walcott was castigated for not having a football brain by Chris Waddle before the World Cup. Mr Pot? Meet your neighbours, Mr Kettle and Mr Black.

Elsewhere, Arsene was cleared by the FA of any indiscretions in his criticisms of Stoke. It is a huge slap in the face for Tony Pulis, which is nice, serving to reinforce the points Wenger made. According to the authorities, the Arsenal manager did not transgress as he failed to mention Chris Foy by name, even though it was obvious he was referring to him. Unlike Sir Alex Ferguson, it shows nous in bending the rules to your advantage whilst the Manchester United manager continues to deplete the coffers at Old Trafford with his ban on speaking to the BBC. If the Scot had half a brain, he would talk to them and be monosyllabic in his answers, look bored and be generally disinterested. Like most other managers.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on September 4, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. I don’t know which commentary you guys had on the game last night, but there was still a stab at Theo. The commentator reckoned that Milner ‘understood football, not like Wallcott’.

  2. Sorry Im gunner say this fact again as its worth pointing out twice, England have won every game in which Theo has played in.

  3. good read I like the last paragraph..
    comon Arsenal!!!

  4. England does not play to Walcott’s strenghts. I feel sorry for Walcott being paired with a sub par player like Glen Johnson!

  5. @smoletar if u were watching on itv then it was andy townsend and i have to agree i noticed it too.. for gods sake the kid cd fly to the moon but he wd still have critics

  6. Nice article

  7. To be fair those crap ex players are entitled to criticise because if they can’t then how justified are we as fans who never even played professionally. Not saying there’s any truth but I think it’s hypocritical for people who weren’t even good enough to be players to have an opinion whilst an ex pro can’t

  8. Must be a nightmare for Theo playing for England. At Arsenal when he looks up there’ll be at least 3 players making intelligent runs for him to try and pick out, the lack of movement up front for England’s ridiculous.

  9. Great post the lack of movement last night was astonishing very static that’s y they find it hard to keep the ball, although it was one of the most confident performance by England I think no lampard worked, gerrard an Barry worked hard, theo is only 21 but but always produces in th big games

  10. Just read the comments section of le groan, and couldnt believe they’re making fun and taking the piss out of muslims ….and also catholics etc

    Are they really gooners?

  11. Good post YW.

    Theo did well….echoing what everyone else is saying, I agree. England has a lack of movement up front AND the trust he enjoys from his fellow players at Arsenal doesn’t seem to be there in the England set up. Is it just me or do they just seem to look to pass elsewhere?

    Oh well, I’m pretty confident that by Christmas the attitude will change drasticaly….It will be a case of ‘just give the ball to Walcott….he’ll do the rest’.

    On another note….Gibbs looks like he is going to have to wait a while for that left back spot. Ashley Cole continues to be one of the strongest arguments for pro-atheism. After all, if there is a God why he decided to make a man like that so good at what he does will forever remain a mystery.

  12. Max Gunner on September 4, 2010
    at 11:13 am

    They are a bunch of clowns.

  13. Who the hell is this Kanchelskis creep? What a wanker. It should be customary for a player with no talent to respect a player with an abundance of it.

  14. KC – did you ever see Kanchelskis…??

  15. Ryan @10.34

    I believe I referred to the hypocrisy of football fans as a key characteristic. TBH, criticism of players by ex-pro’s shows one of two things, perhaps even both. Firstly, an acute lack of self-awareness, their ego’s blinding them to their own faults and, secondly, there are no depths too low for them to stoop to take money from the media.


  16. Ouch, three of our boys were playing for France last night. Glad they’ve got a week/another game to get over it.

    In other news, Morrissey has some interesting views on the Chinese:

  17. KC @ 11:18am -Kanchelskis was a winger for Man United in the early days of the Premiership. He was also Russian and hugely talented.

    He is also suffered from inconsistency but overall he was a great.

    That is who this ‘creep’ is.

  18. Heaven knows,
    those Groaners are miserable.

  19. There certainly appears to be cliques within the England squad & I believe it translates on to the pitch. Theo seems to be the last resort or given a tough or impossible pass to deal with.

    There`s no question that the attitude displayed by Rooney & Co towards TW in the final friendlies before the WC had a big influence on Capello`s decision to omit him.

    Having said that, Theo`s had a proper pre-season & started at a lick so thanks Wayne & Stevie – you`ve done Arsenal a big favour there.

  20. i did notie that he was getting enough balls when he was in space…rooney and co thinks they rule england what did they do i missed something didnt i?

  21. I clearly remember Kanchelskis. Couldn’t care less how good he was, he is a creep to us as he has publicly criticised one of our own.
    Simple really.

  22. I watched the match yesterday, but i noticed that the england boys did not want to pass the ball to walcott even glen johnson who was playing on the right with theo decided to pass to the left when he had the option of passing to theo…its embarrassing. I also noticed that rooney raised his game after seeing theo in the papers all week….until this england team learn to play as a team, they will never win anything!

  23. Is it just me or i av someone on this wiv me.i mean i don’t wanna spark up anything now cos i know wayne rooney is the golden boy of england and no one wants to say anything that hurts him but i guess the lad hates theo. Have ever seen him place a decent pass to him before?

  24. Paulie Walnuts – there is some truth in what you said he is not given the ball as much as others and he is not allowed to play badly like many other players who go for many game playing crap and yet they find themselves in the starting line up. Theo’s hat trick has made it hard for him now. Everytime he gets the ball at his feet the nation is expecting something to happen. Rooney had many many bad games but very rarely dropped then on the pitch and the dressing room you become respect because you are not droppable and you get the ball more on the pitch. Defoe got his first hat- trick yesterday at the age of 27 so I don’t know what the big deal, as a striker he should have achieved that many years ago it just goes to show how Theo is far ahead of all of them, at his age most of the players were not even in the first team at their clubs. I could not believe a mug on the radio who keept sying Walcott should be dropped and Adam Johnson start every instead Johnson is a good player but he was lucky with the timing of his introduction at that time Bulgaria decide to go for it and left huge space at the back but firts half they played deep they doubled on Theo small things like that do not get mentioned. Anyway Walcott is under a lot pressure to perform everytime. he has to deal with that until he becomes one of the undroppables. He is learning. Thierry Henry the Arsenal legend started scoring at the age of 24 so I really don’t understand why this inpatience with Theo.

  25. This blog can be depressing at times.Cos AIC used to be the stress reliever of this blog.But know he seem to be disinterested with talking with cunts who always disagree with me.and I don’t really blame him for I really think that people in here should lighten up.And if you do that then I won’t jump on this blog and say this randon and perhaps useful Ideas.

  26. Are you having a breakdown G2?

  27. Delia-----Block 112

    I agree that Theo gets shunded by his England team mates. He made a number of good runs into space without receiving a decent pass .
    What happened in the Under21s, Jack only made the bench ? Is there an anti Arsenal bias or what? How many others in the side have had as successful a start to the PL campaign as our Jack?

  28. Its a good job RVP is injured so he wont get injured on international duty!!

  29. i thought Walcott did fine when he had the opportunity.
    Johnson has always been a so-so f/b for me and his inability to make a quick pass is infuriating.
    During the game both myself and my lad made remarks that rooney was shunning passes to Walcot and on 2 occaisions did his flailing arms routine for no good reason.
    Noticeable, though Bulgaria were chasing the game by then, that after Walcott was subbed more balls found their way down the right
    given his start to the season it was ridiculous and self defeating attitudes by some England players. Gerrard by exception appeared very supportive of Walcott

  30. vince

    I guess I am.But this day has’nt gone good for anybody.and thanks for asking btw

  31. I brought everyone down when I mentioned Morrissey didn’t I? Lucky I didn’t do any Arsenal/Smiths puns, like William(Gallas) It Was Really Nothing, How Denilsoon Is Now or What Difference Does It Chamakh because that would have been awful.

  32. YW

    Have you ever had days where things are’nt going quite your way?

  33. Vince

    Well he certainly is a Charming Man…and when goes through customs in Beijing next time, he’ll be very nervous when sees the Hand In Glove.


  34. Frequently. It’s called having two kids and being an Arsenal supporter.

  35. YW

    I’ve had that having kids is a huge responsibility.but I have’nt got any kids yet.but one day I will.

  36. WTF is going on I know it`s the interlull but shit aint that depressing g2…..!!!

  37. Well, to liven things up, you could respond to Dukes’ question to you this morning, Maria.

  38. If Arshavin’s first goal for us wasn’t special then I’m waiting for the day he’ll bring the house down. I hate his inconsistency and believe if he doesn’t improve he’ll be on his way out of the Emirates. But as I said once before the problems in the mind. He get’s that right and he’s the man. As for Kanchels-whatever the guy was a class act. On his day he was a great entertainer!

  39. Which was Bob?

  40. What is Fergies problem with the BBC?

  41. I think Theo has gotten to a perfect start to d season but my problem with him is will he b able to keep up dis form for a whole season? I don’t think so.

  42. I couldn’t repeat it Maria but he posted it at 9.56 this morning on yesterday’s blog.

    As for Fergies’ problem with the BBC, I beleive it is that they are a bunch of complete twats but not as complete as Fergie requires them to be.

  43. International Break:


  44. Maria

    From Duke 9.56 this morning:

    typical bloody women, always resorts back to looks with them. they can say they like football for football only as much as they like but its bollocks coz they will always come out with the old “he’s hot” or “he’s got nice legs”. I bet you got nice legs Maria??


  45. Maria

    Fergie’s problem with the BBC is that they ran a documentary on his son’s activity as an agent some years back. There were allegations of impropriety and Ferguson believes that the BBC owe him an apology regarding this. That it was Panorama not BBC Sport is irrelevant to him.

    The amusing aspect is that he is costing his employers several thousand pounds a week by refusing to do so, the amount increasing on each occasion he fails to conduct a post-match interview. This stems from a new EPL rule for this season onwards, which states that all managers must make themselves available for MotD and other broadcasters.


  46. Bloody hell Duke, I can see you’ve been on the wrong side of a few insults in your tired life, but please let’s not work through all your issues on ACLF.

    FYI I have FABOLOUS legs and so do many of our players and if any of them are looking extremely handsome on any given day well hell amma point it out.

    Jealous old hag.

    P.S Who the hell said I watch football for football?

    My love affair with Arsenal is one of the only reason why I watch football. Other than that it’s a chore for me to watch the rest of MOTD let alone other games.

  47. Oh and thanks YW.

    Loved the post too. Must be had in the interlull.

    Also you still didn’t explain why you gave away the captaincy to ol` billy bob!!

  48. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    That was a cracking comment up top, Finsbury. Kudos.

  49. Smoletar, I was irked by the same comparison made between Milner and Theo. I hope Milner and Theo are on the pitch for our game against Shitty. I would love it if Theo took his ass to the cleaners and we beat them by three or four. Theo with a hat trick of course.

  50. Jamie Carragher in the Guardian:

    “We’ve had situations like Martin O’Neill and Steve Bruce criticising Liverpool and they were right. We shouldn’t be getting involved with stuff like that. Everyone else should look at Liverpool and say they have dignity, class. I mean, like the way people look at Arsenal. They do things right and you think they conduct themselves in the right way. I think we have been a club who were like that and we need to get back to that, to do things right. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; that’s football. You can’t win all the time. But you can still behave in a way where people respect you.”

  51. Wow, that’s pretty fantastic stuff from Carragher. Even if he hadn’t mentioned us that’s still a great statement. Also where’s Limpar today? I thought he’d have been an Arsenal/Smiths pun machine!

  52. God this inter-lull is fucking boring. Thank our lucky stars for gooner2, bringing some of his insightful thoughts to this blog to keep us amused.

  53. Muppet- Yes another week of this ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz
    bored of hearing the same crap like ” yeah but yeah but Lmpard and Gerard can’t play together eeeeeeeh ” and Theo and the brain thing. Its repetitive, irritating analysis of evrey England game. Oh yeah the other one “big man small man” thing. The big man (Heskey)retired from football and now they have “small man, small man” analysis.
    I can’t wait for Arsenal games.

    Chelsea’s good start this season is a bit false they played west Brom – Wigan and Stoke next West ham and blackpool piece of cake really so I’m expecting them to take all the points from these fixtures. Starting with a set of 5 easy fixtures might look good but somewhere during the season the hard games will pile up for them then we will see how they cope. I think it is better to have difficult and easy games spread out. I’m expecting the Chavs to run out of steam half way with those old men they have in their squad. If we can defend better we will have every chance this season.

  54. Am I missing something here, or do Chelsea have only two recognized center backs (Terry and Alex)in their squad, and both are on the slow side?

    Whereas we have Vermaelen, Squillaci, Koscielny, Djourou and Song/Sagna to slot in during an emergency, Chelsea would have to move Ivanovic over from right back (although he has a good back-up in Bosingwa) or bring back Essien/Obi Mikel which would weaken them in midfield.

    Chelsea are playing a very dangerous game here. It’s true they have some excellent talent in their side, but they have absolutely no depth. They have Sturridge and Kalou to back-up Drogba and Anelka, so not much happening there, and if Lampard were to get injured the goas wouldn’t be there from midfield.

    Chelsea can still win the league, and they do have January to get cover, but I’m feeling better and better about our chances, particularly if Squillaci can settle in quickly.

    The one thing I can definitely see is Chelsea, Man United and Spurs needing to play weakend teams in the cups. I think betting on either Man City or Arsenal to win the Carling or F.A Cup would be a smart move. We will field a weakened team, but it’ll be a much stronger XI that the others can put out, with the exception of Man City.

    With Spurs in the Carling Cup, I shudder to think what they’ll send out against us. We’ll win that game, even at White Hart Line.

  55. Great performance by Theo.

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