Theo’s Fears Give Him An Edge & Lessons To Learn
A musical quality about the final Monday of this international break, Apparently Nothing transpiring in the world of Arsenal. Well, nothing apparently may not be entirely true.
The club is, according to reports, squaring up, going toe-to-toe with Chelsea in order to sign a 15 year old striker from Real Madrid. Given Park’s departure for National Service in a couple of season’s time, there is the forward line problem sorted. An interesting thought occurs; Park mentioned in a recent interview – I can’t remember where – that he would end up playing for the Army club. That being the case, how much will they pay Arsenal for his registration unless of course the Army club does not play in a Fifa-sanctioned tournament.
When that makes the news and is given more credibility than Arsenal and Liverpool putting up their transfer dukes over Saloman Kalou, you know it’s quiet. Perhaps there is a new game in the press box that any player linked with Arsenal must now have the initials of a senior exec, the manager or Kroenke before being linked with the club. Either that or Kalou’s name has rotated to the top of the list in perennial targets.
Elsewhere, Theo Walcott is scarred by being left out of the 2010 World Cup squad. Given England’s performances, I am surprised by this. Frankly he needs to change his mindset and consider it a lucky escape.
That is not the case for Theo. His desire is commendable, as is the ambition to improve Arsenal’s fortunes this season, echoing comments made by Robin van Persie. Once more the squad are saying the right things and with the fixture list as it is, they have the chance to attain a substantial total of points; a number that puts the spectre of relegation to bed for this season.
With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scoring a hat-trick for the Under 21s, there is an inevitable comparison between the two players. Even an assist at the higher level is not going to ease the pressure in the England set-up on Walcott. And he strikes me as a player who needs pressure, indeed thrives on it, certainly for the national team.
When expectations are placed on his shoulders, his form is indifferent. Actually that is a harsh comment, inconsistent might be a better word. For England though, Walcott is often at his best following criticism. It was the case where he put in a decent performance in Montenegro. Even his trio of goals in Croatia came on the back of harsh words as England laboured to victory over Andorra in the previous match.
Walcott suffers from teammates at international level who do not seem to know the best pass to bring his abilities to the fore. Given that these players are at the peak of the game, there has to be one of two reasons. Either they genuinely don’t know how to embrace his talents or they don’t trust his final delivery.
The former would be as surprising as the later unsurprising. We know his inconsistencies and so does he. Walcott is continually improving, his finishing last year was noticeably better as was the decision-making about the final pass. That upward climb, both in terms of rate of progress and outcome, need to continue if he is ever to realise his ambition and play centrally.
Chamberlain would do well to look at the media reaction to Walcott. His path is heading in the same direction; he needs to beware the treachery that lies in wait. Walcott too scored well at Under 21 level and his step up, aided by the same club path as his younger counterpart, paved the way into the media spotlight.
Hopefully lessons will have been learned by club, country and player. In a media focussed environment it is hard to allow a player to grow up in the shade. When Arsenal’s season has been as tortuous as this, that hope is forlorn.
Which brings another hope to the surface. Allow the lad to develop, accept he will make mistakes and be inconsistent. God knows, enough people are already writing off Carl Jenkinson. We need to pin hopes on established professionals instead of casting younger players asunder.
Posted on October 10, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip. Bookmark the permalink. 154 Comments.