Finally Turning Theo Walcott into Striker Most Brilliant thing Arsene Wenger has Done


Arsene Wenger may just be blowing steam up everyone’s arses, but his recent statements about Theo Walcott are causing a lot of ears to perk up. “It’s not too late for him to become a striker. I think his position will be striker,” the Prof said (via ESPNFC).

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Somewhere in the back of my cynical mind I see Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott at a bar, sharing a pint (I know, they don’t drink beer) and laughing themselves to death over a brilliant prank thy’re playing on Gooners world wide. All of Walcott’s career he’s wanted to be a striker. At the start of his career it was impossible not to look at him and think Thierry Henry. Henry started as a winger and turned into the greatest striker in Arsenal history. Why couldn’t Theo Walcott do the same?

With Theo Walcott now as close to the Arsenal exit door as he’s ever been, Arsene Wenger is now all but guaranteeing that Walcott will be the striker he’s always dreamed he would be. “Being 26 to 32 as a striker is the best age as a striker and I wouldn’t like to miss that golden age,” Wenger went on to say. It’s as if saving Theo Walcott for the the striker role had been his goal all along.

I can’t even begin to describe how much it all made sense when I read these statements. Rather than sign another striker (something that Arsene Wenger won’t do until Olivier Giroud is old and gray), he’s going to give Theo Walcott a run at the striker position. Maybe waiting until he was 26 was just a matter of Arsene Wenger out-thinking himself, but it actually seems pretty brilliant as is.

We all know that Arsene Wenger is the world’s biggest fan of versatility. Aside from Oivier Giroud, it appears that every attacking player that Arsenal currently employs can play a multitude of positions. All of them except Theo Walcott (unless you ask Theo Walcott). Walcott has been used exclusively as a winger despite his striking dreams.

Practically, the move makes so much sense that it’s sickening. With Olivier Giroud as our only real striker, Arsenal are used to having a big physical presence in the box who holds up play and is a master aerial threat. But say we’re down late and have to take a long ball approach or say we’re on the counter attack, or say we’re facing a big, physical team that has a history of shutting down Olivier Giroud. Who are we going to call? Theo Walcott.

Walcott’s blistering pace through the center of the pitch could be a game changer. While he’s had trouble making that pace work on the right side of the pitch, he may well be fully equipped to make it work in the center where he has more wiggle room and more pitch to work with.

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While Arsene Wenger had previously denied Walcott the chance to play as striker, now that there are literally no openings in the starting squad aside from a backup striker. He’s going to give that role to Theo Walcott and act like he’d been planning it this way the entire time (and knowing Wenger, maybe he has been, who knows).

If this doesn’t get Theo Walcott to stay, I don’t know what will. Not only will it get him to stay, but it should motivate him to achieve the type of form we haven’t seen since his 2012/13 season.

And the best part about this whole ordeal for Arsene Wenger is that he can save his money and keep the talent in-house.

Major props to Arsene Wenger for being an intellectual giant or a mad scientist, or somewhere in between. Obviously we still have to see if this will all come to fruition, but to the prospect of it alone, I close with a simple “In Wenger we Trust.”

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