Arsenal: Theo Walcott needs to become another super-sub


Theo Walcott must hate Lady Luck, right about now. The English international has just come off one of the most prolific season he has ever had and yet the speedster finds himself farther away from Arsenal at the moment. The question remains, can Walcott find his way back?

It was 2006 and Arsenal had just signed a young 16-year-old winger from Southampton, who had incredible speed and acceleration. It was clear that the young Theo Walcott possessed incredible pace and Arsene Wenger had enough faith in the English international that he handed him Thierry Henry’s old number and set the Frenchman free.

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However, things haven’t exactly worked out for Arsenal’s longest-tenured man and now with a change in formation; the end looks like it’s around the bend unless something changes. When Arsene Wenger switched from his preferred back-four to just three defenders at the back, Walcott was one of the main men who suffered.

His options died out because he sure as hell couldn’t replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a wingback, or even play as a striker, what with Alexandre Lacazette coming in, and there is no way he could challenge Mesut Ozil for a place. Now with Theo Walcott so eager at making the England squad for Russia 2018, how will the now 28-year-old proceed?

The only way, that’s if he stays at Arsenal and wants to fight for his place, is as a super-substitute. Something Oliver Giroud has learned to do and do it brilliantly. The Frenchman has been one of the most prolific scorers off the bench, with crucial goals including a few last minute headers that have gotten Arsenal out of a tight spot.

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While both Walcott’s and Giroud’s method of play is on two opposite sides of a footballing scale, the Englishman has the ability to affect the game late in the second half. From his experimentation as a center-forward, we already know that Theo Walcott is a poacher – and a damn good one, with nearly 11 goals before the New Year last season. All before his form dipped along with Arsenal’s.

Combined with his incredible pace and ability to find himself in good positions, Walcott could be instrumental of the bench, something similar to what Anthony Martial has started to do for Manchester United. However, all this in the goes down to how much Walcott wants to stay and if he even has the courage and the determination to fight for his spot.

However, the 28-year-old better do his reinventing very fast as the World Cup is approaching, with less than 300 days left to go. Especially with Walcott’s remarkable history with the World Cup, from making a 2006 squad as a teenager to missing the 2014 tournament thanks to an injury.

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The fact remains, that this could be his last chance and to do that he has to impress Southgate, either by reinventing himself at Arsenal or doing the same thing elsewhere.