Dear Theo Walcott: An Arsenal Teammate Offers Advice

Brad SimkuletSenior Analyst IMarch 6, 2008

RE: David Bentley’s Comments

Dear Theo,

So old David thinks you should leave Arsenal to get field time, does he? Well, it’s worked out pretty well for him over there at Blackburn, no doubt about it.

He’s had a chance to play with some pretty good players, like Gamst and Friedel and Santa Cruz, and a lot of fair to middling players like Savage (before he went to Derby) and McCarthy and Emerton. He’s threatening to break into the England side on a regular basis, and he does get regular playing time.

He’s definitely got some valid points.

But then he doesn’t get to play games like our victory the other night at the San Siro, nor is he likely to in the near future. He isn’t learning the game from multiple positions to increase his footballing intelligence. He isn’t playing beside potential legends like Cesc and Gallas and Sagna and even you.

He doesn’t have to pry players like Rosicky and Gilberto (the Captain's of their respective nations) out of their positions to get regular starts either. And his move certainly didn’t help him get into the last World Cup squad, which you did and certainly will again.

When I think about how long I waited to break into the squad as a first team regular, I can understand Bentley’s frustration and why he left. I seriously considered leaving myself this summer. But I didn’t. I stayed and fought, and I am a better player for having fought than I would be if I had decided to head to a mid-table team so I could rack up minutes.

It may take a while to get our chance from Arsene, but we do get our chance. And you are so close right now.

How much longer can Emmanuel stay as the first choice on the right with his indiscipline, particularly with how well you’ve been playing? Not long. And how long will it be before you are regularly popping up as a striking partner for Nick or Manu or VP? Not long.

So my advice to you, Theo, is to thank David for his concern, but stick to your plan.

You are already a legend here. I know you’ve heard the fans excitement when you come on the pitch. They already love you more than anyone but Cesc.

Not only will you get the chance you crave, it will be soon. And once you do you will be as regular as me. You are Arsenal’s future. You shouldn’t be Blackburn’s or Man Citeh’s or West Ham’s or anyone else’s.


Mathieu Flamini