According to Theo Walcott, his holding back on signing the new contract worth £75,000 a week on the offer by Arsenal FC, as opposed to the £100,000 a week he prefers, isn't about money.
Rather, and as he'd have you believe, the holding back is about his desire to be Thierry Henry's heir apparent, to wit, the central striking position in the Arsenal team should be his.
This being so, we'd expect Walcott, just like Cristiano Ronaldo, to be sad.
Now, Walcott hasn't said he is sad, and when he refused to celebrate his latest goal, the one against Southampton, it was apparently not because he was sad—unlike Ronaldo who had refused to celebrate a goal because he was sad.
For Walcott, it was about respect, respect for a club that had given him his first start in his footballing life. So, if we had any ideas about this being a case of sadness, we had to have been mistaken.
And yet, Walcott sounds much like Ronaldo.
Cristiano Ronaldo was sad recently. Getty Images.
He sounds sad, and just like Ronaldo, it isn't about money at all, but as in the case of CR7 (oh my goodness, doesn't that sound like a robotic character in a futuristic movie?!), it is for professional reasons.
But unlike Ronaldo, who left the entire world of football guessing about what the exact nature of this precious species' sadness could be, Walcott has come out. He has come out to state quite categorically that this isn't about money. It is about being the next Henry.
And if one is inclined to sneer about this assertion, one must remember that he is the bearer of that famous No. 14, a fact that prevented the legend himself from wearing that number on his reincarnation last January but rather had to be content with the No. 12 he wore before his days of real fame.
(By the way, did anyone notice that that number coincided with the year of the legend's return? Just saying...)
Now, since he is the bearer of that number, Walcott that is, it's a promise surely of things to come, of things to become, who, then, can blame him if he feels sad that others, like Gervinho, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, (and who knows, even Marouane Chamakh) are supplanting him for this position?
But if your ask me, and if indeed this is the real reason for his reluctance to sign a new contract, I'd say it's rather silly. "If you don't make me a No.9, I'll not sign!" What petulance!
It is silly because the problem isn't about "making" you a No. 9; rather, it is about making yourself one. And it is quite easy to make yourself one: begin banging in goals from where you are right now and you'd not have to pout and be sad to make the manager realize your real and true place.
As the analogy goes, you can't keep an eagle cooped up with chickens for ever. Sooner or later, it'd be bound to discover itself and begin soaring high above that limiting realm of mediocrity.
As I see it, Walcott is his own enemy, his own obstacle as far as being the Arsenal No. 9 is concerned. Last season, he missed a couple of absolute sitters when put through on goal with only the 'keeper at his mercy.
Had he banged in those goals and gone on to score more, or to be consistent in his performance throughout the season, I doubt that he'd have any need to go public about wanting to be the man, the No. 9.
In fact, Walcott is going about this the wrong way.
Walcott should concentrate on playing. Getty Images.
He comes off like a privileged boy—those rich kids that get a massive head start by way of daddy's position. That is, he wants the position to be handed to him, rather than, he himself, working hard to earn it.
Walcott should forget about wanting more money. He should sign the contract and go about playing football, go about improving himself, go about being consistent.
When this happens, more money will come. There's little doubt about that. When this happens, he won't need to go public about wanting to be a No. 9. Everyone would see that he deserves it.
In fact, it wouldn't be a matter of making him one, he'd already be one. Because, as far as I can tell, scoring goals has little to do with playing centrally.
David Villa doesn't play centrally, and yet, he scores a lot of goals. Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't play centrally, and still, he scores buckets full of goals. Even Messi isn't necessarily Barcelona's central striker. He's more like a creative player who drops deep all the time, and yet, he scores loads and loads of goals.
So, what's Walcott talking about? Both Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires played on the flank, and yet, both scored a good number of goals.
The fact is, if you are a natural scorer, you'll always score goals. It'd be in your nature. My advice to Walcott, then, is that he should forget about this deal about his signing of the the current contract hinging upon assurance that he'll be made the No. 9.
It is silly.
When Walcott is ready to be the new Henry, it'd be obvious. Getty Images.
Making you a No. 9 does not guarantee that you'll be like Henry.
Focus on improving yourself, seize the goal-scoring opportunities that come your way and you'd see that you won't urge or beg anyone to make you a No. 9. They'll fall over themselves in their haste to make you one.
But come to think of it, I believe this is just an excuse.
This began as a haggle over money, and when Arsenal didn't budge, the situation has become a little untenable for both parties. As such, Walcott is trying to pull a Van Persie.
"No, it isn't about money." Nice try!