Theo Walcott. An Enigma. A talent unfulfilled. Washed up never-was. Over-hyped. Average. One trick pony. English.
The English media is well-known for hyping its own players, no matter how average they are, into superstars. Countless players have been ordained to become English equivalents of Messi, Aguero, Fabregas, Torres, Ronaldo, or countless others.
Joe Cole has been hyped up before, so has Shawn Wright Phillips, and the new flavour if the month, who not so long ago was being mauled in the media while with Chelsea for living on his father's legacy and lacking the stomach for a fight, Jermain Jenas. The list is endless.
While it is without doubt that Theo Walcott has not been peforming this season, this can be understood seeing that since his shoulder injury, he has never been able to capture the form we know he is capable of.
Chris Waddle launched a scathing and, frankly, unfair attack on a player who at best is struggling not for want of effort, but for the reasons already stated.
Unfulfilled Expectations Versus Over-hyped Player
As already stated, many players have been labeled superstars without really seeing them, and not all players are capable of reaching that level of status. Some players are just not cut out to be in that group.
Walcott's Best Position Versus His Rivals
Where is his best position?
Conveniently, people forget that Walcott was and remains a striker from birth, so to speak. To become a winger, one has to have a special set of skills that requires you to be able to not only beat and run past a defender, but once that is done to put in a cross that adds panic in the oppostion's box.
Lennon has all the tricks required to be an English winger, so does SWP to a certain point. While Lennon can run at you at full-tilt he can also simultaneously turn the defender inside out and still complete that with a wicked cross.
A true winger also needs to beat a defender one on one and again, Lennon and SWP can do this.
Why cant Walcott do this? Well because he is a striker, he has never played winger, and he is still learning the trade. He was bought as a striker and the hopes are that one day he will become one. He is best placed as an off-the-shoulder striker.
So it seems unfair to say what Waddle said in his article:
"I just don't think he's got a football brain and he's going to have problems. Let's be honest, good defenders would catch him offside every time. I just don't know whether he studies the game, learns the game, or what. He's at a great club where they play fantastic football week in and week out, and I'm just surprised he's never developed his game"
The Arsenal Curse
Could it be that the reasons for the unrelenting pressure and criticism stem from the media's favorite topic, that of critiquing everything Arsenal?
We know that the media is too happy to see the club fail and seemingly gets unrelenting joy and gratification from such struggles.
Being an Arsenal player, it surely doesn't help Walcott one bit. The other curse is that, while his club plays to his strengths, The Three Lions don't.
General English Players
In truth, most of his international teammates haven't been setting the world on fire either for the clubs or at international level, whether it's Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand, or any of the keepers.
Be fair to Theo and let him develop, as not all players develop at the same pace.
Just look at Rooney and Cristiano for proof.