Theodore James Walcott signed for Arsenal in January 2006.
He was an exciting addition to the squad. A promising Southampton player who was making waves under Harry Redknapp. He apparently was quicker than Thierry Henry and was tipped by many to be Arsenal´s next No. 14.
He has fulfilled both of these expectations. He has indeed broken Thierry Henry´s Arsenal sprint record and he has been wearing the No. 14 top since Thierry left for Barcelona.
However, he has not lived up to the hype. He has not filled the big boots of the Frenchman. He probably hasn´t tried them on.
In my opinion the best word to describe Theo Walcott´s time at Arsenal is erratic. He has indeed had moments of brilliance. His 60-yard run against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter final was masterclass and almost put us through but for silly defending from Mr. Toure.
His opening goal against Chelsea in the Snarling Cup final was taken very professionally and we were unlucky to come away from that game without any silverware. He also scored two great goals against Birmingham only to see them claw back, draw, and do our title hopes serious damage in 2008.
Then this year his introduction against Barcelona was wonderful; he was barely on the pitch when he was being fed through on goal and slotting past Victor Valdes. However, we drew that game as well.
It seems like every time he does something good for us, we let him down as a team.
A lot of people have criticized Sven´s decision to take Theo to the World Cup in 2006. Apparently the other members of the squad were furious with his inclusion, particularly because he hadn´t played a Premier League game and he was apparently shocking in training.
Members of the media and public have also been critical of the young boy ever since then. Expecting him to be something that he is not.
He is not England´s saviour, he is just a boy trying to make a himself into a decent Premier League footballer. He´s 21 years old and I think only Rooney has had more pressure heaped on him than young Theo.
I think he´s improved greatly in the last couple of seasons, in fact I believe up until Christmas last year he was one of our best players.
Unfortunately, he separated his shoulder and he really hasn´t been the same since then, bar one stellar performance against Croatia for England.
He´s got all the assets to be a very effective player. Despite what others say he does have a good footballing brain, knowing when to make the runs, and he is particularly good when given the freedom to run across the backline pulling centrebacks all over the place.
He is also a good finisher.
Then of course there is his blistering pace. He might be the fastest player in world football, and it´s just hard to see a player like this not making more of an impact consistently.
On the downside, his final ball often leaves a lot to be desired, and his first touch has let him down in the past.
Furthermore, he seems content to pass the ball backwards and let someone else change the game when he could be one of Arsenal and England´s most valuable assets.
Lastly, I have never seen him do one stepover, I´m not saying I want a trick pony, but something in his toolbox to help him get past defenders other than ridiculous pace might help him later on in his career.
So what do we want from Theo Walcott? Well I want him to go to the World Cup, score some goals, stay fit, and then continue his progress on the right or left side of an attack 3 next season.
I think he could score 7-10 goals from there if playing with RVP, Arshavin, or Bendtner with his ability to get behind defenders and finish smoothly.
I don´t want to see him miss the cut and then lose confidence because I really want to see him make it in an Arsenal top. I think it would be a shame if all that pace and potential went to waste.
Opinion is divided on Theo Walcott. What do you guys think?