Is it me, or has it been really quiet around Theo recently? As far as I can tell, there have been no more contract talks, or if there have been any, it is all been kept rather quiet. Arsene left Theo on the bench for a lot of games at the end of last season and only played him from the start for a meaningless game and the FA Cup final. He did well in both games and especially the all-important opening goal at Wembley, a few minutes before the end of the first half, was of great value to the team.
It must be make-or-break time for Theo in the coming season. He has plenty of talent albeit it with limitations; but the good thing about Walcott is he works his strength really well and is quietly very self-confident. Having been injured for a whole year has not done his career much good, and how many of us believe he is physically strong enough to last a whole season? I have my doubts and I reckon Arsene might also be pondering whether to keep him or not. Ultimately, consistency and reliability are important; especially if you want convince the manager that the CF role should be yours.
Theo is not an all-round winger, as he relies on launching himself onto through balls and is not a dribbler. His speed is of course a great weapon, especially when there is space and the likes of Ozil, Santi, Jack and Alexis are there to pick him out. But we are often denied space and he struggles with being a focal point in the box. Having said that, he moves well and if and when the ball falls to him there is fearlessness as well as deadliness in him, which reminds me a bit of Prince Poldi. That is his other main strength; directly followed by a very decent first touch.
So his qualities are his speed, cold-bloodedness in front of goal and a decent first touch; but he is injury-prone, does not offer much defensively and lacks some key attributes of a classic CF. If Arsene really wants him to stay at Arsenal for many years to come, I reckon Theo will be signed up with a new contract this summer. And, after being out for so long, I really hope it is not Walcott who is holding back this process by being unreasonable regarding his package.
For years I have defended Theo: his assists and goals per game stats have been, and still are, impressive and he was still young. But I am starting to think it is time to let him go unless he unequivocally commits to Arsenal and works his socks off to really demand a place in the first eleven and help carry the team towards even better silverware.
So over to you fine fellow Gooners: what to do with Theo Walcott?