Arsenal’s Best Attackers Ever: Nr19 His Name is Devine

Arsenal’s Century Club – Theo Walcott

At times Theo was, honouring his name, Godly!

Today we start to look at the players who are members of – “The Arsenal Century Club”

Nineteen players have achieved the feat and they played for the club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark.

We start today with the player who took the most games and we will finish the series of posts with the player who took the least.

Theo James Walcott was born 16 March 1989 in Stanmore, London, but grew up in Compton, Berkshire. He attended Compton Church of England Primary School and The Downs School. Nike agreed to a sponsorship deal with Walcott when he was fourteen years old. He is a product of the Southampton Academy and started his career with Southampton before Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal in 2006 for £5 million.

He initially joined as a scholar, having agreed to sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday on 16 March 2006.

On 30 May 2006, Walcott became England’s youngest ever senior football player aged 17 years and 75 days. In December, he received the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. On 6 September 2008, he made his first competitive start in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra. He has represented England at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012 and has 47 caps, scoring eight goals. In September 2008 against Croatia he became the youngest player ever to score a hat-trick for the full England side, aged just 19.

His first goal for Arsenal came in the 2007 League Cup Final against Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on 25 February 2007. His 12th-minute strike was overshadowed by events later on in the match: John Terry was knocked unconscious, Didier Drogba scored twice to give Chelsea a 2–1 victory and three players were sent off following a mass brawl.

Some word’s from the man himself-

“I was only 17 and hadn’t even played in the Premiership when I went to Germany. It wasn’t my decision to pick me. But it was good experience to train with world-class players, see the way they handled themselves.

“I never read the papers, so I never know what people are saying about me. That helps. The environment I’m in with the other players around me, I don’t really see what is in the papers. Of course I wanted to play for Arsenal. But I was only 17 and I didn’t want to play too much and get injuries. The boss has done brilliantly with me and now I’m ready to push on.”

Some more words-

Football is about opinions, but love me or hate me I don’t really care,” he said.

“I have been so pleased with everything I have achieved and I’ve enjoyed everything about it. Even with the injuries, it is part of the game. I genuinely wouldn’t change anything, I don’t have any regrets. 

“I’ve seen players come through who everyone says, ‘They’re the next best thing’ and they put so much pressure on them, but then they go down the leagues and down the leagues and you just don’t hear about them anymore. But if you’re strong up here [mentally] and you have good people around you, then you can get through it.”

This may come as a surprise, but Walcott is a published author.

He has written no less than four children’s books for his “T.J and the…” series.

He was just 21 when they were published in 2010. The lead character, TJ, appears to be based on the author. Goodreads rated every one of the books at least 4.5/5.

Arsenal 100 Goal Club
# Player From To Total ** Per game
19 Theo Walcott 2005 2018 108 370 0.27
** Games played to reach 100 goals.

In his 370th game for Arsenal on February 20th 2017 he scored his 100th goal in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Sutton United.

Throughout his last season at Arsenal, he was mainly used in the Europa League and in the EFL Cup, and he only made 6 substitute appearances in the Premier League. By October, he was increasingly on the fringes and was criticised following a poor performance when made captain in a 2–1 League Cup victory at home to Championship side Norwich City.

On 17 January 2018, Walcott signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Everton, ending his time at Arsenal.


44 thoughts on “Arsenal’s Best Attackers Ever: Nr19 His Name is Devine

  • Theo is a good striker but he will be remembered for his failures in the final season rather than the good things he did for us.

    A pity, but he is still a quick player. He lost the edge when he left us.

  • njk,
    He was at Arsenal and still is at Everton a total enigma when he first arrived from Southampton we all thought that we had a wonder kid on our hands – but instead he just left us wondering?

  • Hi Total,

    I’ve sent you a revised spreadsheet cutting out four of the columns, I hope that makes it small enough.

  • TA,

    I’ll work on a way to both reduce and improve the layout to make it fit on future posts.

  • It is quite amazing that of all the many hundreds of players who have worn The Shirt for Arsenal, |Theo is one of the special club who reached 100 goals. For me he was such a disappointment in the end. But he has a strong self belief, is clever and communicates very well and that is why he made a decent career out of his talents.

  • It would be good to hear from EriktR, JW1, PE, Legallos, Retsub, Kevski, and whoever I am forgetting right now. Give us a shout buddies!! 🙂

  • Hi fellas… Excellent post, GN5, and a great way to start what promises to be an incredible history lesson…

    2006 was the critical moment for me as an Arsenal supporter as (for about 3 months, from September to December) that was when I lived at my screen-name and fell in with the club. Of course 2006 was also the year of the “big switch”–when the club moved from Highbury to Ashburton Grove and also began selling ownership shares to Stan Kroenke.

    That spring Arsenal led the Champions League final for 75 minutes (playing 55 of those minutes a man down) before conceding twice and losing the match to Barcelona FC, who had an 18 year old, Leo Messi watching from the sidelines. The following season–in the new stadium–began with the Dennis Bergkamp testimonial.

    Thierry Henry–who failed to score in both the CL and World Cup finals–began that season injured and would eventually follow many of his Highbury teammates in leaving Arsenal, moving on to become teammates with Messi at Barcelona. Eventually Theo Walcott would wear his #14 shirt for our club.

    But, of course, he would never fill his shoes…

    100 goals at Arsenal is an impressive tally, but Theo was no Henry and, of course, no Messi, either…

    All of which is to say that history is (maybe?…) a series of stories and those narratives ALL have their own context and can be approached from any perspective. (And, expectations and hype are the prism through which those watching history as it happens render their–or our–judgments.)
    Arsenal (and the prodigy, Theo Walcott) went one way, Barca (and theirs, Messi) another. It’s not all down to fate–and the space between Manuel Almunia’s knees–but I wonder how things might have been had Messi been the Arsenal player and Theo the kid at Barca… (Or, if maybe my wife had had her teaching exchange in Spain rather than England that autumn…)

    Anyhow, thanks for the post, Mr. N5… And for putting it up, TA (unwieldy tables and all)… An excellent diversion in these difficult times…

  • 17HT
    As you maybe aware I was born and mostly bred in Highbury, my Dad found us a two family house in N7 and to my horror we moved away from the Arsenal. The house was typical of post WW11 in the Caledonian Road area, we lived in the top two floors and the attic – there was no electricity, just gas, a fireplace in each room, only cold water in the lower level and one toilet also in the lower level, there was not a bathroom in the house. We bathed in a tin bath after my Dad made many trips to the lower level to fill two buckets of water at a time and the water was heated on a coal burning stove, he had to make the return journey to empty the bath, so baths were only once a week. We had no complaints as we knew no better – we even had two cats as pets – but mainly to kill the rats, Life was not easy after WW11. Covid-19 is easy in comparison to living through WW11 and it’s aftermath.

    But on to Arsenal they have been my passion since the 1940’s and remain so today.

    Theo arrived in a blitz of publicity and he was eased into the first team by Arsene, I think each and every supporter waited for the day when he would become a world class player but that day never came. He showed us glimpses of greatness on many occasions but with so many injuries and inconsistent performances he never achieved the reached the heights we all hoped he would. He was liked by most supporters but not missed by many when he was transferred to Everton, not unlike Iwobi.

  • Thanks Mr N5 (or is it N7?)…and I agree about Theo… My only point is that football is such a team game that (I think) it’s difficult to know how an individual might perform if his team environment was different. Am I saying that Theo = Leo. No, no I am not… 😉

    Personally, I love the, er, personal stories, including how you lived in the post WWII period. Our place in Mexico has no hot water (but it does flow–by gravity only–from a black plastic storage tank on the roof so it’s pretty warm in the afternoon if the sun has been out). And, (no cats, but…) I’d like to start keeping chickens down there, not only for the eggs, but to eat the insects (there are pesky ants–not hormigas atomicas, one of Leo Messi’s nicknames–but also alacranes or escorpiones–scorpions (which, I fear, aren’t, technically at least, insects). Of course, some hot water–and some fiber-optic internet, which, they say, might be coming–if I can get back down there and get going on some construction work, will hopefully be part of the future structures at the property. Right now, I’m working on how to get some pesos (the exchange rate is very high at the moment) down to my friend/builder guy/real estate agent, Felipe, so he can work and/or keep himself (and his family, and maybe a helper or two) fed…

    Which is all to say that we’ve got a strange (and very global) moment going right now…so, it’s hard to be too bitter about Theo and his (only…) 100 goals–over 10 plus seasons…compared to say the 100 goals scored in a SINGLE season (08/09) by Messi, Eto’o and Henry at Barca…

    Stay healthy, Sen(y)or…and keep the posts coming!

  • Great story about the olden days, GN5! You have witnessed at first hand the incredible economic and social improvements since the ending of WW2, culminating in you now living in Canada with always enough wine in the cellars to keep you in good spirits (and receiving state of the art cancer treatment which will hopefully cure you soon). I am wondering how much you miss your North-London roots at this stage of your life. I am a lot younger than you but when I visit my dad who I reckon is around your age, and who still lives in South-Limburg where I grew up, I really want to visit the places that I know so well from my youth. Luckily, I also still have friends who live there so we can reminisce together.

  • Another great story from 17HT. Your time in London clearly left its marks on you and keeps the link with Arsenal alive. If Theo had been of Messi calibre then I think we can be sure he would have been sold during the new stadium barren years. I guess he was just good enough for us to keep him and him to make enough difference to us, especially in his early years when his goals/assist stats were decent.

    I would imagine that the Mexico project feels a bit out of your hands right now? You must depend on the goodwill you were able to build up there for work to be continued? Having chickens to eat the ants and scorpions sounds like a good idea… their eggs will be packing a punch no doubt?! 🙂

  • Nice one fellas, I’m presently sitting at home as my taxi business has just ground to a halt, therefore I’m presently doing all those jobs that I steadfastly put off whilst listening to all the grim news on the wires.

    Theo Walcott is your classic You Tube footballer, that is you could easily put together a montage of his best goals and moments and convince people that he was a top top class wing forward and finisher. But interspersed between his goals there was a lot of time when the game just passed him by and he almost seemed content to let it do so. I always felt with him that there was so much more that he could give but he either lacked the physical attributes or the desire, it was almost as if he did just enough to keep his place for the next game.
    Scoring 100 goals from the wing isn’t an easy feat so he had it in him to deliver, but as with his England career, it’s summed up by his hat trick against Croatia with the rest of his International appearances easily forgettable. So for me Theo Walcott scored some great goals and was involved in some big moments during the latter Wenger years but he ultimately left you thinking that there was a lot more that he could and should have given to the cause.

  • Amen to that, Kev. You’ve got YouTube Theo there to a T.

    Hope you are doing ok financially there, Kev. Must be a hit to your business or do you drive for a big company who pay your wages? Tea and biscuits for a while then?

    In my humble opinion, they should have closed down public transport and have key workers transported by save-guarded taxis. Not sure whether that is technically possible, but to have everyone in packed tubes really didn’t make sense…

  • Another fine article, GN5 and looking to be a good series. Good one on you as I am certain this is one from your archives, about which you spoke a while back. It gives me goosebumps when you regale us with stories of the times past, which some of us only ever read about; like the World wars, particularly WW11, after which the world saw a new industrial revolution amidst the reconstruction and economic re-alignments. In my eyes (well, as I can only read you), you are some kind of legend (I know I don’t make sense there but…) because as a kid, I did read a lot of War comics and novels and would often dream of those eras, placing myself in the stories in the process; so, to listen to you speak of life in and after that era sure gets my attention and has me in awe. Okay, back to the football.

    A lot of the comments have captured the enigma that was Theo Walcott well enough. He came to the club as a starry eyed, 16 year old kid who was going to be the next best thing, sending the message it was a big coup. TV clips showed his pace and ability to shoot, while at S’pton as his key strengths. So, easy to project as to what he would be like at 20 years…. Alas! It wasn’t to be quite as projected. Did he get scarred by that invite (and no action) to the World Cup squad by Sven Goran Eriksen? Was he weighed down by expectations? Did he give exactly what he promised and would probably be the same whether at Arsenal or Barca? I would answer NO to the first two questions and YES to the third.

    Theo was way too intelligent to get carried away by the hype. He was focused, a lad with a good head on his soldiers who felt privileged all the time (until his contract became due for extension; another reason I give him kudos for being smart, as he managed to do just enough to milk his “England International” status to get a good extension, each time) to be in the game at the level he was at, considering the level of his quality. Theo wasn’t the most skillful, would trip over himself at critical moments in the game and was so pace-oriented, he could run leaving the ball behind (many times) leaving the fans groaning as to what might have been, each time. What Theo had was this composure in front of goal when he is able to find himself in position and awareness as to when to pick a pass/cross, instead of shooting. RvP loved Theo a lot for his many assists to him, in the season right before he left us for United. Theo could also dink the ball over the keeper or bend it Henry-esque, when he cuts in from the left side. But, that was it. I guess we never kept hoping he would come good and failed to realize he was approaching 30 on us.

    To achieve that lofty height of hitting 100+ goals for us is no mean feat, but the number of games he took to get there tells a story in itself, as he was a Wenger favourite and got to play most games, to the chagrin of discerning fans. Some would refer to him as Wenger’s love-child for the number of games he got to play when fit. When you thought we could have Ox in his place, you must wonder if he didn’t have something stuck in his contract that made Wenger prefer him. However, he was a better finisher than the Ox, who isn’t bad himself. Theo was just a good servant and a fine role model (scandal free kid, who became a man at same club) for the young players.

  • Wenger failed to improve the squad a few times because he wanted to protect the likes of Theo and also (perhaps) show he was right about the kid. I feel Theo May have ended up in some lower league club but for Wenger’s faith in him and ability to bring out the best in average players. No one else could have been that patient, honest. I guess Wenger admired his intelligence and wanted that around the club.

    I remember when he scored his first goal senior in that league cup final vs Chelsea (we had a fully changed, young squad by the way with Chelsea presenting their full squad), Wenger celebrated like a proud Dad. He did, so badly, want that boy to succeed. Hopefully, Theo will look back and acknowledge what the great man did for him.

  • Licensed taxi drivers, in London and across the UK are sole traders Total, so we’re on our own.

    There was a suggestion made in the House of Commons that the black taxis of London could be used to ferry NHS workers around on a fixed rate, as our partition between passenger and driver affords both some form of social distancing but I suspect that too many politicians have their snouts in the Uber trough so I never really saw that happening despite all the empty rhetoric in the House.
    Interesting to see how the brave new on line business world has fallen apart in these troubled times, businesses built of straw.
    Maybe a reframing of policy when it comes to manufacturing is the way for many western countries to go, you know, manufacturing your own vital resources instead of flogging off everything to the Chinese for profit despite the long term damage that that will do to everyone.

    Underlying all our concerns and worries the greed is good culture will still be alive and well in most Boardrooms…

  • If Walcott would be 17 this year he would worth 70M+
    He was such a talent. It’s a shame hi didn’t progress in the trajectory he was destined to do.

    Yes, Wenger was more loyal to his players than any manager I know.
    But he wasn’t solely responsible for Theo’s arrested development. In hindsight it must have been some mentality or motivation issue. Mbappé wasn’t any better of Walcott at the age of 17, but look where he is now.

    Anyway I feel nostalgic to all players who we eventually sold on purpose he couldn’t live up or continue at the highest Arsenal requirements, and hence wish all the best for Theo – just like Wilshere, Giroud, Coquelin, Iwobi, Gibbs, Jenkinson, Ospina, Perez, Campbell and co. On the other hand my wishes (albeit worth little to none) do not apply to players who left us even though we needed them, like Koscielny, Oxelade-Chamberlain, van Persie, Fabregas, Sanchez, Ramsey, Flamini, and in some extent Cazorla either.

  • Thank you for the comments today, unfortunately I’ve been tied up and unable to respond.
    I’m glad that the premise is accepted – one down eighteen to go.
    Keep safe and adhere to the local and national recommendations, Covid-19 is an invisible killer.

  • Ah! Good on you, TA. You know I meant type “shoulders” there. 😂😂

    What can I say? I am, like most in the cities with strict lockdown orders, staying indoors and keeping safe, obeying all health safety tips/recommendations. However, I am having to do a lot of working from home, leveraging on available technology for meetings. It’s almost as if there is competition to show who is busiest working from home; I have had to address more stuff now than when I had to be on location at work.

    I find the Telecoms companies are real cash cows at this time; you feel folks are busy using data more than ever, even as staying home gets boring. Memes about COVID -19 abound as everyone with any sense of humour tries to outdo the other with jokes, anecdotes, videos and memes about Nigeria and COVID-19. Not sure if the ordinary man on the streets can cope with a month of this, so hoping the government must come up with palliatives and variations to accommodate such persons, or the strain may start to tell….soon enough.

  • Gn5, i feel sad about Theo and Wilshere being largely injured during their final years. Without those injuries what they will bring to the team. More than just FA cups.

    That is what we were missing and that is what we lost out too. Great players with great potential but largely injured.

    Eris, here in Singapore we have fibre internet connections that have a limit on speed, but not limited to the amount of data you use. Our base shared speeds per apartment block can go up to 10gbps shared among 30 units.

    Some older folks who are working in the office are the ones affected. As they have no use for internet connectivity earlier on, they are forced to look for other options like paying more to subscribe to fibre connectivity or getting sim card with more data for work.

    Most countries do that, but it may vary on the amount of data supplied. And yes. The biggest winners this time round is the telcos and the net meeting providers.

  • Sorry to hear that, Kev. Surely Sole Traders should also be supported. I can understand your bitterness with it all. A return back to manufacturing is a good call but the UK has moved so much more away from it than most of mainland Europe that it will be hard, very hard. The Brits are great at inventing (especially the Scots) but seeing it through into strong operations/manufacturing is another skillset … that requires planning, policy, etc and that appears to be harder to establish in the UK.

  • Pb, Theo milked his (limited but yet special) talents very, very well. He treated himself like a brand and communicated very well around the times that new contract needed to be signed. I expect him to go into management or do a Commercial Director role, or something in PR. He is so slick.

    I have to say to not miss Theo at all. He did not come through and I found him calculated; now compare that with Giroud and you know what I mean.

  • GN5, the premise is great and I know you will take us deep into Arsenal history with this project. We are lucky to have you here on BK. Look after yourself and take it ODAAT. 🙂

  • the Lockdowns require a lot of discipline, Eris, and I think you are right that it will test the people of all nations. These are unprecedented times and, as it is a pandemic, very hard for individual nations to control.

    You wrote: “t’s almost as if there is competition to show who is busiest working from home; I have had to address more stuff now than when I had to be on location at work.”

    I recognise this behaviour from projects if and when people work from home. Management control gets a different form and people want (to look and) be busy. So they will focus much more on tasks and outputs, and with that deadlines, to feel in control, even though it often does not make any sense. Being/looking busy can be an addiction and base for self respect.

  • 84, good stuff and hope you and family are good.

    I saw a programme the other day about The Jewel in Singapore. Very impressive. Have you been yet? What is it like?

  • Eris, of course I knew what you meant but I thought ‘a good head on your soldiers’ was a brilliant slip of the tongue/typo. Had to point it out. 🙂

  • TA, for me it is like: Just another shopping mall with lots of floors.

    The area with the lush greenery is something worth looking at up close and personal. Maybe when everything is settled down you can come over and have a look.

    The mall part is like other shopping malls. Lots of food and beverages, and shops aplenty.

    For the part which is the adventure skywalk, it is something which you can try too, but for a fee. I have yet to see that part, but it is worth visiting it.

  • JK, you get the drift, precisely; any which way, the TELCOS win, apparently. We do have fibre optic coverage, drawn from the kilometres of submarine (broadband) cables all the way from Europe. This has even enhanced the aspiration of LAGOS (the commercial capital of Nigeria) to build a so called “smart city”, reliant on 5G technology.

    Despite this, I guess the Telcos here have figured that they can continue milking the users by selling data with promise of high speed internet, depending on the bouquet/data bundle you subscribe to. It’s the way businesses roll.

  • One more thing, Singapore is one country I have promised myself I must visit (before I “go”), basically because I have heard glowing reports of the country. My wife also looks forward to it, as a matter of fact which makes the plan “good to go”.

    I shall be consulting you when that time comes; hopefully, it isn’t too long as to have lost contact with you. 🤓

  • These are indeed unprecedented, even abnormal, times, TA. I can bet the world won’t be the same after this as businesses and households suddenly adapt their priorities in line with experiences during this lockdown. I wore a mask for the first time today as I had to step out for a bit. Strange feel around the face; not for me, unfortunately.

    And, yeah. “a good head on his soldiers” does have a fine ring to it, but I guess Theo was (is ?) no soldier. 😉

  • Yes Eris, I have a mask but have not used it yet. Keep a distance and was your hands every time you have been out (and avoid touching your face amap). Stay strong buddie.

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