Theo Walcott’s role in the Arsenal side was high on the agenda when Arsene Wenger spoke ahead of Sunday’s game against Manchester City.
The manager bought Theo 10 years ago and has played him all across the front line. Read on for his latest thoughts on the England international.
on Walcott’s change of heart over playing through the centre…It was a big shock for Theo not to go to the Euros. Maybe he felt in some games he didn’t [do well]… especially in one game there was a question for Theo Walcott and that was the game at Man United where everyone questioned him in this position. I think on the day he didn’t perform well, it was not only Theo Walcott who didn’t have a great game, it was everybody. From then on, people became sceptical.
I believe that he has all the ingredients to be a great striker, because of the quality of his runs. He is an intelligent player, a good finisher. He is not a great defender so I believe that to use his runs in the final third for us could be very efficient. After that, I think scoring goals playing there, giving him confidence to play there, will slowly convince him maybe that he can be absolutely fantastic there. On the flank, today there is much defensive work asked from the players that you lose a lot of his qualities when you put him there. For me in my head I will use him more up front.
You know a year ago he was more confident to play through the middle and I’m convinced that [the Man United game] changed his mind, the fact that he was not selected for the Euros was a big blow for him. Theo is intelligent, he analyses well what’s happening to him and he’s mentally very strong, and the way he practises, the way he works since the start of the season, I think I’m very positive that we can get a great season from him.
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