Theo Walcott managed to once again hit the headlines after performing exceptionally well in the FA Cup final against Aston Villa.
Apart from scoring the opening goal, the Arsenal winger also had several chances to double his tally. It was a complete performance from Walcott and one that would convince any manager to start him as a striker. The England international has failed to hit the heights that were once expected from him when he made it to the World Cup 2006 squad as a 17-year-old. Even the player has admitted that his career has not gone in the same direction as he would have hoped.
A major reason behind this has been the numerous injury problems that have plagued him for the last couple of seasons. Despite being in the World Cup squad as a teenager, it is rather surprising to know that Walcott has missed every edition of the World Cup since then. In fact, he has not been a regular for England in a major tournament. Walcott is keen to end this poor statistic by being an integral part of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, while a place in the final squad will also not be too bad either. Walcott has only one year left on his Arsenal contract and he will have to prove himself sooner rather than later.
“If I want to be known as one of the great players, I need to perform for England and Arsenal on a consistent basis. It’s been a gradual process to get here, but these have to be my years. I’m at the age where I need to push on, without a doubt.I’ve got to take my Arsenal form into England matches, which will be a big step for me. My career has all been patches. It hasn’t been at a consistent level. I know that in myself,” said Walcott.
Theo Walcott has a contract with Arsenal that expires in 2016 and negotiations concerning how long he will stay at the Premier League have started. On January of 2006, Walcott completed his move from Southampton to Arsenal and ever since then he has been performing at the Emirates Stadium where he has made over 200 appearances for the Premier League club.
Even after having stayed such a long time at Arsenal and even with the large amount of appearances that Theo Walcott has made, it still feels like the player has not managed to fully establish himself at the Premier League club as fans are divided in relation if they want to see Walcott remain for another season or simply offload him and cut down the wages of the club as the player is earning around £100,000 per week.
A salary of £100,000 each week is pretty high for a player who has been injured for the majority of the season and even now that he is fully recovered, he still isn’t a regular starter for Arsene Wenger.
The French manager Arsene Wenger has had a lot of patience as he still believes that Walcott is a player who has a bright future ahead of him and despite all of the injuries that he has suffered, Walcott has received contract extension in every season.
Arsene Wenger voiced his support to Walcott as the veteran manager said: “He is only young and I believe he will have a great goal-scoring record in the future because of the quality and intelligence of his game. Therefore I want him to stay with our club,” said Wenger last week.
At 26, Walcott is reaching an age that is considered to be the peak of every footballer as it’s generally the period of time where players perform better than ever but after everything that has happened with Walcott is he truly worth all the trouble that Arsene Wenger has gone through to keep him at the Emirates Stadium?
Arsene Wenger has concerns that Arsenal intended to offer winger Theo Walcott a new contract despite concerns that the England international may finally decide to leave the club.
After having been at Arsenal for almost a decade, Walcott is still facing a fight to play regularly as the central striker. Injuries have certainly not helped his career, as the 25-year-old has already overcome several career threatening injuries. Walcott may have signed a new contract only a couple of years ago, but it is set to expire in the summer of 2016. Once again, clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City are showing interest in the speedster.
Walcott has said time and time again that money is not the important problem in his contract. It is understood that the player is keen on playing regularly and in his preferred central striker role. Wenger, on the other hand, has seen the numerous injuries suffered by the player and says that he cannot guarantee him such a position in the team right now. This stalemate could see Walcott joined the list of players like Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri, and Cesc Fabregas, who had to be eventually sold because they were unable to agree a new contract with the club.
"The first contacts have been established with the embassy. We will see how that (negotiations) progresses politically.Walcott was difficult to convince (in 2013) and that is why it took us much time.We have a started very early with him, but it was slow progress - he is very quick on the pitch, but off the pitch not always. I always wanted to keep him and I still want to keep him now. I want him to stay and be a regular player and fight for his place, but no matter where you go if it is a big club you have to compete for your place,” said Wenger.
Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has come out in praise of defender Kieran Gibbs after the England international has put in some impressive performances in recent times.
It has often been held thatGibbs is a shadow of some of the former Arsenal left back, a list that includes Ashley Cole. The 25-year-old is no longer the youngster who can be allowed to commit a few mistakes in the game. He now joins the Legion of experienced players in the Arsenal team. It is this experience, which has been acquired over the years, that seems to be helping the player.
His impressive performances recently culminated in the goal against Anderlecht. He also contributed an assist in the 3-0 win over Burnley. Arsenal have not been solid at the back throughout this campaign, butGibbs has been one of their better players. Ramsey says that the prospect of being the first choice left back for the England international team coupled with regular football at Arsenal appears to be showing its benefits on the 25-year-old. Ramsey himself will be disappointed with his personal form. After a spectacular goalscoring campaign, the Welsh international is finding it difficult to score goals on a consistent basis.
“Kieran’s performances this season have shown what he’s all about and he’s been really consistent as well, which is vital.He is definitely one that relishes the test of being England full-back.Everybody is really proud to represent their national team and it means a lot to him. He was delighted to play [against San Marino] and he hopes he can continue in the squad and get a regular chance. He’s put in some really good displays [for Arsenal] this season, too. He gets up and down, he can tackle and puts some crosses in at the other end of the pitch as well,” said Ramsey.
Arsene Wenger says that winger Theo Walcott needs at least two months before he can be at his lethal best.
The England international recently returned from yet another long-term injury, which has kept him out for almost a year. Walcott has not started a match since January last year when he featured against Swansea. He suffered a cruciate ligament injury in the FA Cup match against Tottenham. It was widely expected that he would return just in time for the start of this campaign, but his recovery has taken longer than expected.
Walcott was forced to miss yet another major international tournament for England as a result of this injury. Wenger recently provided positive news concerning the 25-year-old, who returned on the pitch in the 3-0 win over Burnley. Even though he has been included for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying matches, the Frenchman is not very positive about the impact Walcott will have over the next few weeks. He says that the 25-year-old is far from 100% fitness and this will have a direct impact on his game, which relies heavily on the pace. The return of Walcott is crucial given that Arsenal are going through several injury problems in the midfield with the likes of Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil being ruled out for considerable amount of time.
"Once you're back in full training, you count two months.Of course, people think you're back and you play but it's not like that. Ten months (out) is a long time.He will go with England and get what he needs to. He will get competitive training every day and get back into games.Roy Hodgson is free to do what he wants. (Walcott) has been chosen by England and he needs competition,” said Wenger. Walcott went on to make another substitute appearance against Swansea.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the wait is almost over and Theo Walcott is only a few days away from making his long awaited return to the pitch after the injury that he picked up in January when playing a FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspurs.
Theo Walcott has missed over 9 months of action as he has had to recover and stay on the sidelines of Arsenal as he watched them playing Premier League matches week after week but not being able to help inside of the pitch besides just managing to cheer them on.
If the last stages of the recovery of Theo Walcott goes as expected and he does not suffer any further setbacks, then he will be available and ready to play on October 18 when Arsenal locks horns with Hull City.
Even though Walcott has not been featured in any official match of Arsenal in over 9 months, reports are suggesting that Arsenal is preparing to offer him a new deal that would see him remaining at the Emirates Stadium until 2018 as the club wants to secure his services for the upcoming few years.
A few weeks ago Olivier Giroud signed a new contract with Arsenal as the Frenchman signed a deal that runs up until 2018 and Giroud will be earning around €80,000 and now Theo Walcott is on the list of players that Arsene Wenger wants to have tightly secured with a new offer of increased wages and a longer stay with the Premier League club.
Arsene Wenger is happy to see Theo Walcott entering the final stages of his recovery as the French manager said: "Theo's return is a big thing for us. Let's not forget that he got injured on 1 January and we are now in October. That's nine months and we had to wait for a long time."
There is someone in the Arsenal squad now who is even faster than Theo Walcott. It’s Hector Bellerin, the 19-year old defender.
Walcott himself disclosed that while interacting with his fans on a social networking site the other day.
As per Walcott, Bellerin, who belongs to Spain, recently completed a 40-metre sprint in lesser time than him.
Somebody had actually asked Walcott who, he thinks, would come first if a sprint race takes place between him and his former teammate and France legend Thierry Henry.
To that, Walcott replied, “I think it would be me. Thierry is in the veteran’s category now and if at this age, I don’t get better of him speed wise, I would be really gutted. It was me only who had left him behind in sprint a few years ago. However, I have also been left behind now, by Hector Bellerin.”
Bellerin had spent his childhood days at Barcelona, but, when he was 16 years of age, he came to England and joined Arsenal.
He has featured just once for the first team of Gunners, not in the League, but, in the Cup during the 2012-13 Season. He had substituted Mikel Arteta before the start of the extra time in that game.
Bellerin had been on loan in the middle of the previous season for a few weeks. He returned to Emirates again in February and spent the rest of the season on the bench. The right back might get to make his league debut in the upcoming season.
It was Watford where Bellerin had been loaned out to and he had played regularly there. Making 8 Championship appearances, he had done well.
Bellerin has played a handful of international matches too, but, only at the junior levels i.e. U-17 and U-19.
Arsenal winger Theo Walcott, who spent the majority of last season on the sidelines, has said that he is very much looking forward to playing along with the club’s new signing, Alexis Sanchez. After several years of playing catch-up with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City the transfer market, Arsenal have finally started spending money in the last two transfer windows. This helped the club in the trophy drought that started in 2005 with the FA Cup last season. They have managed to improve the squad even further after bringing in Sanchez from Barcelona for £ 30 million.
The Chilean star was a major reason behind his country reaching the last 16 of the World Cup and almost beating hosts Brazil. He is capable of playing anywhere across the front three, which suggests that he is likely to play along with Walcott upfront. Walcott has spoken about the club’s new signing for the first time and he says that Sanchez is a player who will improve the team massively. Following the signing, Arsenal will be regarded as proper title contenders even before the start of the season. Last season, their title challenge withered away during March due to the lack of strength in depth.
Walcott failed to make it to the World Cup yet again due to injury. “Sánchez is a world-class player and I enjoyed watching him play for Barcelona and for Chile at the World Cup. He’s still very young as well and he is going to show so much pace and power, which we lacked a bit last year. With me and him on the flanks, a lot of teams won’t be looking forward to playing Arsenal this year. It is great to learn from these players, and I cannot wait to play alongside him. I am really looking forward to it,” said Walcott.
Theo Walcott’s recovery seems to be on track. The 25-year old forward is all set to be back for his team Arsenal at the start of the 2014-15 Season.
Walcott had got injured severely while representing the Gunners in a FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year. Not only did that injury rule him out of the remaining part of the Premier League, it also ensured that he wouldn’t feature for the Three Lions in the FIFA World Cup 2014.
Before that injury, Walcott was being considered to be one of the certainties in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad, but, unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
Arsenal missed Walcott a lot in the Premier League after that. They clearly looked hampered by the exit of a world class player and their performance kept going down. From being the top contender to win the title, they went to a position where they started struggling for a Champions League place.
The Gunners eventually got that Champions League place though as they finished the season at the 4th position in the table. They even won the FA Cup, but, there is no doubt that if Walcott had not got injured at that crucial juncture; the season would have turned out to be so much better for them.
Walcott, had he been fit, might have Changed England’s fortunes as well in the ongoing FIFA World Cup. The Three Lions are struggling big time in Brazil at the moment. They are clearly missing somebody in peak form upfront.
Walcott, yesterday, uploaded a video of him putting in hard yards in the gym on a social networking site.
The caption of that picture was, “Trained well with Jake, my friend.”
Walcott should be available for Arsenal for their first game next season.
Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger had to work hard in order to lift the FA Cup as they defeated Hull City in a dramatic match which saw both teams scoring twice which forced the encounter to go into added time and a late goal from Aaron Ramsey gave his side the precious triumph.
Wenger and Arsenal were going through a significantly long period of time that saw them being unable of securing any major piece of silverware in over 7 years but this came to an end and Wenger revealed just how important it was for him and his players on winning the FA Cup.
"It was more important today than all the others. Twice we did the double in 1998 and 2002; we had already won a trophy so we were not under the pressure we were today. I've won it now five times, it's not too bad. I'm in good company with Ferguson." Wenger said.
The match picked off in a disastrous fashion for Arsenal as they fell behind 2-0 during the opening 8 minutes of the encounter but goals from Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny obliged the game to continue rolling on for 30 more minutes until Ramsey sealed it for Arsenal.
"We made a demonstration of how to respond to being 2-0 down, and a demonstration of how not to start a Cup final. I was shocked. We were a bit hesitant and you wonder if the shock would be too hard, but this team has a special spirit and a special togetherness to respond." Wenger continued speaking after winning the crucial match.
Arsenal spent the majority of the Premier League season in pole position but as the campaign progressed on, their charge for the top spot started to fade and disappear. Wenger is grateful that the team managed to hold on to the 4th spot but he is ecstatic about adding another trophy to his cabinet.