Walcott v Townsend (and Sturridge, Welbeck, Ox & Bale)

After 6 goals in 2 games, a lot of England fans have been asking the question “Will Walcott get back into the team.” Well, here is some breaking news. Yes he will.

The player currently occupying his position on the right hand side of a front 3 is flavour of the moment Andros Townsend. Some have claimed he is already better than Theo Walcott. Others say that he will become better than Theo Walcott. Both statements are a fallacy and as likely to come true as me getting below 12 stone. Do not believe me? Theo Walcott is currently 24, Andros Townsend 22. So that no one moans (usually from up the road in North London) I have made a fair comparison. What had Theo Walcott achieved up to the season when he was 22 years of age, due to turn 23, in comparison to Andros Townsend:


There is nothing to show in Andros Townsend past to prove the statement “Andros Townsend will become better than Theo Walcott”. And taking into account that the year after 2011/12 (my cut off year for Theo Walcott), he went on to score 21 goals and get 14 assists, it is also a fallacy that “Andros Townsend is better than Theo Walcott”. Townsend has 14 career goals. Walcott scored 21 in 1 season. I think some people need to learn the definition of the word ‘better’.

For a final note on this, Theo Walcott has had a ‘terrible’ start to the 2013/14 campaign, whilst Andros Townsend has had a brilliant start. Yet they have both scored just the 1 goal in all competitions, whilst Theo leads the assists 2 to 1. Just shows, Theo being useless so far is still better than Townsend’s best season so far.

Expanded this a little more, there are 3 attacking positions up for grabs in the England squad. In the last 2 games, they have been occupied by Danny Welbeck, Daniel Sturridge and Andros Townsend. Now some are saying that these 3 will be the front 3 for the World Cup, and that all 3 are better than Theo Walcott. Well, lets look at some more stats: England Striker

For the 3 forward positions, there are 5 players in contention (Sorry Manchester United and Manchester City fans, but Ashley Young and James Milner are useless, as for Lennon, if he gets in, Townsend, the future of English football, won’t be there). I have also stuck Gareth Bale in the comparison just to see how the English players compare to the most expensive (and therefore surely the best?) player of all time.

What is obvious from the statistics is Daniel Sturridge is by far the best goalscorer and his lightning form justifies his selection. 17 goals in his last 2 seasons (28 games) is a decent return and whilst he might not be a World Class striker, he is certainly the best England have. As for the wide positions, the one that stands out, obviously, is Theo Walcott. The two statistics a wide forward needs to be judged on his goals and assists. In his career, he is pretty much level with Gareth Bale, and last season they also averaged a similar number. So how much does that make Walcott worth?

It also makes a mockery of people saying he will not get into the side. Last season, Townsend, Welbeck & Chamberlain scored 4 goals and got 9 assists between them. Theo got more than these on his own. Walcott has made the right wing his own at Arsenal, and will be one of the 1st names on the team sheet for England.

The other interesting comparison is between Welbeck, Townsend and Oxlade-Chamberlain. Welbeck currently has the left hand side, but he showed against Poland he is useless. Townsend is left footed, played most of his youth career on the left wing, but he broken through this year playing right wing. And Oxlade-Chamberlain played left wing at the last European Championship for England. It is clear it is between these 3 for the left wing position. So what do the stats say?

Over his career, Welbeck is the more effective, but interestingly, they all averaged around 5 games per goal/assist last campaign. When you consider Walcott averaged 1.3 and Sturridge 1.5, it is clear England’s left wing will be the week side of the attacking trio.

What is also interesting is how poor Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stats are. I have felt since joining Arsenal, his hype does not come through on his stats and 3 goals and 5 assists in his career perhaps highlight this. Although he is just 20 so the youngest of the group. And he has still got more goals and assists then the future of England, Andros Townsend, despite him being 2 years younger (which again makes a mockery of people calling Townsend ‘England’s Future and saying he is better than Theo Walcott).

If England can get the left wing sorted, and with Rooney playing in the hole with 3 ahead of him with pace and finishing ability, England could surprise a lot of people in Brazil. It would be a fairly exciting forward line!

Theo Walcott is nowhere near losing his England spot, least of all to Andros Townsend. And what is clear by the comparison’s is that he is every bit as effective when it comes to playing as a wide forward as Gareth Bale.


39 thoughts on “Walcott v Townsend (and Sturridge, Welbeck, Ox & Bale)

    1. Mike

      What Theo lacks is the extraordinary media hype, by idiots like tabloid journos and the MotD muppets, to make the world believe that a few spectacular goals is the be all and end all of a ‘world class’ player. No I’m not saying Theo is world class, I’m saying that the brainless hacks and so-called TV “experts” are to a man, failed or untested as managers, coaches, scouts etc. That says more to me than the complete drivel they come out with day after day.

  1. Gooner121212

    I am a fan of Theo and do think he will remain in the England team but you cant analyse players purely by their stats and goals. On form right now Townsend is playing the best out of all the wingers. Theo is a great player but is so frustrating with his lack of a football brain at times, I also think townsend has better control when on the ball however theo makes better runs but needs good service

    1. Louis


      What a moronic comment. Have you not just read the article?! I hate the cliche one liner dished out to Walcott “lacks of a football brain.”

      How can you say this…the article just said he scored and assissted more than any of the other players (bar Bale) which proves he has end product (not all the time, granted but more than others) which means he has a football brain.

      Like you said he makes very good runs, which proves he understands the game and what is needed to get in behind the defence which again proves he has a “football brain.”

      He could improve his first touch and dribbling skills, but that doesn’t mean he lacks a “football brain.”

  2. Tartaruga Jones

    So you assert that past data is a reliable predictor of future performance? In which case you don’t think Townsend is better than a Millwall player presumably, and Gareth Bale is no better than the player who couldn’t get in the Spurs team? Or is the truth in fact that players develop or regress?

      1. Mike

        Data icertainly a better indication than no data and blind speculation which is what everbody else seems to use

  3. Chris

    Based on your pure, statistical tripe – I assume Townsend is a better England international than Walcott? Walcott 1:7.75, Townsend 1:2 (Goals:Games)

    1. mack

      No because 2 games is too short, statistically speaking, to use for data. which is why the author compared the larger numbers…in which walcott is better

  4. despairing of cretins

    Congratulations on the most cretinous article for some time.What sort of moron judges Townsend on the basis “nothing to show in Andros Townsend past” (forgive the lack of apostrophe but I’m quoting it despite the illiteracy) to show “… for crying out loud he’s
    TWENTY TWO. no doubt Ian Wright would have been written off at 22 by this challenged moron. and he’s a Gooner? .Research? Not in their vocabulary!!!

  5. jami

    Some players mature later than others, you can’t Andros won’t be better than Theo because he’s played more games in a more successful team. Useless and blinded article.

  6. England12345

    You’re basing this off the assumption all players develop their potential at the same age and stage of their careers.

    Theo has probably hit his peak early whereas Andros is a late bloomer and not been afforded the same chances due to competition at Spurs and lack of faith from previous managers.

    It’s clear to see Townsend is better purely on the basis he has a footballing brain and an actual end product that Theo has lacked all his life.

    Basically you’re talking out your arse

    1. Savage

      WIth Theo you say “probably” and with Andros you say “is”. That’s bias 101.

      Theo is on the up, and so is Andros. What disturbs me though is the fact that Townsend’s managers had no faith in him. What’s going on behind the scenes that we don’t know of?

  7. Bobby

    Being as Moronic as you:

    TW – 31 Games 4 goals – That is a goal every 7.75 games
    AT – 2 Games 1 goal – That is a goal every 2 games

    Much better strike rate

    1. Mike

      So any sort of statistical analysis is valid on two games is it? Then AT is infinitely worse than he was last week since before the Poland game he was 1 in 1……….

  8. Archie

    Absolute b@llocks!!! Walcott has played one good international!! Every other time heflatters to deceive!!! There are better, stronger right wingers in this country Townsend being one of them!!!

    1. Mike

      That’s just the sort of subjective opinion the author was trying to avoid by using facts……and you accuse him of talking b@llocks…….lmao

    1. Gooner

      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – TWAT.

      On point. In my experience anyone that says “In your case you have just showed how little you understand football!!!!” actually has little understanding themselves. Point proven by your complete lack of an argument.

      Must be a spurs fan. They always over hype their players.

      Townsend’s ok. He has a loooooooong wau to go though.

  9. wilspur

    At 22 walcott would never have got into the spurs team. Townsend would replace walcott in your arse-n-al now. Walcott wouldn’t get back in either team. On the point of england no problem he can keep defoe company on the bench. As for you lot I couldn’t care less but townsend wood keep him out at present. Coys!

  10. Nipper'71.2004

    Usual deluded crap from the yids, who cant wait to tell how good they are GOING to be. Unfortunately it never seems to materialise does it?….

  11. Savage

    Sturridge is overrated. One of the most selfish players in the league. Ask Chelsea fans. Lethal partnership with Suarez? Suarez will hardly get the ball from him. Form yes, class undecided.

    Moral of the story is exactly what the author of the post is indicating. You can’t take a handful of games and judge them early. It’s the Macheda story. Jelavic, Papisse Cisse, Demba Ba – all players with a handful of good games without proving they have long-term pedigree.

    Perhaps Townsend will prove good, but while he’s improving, Theo is too.

  12. Fred

    Absolutely farcical article as has already been commented. It’s (deluded) people like you that give arsenal fans a bad rep. Excruciating clueless

  13. MarkT

    I’m a gooner, but statistical end product is not a great way to evaluate a winger as chances can be created and not converted (if like, Bale your team mates are vastly inferior). Also’ while statistically all goals count equal, some (in fact many) of the former Spud’s finishes are show technique that I can’t imagine Theo replecating. So glad that we have seen the back of him to be honest, the £100m they have spent doesn’t seem to have filled the space he left behind, at least judging by what we saw at the Emirates.

    Andros is showing great potential, but then so did Jermaine Pennant or Jose Antonio Reyes. The real proof of this pudding is in the long term productivity, and there I find myself as sceptical as the writer of the article. Theo’s frustrating because he is so close to being world class, but lets himself down. Aaron Ramsey wasn’t even half as close last season… what a difference a summer can make.

    1. Savage

      So the game is not about end product? One day people will understand why Germany consistently over-perform. Not yet it seems.

      1. MarkT

        Lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics. It is the statistical element that makes your argument weaker. The fact your response ignored a significant part of what I said shows this is not reasoned… A bit like parts of your article.

  14. Blah

    Don’t get carried away about Townsend! The reason he looked so good for England is because he actually tries, i’m not saying all the other England players don’t but Andros is playing without ‘The Fear’ that has blighted England in the past. It also helps that he is one of the few England players who has so far had nothing but support from both the fans and the media. I’m sure that will change though!!!

    1. dududu

      I have to agree, im a spurs fan as as good a performance as he had, lets be honest, Poland and Montenegro are not good teams. If they were, i can promise you, we would not have won those games. Andros has potential, for sure, but the media (not spurs fans i know) are bigging him up to ridiculous heights already. They are setting him up for a massive fall as they do all players who show a little bit of something different when they put on an england shirt. Im in the wait and see camp. Theo has his drawbacks, he also had RVP for a good few years turning his mediocre crosses into goals etc….. so statistics dont mean shit.

  15. Chris

    You should also compare the stats of Ian Wright, and see how he was doing at the age of 22…well, you won’t be able to find any as he was still playing for non-league Dulwich bloody Hamlet at 22, and look what he went on to achieve. These stat comparisons are a joke!
    As the saying goes “there are lies, damn lies, and then there’s statistics.”

    1. gee

      “A Crystal Palace talent scout, Peter Prentice, happened to see Wright playing for Greenwich Borough and invited him to have a trial at Selhurst Park.[1] Having impressed then-manager Steve Coppell,[1] he signed professional terms for Crystal Palace in August 1985, just three months short of his 22nd birthday”

      source is wiki so dont know how reliable.

      Stats do tell a picture – just not the whole picture.

  16. sean f

    Cast in Harry Potter, but did not appear. Erm can this be really claimed as an achievement. Bit like me saying, could of nailed Angelia Jolie, but havent had the pleasure of an introduction yet. lol

  17. Pingback: Furthest Man Forward | Walcott to be Arsenal’s to scorer in 2013/14

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