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:
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.