Theo, Theo, Theo Walcott, his an Englishman at Arsenal.
He is also a bottle job. A disgrace. A player who’s time is up.
I do not usually like such aggressive criticism of players. But sometimes it is needed. Sometimes there is a straw that brakes the camels back. And the performance in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland was that straw.
For many a year, I back Theo. I saw a player in him. Whilst many wrote him off, I was rewarded with my faith in the player.
In 2012/13, he scored 21 goals in 43 games, adding 11 Premier League assists that season. As a comparator, that year Gareth Bale scored 26 in 44 with just the 7 assists. The summer of 2013 Gareth Bale joined Real Madrid for a lot of money.
Theo Walcott was still just 24 at the time. He seemed patience had been rewarded. That he had finally arrived as a top player.
Half way through that season, he held the club to ransom. With Robin van Persie, Alex Song, Samir Nasri & Cesc Fabregas having recently left the club, Arsenal were in a fragile place. They could not afford another summer where the sides best performer leaves. He got a bumper new contract.
The next year, he bounced from injury to injury, but every time he came in he looked in good touch, including a terrific cameo appearance against Manchester City (when we lost heavily). 2014/15 was very much the same. One injury followed the next.
That summer Arsenal were in a quandary. Walcott had one year left of the contract. Do the club offer him a new deal, offload a player for cheap, or risk losing him at the end of the season for nothing. Arsenal did what was probably the right thing at the time and offered him a new contract.
On the 31st July 2015, Theo Walcott signed a new (reportedly) £140,000 a week 4 year deal, thus making him one of the clubs highest earners alongside Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The value of the contract at the time was baffling. Here was a player who had been injured for 2 years. The ball was no longer in his court. He could no longer bully us like he did in 2013. But it seems he (and his agent) did.
Arsenal could easily have called his bluff, told him to take a lower deal or be sold, and replaced him if necessarily. Instead, the club bowed down to his demands and did not sign a single outfield player.
Theo Walcott had just secured his future. A contract through until he was 30, earning him nearly £30,000,000 before tax. Count the zero’s. That is thirty million quid.
And then as suspected, this season followed the last two, and the majority of his career. Injuries.
So here was a player who in 10 years at Arsenal, had performed consistently at a high level for 1 season, and two half’s of a season, tied to a lucrative contract that will set him up for life.
And then we come to Sunderland.
With the goal gapping, he had a 50/50 challenge with Younes Kaboul. It wasn’t even a 50/50. It was probably 80/20 in his favour. He bottled it.
In that selfish moment, he showed he is more interested in himself, in his chances of making Euro 2016, than that of the team.
He would rather not risk an injury to make the ferry to France, than score a goal which would keep us on the coat tails of Spurs.
It was an utter disgrace.
The club had stood by him after 2 years of injury. Had rewarded him with a £30m contract. And that is the way he thanks us. It was a two fingers up to everyone. To the management, to the fans, and to his team mates. You certainly would not want to see Walcott in the trenches with you. He is more likely to throw you infront of the bullet than take one for you.
I do not want to see Theo Walcott in an Arsenal shirt again.
More than that, I do not want him picked for England. I am going out to France for the Wales game, Walcott does not deserve to be on that plane.
I then want Walcott bombed out in the summer.
He comes across as a nice lad, yet on numerous occasions has held the club to ransom, and then showed no commitment to the side when needed. He certainly does not go the extra mile.
It is time for him to be shipped out, hopefully to somewhere awful like Hull or Burnley.
Theo Walcott, we can not even say thanks for the memories but it is time to say goodbye.