Walcott Scouted By Juventus – But Why Would They Want Him?!
I paid a visit to the home of football on Saturday; Wembley Stadium. Of course, en route to the England football teams historic home ground, lengthy discussion took place between me and my Arsenal supporting brother about football, and ha…
I paid a visit to the home of football on Saturday; Wembley Stadium. Of course, en route to the England football teams historic home ground, lengthy discussion took place between me and my Arsenal supporting brother about football, and having just witnessed an interesting draw against Montenegro in Euro qualifying, there was plenty to talk about. However, the subject soon turned to Theo Walcott.
I have nothing against him as a person; he seems a very polite, friendly guy – I just find him useless on the football field, both for Arsenal and England. He shows glimpses of quality, such as the odd goal here and there, and perhaps on the rare occasion in which he gets around his man out-wide, he may deliver a decent cross, but it doesn’t happen enough to be in any way effective. The biggest shock for me in the game between England and Montenegro on Friday was not that England lost a two goal lead, not that Rooney was sent off, but that Theo Walcott delivered a good cross for Ashley Young to head home for the first goal.
Cherish that moment, because it won’t be happening for a while. You can imagine my shock when I returned home to read that Juventus, the Italian footballing giants, had a top scout in the crowd on Friday, specifically to watch and take notes on Walcott as his Arsenal future lies in doubt. Apparently, Juventus will make a move for Walcott if he makes noises over his future at Arsenal during possible upcoming negotiations to extend his contract which currently expires in 2013.
I just don’t understand it. When I see Walcott, I see pace. That is all. When you consider that the typical requirements for a modern day winger include: technical skill to beat a full-back in a one-on-one situations, pace to beat the full-back one-on-one, crossing ability when out wide, good off-the-ball ability when reading a pass from the midfield or from fellow attackers and good passing ability and composure to retain possession while in opposition territory, Walcott ticks few of those boxes.
He has pace in abundance, but there is a distinct lack of technical skill, crossing ability, vision, ball retention or ability to take on the full-back. He also has an issue with tracking back to help out his own full-backs, and at Arsenal, the defenders need all the help they can get. At 22 years of age, Walcott has plenty of time to improve, with his game still very immature, but it would be fantastic to see Walcott as the finished article – he would be incredibly dangerous, and create brilliant chances for every one of his team mates.
Perhaps he should start with the crossing ability. The chip cross, the in-swinging cross, out-swinging cross or perhaps even the low cross – as long as he can find a target inside the box rather than on the other side of the pitch in a fans’ arms – it would be an improvement.
Going back to my trip to Wembley, and displayed proudly in Wembley Stadium’s tour entrance is the very crossbar which Geoff Hurst’s swivelled shot shuddered dramatically in England’s victorious 1966 World Cup final against West Germany. The ball bounced down onto the goal-line and was cleared, but a goal was awarded to England. What was once a glistening white pole on a Wembley pitch, is now an historic artefact slowly eroding over time, looking every bit its 45 years of age.
However, how did Hurst receive the ball in the box to begin with? A cross of course! Alan Ball wrapped his boot around that ball and found Hurst in the box who went on to score probably the most controversial goal in footballing history. Who knows – perhaps in the 2014 World Cup final, Theo Walcott will finally deliver that long awaited, precise cross into the box, for Wayne Rooney (presuming he isn’t suspended for a previous red card) to smash fiercely into the back of the net and then lift the World Cup for the second time. Don’t laugh.
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