Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should deploy Theo Walcott in a striker role
Sharethematch.com takes a look at why Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger should use Theo Walcott in a striker role
Walcott can be Wenger’s middle man
The game may have been a mere formality against struggling opposition, yet Arsenal’s 6-1 thumping of Coventry on Wednesday was further testament to a certain sentiment of Theo Walcott’s that he is not a winger but a striker.
He cannot cross a ball like his fellow wide men, but Walcott can place one in the net better than any of his team-mates.
From the highest of seats at The Emirates, you would be forgiven for thinking it was a certain compatriot of Olivier Giroud’s floating beautifully in from the left to curl home in the 90th minute.
It was reminiscent of Thierry Henry during his time in north London, the Arsenal legend’s effort against Leeds last January upon his return to the club making a pretty parallel.
The goal itself was the second Walcott plundered following Giroud’s substitution and his missed penalty.
Yes, the Frenchman scored his first goal for Arsenal, but he had an eternity to ponder his lobbed shot after Francis Coquelin slipped him through to open the scoring.
Speaking after the game, Arsene Wenger said he is not against Walcott playing as a striker.
“He is a great finisher now, in front of goal he is really absolutely amazing,” said the Gunners boss.
The scepticism surrounding Walcott derives from the moans and groans that exhale after a woeful pass, or a half-hearted attempt to round a player by the corner flag.
He is not creative enough to play on the wing but as a game reaches its climax, Walcott slides infield where he excels in a position in which football intelligence is not always essential.
Upon his arrival in north London, Henry was transformed from a left midfielder to a striker – the reverse of Walcott’s story, and like Walcott, the France international was not a notable passer but could run and finish.
For the benefit of Arsenal’s season, Walcott must not be wasted on the wing and should join the queue of strikers.
The experience of Lukas Podolski puts him deservedly ahead of the young Englishman, but after Wednesday’s cup tie, Walcott has staked his claim.
No stopping Everton now
Everton have made an unprecedented start to the new Premier League season and there is no reason why it has to stop any time soon.
The Merseyside club has become renowned in recent years for starting slowly before putting together a late run of form and finishing respectably.
However, this campaign has seen David Moyes’ side switch roles with rivals Liverpool – who currently languish in the bottom three – and make an early assault on the top half.
And this sharp start to the season has put them in a good position to effectively challenge for the top spots in the world’s richest league.
Following his arrival from Rangers in January, Nikica Jelavić is the consistent goal threat Moyes has been seeking for some time now.
The Croatian is ably supported by Victor Anichebe and new arrivals Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas.
Mirallas’ compatriot Marouane Fellaini is hitting the form that he has threatened to display for a couple of years, while the return of Steven Pienaar has injected life into the midfield.
Throw in England’s Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka, top keeper Tim Howard and loyal servants Leon Osman, Sylvain Distin and Tony Hibbert, and Everton’s team appears an imposing one.
With a relatively injury-free season – especially in the fairly light central midfield area – the Moyes project looks ready to re-pay his ten-year investment in the blue half of Liverpool.