Player of the Week: Theo Walcott

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It’s nice being right. To everyone that still wonders what Theo Walcott is all about, that’s what Theo Walcott is all about. He is unplayable when he’s in the mood. The West Brom players couldn’t lay a finger on him. He played them like puppets and exploited the defence with merciless precision. He’s the player of the week by several miles.

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It’s a good to end the season on a high and with blistering goals to give us a confidence going into the Fa Cup final. We needed a big win and got it from big performances from big players. Not only is it brilliant to see Walcott running riot again, but Jack Wilshere is also looking better than he’s ever been. And you know what he’s like when he’s in the zone as well.

Theo started up front in place of Giroud and the difference in tempo and how easy it was to slice through opposition was almost blinding. That’s what Theo brings to the table, he’s electric around the box and loves taking the early shot. Giroud often chooses to pass or flick his way into the box rather than display the hunger that Theo shows whenever he plays.

Theo loves scoring. And when he get’s one, then the hunt is on. He bagged his third hat-trick for Arsenal, which is excellent given his injury record – many of the elite players in the currently playing in the Premier League have failed to even bag their first hat-trick, so to have three in little under four years is impressive. If there’s ever a more clearer sign of the impact he can have then it’s that.

Breaking down his goals you can see how much more of threat he is than Giroud. The Frenchman is fantastic in his own weird way and sometimes we’re lucky to have him, and he has stepped up his game this season. But when it comes to killing games he’s often lacked the cutting edge, and a lot of this has to do with his lack of pace. Obviously, he can’t help this, but rather than struggle with Giroud up front, we should give him a strike partner in Theo Walcott.

They’d compliment each other perfectly. Walcott’s quick fire strike was stunning. The ball came to him and he wasted no time in sorting himself out, he got the ball under control and smashed home. A thunderous strike. The strike of a striker that knows where the goal is. That’s another thing. Theo is a striker. Never a winger. He’s very good on the wing. But he’s a different monster when he’s allowed to play up front, centre of attention. He loves it there.

He loves scoring more than any other part of the game – that much is clear. His second was more about sheer tenacity and quick feet and again he pulled the trigger early and reaped the rewards. You can bet that Giroud doesn’t have the athleticism to score those types of goals either- again through no fault of his own, but it’s obvious that due to his play-style he sometimes distils the attacks. Pace installs fear, and you sense that Aston Villa will feel more relieved to see the Frenchman play than the rapid and dynamite Theo Walcott. Surely you’d have to start Theo and go for the juggler. Giroud is a very effective sub as well. But he’s served us well this year, so it’d be harsh to drop him again, but then so would losing the FA Cup final – not that starting him would lead to that, but Theo is a harder threat to stop.

Then Wilshere did that extraordinary thing he sometimes does when he plays a few games in a row. He’s capable of scoring a lot more than his play-style and reputation would suggest.

Walcott rounded a perfect day off with a predatory goal, after some brilliant work from Jack – who was the unsung star of the game, dominating everything, from either the midfield or wing.

Ramsey continued to be one of the more exciting players again. He takes no time in introducing himself to the game whenever he comes off the bench. I stand by the fact that he’s the most inventive player in the league.

It was a nice way to round the league season off and to build something for the centre-piece next week. Nails will be chewed and hearts will explode. But Arsenal are in good spirits, and so should we be – whatever the outcome. Next season is the big one.

 

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