THEO Walcott is not a good footballer. Those are the, er, wise words from former Arsenal midfielder Stewart Robson, who these days earns his corn as a pundit. Now, I am not as clever or experienced as Robson when it comes to football.
But am I alone in thinking that, in fact, Walcott is a rather good footballer? So much so that he plays for the Arsenal and England. And interestingly, one of our team here at Arsenalinsider was told that Walcott was signed, sealed and delivered as a Liverpool player until Kenny Dalglish was axed at Anfield. A rumour, admittedly, but a worrying one nonetheless.
We are also told that Chelsea are keen on his services. Following on from Ian Palmer’s excellent piece on this site earlier today, I wanted to take a closer look at just what Robson said.
Robson has earned a reputation as a hard-hitting critic of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal and, don’t get me wrong, it is refreshing to hear contrary views on the team we all love.
But can I contest that Robson, who it should be noted does a lot of work for Arsenal’s various media outlets, does himself a disservice by stating that Walcott isn’t any good? He clearly is good although, admittedly, he has flaws in his game.
For the record, Robson said the following in a radio interview yesterday when asked about the Walcott situation in relation to his contract talks: “It wouldn’t worry me if Theo Walcott were to leave tomorrow.
“Theo Walcott, for me, is not a good footballer. He is an athlete who puts on a pair of football boots. He is quick, he is fast, but when he was younger he should have been taught how to be better technically, how to find space, how to find awareness.
“He has never done that and he is a liability when he is defending. For Theo Walcott to want more money, I would let him go.”
Robson has a point with the ‘athleticism over skill’ claim and also on Walcott’s defensive frailties. But overall, I’d say we’re a better attacking force with him in the team – and you can’t have everything, can you?
Robson says Walcott wants more money and in a market place where the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City can blow all others out of the window, I suppose it is merely business to seek better remuneration. Clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool will also flex their financial muscle in the summer, too.
In short, I don’t think we can afford to lose another player of his quality while we all hold our breath on RVP’s decision.
I hope Arsenal can satisfy the demands sufficiently to keep Walcott. If they don’t, this footballer who isn’t any good will probably end up at Stamford Bridge. And what good would that do us, Mr Robson?
CARL ELDRIDGE – on Twitter @eldomedia