Understanding the development of Theo Walcott – Positioning and technique: Analysis and Discussion

Theo Walcott has been subject to a rollercoaster of criticism and praise in the five years since signing for Arsenal in January 2006. Here we attempt to understand the evolution of his game. Before signing Theo, Arsene Wenger highlighted some of the key attributes of his game which are all running themes in his development as a player – pace, positioning, and decisions:

“I like the timing of his runs, his determined attitude, the fact that he can play in different positions up front and that he is calm in front of goal…The composure he shows in decisive moments doesn’t change, whether it’s in division one or the Premiership – you have that or you don’t have that. He has determination as well as electric pace.”

That Theo’s pace would be his main attribute in striking fear into defences was apparent from his debut for Southampton against Wolves in 2005, and the use of pace was clear in many of his early goals at Southampton. However, positioning is key in bringing the best out of players, and Walcott needed to be placed carefully to allow his game further to become effective at the top level.

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Arsenal Tranfers: Amaury Bischoff and Schneiderlin

In the last few days some rumours have been circulating about two players – Bischoff, a midfielder who plays for Werder Bremen, and Schneiderlin, a French U-18 player, who just signed for Southampton.

These are both very unlikely rumours. Firstly Bischoff – he plays as an attacking midfielder – we don’t need that sort of player – and he has hardly ever played for Werder – as he has an awful inury record.

Schneiderlin is a young French player who has just been signed up for Southampton – there are reports from his fan club (cheers GoonerTalk for the link!) that we may be looking to take him off Southampton in a few years – but that seems a little strange – why not just buy him and loan him to Southampton.

Both seem unlikely, I would like to see us bring in a defender to be honest, but I don’t know if Wenger is looking for a defender.

It all depends on what happens with Ade and Hleb – what do you think Wenger should do??