On Saturday night, when Arsenal recorded a slim 3-2 win over Swansea City, Theo Walcott became the goal-scoring machine for the Gunners.
Many people did not expect him to outshine his fellow attacking players as he did because he was barely visible in the field when England played Slovenia and Malta for the World Cup qualification match. Online soccer betting odds for Arsenal improved, as Walcott played tremendously well scoring twice against Swansea in contrast with the way he played during the international week.
Walcott’s performance against Malta and Slovenia was not satisfactory. He could not even execute or receive a decent pass and he failed to make an assist or score a goal. The Englishman’s career has undergone such episodes in the past and it seems the sequences of good and bad instances have returned.
His inconsistent performance evidently reflects that of their team, perhaps because Arsene Wenger has constantly played him both as a winger and as a forward in different occasions. In the past decade, Arsenal has disapproved its critics with excellent display of football, immediately followed by self-inflicted shortcomings.
To give him some credit, Walcott has displayed a rather consistent performance this season, scoring five goals in eight league appearances for Arsenal. Furthermore, he scored two goals against Basel in the only Champions League outing he has played in to raise opinions that he has finally become a well-developed player as he has always promised fans.
Roy Keane expressed his sentiments over the Englishman’s performance, saying he should prove himself after approximately nine months into the season when the difficult games begin. With the poor performances Walcott had during the qualifiers, one could justify the harsh rebuttal expressed by the ex-Manchester United midfielder.
Precisely, the last one month or so has summarized the peak of gross inconsistencies in Walcott’s career and it is premature to compare his current performance with his record-breaking teenage days.
Over a decade has elapsed since Walcott hit the headlines because of his tremendous performance. With only a few professional career appearances while playing for Southampton before the 2006 World Cup, ex-England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson included him the English squad for the tournament. Even though he used to avoid criticism with the “youth” excuse, currently, such counteractive measures would sound laughable because he is currently 27-years-old.
After their game with Swansea, Walcott was asked about the glaring contrast in his performances for club and country. He blamed the difficulty of transitioning from one squad to another, with different players involved since gaining the rhythm to play well takes time.
Even after scoring twice against Swansea City, he still managed to maintain his rhythm to help Arsenal bag the maximum points. When Granit Xhaka’s foul play led to a red card, the Gunners struggled to keep Swansea players from breaking up their defense line in the last quarter of the game, which could have erased Walcott’s efforts.
Therefore, Walcott could be defined as a mystery due to his constantly fluctuating form. Apart from his youth, his career has adopted a puzzle that is difficult to fathom or solve. Nevertheless, it seems Walcott has already defined his position and style of play.
He previously saw himself as a center forward, which even made him sign a new contract with Arsenal, but he failed miserably to excel in that position. He personally admitted to be a winger again, and even Arsene Wenger seems to agree with his mentality. We can only excuse his inconsistence with the notion that wingers largely possess such characteristics by trade.
Besides, critics will continue to make opinionated arguments about Walcott’s inconsistency. Currently, he is the top scorer for Arsenal this season, but again, he bears a lot of blame with his annoying inconsistency.
For England, he is a marginal character who has been in the squad for the last decade and playing only four 90-minute matches, with two against Andorra. Despite all the criticisms, he remains a pillar for the Gunners.
Since time is running out fast for the winger, he needs to show that his maturity maturation and fulfilment would make a big difference for his club this season.
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