When Theo Walcott scored for Arsenal after 20 seconds against QPR yesterday, it was his 20th goal of the season in all competitions. That is the first time the England international has achieved that number in his ninth season as a professional footballer, and has helped the Gunners to get over the traitor van Persie. The question is, is that the shape of things to come or merely a one-off season?
Theo has been pushing Arsene Wenger for more chances to play as a centre forward, and would use this season’s goal tally as evidence why he should. Most of those goals, however, were scored with him operating in his normal position on the right of the centre forward. He has scored in the last two games while Lukas Podolski has been in the middle, so maybe he is better there. He might not get the space he needs through the middle.
What has become clear this season is that he is finishing a lot better. He is relying on instinct more, rather than over-thinking when he has the ball, something he was often criticised for previously. A look at his international stats for England would back this up, just four goals from 31 games and three of those came in one game against Croatia.
He will be hoping now to take his club form on to the international stage, and I think he will. He has become increasingly influential for England, but he still plays on the right. Maybe the old saying of `if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it` applies here. I am sure that is where he will play against Wigan next Tuesday and Newcastle on the final day.
He may want to be a centre forward, but as long as he keeps scoring from the right, then that’s where he is likely to play. I think he will continue to improve and I expect him to get to 20 again next season, or somewhere close. As long as he keeps working hard and playing well, he will get some chances in the middle, but I don’t think it really brings out the best in him. Do you agree Gooners?