Arsenal Debate – Is Walcott good enough to be centre-forward?

You won’t score too many goals if you play like that, Theo.. by Twig

Against Reading, Theo was finally given a chance to start as Centre Forward by the manager. Before, he eventually scored, he had missed a one-on-one and has had a shot blocked. Quite amusingly, Cazorla seemed to display more attacking prowess than Theo in that game: launching himself to score with a header (while Theo looked on) and running with perfect timing to slot Podolski’s cross home.

Theo’s performance against Wigan was disappointing and this isn’t because he didn’t score any goals. It was simply because Theo seemed to interpret, or rather, misinterpret the Centre Forward as a player who would just sit near the opposition’s goalpost and wait for crosses for the easy tap-in. Honestly, he didn’t do any more than that and was completely anonymous while his team-mates toiled behind him.

You won’t score too many goals if you played like that Theo. RVP used to drop deep and got himself involved in the midfield play (he still does that for Manchester United!). Henry launched many of his assaults from the left wing even though he was our most advanced forward. Theo needs to drop back and get involved. He shouldn’t wait for the ball to come to him. We shouldn’t plea for his teammates to bring him into the game: great strikers – which he apparently feels he is – get involved and vary their games depending on the opposition.

It may be harsh to judge Theo after this one game – after all, he got the assist for our penalty goal. However, it seems there are a couple more things he needs to learn about the requirements of his new role. He obviously doesn’t have the same talent as Messi, but he could look to the Argentine maestro’s game to learn a few things. They are of similar physique and thus have some common limitations: Messi thrives as a false 9, by dropping deep, linking play with others, and spotting that perfect shooting opportunity.

The transfer window opens in a week from now and a striker (David Villa, according to some sources) is top on our agenda. In essence, Arsenal simply don’t have the luxury of time to allow Theo to settle in as a Centre Forward.

Arsenal needs a striker who will be ‘banging in the goals’ NOW and can’t continue to rely on Arteta’s penalty-kicks to win us games. Theo needs to up his game significantly within the next one month, or else should be content with regular spells on the bench. Ironically, his long-drawn insistence to play as a centre forward might just see him playing fewer games than he would have liked.

Twig

Share Button

49 thoughts on “Arsenal Debate – Is Walcott good enough to be centre-forward?

  1. John Legend....

    Walcott can strike in mƔ opinion. If we look at the goals he has scored this season, his composure and pin-point finish is great. He juƨτ needs τ☺ be patient and continue τ☺ learn

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 16

  2. landmind111

    I personally would prefer him on the wing, that’s where he was playing good until now, if it aint broke don’t fix it! Still a bit early to judge.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 13

  3. artillery1

    Wallcot has improved his Finishing, But Problem is He is a bit Selfish, Where PODOLSKI N ESPECIALLY GIROUD play for Team!

    WALCOT need time, cox He cant Hold Ball, I think Wid Giroud, He vl b good!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 10

  4. JONNO

    He needs to play with a strike partner if we’re to
    see the best of him im afraid. And i feel that is true
    with all our strikers. We shd change to a 442 for defo,
    then we’d have theo,olly, poldi&a new striker as our
    four strikers.

    Not theos fault as our 433 doesnt suit.his forward play
    unless hes on the wing&we all.know he dont want that
    no more. I like theo&i think he cld be brilliant, but shdnt
    u b happy playing any position for arsenal?

    COYG

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  5. Ban10

    nobody except wilshere and ox played well.
    walcott plays how the coach instructs him
    i believe walcott should have waited till the pre-season to be played as CF but he aint that bad but with more experience he can do well. his finishing is right now the best, always hits on target. he deserves 2-3 games more.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 8

  6. ArsenalAssasin

    No He is better off on the wings I’d Prefer Podolski playing Up front than Him

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 6

  7. No more excuses

    How long did it take THE GREAT HENRY to find his scorein boots as a centre forward ? Wenger persevered for many games if I mind right and people were sayin Thierry cudnt hit a barn door with a ball . Yet here we are slagging off a player that has weighed in with goals this season and hasn’t even had a proper run as a striker . Thers times theo shows real class in front of goal – but thers games that wnt suit him ….. Like the pissin rain against a very hungry Wigan team that were in his case from the 1st minute . Y’day was a game for big O.G to get in and mix it with him – but unfortunately he was injured – and at the end of the day – it was theo that swung the points – so why is he gettin slated ? Just like to say – Wilshire is sheer class – he was covered in sh*t from head to toe inside 20mins from puttin himself about so much . How cud that not get another 20% outa his team mates … And why do players run away from arteta so much these days instead of offering him a forward ball … That grinds my gears the past 3mths !!!

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  8. Kunle

    To me walcot cant play as a lone striker upfront,he needs a striking partner upfront.walcot will be isolated upfront since he is been monitored by d central backs bt wit a 2nd striker playing along wit him,he will be able to use his pace against them.why cant wenger play two strikers upfront than 1 upfront making d striker isolated upfront.when we were at highbury stadium,arsenal won trophies wit d use of 4-4-2 formation and we competed wit manu united in d epl bt since wenger changed d formation according to wenger to modern style of barca play,we have totally dropped from a competing club to a struggling club.wenger needs to go back to 4-4-2 or 4-1-3-2 formation we played while at highbury stadium.Even if we buy d best quality of players into d squad still we will nt win any trophy becos d formation and style wenger wants d team to play will nt win us d epl bt if he changes d formation back,definitely we will win something.why is manu still winning trophies just becos fergie stick to d formation(4-4-2) dat wins them trophies and it suits d players.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  9. Bob Dylan

    The problem with theo is that he is selfish, all set pieces he wants to take, he insists on talkng free kicks which i dont think he has ever scored from in his career, when we have arteta, cazorla and podolski. He doesnt chase the ball down and put pressure on deffence, he doesnt come deep as you said to get incolved, he cant hold the ball up. I think theo could be a great striker but he has a lot to learn, but his ego is getting to big so will he stay with an ego like that and end up goin to a side that will offer him a contract as a cf, and end up being the next arsenal bench warmer

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 3

  10. Kunle

    Even when henry was in arsenal he was paired or partner wit a striker upfront dat was why he could use his pace against d opponent.then wenger playing two striker upfront d central backs have two problems to monitor,a fast striker and d other striker bt presently d central backs just have 1 striker to monitor.In yesterday match,two strikers upfront will have dismantled wigans defence bt yet wenger just sticks to 1 formation,i trust alex fergie he will deploy 4 strikers to dismantle his opponent.dis to show dat wenger lack tactics and formation change.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  11. Sunnypa de gooners

    Wolcut is not good forr striker pls buy demba ba and try to confuse wolcut to sign another contract and buy demba ba as our main striker and play worcut on the wing when he sign another contract.we arsenal football club want demba ba as our main striker

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

  12. JOHNARSENAL4LIFE

    we need january signings..and as we know wenger will look for bargain players and they are Demba Ba for stiker and Diame (now injured tho) for DCM. As for winger Zaha some say its done deal (rumours).

    For defend we should get rid of deadwood Squilaci and Santos (lack of team spirit from rvp shirt swap issue) first and we can sign good players as replacement as their wage is cleared.

    then we can challenge the league and CL..what i see from the wigans game is we really need a good DCM…someone who can make important tackles to get the ball back from our opponents..apart from Wilshere who charge and tackles the rest were just pressing on opponents..someone like Diaby (when he was in good form n not injured) is needed to cover up the defence and snatched the ball from midfield to move forward..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  13. Ricardo

    Walcotts strength is his pace.
    So lets all watch how quickly he exits the club.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  14. Ricardo

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

  15. AJ

    No. He was better when he drifted in from the wings. he is no CF. Has only got pace.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  16. Dom

    Theo will sign. He has played his second game upfront and has shown what he can do. His movement was great but will get better with time along with everything else. I think Wenger played a huge gamble today. I think he designed the team to play on the counter so that Theo is used effectively.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  17. Mudah

    What if I tell you chicarito is a good centre forward and has no physicality as well, his only quality is finishing and quickness then why not walcott??

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

  18. leo84

    Just give wallcot more chance to play his new role. Be patient guys..

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  19. Zery

    Cristiano Ronaldo is the best goal scorer recently and he has never been central striker. I don’t think Walcot has got the quality to be center forward but this doesn’t deter him from scoring goals, he can simply emulate Cristiano or Iniesta. Currently Arsenal doesn’t have complete center forward and need to recruit one in January.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  20. santi lev

    why is theo taking free kicks???u have santi and arteta….he needs to stop.i hope he signs but dont recon hes cut out to be main striker….. he really belives he is thierry henry….we shud of never give him the 14 …….defo need another striker in jan…

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  21. S.H

    Have Walcott fans only learnt now that he can’t play CF? I’ve been saying this for years. Had he scored a goal then most would say he should stay there. You see this is the thing I really dislike about Walcott, if he scores or give an assist many gooners are willing to forget all the bad first touches, dispossessions and bad decision-making within the same game. It’s BS! I’m glad most can clearly see that he is a winger. He can only run so that’s why Wenger uses him to his strengths. The boys has no technical ability. He just falls over like a deck of cards in the wind. We were lucky to get that penalty.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  22. Blackdevil

    If im Wenger,gave him temporary central role,extend his contract,and then after he signed,push him back to winger..lol..

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  23. owens

    So wen u push him to the wing,wat happens to chambo?..chambo can play the wing better than theo,.he’s gat skill,wich allows him to take on opponents..walcott will come good in the CF position if we get a prolific striker to pair with him upfront..his learning his trade as a CF so we shld give the lad a break..Y are arsenal fans inpatient?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  24. Uche Edochie

    Wow. So the verdict is in for walcot as striker after only two games? That is ridiculous. Walcot as a central striker is by no means the finished product. But that does not mean he does not have the ability to develop into a lethal striker. What exactly do you walcot haters want? You prefer giroud up front? Really? Have you not observed how we have struggled with giroud up front? Giroud is a traditional forward who needs balls to be knocked up to him from all angles. He cannot create on his own and does not fit into our system. Walcot has the benefit of having experience as a winger so he can be played in different positions and formations. Theo can interchange with podolski in a fluid 4 4 2 formation, he can play up front on his own, he can cut in from the wings and he can also drop deep as a false nine. Theo is mobile and can get behind defenders. Of all our strikers and make shift strikers, theo is the only one who can get behind defenders and draw them out of position.

    You guys are criticising him for the wigan game when nobody except ox played well and theo did not get service. And yet, theo made the penalty that won us the game. Fellow arsenal fans, wisen up. Just incase you have forgotten, we are not man u or man city. We do not have four top strikers. We just have giroud, walcot and podolski and non of them is the finished article as far as a central striking role in the epl is concerned. They are all still adapting but if there is one thing you can say about walcot, it is that with him up front, arsenal has finally found its balance. Ox even said so himself which is an acknowledgement of what they all believe in the dressing room. We won the game. Let us be happy. Wigan is a tough team that plays good football. Dont be fooled by their position on the table. They are a good team and on their day, they can beat anyone. I am glad we won that game. These are the games we would have lost before just like we lost to swansea in the final minute. We slugged it out, maintained our shape, discipline and fortitude, which won us the game. Walcot was intelligent enough to get us that penalty. That is a true mark of a winner. Winners know that sometimes, you win ugly when you cannot win pretty. And belive me, we are better of keeping walcot. Dont get excited about january transfer window. Good players are hard to find in that window. After all the rumours and confirmations, Klaas hunterlar just renewed his contract at shalke. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Walcot is a red blooded gunner. Let us support him. That boy is only 23 and has so much more to offer. His time is now. After six years of waiting patiently, he deserves his position up front. If ramsey and gervinho can get games in arsenal, walcot fully deserves the position he wants.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  25. Wilshere

    2 games.1 goal..c’mon guys gv dis guy a break….it took giroud how many matches 2 find the net?…some fans on this site r annoying

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  26. Mehrzad

    wenger has thrown a bone to walcot and given him some matches as CF so he signs the contract after that he will be back to the wing Giroud and hopefully the new striker will be on the CF role
    Theo has nop areal presence and that’s crucial for a CF

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  27. Dino Abby

    I’ll be glad if Walcott decides to sign a new deal. He’s not great but he’s good and improving still. Wenger can promise him more central role but something tells me it’s not so much about position that Walcott desire, it’s more about money. He may turn out to be a deadly forward like our dearest Henry but then again he may not. Problem is Wenger has to decide now whether to pay him what he wants and Arsenal still need a ready-to-fire forward quite immediately to play alongside Giroud. I Hope whatever turns out, it will be for the better to Arsenal. A bit off topic, I’ve noticed for quite a while now that Arteta seemed to make short passes to teammates when they are not in the position to receive his passes and thus putting them and the team in trouble of losing possessions..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  28. samwel

    Hey stop being so judgy theo has played only 2 games as a central striker and there are already some critics remember about thierry i my self daughted if he could become a striker but he proved me wrong tc a range of process he needs the confidence and remember he got some contract problem so he cant focus fully in his duties letc wait until 5-6 games and after his contract is solved then we will criticise

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  29. Brad

    Theo may not of been at his best against Wigan agreed , but his pace and presence made Wigan defend deep ,this gives poldolski , Santi , jack and the ox much more space to play , this system will work only problem is we don’t have many other squad players that will fit into it ,Laurent , Rosciky ang giroud as a sub maybe , do we need to beef up the squad with 4 to 5 more quality players come jan and get rid of the deadwood

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  30. Vinie2000

    Lopez/Ba – Biglia/M’villa – Reina ( any 3 of those will help us to climb the table and remain ahead of Spuds ) 20 millions spend 50 millions saved for summer but need to clear deadwoods asap too even given them for free. My ideal starting XI would it be Reina-sagna-ver-mer-gibbs-m’villa-jack-cazorla-pod-lopez/Ba-theo and subs:Scezs-Kos-giroud-Ox-arteta-Gervinho i do think there’s enough to battle the big guns.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  31. Philthompsonsnose

    We don’t want demba ba!
    Get real and give Walcott time.
    Ba is un predictable like the useless player from Ivory Coast we seem to persevere with!
    Is it a coincidence we have won 3 in a row without the pairing of giroud or gervinho!?!?!?!?!?
    We need a cf of immense quality… Unfortunately, they are not available in January!
    We will be ok with the current formation but I’d like to see rosicky used more often as either a replacement for wilshere or podolski ?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  32. mario

    Deluded fans.Walcott needs to be offloaded.He is just a pretender.Not a top 4 type of striker.He would be okay with clubs like Blackpool or Blackburn but not a top 4 club.Give Arsene credit.He knew that all along.And dont compare him to Messi who is a genius.It is an insult to the best player on the planet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  33. HH

    Walcott is crap as a striker he has no finishing skills please let him go we don’t need him

    HH

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  34. pan

    FOR ME ALL HE HAS IS SPEED HE DOSE NOT HAVE A FOOTBALL BRAIN LET HIM GO WE CAN GET BETTER AFC RULE OK

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  35. true goon

    not as a first choice,he can only play upfront with a partner,he knows it himself,but we don’t play 2 upfront.As we saw yesterday he can’t hold the ball up.He needs to be caeful bcos the Ox is making that right handside his own,the same with podolski.So if we get a top striker in january he could find himself on the bench.And we all know Walcots not Henry or Rvp he’s not a clincal finisher

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  36. That Gunner

    GIVE HIM TIME! HENRY IS ALMOST HERE,am sure hes gonna teach THEO idol hello lol..he will get better..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  37. lmyyyks

    I think Walcott is better playing on the wing. His crossing has improved greatly and his run-in from the right has grown more and more threatening. He lacks the ability to hold the ball and distribute the ball up front. Arsenal is not a defensive team and therefore does not rely that much on a pacy CF. Giroud and Podolski are better as CF.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  38. aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh

    Didn’t you watch MOTD yesterday. Alan Hansen and Savage both say he’s a natural striker.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. Tristan

    priority: Sign him.
    second target: nego a lower poosible wage.
    if he turns to be great, keep him. otherwise we still can sell him for 10mio+, which is better than selling him for 5/6 mio or loose him for nothing.
    board need to be more flexible.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  40. jibber

    C’mon, 2 games is too early to judge Walcott as striker.
    1 thing i do agree with the article is that he doesn’t track back too often. It’s been the case when he plays wing as well, so it’s no surprise he will do that less when playing central striker.

    That being said, it’s not ALWAYS that we need to have a complete forward to play centrally. That is the case when it is 4-5-1 that changes to 4-3-3 r 4-2-3-1 time to time.

    we’ve been playing a 4-3-3 that in shape looks like 4-2-1-2-1, but in essence functions more like a lopsided 4-4-2.

    the way how podolski, walcott and ox works up front is that the ox is playing as the RM pushed up to RW. Podolski tracks back, cuts in like a CF, and Walcott just poaches.
    Walcott also has another role staying mostly upfront, which is to open up space for Cazorla to atk. If you put Giroud there, Cazorla can only pass the ball upfront and giroud would be too slow to cut through the defense, making it difficult for cazorla to come through as well. Walcott pushes our game into the opponents box, in turn letting us play a high pressure game.

    what Walcott does lack so far is the ability to drop back and find the gaps for a pass to let him dribble or run throw. But that is not the same as dropping back to defend or win headers like Giroud would.

    Because of this setup, Ox and Wilshere would automatically have to work harder to connect the midfield into the final 3rd for the rest to atk. This is why no matter how bad we play, they still seem to look for the ball more. It’s partly their role, as well as it is in their character to play this role.

    What we’re lacking however, is still a plan B. The weakness of this lineup and formation is in the strong reliance on the fullbacks as wingbacks. Gibbs had to come up often to provide the missing passes and crosses when Podolski cuts in centrally. Sagna does less of that as Ox operates further down and is more energetic and pacy. This leaves a giant gap behind the left, and our only safety measure is for arteta to drop further back and fill in as part of the back 4, be it as central defender or fullback.
    This is something that Arteta isn’t exactly good at.

    Further more, since Wilshere has a strong tendency of bombing forward, if all that’s left is arteta and the remaining CBs, we’ll be very exposed and be easily played throw due to the lack of physicality (arteta) and pace(mert).
    So to compensate for that, we try not to put too many eggs in 1 basket and atk with less players committing upfront.

    If we play against a average team, we can still muscle our way and scrape a goal with a the few chances created. Against a strong offensive team like ManU, we’ll be either stuck defending with more players in the middle, or that the opponent could easily rip through our defense when we atk with Gibbs, wilshere and ox all committed to atking.

    The 1st thing we should do to fix this problem is get a physical midfield as a DM that alternates roles with the CM. The other thing to do is to have Walcott(or whoever the striker is) to be more clinical and waste less chances, as we really have not too many as of yet.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  41. synsix

    @JOHNARSENAL4LIFE pls grow up/y in the world are u postin the same comments over and over again in al the blogs/c’mon mate you are one annoyin guy

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  42. CA_DREAMER

    He is not. He has pace and can hit the net from time to time when he has an open shot he doesn’t have to create, but come on! You’d put this kid at CF? We need a STRIKER! A player up there we could trust to fight for the ball and finish when he’s being counted on to do so. Even with 2 top I don’t think he has the “Striker” attributes, nor the mentality. In addition, WTF is he doing taking corners the last 2 game as a CF? Don’t you want your “finisher” at the goal to “finish”? Also, his corners are terrible – just float them up. Free kicks? Come on . . .

    I’m not against the kid, he’s just not a “gifted” player that you could hang your hat on. he is a good pacy winger and that’s it. And even then, he does not have great vision or impressive trickery. I’d take Ox, Gibbs and Jack over him any day of the week! This one player I don’t think we should be whining about, all this fuss? Really?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

Comments are closed.