Why Theo Walcott is important from the bench by KJ
After Friday’s internationals, Walcott was taken to hospital after suffering a suspected broken rib against San Marino – something that could keep him out of football for a good two months.
After being kept in overnight, he was quoted saying that “it felt like being hit by a bus”. Fortunately, it is now being reported that he’s got a bruised lung and should be out for no longer than two-three weeks.
This is great news for Arsenal as Theo coming off the bench has been a revelation. Many will probably be sceptical considering that Theo himself hadn’t had too much of an impact until the game at Upton Park, however, there is more than meets the eye.
Walcott being subbed on changes the entire dynamics of the game. Let me refer to the Man City game at the Etihad to demonstrate my point. We were losing 1-0 and needed to get a goal back to get a very positive result against the Premier League champions. Wenger puts Theo on and although he didn’t make any direct impact, he indirectly swung the game back into our favour.
His pace and finishing forced Man City to sit back for the remainder of the game. They had just got into their rhythm and were passing around us but were forced back by Wenger’s genius substitution. They knew that on the counter, they would lose the match. This caused us to slowly grow back into the game and start creating chances that would ultimately lead to the corner that we directly scored from. I’m not taking anything away from the boys but the fear of Theo’s pace swung the game back into our favour.
That’s the impact the Englishman can have for the next two months even if he doesn’t sign a contract. We want the best for Arsenal and if that means playing a well behaved player in the last year of his contract, so be it. He could be the difference between winning a trophy or not.