Arsenal’s speedster is once again failing to deliver at a crucial time.
Six years ago Arsenal acquired Southampton starlet Theo Walcott for a fee of £5 million rising to a potential £12 million, with the promise that the then 16 year old would soon turn in to a global superstar.
Back then Arsenal were a force to be reckoned with, playing sumptuous football whilst still possessing the backbone to actually win things. Since Walcott’s arrival the Gunners have won nothing, and the England international has embodied all that’s wrong with Arsene Wenger’s new era, continuing to flatter to deceive and going hopelessly astray on big occasions.
However, after Wednesday’s 4-0 demolition at the hands of AC Milan, Wenger’s famed loyalty to his squad of failures is set to be tested to the limit. According to the Daily Mail winger Walcott could be the first high profile name to get the chop, as Arsenal look to rid themselves of the players who have let them down so badly in recent years.
Considering the underwhelming form of the pacey 22 year old and the explosive emergence of Oxlaide Chamberlain, perhaps a parting of ways could suit both parties. Emmanuel Petit, a player who has enjoyed success with the Gunners, was damning of the current crop of stars, claiming on website sofoot.com “in midfield there isn’t anything now, the defence is constantly under construction.”
He added “Certain young players haven’t done enough to justify the confidence that Arsene has in them. Walcott, somehow he’s going to have to reach the next stage. It’s been years that he’s been at the same level.”
Petit is the latest in a host of high profile figures within the game who have condemned matters at the Emirates. With Arsenal’s journey in the Champions League all but over, and a huge question mark still hanging over their place in next seasons competition, the club must act fast in order to stop their alarming slide towards football’s also ran’s.
Flops Andrey Arshavin, Maroune Chamakh, Sebastien Squillaci, Park Ju-Young and of course the hopelessly ineffectual Thomas Rosicky are all likely to leave this summer, but it’s the ever lingering doubts over Robin Van Persie’s future that will have fans worried this summer. The Dutchman cut a frustrated figure amongst the shambles at the San Siro, and if he were to depart then Wenger would surely be left in an almost untenable position.
With players such as Walcott and Arshavin touted for departures this summer, Arsenal’s wish list will supposedly include the likes of Eden Hazard, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gotze, so Gunner’s fans can live to dream a little while longer.
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