Posted on Sunday, 16th December 2012 by Tony Merakli
Matt Le Tissier believes Theo Walcott should leave Arsenal because he doesn’t suit their style of play.
Walcott joined The Gunners from Championship side Southampton in January 2006 as a 16-year-old, but has been plying his trade out on the wing, rather than in his favoured role as a centre-forward since.
And with his contract set to expire in the summer and a host of clubs expressing their interest in the England international, Le Tissier reckons Walcott’s best chance of playing up-front is by leaving The Emirates and join a club whose manager believes in his ability to succeed as a centre-forward:
‘I’ve never really thought that the way Arsenal play football suited the way that Theo plays football – I don’t think he was ever suited to Arsene Wenger’s style of play.’
‘It wouldn’t surprise me if he moved and you may find that it actually does him good if he went to a club that played to his strengths.
Walcott has scored 10 goals in all competitions so far this season. But despite his productivity, Wenger still refuses to play the speedy forward as the lone striker.
And Le Tissier reckons Walcott would turn out better performances up-front:
‘There was obviously a lot of expectation on him as a young boy but I always envisaged him playing as a centre-forward and thought it would only be a matter of time before he did.
‘It doesn’t seem to have panned out that way and Arsene Wenger obviously doesn’t think he can play in that position because he would have given him a go before now.’
‘When he has played there he has looked a million dollars, but he’s a stubborn man is Mr. Wenger, and when he has made up his mind he doesn’t often change it.’
If Walcott does decide to call time on his Arsenal career the Le Tissier firmly believes he must join a club which plays a more counter-attacking style and deploy him in the position he desires:
‘(If Walcott does leave) I think that the most important thing is not which club he’s going to go to but which position they’ll play him in.’
‘A club that will play him as a centre-forward and maybe plays a more counter-attacking style that allows him to use his pace more – that’s the most important thing.’
I don’t necessarily think Walcott doesn’t suit our style of play as Le Tissier suggests, I just think Wenger plays him in a position he’s not really effective in. Walcott is an inconsistent performer but he obviously isn’t enjoying his role as a winger, hence his plea(s) to play as a centre-forward. And with his pace he should be given a chance up-front and prove to Wenger and us he is capable of filling that Dutchman’s boots.
But if Wenger continues to ignore Walcott’s comments then he has every right to leave the club. I wouldn’t begrudge of that. Why should he continue plying his trade as a winger when he’s a centre-forward? It just doesn’t make sense.
Is Le Tissier talking sense, or is Wenger’s stubborness pushing Walcott closer to the exit door?
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