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THREE reasons why he will be missed

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Theo WalcottAs we all know by now, Theo Walcott has been ruled out for the rest of the season and will miss the World Cup in Brazil after suffering anterior crucitate ligament damage in his left knee.

His recovery will take up to at least six months, and that’s if there are no setbacks along the way.

I think it’s safe to say that the England winger over the past few season has become our Mr. Marmite in a way – you either love him, or (not to use the word hate, because I don’t like that word) don’t particularly rate him.

However, many will coincide with me that Theo will be missed – this coming from a fan that is usually left frustrated by the winger’s inconsistency and doesn’t rate him as highly as others do.

And here are three reasons why:

1. Pace

Looking at our current squad, those who are fit at present, we don’t have a speed merchant, someone who can get in behind the opposition’s defence and offer us a counter attacking outlet. When Theo hasn’t featured, it’s clear for everyone to see that we lack pace – there is no-one for the midfield players to seek out when we are on the counter. And this is worrying, especially when we come up against a more mobile back four.

2. The stats don’t lie

The stats tell us that with Theo in the side we are prone to win more games than when we are without him this season. From the 18 games he’s featured in, Arsenal have triumphed in 14, drawn two and lost two, giving us a 78% win rate. But from the 13 games he hasn’t played in, Arsenal have only managed seven wins, drawn twice and lost four, giving us a win percentage of 54. I’m not saying he is the sole reason why we are picking up wins but the stats do suggest we are more likely to win when he’s in the side.

3. Lack of options

With Theo now out, who will step in? I cannot think of many players in our current squad who are capable of playing on the right wing and doing a good job as well. We’ve seen Aaron Ramsey out there a few times in the past but he looks really uncomfortable and is more suited to a central midfield role. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Serge Gnabry are the only two who can potentially fill in, but the former is also injured while the latter, although supremely talented, is very inexperienced. We lack options on that right wing as it is, so without having the choice of playing Walcott will be more difficult.

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