Theo Walcott: The Best Arsenal forward in EPL 2012/2013
Arsenal’s board may never grant Walcott a statue outside the Emirates like such legends but the 23-year-old attacker certainly deserves a new contract for his current work inside the ground.
What this influential performance again showed, diplomatically nudging anyone on the board still to slow to realise, was that Walcott remains important to Arsenal fortunes, that they need to sort out the stalled contract negotiations.
The club are interested in England’s latest right winger, Wilfried Zaha, with the excited talk within certain parts of the Emirates of an imminent approach to Crystal Palace. Zaha’s arrival would either force Walcott out of the club or inside to a more central role, one that he craves.
Walcott’s corners also need work. His first was picked off by Tom Huddlestone, his second and third by Gareth Bale, and his fourth by the excellent Jan Vertonghen. The game finished with Walcott opting for a short corner.
Walcott has frequently requested politely the opportunity to play central. Those of a particularly disparaging persuasion have cast a harsh spotlight on his finishing. He still needs more game-craft, more practice on his shooting. Having accelerated into promising positions, Walcott wasted three attempts on goal before finally scoring.