Arsene Wenger keeps refusing the talented English forward, but after going through so much this season in terms of trying to find consistent goal scoring, maybe the solution of giving Theo Walcott more opportunities to play in the center of the attack, as a striker instead of a winger on the right, is the best one he has to use.
Because Olivier Giroud might be the one that looks a lot more like a central striker should, misses most chances he gets, and simply doesn’t cut it in terms of what he brings to the table. Nothing special. Height, strength and a powerful shot, but all those things combined usually land way off target.
Walcott? He went nearly three months without scoring a goal until his opener against Manchester United last weekend, ending in a 1-1 draw. Even that one was offside. As Walcott tries to add more and more to his skill set, Wenger kept him stuck on the wing, except during the month of January, when Walcott was mostly positioned in a more central role, and that paid off for everyone with him scoring four goals.
Walcott isn’t your classic number nine, he’s never going to be. But even if he is 24, it doesn’t mean he can’t adapt and make changes to his game that will turn him into a more complete striker, than a winger everyone knows how to stop, although from time to time simply can’t handle his speed. That same speed in the middle of the pitch can be just as useful, probably even more, as the perception of wingers=fast and central roles=slow, is quite obsolete.
With Giroud suspended while Lukas Podolski and Gervinho not really looking like players up to the task of helping Arsenal achieve a place in the Champions League for next season, Walcott is Wenger’s best option to find goals through his forwards, unless he has some special plan up his sleeve. With 12 league goals and 10 assists, Walcott has already reached career highs for production in a season, and with a little more faith from his manager, he might be able to help both himself and the club.