While Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says otherwise, it is clear the Frechman has not picked Theo Walcott for Arsenal’s upcoming game against heavyweights Manchester City due to his contract situation.
It has been reported that Arsenal have offered the English winger a £75,000 a week contract, although Walcott has refused this deal looking for somewhere in the region of £100,000 a week.
As a result it looks like Arsenal are playing it tough, with Theo playing very much a limited role in the team in recent weeks. A trend that is sure to continue the longer the situation goes on.
Wenger is quoted as saying by The Daily Mail:
I haven’t picked him, it’s true, and it’s quite a good question. I still hope to sign him and the next two months will be vital because, after that, the longer this situation lasts the more difficult it is.
Let’s hope we can find a solution in the next two months but the fact he doesn’t play regularly at the moment is right, but it’s not necessarily linked with his contract situation.
It will depend on the needs of the team and the club (whether we sell him in January). We can afford to go to the end (of the contract) if needed.
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No player is happy when he doesn’t play.
At the moment, Koscielny doesn’t play. He’s just extended his contract and still doesn’t play because the defence is doing well.
That’s only temporary because by the end of the season they will all play.
Personally, looking at the situation, I am definitely on the fence when it comes to Walcott. The Englishman definitely be a game-changer, but his inconsistencies often make him ineffective at times with his style somewhat one-dimensional.
In saying this , you can’t deny that Walcott’s stats show that he has been steadily improving over his time at Arsenal with 8 goals and 11 assists in his last season. At the age of 23, preferably I would like the Englishman to stay, particularly with a players like Cazorla in the team.
On the other side of the coin though, it is pretty clear that Walcott should not be earning as much as the players in the top wage bracket at Arsenal. He simply does not possess the caliber that the top players at Arsenal possess.
It also doesn’t help his cause when the likes of Gervinho, Chamberlain and Podolski have been playing well very this term. Particularly Gervinho, who even effectively made the transition to striker in the recent Southampton match, the very transition Walcott has been wanting to make.
Looking at the situation objectively, I reach the same conclusion as Arsenal. A player you would ideally like to have, but clearly a player who should not be in Arsenal’s top wage bracket. As a result I think it is understandable that Arsenal are playing hard-ball, but again this should have been a debacle handled much earlier.
What do you guys think? Do you reach the same conclusion? Feel free to leave a comment below or discuss Walcott in the allArsenal.com forums in the Theo Walcott thread.