Theo Walcott has spoken out of his desire to play as Arsenal’s centre forward for the remaining matches, however it seems his attempts will be in vein with confirming he will continue with Lukas Podolski who failed to get on the score sheet last weekend.
The Englishman certainly has a case, he netted a hattrick against Newcastle when deployed centrally in January, however Olivier Giroud has since been preferred due to his strength and aerial prowess. But with the Frenchman suspended for another two matches, Walcott feels he can be a potent striker if he is given more opportunities.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed his most fruitful season in an Arsenal shirt, netting 19 goals in all competitions this season, and is hopeful he will get a chance to prove his goal-scoring ability through the middle in the absence of Giroud.
Walcott is quoted as saying in the Evening Standard:
I played a few games there and I would like a few more towards the end of the season. I got a lot of my goals when playing up front, so I have shown what I can do and it is up to the manager to do what he sees is best.
I am sure another chance will come. I set a 20-goal target for the season but the biggest goal for me is to help Arsenal finish third or fourth.
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While the winger-come-striker has his own eyes on a centre forward role, Arsene Wenger has other ideas. Lukas Podolski featured against Manchester United in the absence of Giroud with Walcott out wide, while he failed to score he worked hard and got himself into promising positions.
He is by far the most experienced of the wingers to play as a striker, having previously played there for club (in Germany) and country, which has been further reiterated by his current boss and he looks set to resume that role against QPR this weekend.
Wenger told Arsenal Player that Podolski is a centre forward:
I believe so, he has the qualities because he is a good finisher.
He has a good technique and because we have a game based on very quick combinations I believe he can be a part of that. Overall I am convinced in the coming games he will show it.
At the moment, yes [I will play Podolski in the middle]. A definite decision has not been made but if there is an opportunity then there is a good chance I will do it.
Even though Walcott is a proven goalscorer, Podolski offers more as a team player with his hold up and link up play so the midfielders are more likely to be involved whereas Theo offers a directness to the Arsenal attack, both are positive but with a physical team like QPR perhaps the German is the better option. Walcott will still do damage on the wing as we saw against United.
What are your thoughts on the striker dilemma? Should Podolski or Walcott lead the line against QPR? Feel free to comment below…