Hype. It’s a wonderful thing. Grow some moody facial hair on it and it practically begs for attention. I’m not dismissing Theo Walcott’s talent. But let’s not kid ourselves. If he played for anyone other than Arsenal, he wouldn’t be flirting so much with the England first team. Is he any better than SWP at the best of times?
There’s no doubting his pace. Electrifying. But thanks to Wenger and his undeniable ability of turning players into insufferable ****, Theo already thinks he is some type of Henry-Lite prototype. Blame David Dein’s octopus arms and Sven's acceptance resulting with the kids unwarranted inclusion in the World Cup squad in 2006.
Since then we've had three goals away to Croatia which has only added to the expectations a country has for one of their players.
Shame our Aaron is recovering at the moment because even the stats tell us there’s no doubting our shaved eyebrow wing wizard is currently ahead of his Woolwich counterpart in a claim for the spot on the right-wing for the Three Lions. Aaron has actually matured this season. We all know he has some fine-tuning to work on with decision making and finishing, but he’s no longer a kid with boots made out of greased lightning. He’s a young man who has proved his worth through determination and hard work and belief. With greased lightning boots.
Consistency the key.
Proving tricky writing this article and playing a violin at the same time. But that’s me. Multi-skilled. Much like our Player of the Year. Our Aaron has claimed more assists. More cross completions. May not have had as many shots on goal but gets more on target. Far more. And thus scores more for the effort.
Oh but Theo was injured and out of action for a while. Well that’s dandy. Aaron spent last year drowning in his own hype from the year before. Unable to keep his head above the water of expectation. He’s not quite walking on it yet. He’s on a jet-ski. Which is good enough. Theo is somewhat behind. Sat in a canoe with Wenger barking frenzied instructions. Most of which relate to avoiding international duty which Theo chooses to ignore.
The point is, for all the superlatives and the repeated footage of a run that’s akin to something Lennon does all the time is not a purposeful testament to progression. In fact he hasn’t stepped it up quite yet, but who cares as long as he’s with his pretty girlfriend and surrounded by sound-bites about the heir to the throne Thierry left behind. Enough with the poses and the arrogant swagger. It's positively boring.
Not that I want him to play well for Arsenal, but I guess he has to if he's going to be an integral part of the England squad.
Maybe it’s more subtle and people outside of the Emirates can’t quite grasp the improvement he’s made. I welcome any Arsenal input over this. To me he just appears to be inconsistent. Bursts of buzzing energy and then very little. Much like the Lennon of two years ago. Some gooner mates agree with me. Others don't and simply cite the injury as the reason for his stop-start form.
Last time out, our lad ended up believing the hype and paid the price for it. If Aaron has to continue to develop his game in the shadows whilst Walcott gets all the media attention then so be it.
Club before country.