Remember the days when Lennon was accused of being all pace, no end product or composure and pretty much someone who was tagged as a one-trick pony with a limited shelf-life (thanks to defenders quickly working out how to stop him in his tracks)? He had that one single season, that one blip, where he struggled for ideas, lost his way a little. But his progression returned the following year and he continues to improve - in all areas. Not the finished article by a long shot, but a key first team player and one that is a sure fire inclusion for the World Cup, as long as he recovers from his injury. He can score, cross and has a more than decent first touch and is excellent at nicking the ball off opposition players, skipping around them and running off with the leather at his feet. Off the bench for England, he's the definitive impact player. They'll try to hack him down, cards all over the place from the ref.
Theo Walcott on the other hand has done little in the way of anything in the past few seasons. Once you place the hype aside and box it back up and then take the ridiculous decision to take him to the last WC and flush that down the toilet, he's basically a player with plenty of pace - but nothing else. He's a blindfolded Lennon.
Okay, so he's been plagued with injuries - but if this kid played for anyone else, he'd be nowhere near the England team. Even Arsenal fans have run out of patience.
He runs but shows no crafty clever movements and his touch is abysmal for a player much cited as some sort of Henry prototype (see what tabloid hype does and how detrimental it can be?)
Yet our esteemed English tabloids continue to perpetuate fantasy. As though they are attempting to force the issue that surely a young English player at Arsenal HAS to be good and good enough for England. Sven took him to the WC ffs!!!111
Re: tabloids, I'm referring to The Sun and Steven Howard. Which brings me onto today's 'Forum Post of the Day'. Even though its not even 11am (at time of writing), I read this nailed-on reaction to Howard's match report of England's 3-1 win last night which included two gems. One stating Carrick made no impact and the other rewarding Theo a healthy 7 out of 10 for his performance when 4 or 3 would have been far more justified. Considering what SWP did when he came on, the gulf between the two is massive, let alone when comparing TW to Lennon or even David Beckham. Or even David bleeding Bentley.
It would be great if this guy could perform to the level most people remember (the hat trick v Croatia) but that appears to have been one spike in a land of blips. This is a bit like waiting on Jenas to excel because he smashed up Arsenal that one time. It's not happening. It's not going to happen. It's The Happening directed by M. Night Shyamalan. A strange, horrible and unprecedented crisis begins at the Emirates and transcends across to Wembley. The mysterious neurotoxin causes any Sun reporters coming into contact with it to commit common sense suicide. This all started several years back when our young protagonist, playing for Southampton at the time, run down the wing and chipped it in. Have you not see the video of that chip? That goal when he chips it in? Haven't you seen the chip? He chips it. Sky Sports News played that one clip all the time at the time. Over and over and over again. It's the chip. The goal where he chips it over the keeper and into the goal. The kid had chipability. He chips the ball in against some team and scores.
I'm just bitter he rejected us and went to them because of the number 14 factor. Bitter until Gareth Bale pulled himself out of an almighty lull to regain the potential we always prayed he had.
Others are not quite infected by the tiresome hype.
Waddle nailed it on 5 Live: "I've been analysing Walcott's wing play and I've come to the conclusion he does not understand the game".
So, thanks to Markysimmo04 over at GG.co.uk and his e-mail to Steven Howard which wins today's 'Forum Post of the Day':
My work colleagues and I were wondering if you actually watched the game last night or maybe was in the bar during the whole of it..
How on earth can you give Walcott a 7, apart from one run in the first minute he once again looked like a little boy lost on the pitch and somebody who is only in the squad because he plays for one of the sky / media top 4 cartel, 67 games in 5 seasons for the trophy-less Arsenal shows he isn't even good enough for the premier league let alone international football
Or maybe your an Arsenal fan or one of Monsieur Wenger's disciples who hang on every biased comment he makes as the comment about Carrick not making an impression, he had a very good 20 mins or so and made the team tick a lot more than with Lampard on
Anyhow your ratings have made for much merriment in our office this morning and we are looking forward to seeing more one eyed clueless reporting in the upcoming weeks and months leading to the world cup
Well in Mark. I do appreciate a good letter.