How talented was Theo Walcott?

Kostov

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For sure Nani was levels above Theo. Not even debatable.
Totally true in hindsight. Nani was frustrating but he was a far better player.
I had a mate, an arse fan, he was so delluded and laughed off when I told him Nani was better than Walcott and Berbatov was better than Bendtner, he claimed the opposite. :lol:

This forums Nani love amazes me all the time. The man is arguably the most frustrating footballer I've seen play for us. He's twice the player of very few really poor players, Walcott isn't one of them.
The most frustrating footballer you've seen play for us? Have you missed Lingard, Depay and I am sure couple of other wearing the club's shirt? If Nani was frustrating than I dare you describe an average speed merchant like Wallcot, with even less footballing brain.
 

charlenefan

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Maybe a slightly lazy comparison but the OX pushed in after leaving Wenger, maybe Walcott could have done likewise?
 

11101

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This forums Nani love amazes me all the time. The man is arguably the most frustrating footballer I've seen play for us. He's twice the player of very few really poor players, Walcott isn't one of them.
When everything was going right for him Nani was one of the few genuinely unplayable footballers. Consistency was his only downfall. Walcott was nowhere near him.
 

Gio

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I feel the timing of his breakthrough into football wasn't great either. Teams were starting to discard playing with two upfront and Walcott couldn't really play as a lone striker due to a lack of physical prowess and back to goal play. I felt he would have been more effective as a striker in a 4-4-2 big and small man formation. He seemed to settle on to the RW but his delivery and decision making wasn't quite up to scratch.
Good point. He might have carved out a career in such a set-up where he wasn't expected to contribute much in general play and could play off the shoulder all game.
 

harms

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If he was playing under Fergie or peak Mourinho, he could’ve become a truly great player. Not world class though, I don’t think he ever had it in him, but a player with unique traits that, under a right manager, could’ve been nurtured more carefully. Wenger’s style didn’t really suit him.

He never had Owen’s goalscoring instincts, but he could’ve become a budget version of him, if coached right and with the right example in the team itself.
 

yumtum

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A crap Bale.
 

SilentWitness

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Very. He should and could have been a player who was getting 10-15 goals a season consistently but Arsenal was just the wrong team for him completely. I do reckon he needed a team that played counter-attacking football but as BigDunc alludes to his decision making at times is shocking for a mature footballer. He misses out on at least 5 goals or assists each season because of that and it is really frustrating when you're supporting Everton where every goal counts aka you're not thumping teams each week. If he had a manager that nurtured his decision making and set him up in a team that played to his pace he would have scored a lot more. He doesn't suit a team that tries to play it into the net. That's not his game. He's looked much better under Ancelotti who has played him in a role that kind of allows him to float a little and utilise his pace which he still has surprisingly.
 

RedSky

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He was another one of those hyped up English players of his generation that delivered very little. That whole generation offered very little.
 

FootballHQ

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Good point. He might have carved out a career in such a set-up where he wasn't expected to contribute much in general play and could play off the shoulder all game.
Harry Redknapp was actually his manager when he broke through at Southampton so yeah interesting if he'd gone and played for more off the cuff style attacking play in final third.

Agbonlahor came through at around the same time and had similar entry into football as Walcott did. Now of course Gabby's decline was far more rapid (he's still only 33) and he wasn't as technically gifted but playing in the more direct MON style of chasing balls into the corner he was an effective enough double figures premier league striker for 4 years and gave some of the top team defences in that time plenty of trouble.

It's mad aswell him going to 2006 world cup. Arsenal signed him in Jan 2006 and rather than loaning him back to Southampton like Spurs did with Dele Alli Arsenal got him involved in their set up straight away. He made his debut in August 2006 so he went to that world cup not even playing.

Would've been more logical if the England strikers had all been fit but Rooney of course got injured in late April, Owen had broke his foot in December 2005 (then did his ACL in the Sweden game) and the other striker was Crouch who'd only been an England player for 10 months so not that experienced at that point. Guess Sven didn't really care much given he was leaving the job after the tournament and wanted a legacy selection.
 

Skills

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Good point. He might have carved out a career in such a set-up where he wasn't expected to contribute much in general play and could play off the shoulder all game.
It almost feels like he was born about 5 years too early or 5 years too late. In that weird transition phase for football - where positions/roles were being re-defined. He'd be class now at his prime, for any team looking for a goalscoring forward because of his pace in behind, good finishing & add in the dribbling he's very good.

I think someone like Nani had a tough time for this too - just born at the wrong time. Football couldn't decide what they wanted from their wingers - do you want him beating fullbacks and whipping in crosses (without providing him with multiple options getting on the end of them) or do you want them cutting in creating from the middle (without finding a way to open up space outwide another way)
 

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I think he’s one of those cases that just went into first team football way too early. Would have benefited from a few more years of development
 

RUCK4444

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This forums Nani love amazes me all the time. The man is arguably the most frustrating footballer I've seen play for us. He's twice the player of very few really poor players, Walcott isn't one of them.
Everybody will agree Nani was frustratingly inconsistent but he had a few seasons where he was arguably our best player.

Could beat players through skill for fun as opposed to Theo’s pace alone.

Also watch Nani’s YouTube goal compilation and you will struggle to find anybody with a better one, it’s incredible.

Walcott never reached those heights, he’s pretty much the epitome of a kick and run player.
 

DRM

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He was quick, with a bit of trickery and some decent finishing. However -

1) Not good enough to be an out and out winger - poor crossing
2) Not good enough to be a striker - didnt have the movement and strikers instinct.
 

DJ Jeff

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Feel like he needed a veteran striker or two to constantly work with him and help him better understand the game and his own innate advantages. He came into football late, and it showed, which isn't his fault.

Arsenal and the media gassed his head at the wrong time and where he should have been learning from others, he was thrust too far into the spotlight, and from there it's almost impossible to dial it back without the player being disgruntled or those who propped him up then labelling him a failure.

Walcott wasn't a good dribbler - no idea where that notion is coming from - but thedifficulty for someone so fast is they have even finer lines to get all their touches right, lest the ball flies off from a single errant action, which is what Walcott fell foul of a lot of the time. He wasn't terrible with the ball at his feet, but for the pace he had, a better technical base would have made him a frightening proposition.

An Alan Smith or Ian Wright would have been better for him to learn from than a player like Henry who was in a different stratosphere in terms of ability, and thus how he could approach the game and get away with being a completely atypical type of striker for his era.

Walcott could have been more than he became, but that was reliant on a perfect storm for his development that ultimately wasn't there for him. In summary, he did well enough for someone whose foundations weren't established at the ages most pros are. The guy came into football with a handicap and a starting line some yards behind his fellow professionals, so from that perspective, he really can't be knocked.
Yeah I'd agree with this. He's like if Eric Bailly was a forward, in terms of they both came into the game very late as extremely good athletes and couldn't quite get the basics to a high enough level that they were solid and reliable players. Walcott however made much more of his talent than Bailly has so far
 

Pughnichi

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I had a mate, an arse fan, he was so delluded and laughed off when I told him Nani was better than Walcott and Berbatov was better than Bendtner, he claimed the opposite. :lol:


The most frustrating footballer you've seen play for us? Have you missed Lingard, Depay and I am sure couple of other wearing the club's shirt? If Nani was frustrating than I dare you describe an average speed merchant like Wallcot, with even less footballing brain.
lingard isn’t frustrating...I just isn’t good enough.

depay never really got going and given run of games.

nani had so much ability which made him all the more frustrating to watch
 

flappyjay

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Talent? Not much at all. His good period came due to coaching and hard work and even then he was hardly a top 4 player.

Talent is obvious to see early on and there was nothing to see other than pace with Walcott for a long while.
He was regularly starting for a top 4 team and putting up good numbers too.
 

flappyjay

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Some people seem to describing Lennon here. Theo wasn't world class but there was a time he was scoring goals and wouldn't have looked out of place in a title winning team
 

limerickcitykid

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Came to football a little too late. Always lacked a little something of the base understanding of the game. He was quite naturally good at the game and had exceptional gifts. He didn't really have that almost sociopathic lack of self doubt that the very best have.

He might have done better without the injuries and if he had played primarily in a team less reliant on technical football.

Could still cut it at the top level on his day though.
Feel like he needed a veteran striker or two to constantly work with him and help him better understand the game and his own innate advantages. He came into football late, and it showed, which isn't his fault.
Yeah I'd agree with this. He's like if Eric Bailly was a forward, in terms of they both came into the game very late as extremely good athletes and couldn't quite get the basics to a high enough level that they were solid and reliable players. Walcott however made much more of his talent than Bailly has so far
What do you mean by came into football late?
 

RooneyLegend

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Everybody will agree Nani was frustratingly inconsistent but he had a few seasons where he was arguably our best player.

Could beat players through skill for fun as opposed to Theo’s pace alone.

Also watch Nani’s YouTube goal compilation and you will struggle to find anybody with a better one, it’s incredible.

Walcott never reached those heights, he’s pretty much the epitome of a kick and run player.
Id never argue Walcott being better but the Nani love is strange. Never our best player, always frustrating. Wasn't at all surprised his career went the way it did.
 

Lay

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seriously how weird was that decision to take him to the 2006 world cup?
Truly baffling. If memory serves me right, he was picked over Defoe who had a good season
 

Andycoleno9

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Theo Walcott scored a hat trick for England once, if that counts for something
Against our NT. Our first home defeat in history. Bastard :(.
He was solid winger. Technically better version of Dan James.
 
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diarm

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We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here lads.

Lockdown Day 1: "How good was Kaka?"
Lockdown Day 3: "How good was David Beckham?"
Lockdown Day 32: "How good was Theo bloody Walcott?"
 

Inigo Montoya

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We're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here lads.

Lockdown Day 1: "How good was Kaka?"
Lockdown Day 3: "How good was David Beckham?"
Lockdown Day 32: "How good was Theo bloody Walcott?"
How good was Akinfenwa?
 

GifLord

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lingard isn’t frustrating...I just isn’t good enough.

depay never really got going and given run of games.

nani had so much ability which made him all the more frustrating to watch
He played 45 matches(or 27.4 matches if you count minutes) in his first season here and was more frustrating to watch than NANI.
I remember the stats of that shitty website whoscored where they came to the conclusion that he was one of the best free kick takers in the world.
It took him 9 free kicks to hit the target from the free kick.
 

James Peril

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Pace merchant with no plan B, until the pace slowly went. Was unlucky with injury.
Basically this. Very modern player when he broke through, a sprinter that played football - huge advantage. The problem is of course that pace will disappear, injuries will happen and then you’re left with mediocre technique and a finished career at top level. Walcott did have something special going on though, lots of clever goals... but it all vanished with age. Never a great talent, just fast and direct, like Aaron Lennon.
 

Newman123

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A comparison of Nani and Walcott

Theo Walcott

Appearances
342
Goals
74
Assists
50
Goals per match
0.22
Minutes per goal
271
Shots
613
Shots on target
265
Shots off target
207
Shooting accuracy %
56.14
Shooting success %
12.07
Penalties scored
0
Penalties saved
0
Penalties missed
0
Penalties won
7
Freekicks scored
0
Goals with right foot
60
Goals with left foot
12
Headed goals
2
Goals from inside box
72
Goals from outside box
2
Hit woodwork
18
Big chances scored
40
Big chances missed
78

Nani
Apperances
147
Goals
26
Assists
43
Goals per Match
0.18
Minutes per Goal
374
Shots
377
Shots on Target
111
Shots off Target
183
Shooting accuracy %
37.76
Shooting success %
6.90
Pen scored
0
Pen saved
0
Pen missed
0
Pen won
3
Freekicks scored
1
Goals with right foot
14
Goals with left foot
11
Headed Goals
1
Goals from inside box
18
Goals from outside box
8
Hit woodwork
8
Big chances scored
8
Big chances missed
16
 

Inigo Montoya

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A comparison of Nani and Walcott

Theo Walcott

Appearances
342
Goals
74
Assists
50
Goals per match
0.22
Minutes per goal
271
Shots
613
Shots on target
265
Shots off target
207
Shooting accuracy %
56.14
Shooting success %
12.07
Penalties scored
0
Penalties saved
0
Penalties missed
0
Penalties won
7
Freekicks scored
0
Goals with right foot
60
Goals with left foot
12
Headed goals
2
Goals from inside box
72
Goals from outside box
2
Hit woodwork
18
Big chances scored
40
Big chances missed
78

Nani
Apperances
147
Goals
26
Assists
43
Goals per Match
0.18
Minutes per Goal
374
Shots
377
Shots on Target
111
Shots off Target
183
Shooting accuracy %
37.76
Shooting success %
6.90
Pen scored
0
Pen saved
0
Pen missed
0
Pen won
3
Freekicks scored
1
Goals with right foot
14
Goals with left foot
11
Headed Goals
1
Goals from inside box
18
Goals from outside box
8
Hit woodwork
8
Big chances scored
8
Big chances missed
16
Slightly unfair comparison considering the goalscorers around Nani at the time: Rooney, Ronaldo.
Walcott is far more likely to flatter while Nani would be underrated. Or is it the other way round?
 

mancan92

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He was a good player. In fact there was a time where he was looking really scary as a striker. He had a great finish. Its also weird people saying he couldn't dribble. Some of his biggest moments were him for example against Liverpool running the full length of the field beating 5/6 players. He had it in him.
 

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Not very. Quick which ensured he got lots of opportunities to be threatening in youth football and early career so he stood out but forgot to develop rest of his game and his football brain so underachieved. At crucial stage in his career messed up his choice of position too. Another failing. Thought he was better than he was.
 

Ali Dia

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I had a mate, an arse fan, he was so delluded and laughed off when I told him Nani was better than Walcott and Berbatov was better than Bendtner, he claimed the opposite. :lol:


The most frustrating footballer you've seen play for us? Have you missed Lingard, Depay and I am sure couple of other wearing the club's shirt? If Nani was frustrating than I dare you describe an average speed merchant like Wallcot, with even less footballing brain.
As previously mentioned he had that good season or 2 up front and disappeared. I remember being impressed by some of his finishes and their quick passing game but he could never stay fit and I don’t think they won much with him as an important player apart from the fa cup? Nani had world class attributes but arguably didn’t dominate for long enough but he’s won the league multiple times, CL and the European Cup with Portugal. He was a very good signing for the money we paid. I think Prime Nani would be class in this team.
 

Robertd0803

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He was pretty good between 2010 to 2013, after that he dropped off the face of the planet seemingly.

Looking back its as if he hit a wall as regards development beyond a certain point.
 

FootballHQ

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He was pretty good between 2010 to 2013, after that he dropped off the face of the planet seemingly.

Looking back its as if he hit a wall as regards development beyond a certain point.
That was the time to step up really given Arsenal lost Fabregas and Nasri in 2011, RVP in 2012 and didn't sign Alexis until 2014 so they had a void in final third and at that point he'd been in premier league for 7 full seasons.

13-14 he'd only scored 5 prem goals up to his season ending injury in January. 12-13 was his best league scoring season, 14 but Arsenal were very much in transition so it just lead to them beating Spurs to 4th on last day.

Actually look at the results it's forgotten how Bayern very nearly messed up the second leg v Arsenal, three months later they win the treble.
 

Adam-Utd

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Pace is always dangerous in football. If you can run fast, control the ball and finish/pass then you’ll always do well.

I think he could have been more but he probably had too much too young. Being at arsenal at that time also was the wrong decision, being happy with 4th all your career is never the winning mentality.

I think having wenger as his manager didn’t help either as he was far too nice and relaxed. He let Walcott dither about deciding where HE wanted to play and never really settled and mastered a position.