The trouble with being famous is that your business becomes everyone’s business.
Theo Walcott has been the subject of juicy speculation over the past few months. We’ve seen our own insecurities over the length of his remaining contract start to discolour some of the feelings many Arsenal fans have for our number 14.
The press have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, particularly since Theo is such a clean-cut figure. An advertiser’s dream.
This is a man who likes to keep his private life private and do his talking on the pitch. It’s the same man roundly lambasted for not even letting his hair down on his stag do. And it’s the same man who apparently held Arsenal to ransom the last time his contract came up for renewal.
It seems that we’re not very good at learning from our mistakes. We’ve been too quick to judge many players over the years only to see them serve up a tasty helping of humble pie – Aaron Ramsey is the most recent example of a player written off only to turn into an FA Cup winning darling of the Arsenal fanbase.
We know that the press like to taunt us with stories about our players straying off the tracks more than most clubs – think Ozil’s clubbing, Szczesny’s and Wilshere’s smoking – yet we’re prepared to take the allegations about Walcott at face value.
Little surprise then that the player himself has finally lost his patience with the storyline – there are only so many times you can see your character slighted and hold your tongue. Walcott has every right to defend himself and hopefully should see an end to the allegations for the foreseeable future.
He’s spoken before about how contract noise was a distraction for him, so he’s absolutely right to end this nonsense and clear his name in one fell swoop. That way he can focus on getting back to doing what he does best – tearing opposition defences apart.
The Arsenal star tweeted:
“I don’t normally comment on false stories about myself but reports about contract demands & bust-ups with the boss are complete nonsense…
“There have been no contract talks as yet and my current focus is not on contracts but on doing my best for Arsenal FC.”
It seems that sometimes there really is smoke without fire.
If he wants to try to hold the club to ransom in the summer then that’s entirely his prerogative. Likewise if he wants to sign his contract with zero fuss come July then that’s also his prerogative.
Clearly, however, neither of those scenarios are imminent.
When the time does come, all I know is I won’t be relying on the media for confirmation of the ‘truth‘ about how those private conversations are going.