Why isn’t Theo Walcott playing?

It’s a question we’ve been asking around these parts for a while and have come up with a number of theories.

One of them is that it has something to do with his contract negotiations and it seems like that might be a little closer to the truth than we first imagined.

After the drama Walcott caused when his last deal was up for renewal, the winger cannot afford to take the same stance this time.

Wenger revealed at his press conference that talks have begun on the deal that will replace the one that runs out in under 18 months but he’s not expecting it to be resolved any time soon.

He said, with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek

“The first contacts have been established with the embassy.

“We will see how that progresses politically.

“Walcott was difficult to convince [last time] and that is why it took us much time.

“We started very early with him but it was slow progress. He is very quick on the pitch but off the pitch, not always.

“I always wanted to keep him and I still want to keep him now.

“I want him to stay and be a regular player and fight for his place, but no matter where you go if it is a big club you have to compete for your place.”

Why was Walcott difficult to convince last time?

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Money.

It was all about the money, much to the dismay of Jessie J.

This time, however, Walcott’s bargaining position is significantly weaker.

Once in a position of strength because Arsenal were weakening their team as major players left, the opposite is the case now and Walcott has yet to prove he is fully recovered from the serious knee injury which sidelined him for 12 months.

He cannot hold the club to ransom this time.

If he wants to remain at the club, Walcott would be well advised to be a bit less of a spoilt brat and more a player who is prepared to put his head down and work for the contract he believes he deserves.

With big hitters at the club now, Theo’s £100k per week will be some way down the wage pecking order.

Is he really worth a rise to the same level as Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil? More than Santi Cazorla or Aaron Ramsey?

Hmmm….