by Lewis Ambrose
When Theo Walcott has been mentioned lately it is only inevitable that his contract situation creeps up.
So it makes a nice change to see Walcott talking about what’s actually happening on the pitch, not off it. The 26 year-old enjoyed a superb end to the season with a hat-trick against West Brom followed by the opener in the FA Cup Final win over Aston Villa. Pre-season has started and Walcott has got himself amongst the goals once more.
A 3-1 win over Everton in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy saw Walcott score the first goal after starting on the left wing. Usually used on the right and occasionally through the middle, it made a change to see him on the opposite side.
“In modern-day football the three up front tend to change around a lot,” he said to Arsenal.com.
“You see it with England and with Barcelona, so we have that sort of trust in each other knowing that everyone can do that sort of role. It’s not a problem at all.”
With a number of players who can play down the middle as well as on either flank Arsenal have the choice to play a very fluid front three this season. Walcott is joined by Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck as players who can play wide on the left or the right but can also be used more centrally.
If Arsenal can find the right mix and the players can click it could be formidable. The players just have to buy into it, and the Englishman certainly has.
“I like it anywhere,” said Walcott.
“I enjoy playing for this club. It’s well-documented where I want to play but there’s a lot of competition in that front line. If I’m in a role then I have to do my best there, but it’s another option for the manager. It’s not a bad thought.”
It is clear that Walcott would still like to play down the middle but so would a lot of players. This sort of fluid shape could be a happy medium as Arsenal look to settle talks and get him to sign a new deal.