One of the main criticisms levelled at Theo Walcott is that he doesn’t work hard enough unless he’s due a new contract.

Speaking recently Arsene Wenger assured us that we are going to see a different Theo this season, the manager acknowledging, at least tacitly, that Walcott does not do enough.

While he still might find himself making the wrong decisions when given time to think, there does appear to be a shift in the way Theo is conducting himself on the pitch – less afraid to do the dirty side of the game, and this perception is backed up by the stats:

The 11 from last season is as damming as the eight from this is impressive (Squawk have it as seven).

To give that some context, Theo has won seven tackles this season while Xhaka has only won three. Admittedly, Theo has played more (270′ v 186′) but still, that’s impressive from Walcott. Walcott has only lost five of his tackles compared to a concerning 13 for Xhaka. He’s new, we’ll put it down to that, eh?

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I know. I laughed too.

For the record, Theo’s contract isn’t up for another three years.