Theo Walcott loves a goal against Chelsea and Saturday evening was no different as he put in another brilliant performance to help secure a 3-0 win.
The forward didn’t have too many passes – 25 in total, 18 successful. However, as a forward, he doesn’t need to be recycling and passing the ball quite as often as Santi Cazorla or Mesut Ozil. It just matters that he’s putting in the passes that count, which he did.
In the final third, he attempted 13 passes and nine came off; this was exactly the same as Cesc Fabregas, who is supposed to be a world class playmaker.
As you can see from the heatmap, although he played as an advanced player on the right wing, he was obviously tracking back as one of his ‘hotspots’ is practically on top of Hector Bellerin. This is something he’s been criticised for not doing in the past so it’s good to see him obviously looking at his previous shortcomings and working on them.
Bellerin probably feels far more confident knowing that he’s going to have cover, which allows him to get involved in build-up player a lot easier.
It was the 27-year-old’s 350th appearances for the Gunners, which means he’s just 22 off being Arsene Wenger’s most used player. After a decade in north London, at such a young age, you can’t help but start thinking ‘what if’. Is this finally Theo’s time?
Theo Walcott needs just 22 more appearances to be Arsenal's all-time most used player under Arsene Wenger.
— Nic English (@nicwenglish) September 22, 2016
Ultimately, Theo’s been steadily improving this season and over the past couple of games you can really see his confidence growing. It’s really brilliant to see considering we thought he was off in the summer because we had no use for him in the first team.
His goal against Chelsea marked this third of the campaign so far (plus one assist) and his sixth against the Blues during his career. Hopefully, he can continue to shine.