Former Gunner Alan Smith claims that, despite Alexis Sanchez scoring his first hat-trick for the club against Leicester, Theo Walcott is the real success story so far this season.
Speaking recently, Smith hailed how well Theo’s adapting to his role as a striker.
“Walcott’s the real story from that win,” Smith said.
“We knew that Sanchez was going to come good. He took a little bit of time to score after a busy summer but it was great to see him click into gear.
“However, there was so much disappointment from the Arsenal fans about Arsene Wenger not getting in a centre forward in the summer, and you can understand that.”
Smith is right.
Many, myself included, were skeptical over whether Walcott could play consistently up front. His ability on the wing is undeniable but as a striker he seemed nervous and his finishing suffered. Now, he’s clearly been working on all aspects of his game and his hold-up play, as well as demanding the ball into spaces rather than right to his feet, has greatly improved his in front of goal.
Smith continued, “Theo has always wanted to play through the middle, and I think most of us have had doubts as to whether he could do it. But what he needs is a run in the side to be able to learn the intricacies of the position, the runs to make, the hold-up play.
“He’ll only be able to do that by getting a run in the side and it seems Arsene Wenger is willing to give him that. He wouldn’t be willing to do it if Theo wasn’t playing well and scoring goals, but he is.”
While Harry Redknapp spoke about us having two different strikers and how it’s a weakness, since apparently our other players will get confused… Smith, like many, believes it can be useful. We can pick and choose depending on the game plan of the other team and rotate if needed.
“Theo is totally different from Olivier Giroud, so it’s a nice contrast to have. Depending on the opposition you can pick either,” he added.
We’re in a strong position.