Theo Walcott turned down the chance to claim some personal glory with a hattrick in order to allow Olivier Giroud to finally net his 100th Arsenal goal.
The Frenchman had been waiting for his landmark goal since he netted number 99 against Leicester City on the opening day of the Premier League campaign. When Arsenal were awarded a very soft penalty in the second half against BATE, he stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.
So why did Walcott, who has been under immense pressure to perform, allow his teammate the glory instead of taking it for himself?
“I felt we pressed well and attacked well. Especially in the first 60 minutes,” Walcott said after the game.
“When you score four goals away from home, you’re always likely to win.
“There was a chance for me to take the penalty for a hat-trick but knowing Olivier was on 99 goals, it was a great opportunity for him so that’s why he took the penalty.”
I’ve certainly been one of Theo’s biggest critics, but it’s hard to argue with his performance against Belarus, nor his return this season from what limited opportunities he has had.
Shunted to the fringes of the team, Walcott has three goals and one assist in six appearances this season but those figures are deceptive as he is averaging under 50 minutes per game in 17/18.
He is scoring at a rate of one every 100 minutes and has a goal involvement rate of one every 74.75 minutes.
Impressive numbers by anyone’s standards.