I’m Theo let me know – Should I stay or should I go?

I read with interest Alex’s column from Tuesday. I think Theo really needs to up his game in order to stay at Arsenal. I honestly do not think he can up his defensive game to the level required of him as, in my opinion, he doesn’t have the ability to do so.


Theo is the sort of old-school, Michael Owen-esque striker who sits on the shoulder of the last defender, hoping for them to make a mistake so that he can quickly pounce on the opportunity presented. However, the all-round game of players is always improving and match tactics used by opposition teams have changed a lot in the last two or three years, except Theo’s game hasn’t improved and thus the opportunities for him are harder to come by, as, unlike Alexis, Welbeck and Giroud, Theo does not make his own chances. Theo relies on someone else to supply the pass and that simply does not work with the current tactics and squad that Arsene has assembled.


Let’s go back 30 months to the players we had then in the squad. The entire team is different – where we had Vermaelen and Squillaci, we now have Gabriel. Where we once had Andre Santos and Sagna, we now have Debuchy and Monreal. I hear you shouting from the back that maybe Sagna and Debuchy are comparable defensively but Debuchy strikes me as more of a leader (he was Lille’s Captain for a period).

Of more interest is how the midfield has changed. No longer are we completely reliant on Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky to create chances from midfield – we now have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (who was mostly injured before and still picks up the occasional injury now, but I digress), Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla to create chances too. There are a few players who have left – Alex Song, Yossi Benayoun (remember him? He secured us 4th place with those two goals vs. West Brom on the final day) and to a lesser extent, Ozyakup and Lansbury. The balance of the midfield has changed – we don’t try to stifle the opposition of late by simply keeping possession, we have changed into a team that tries to soak up pressure from opponents by utilising Coquelin as a holding midfielder, a role which Alex Song refused to do whilst he was here which he now does every week for West Ham – go figure.

Our forward line was very different then too – RvP, Chamakh, Bendtner (loaned out that season to Sunderland I think?), Park Chu-Young and Gervinho have all since left the club, leaving Theo as the only forward remaining at Arsenal from that time period. Only Gervinho was arguably misused by the club and Park was never seen. Would RvP fit back into this team, with its different style? Would Chamakh? My guess is no. Chamakh is, however, turning into a decent hold-up style of forward at Palace, where he is a nuisance to opponents more often than not. We now have Giroud, Alexis and Welbeck as our three main forwards, all of whom have better all-around games than the forwards we had when Theo last signed.


Can Ozil and other midfielders we possess be able to supply passes for Theo to get on the end of and score goals? Yes, obviously. Will Theo work to get into the space for that pass? Yes, quite probably. Will Theo work defensively to win the ball back when we are trying to regain possession? Not on your life. That is why, for me, he is not in the team right now – he simply doesn’t fit the tactics that Arsene Wenger is trying to use. The fact that his contract has about 15 months to run is purely a coincidence – in my opinion, even if he hadn’t been injured and out for so long, Theo would have struggled to get in the team and may possibly have been moved on sooner. When Theo penned his last contract, Fabregas had just left and RvP had one foot out the door so Arsenal needed to save some face by keeping Theo. Unfortunately, he only took the opportunity to improve his wages and not to improve his game, which is why he doesn’t fit so well now.

Where will he move to? For me, either to Liverpool, Manchester United (if he has a desire to play) or Manchester City (if he has a desire to collect a larger pay cheque) – Liverpool and United are both a bit light upfront, while City have a need for English players as they have FFP regulations closing in, so they may be more interested in a swap deal. Would you want anyone from City? The only ones I could think of would be Kolarov or Yaya Toure and I don’t see City being open to swapping out either of those two. So it’s Liverpool or Manchester United for Theo in the summer, as I don’t think he has a future with Arsenal.


What are your thoughts? Let me know!

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4 Responses to I’m Theo let me know – Should I stay or should I go?

  1. Nish April 2, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Theo doesnt create his own chances? You can only be basing this on his performances since his injury because the fact is before the injury he was our best player and was involved in all aspects of our game (except defending) of course since his return he has been poor and non existent when he plays.

    For me hes scared to get on the ball because he doesnt want to get injured, he just needs hid confidence back.

  2. J K Githae April 2, 2015 at 10:07 pm #

    We need walcott as he is one of our valuable player

  3. Phil23 April 2, 2015 at 10:50 pm #

    I agree with Nish, how can you so easily forget the form Walcott was in before his injury? He was even our top scorer not long ago. Walcott to Liverpool would be a disaster unless we got Stirling in return. Walcott to Chelsea would be a disaster too. Unless we get a world class option in like Sterling or Reus, we are best to keep Walcott.
    We just need world class players.
    Pogba or Martinez for Flamini and Atria
    Reus or Sterling for Walcott
    Hummels or Varane for Mertesacker

    Any 2 of those players and we have the best team in the league.

    (No we don’t need a striker or a goalkeeper)

  4. Timothy Hargreaves April 3, 2015 at 11:09 am #

    I think Walcott has more to do with luck than form. Theo’s chances more come from a defender making a mistake, not from build-up play like what the other midfielders and forwards at Arsenal create. Another important aspect to remember is that Theo often makes mistakes in front of goal when given the time to take the chance – he is often far better just shooting instinctively, e.g. goal vs. Brighton in the F.A. Cup tie earlier this season.

    I have not seen Theo pass the ball much in the final third or make chances for other players – even Ozil has improved his tracking back and chasing (something he very rarely did before) and yet Theo hasn’t – to me that speaks volumes. I know some will disagree but football is a team game, not an individual game and, for me, Theo doesn’t fit into this team.

    I don’t agree with your choices for replacement players, Phil23. Please let me elaborate. Pogba is simply unreachable for us – he would cost upwards of 60 million Pounds and I don’t see AW spending that sort of money on one player – we aren’t Barcelona or Real Madrid. It would be better for Real Madrid to make a move for him and then Arsenal to make a move for Illaramendi for maybe 30 million Pounds – not too sure too many Gooners would be unhappy with that. Of course, there would always be the link to Schneiderlin as well, but I’d also like us to go for one of the Bender brothers or Maxime Gonalons to make sure we have enough cover in the midfield.

    As for the defensive choices, Varane also unattainable for us and Hummels is too slow. I’d rather see us signing younger players with big potential like Samuel Umtiti from Lyon and Steven Caulker from Q.P.R. as a backup – that should give us enough depth at the back, with possibly Isaac Hayden featuring more, as it looks like Ajayi is gone in the summer, most likely for choosing to play international football with Nigeria.

    I’d also like to see a new winger or wide forward coming in – Draxler is probably Wenger’s first choice but it remains to be seen how well he has recovered from his injury. Sterling will be expensive if Liverpool let him go and they are unlikely to sell to us. Let’s see who is available in the summer first.

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