Walcott's Arsenal hat-trick fails to impress critics
Theo Walcott’s hat-trick helped Arsenal to a 6-0 victory over Blackpool on Saturday, but even this failed to win over his detractors, Alan Hansen and Chris Waddle, who both voiced their criticism of the England international.
The pacey winger netted the first hat-trick of his club career during Arsenals thrashing of Blackpool, but this didn’t stop Hansen mauling the forward’s football intelligence.
The untimely condemnation won’t be a new thing for the 21 year old England international, who has in the past been the subject of criticism for his distribution of the ball, something which arguably cost him a place in Fabio Capello’s World Cup squad.
Having earlier basked in the glory of his performance, Walcott could have expected to settle in for a pleasant Saturday nights viewing thinking that he’d be able to relive the goals and bathe in the ensuing critical applause; however Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen had other ideas.
“People have said he doesn’t have a footballing brain. And if you haven’t got a footballing brain, you can’t just acquire one” said the pundit.
“The big problem is when he’s got time to think, he never, ever picks out the right ball.”
“If you’re going to be the best in the Premier League or in the world, you’ve got to have an all-round game.”
Hansen is not alone in his critical condemnation of Walcott though, as Chris Waddle had already set the abusive ball rolling, as the former England winger and Radio 5 Live commentator also expressed his belief that he lacks “a football brain”.
“He’s had a long time at Arsenal; he’s playing with fantastic players, a lot of young players around his age group. He’s never nailed his shirt at Arsenal” said the former Newcastle and Spurs player.
“I look and I just think he doesn’t seem to understand the game.”
Teammate Thomas Roisicky adopted a more positive outlook, perhaps befitting of an occasion where a colleague has excelled.
Having witnessed the impact Walcott had on the match first hand the Czech Republic international believes that as long the winger maintains his love for the game, he’ll be able to prove his doubters wrong.
“I just hope he will not play football to answer his critics or something,” Rosicky said.
“I think the best way is to go out and enjoy his football – that’s always what worked for me.
“Let’s go out and enjoy the game and I think he enjoyed it (against Blackpool).”
Having started all six of Arsenals’ pre-season friendly matches, Walcott clearly has the support of manager Arsene Wenger, who was full of praise for the winger, who he believes is still developing as a player.
“What was pleasing today with Theo was that he made right decision in final third and was calm in front of goal. He could finish but also give final balls. That shows he improves.”
This though is not enough for the named few and even Fabio Capello, who seemingly have greater expectations of what an England international should be.
Walcott could be forgiven for feeling as if he’s damned for whatever he does, but the addition of consistent goals to his game, that tend to only appear in bunches will surely help quieten his detractors.Tags: Arsenal, Theo Walcott
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