Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour believes that Arsenal are missing the width of Theo Walcott. The England winger has been out since September and although the Gunners have continued to flourish, Parlour feels the side still miss Walcott.
Parlour, who was nicknamed the Romford Pele during his spell at the Gunners, also believes England miss Walcott’s width just as much as Arsenal with both sides in danger of playing to narrow without the involvement of the pacy winger.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what Roy does but it’s also going to be interesting to see what happens regarding Theo getting back in to the Arsenal team as well.”
“One thing when you look at the Arsenal team is that they do sometimes need a bit of that width on the right side.”
“A lot of players look to cut inside and prefer that middle area. Sometimes you do need that pace that Theo Walcott can bring to a team.”
Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Serge Gnabry & Tomas Rosicky have all played on the wings through Walcott’s absence and although they all give the team talent, they are all drift more centrally as that is where they play naturally. Gnabry is the most like-for-like swap with Walcott but he still doesn’t stay as wide as Theo.
Walcott’s pace alone makes him an outstanding winger as he is able take on almost any defender, he can challenge them down the wing and normally beat them but something that he has developed well is his runs from wide. With players like Cazorla, Mesut Özil & Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal have a selection of players who can pick out a super pass and their vision added with Walcott’s pace and runs give Arsenal a good stat of goals.
Theo is expected to return for the home match against former club Southampton.