Former Manchester City winger Peter Barnes believes he could help Theo Walcott reach his full potential. He still feels Walcott is still short of the player he can become and feels it would take just five minutes with him to help Theo get there.
“I hear Theo wants to be a striker and his idol was Thierry Henry. Well forget it. He is never going to be Thierry Henry.”
“If I was Roy Hodgson, I would say to Theo, ‘Play on the right win and have one thing in your mind – drop past the full-back, get your crosses in or cut inside and shot’. End of. That’s his job.”
Walcott’s performance against Sunderland on Saturday backs up Barnes’ theory that the player doesn’t have what it takes to become a centre-forward. His pace is his strongest asset and makes him a difficult winger to face.
“He’s got blistering pace and if he cuts inside he will get penalties because he’s quick. I’d only need five minutes with him to make him a better player.”
“I would be saying, ‘You’re a right winger son – not a centre-forward. Play right wing – play to your strengths’.’
Peter Barnes sounds harsh in his comments but he is correct. Walcott’s best attributes make him a great winger; he doesn’t have what it takes to lead the line in attack. He could play there once or twice but not as a regular striker. His pace means he gets a lot of chances to score anyway.