By now you are bound to have heard the news that Theo Walcott has rejected the latest contract offer from Arsenal and if reports are to be believed then the player has said no to a £15,000 increase which would have taken him to £75,000 per week from £60,000 as he is holding out for closer to £100,000. Arsenal, who have some experience in this area lately, have given him 48 hours to accept the new deal or be sold.
From watching journalists discuss this matter last night the common consensus is that Theo is happy at Arsenal and wants to stay while fans, already bitter (and I include myself in that) over a range of other players who came to Arsenal, were nursed through poor form, inexperience in the Premier League and a host of injuries, don’t really seem to care if he stays or go. When the betrayal of Robin van Persie’s exit to join Manchester United is factored in, it seems that many of us have long since passed our breaking point when it comes to players who have received unquestioned loyalty from Arsene Wenger and then make all sorts of demands after what amounts to one decent season.
That Theo’s people quoted ‘direction’ a la van Persie simply threw some salt on to an already festering wound. ‘Direction’ might have held some water last summer when we had sold Nasri and Fabregas and had only brought in Gervinho at this point but this summer we have already brought in three international players.
Many are citing Theo’s close relationship with van Persie for his dissatisfaction with how things are going at Arsenal however Theo needs to acknowledge that he has not come anywhere close to fulfilling his potential since his arrival at Arsenal some six years ago. The number of his league starts, reading 16, 25, 22, 23, 28, 35 tells its own story as you can clearly see where his best season for starts lay. An Arsenal injury history that reads knee, calf muscle, shoulder separation, back injury, dislocated shoulder, leg injury, virus, thigh muscle strain, knee injury, shoulder injury, dislocated shoulder, knee injury, back injury, hip injury, knee injury, hamstring, ankle, rib, ankle, ankle, ankle, ankle, knee injury, illness, hamstring, hamstring, hip once again shows a player who has been wrapped in cotton wool and stood by by a manager who showed faith in a player when many others would have simply held the door open for him. It has become a worrying trend at Arsenal of late.
With just two days until the window closes his announcement couldn’t have been timed better for the player, or so he thought. It offers Arsenal little time to find a replacement and looks to place him in a strong position when it comes to his bargaining power however I think that he has overestimated his negotiating position and the fact that Wenger, along with the fans, this summer have changed and are no longer willing to bend to the demands of players who have developed ideas larger than their station.
Theo is a player who needs Arsenal more than Arsenal need him. To demand £100,000 per week would make him the top earner at Arsenal, an honour that should go to the best player at the club which Theo is certainly not. Cazorla, Arteta, Sagna, Vermaelen, Szcsesny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, and Koscielny, all come above Walcott on that list. You’ve received some very bad advice on this matter Theo.
What happens now? Well if reports are to be believed then both Liverpool and City are interested in the player. I fail to understand how Theo can think he is better than what City already have whereas if he opts to join Liverpool then all talk of ‘direction’ can be shown for the total bullshit that it really is. I’m pretty sure you would be able to get a host of free bets at www.freebets.org.uk on where Theo is likely to end up when the transfer window closes because right now, no-one seems to know, not even Theo himself.
Instead of running out of space on the pitch, you’re now running out of time Theo, what are you going to do? It’s your move. Will you remember to take the ball with you this time?------------
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