Dec 29, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT
Didn’t we all do a proverbial double-take when Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger began making comparisons between his dynamic young attacker Theo Walcott and Thierry Henry?
What he said was that the young England international has the look of a young Henry.
But didn’t we all wonder if Wenger had been nipping at the old French cooking wine with this little analogy? Didn’t we wonder if he was getting just a little on in years, starting to come up one winger short of a full 4-3-3, if you know what I mean?
To be perfectly fair, Wenger was speaking about where he once deployed a young, developing Henry. More accustomed to playing on the wing, Wenger began stationing Henry in the middle.
That’s what is happening now with Walcott, who has been positioned lately at striker rather than out wide. It was really a ploy to get Walcott on the field, to itentify ways to keep him passing, trapping and shooting, to keep him happy as a North Sea clam and the man re-signed at the Emirates. Walcott’s deal is up this summer, but Wenger is clearly doing all he can to keep the young England man.
It looked like the manager might just be blowing a little wind up Walcott’s soccer shorts with those flattering Henry comparisons:
“I always said that one day he would play through the middle and it grew in his brain. He is now 23, and I decided to play Thierry Henry at 23 through the middle because you have to learn a lot before.
“The fact that you play in other positions helps your technique. On the wing you need a shorter technique against the line but once you play in the middle you can go on both sides. From 19 to 23, Theo has learned a lot. Now we will sometimes play him on the flanks, sometimes through the middle, but I like what I have seen through the middle. The signs are good, it’s an interesting challenge for him but I think he can take it on.”
Of course, Wenger is looking like a genius now. Walcott’s hat trick today didn’t just lead the way for an unforgettable day around the Emirates (in a 7-3 victory over Newcastle). It improved Walcott’s scoring leadership for Gunners; he is not at 14 goals for Arsenal this year.
Jul 25, 2014, 10:35 PM EDT
The 26-year-old will try to improve an attack that averaged fewer than one goal per game last season.
Jul 25, 2014, 9:11 PM EDT
Gonzalez resumed full training on Friday with the hope of starting in Seattle.
Jul 25, 2014, 8:32 PM EDT
Roberto Martínez is ready to spend close to $35 million to secure the 21-year-old’s return.
Jul 25, 2014, 7:44 PM EDT
Medical with Gunners and fee agreement has Chambers on the verge of departing for North London.
Jul 25, 2014, 6:48 PM EDT
LCL injury could sideline former Southampton star for six weeks.
Jul 25, 2014, 6:04 PM EDT
23-year-old brings another ball-winner to the Dynamo midfield.
Jul 25, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
One of Alex Ferguson’s most notorious transfers has found a new home with Benfica.
Jul 25, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
Five years of development by the Blues ends with the 23-year-old’s departure.
Jul 25, 2014, 3:11 PM EDT
From Sanchez and Luiz to Suarez and Sidwell, a breakdown of the top names to have come and gone from the Premier League.
Jul 25, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT
If anyone spots Will.I.Am with Willian, let us know.
Jul 25, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT
Things are looking dicey at Southampton, where yet another player is set to skip town.
Jul 25, 2014, 12:51 PM EDT
A one-year move and mutual respect between the coach and player could make this a relatively-shrewd move for the Blues.
Jul 25, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT
Jerry Bengston is going on loan to Belgrano, while New England president Brian Bilello is working on a number of attacking options.
Jul 25, 2014, 11:24 AM EDT
Dynamo president Chris Canetti made waves when he said the team would be adding to the DaMarcus Beasley signing soon with a World Cup starter.
Jul 25, 2014, 11:11 AM EDT
World Cup final, so what? Diego Maradona is not pleased with the way his nation played in Brazil.
Jul 25, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Barring something wild, young Eliaquim Mangala is taking his French national team talent to Manchester.
Jul 25, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT
It can be the soccer tournament that changes Russia forever (so implies FIFA)
Jul 25, 2014, 7:57 AM EDT
The 27-year-old Chilean is very much in demand, but also happy at a Champions League club.
Jul 25, 2014, 1:21 AM EDT
Olmes Garcia’s second half double lifted RSL.
Jul 24, 2014, 11:25 PM EDT
Introduced to the media in Houston, Beasley said he’s move on from midfield.
- Fraizer Campbell gives Tony Pulis a new option a Crystal Palace 0
- Everton willing to set club transfer record to bring Lukaku back 2
- Arsenal on the verge of signing Calum Chambers from Southampton 0
- Knee injury will keep Lallana out of Liverpool’s Premier League opener 0
- A quick guide to who’s come and gone from Premier League teams 2
- Didier Drogba has officially rejoined Jose Mourinho at Chelsea 3