Dec 29, 2012, 6:40 PM EST
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.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:46 AM EST
This further limits Jose Mourinho’s options for Saturday’s match, and will also keep Costa from a trip to Aston Villa and a visit from Everton.
Jan 30, 2015, 7:35 AM EST
Much like their signing and loaning back of Divock Origi at Lille this summer, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers makes an investment in the future.
Jan 29, 2015, 10:30 PM EST
Osvaldo-to-Juventus could mean Giovinco-to-Toronto happens six months early.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:30 PM EST
The latest update from Beckham on building a stadium, bringing an MLS team to Miami.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:41 PM EST
Friendly banter among teammates, when done right, is downright hilarious.
Jan 29, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
What went down on Thursday, the 29th day of this January transfer window? A full recap, inside.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:36 PM EST
Agudelo is back in MLS, where he probably should have been all along.
Jan 29, 2015, 5:12 PM EST
The future boss at Anfield? Sturridge is quite sure of it.
Jan 29, 2015, 3:18 PM EST
Putin and Russia have already had to cut costs for the 2018 World Cup.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:43 PM EST
Arsenal’s main man is touch and go for this weekend’s game against Aston Villa.
Jan 29, 2015, 2:00 PM EST
Liverpool’s leading striker could return to action this Saturday after five months out.
Jan 29, 2015, 1:02 PM EST
With players out and title dreams on the line, how will Chelsea and City line up on Saturday?
Jan 29, 2015, 12:18 PM EST
Costa set to protest FA charges to avoid three-game ban.
Jan 29, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
Watch Klinsmann’s insane piece of skill from the friendly vs. Chile on Wednesday. My word.
Jan 29, 2015, 11:08 AM EST
Guinea won the lottery and are through to the last eight. Here’s the quarterfinal field for AFCON.
Jan 29, 2015, 9:45 AM EST
Former D.C. United, RSL and Union player heading back home?
Jan 29, 2015, 9:06 AM EST
With a few days left in the window, here’s the latest gossip.
Jan 29, 2015, 8:00 AM EST
Could Yaya link up with his old boss at the San Siro?
Jan 28, 2015, 11:10 PM EST
So what went down on Wednesday, as the transfer window took another step toward slamming shut?
Jan 28, 2015, 10:20 PM EST
Set up for a free kick outside the 18, Eriksen not only sent an arrow whizzing over the goal, but he managed to spin it into the far upper 90.
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