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Happy Birthday Theo

jokman dan betts arsenal writer

Today is Theo Walcott’s birthday: 28 years ago to the very day that Mama and Papa Walcott brought forth Theo unto the world. They would have had grand dreams for their baby, but surely they could not have predicted that the little bundle of joy they held in their arms nearly three decades ago would go on to play football for Arsenal and England.

Theo has been a Gunner for over a decade, joining the club in 2006. This is a rare occurrence in this modern football, as professional players are now merely commodities that are hawked around. Longevity at a club is to be embraced, and Theo has been a dedicated servant to the club.

Walcott has played over 350 games for our club, but it should have been far more. Injury woes are responsible for halting the progress of the attacking speedster, but it is clear to see that when given a run of games in the side and when injury free - Theo delivers.

This season has seen Theo respond to threats to his place in the team by rising to the challenge with displays full of intent and productivity. Seventeen goals this season in just 29 appearances is evidence that Theo is a dangerous arrow in our quiver, but what has been most pleasing is his increased workrate.

We have all been privy to Walcott chasing back and haranguing opposing players as he hunts for possession. This is exactly what fans cry out for when players are not on form. We want our players to at least put in 100% when they are not making any impression elsewhere on the pitch. Theo has done exactly that and more. Constant running and intelligent running allow our team more outlets and he is always willing to offer himself to any teammate willing to pass to him.

Theo’s finishing and his pace segregate him from the majority of our players. He is someone who can make a difference to a game, even when he has done nothing for 89 of the 90 minutes. Give him the ball in a dangerous area and invariably, he will wreak damage.

His goal in the second leg of our 10-2 mauling by Bayern Munich sums up Theo Walcott 2.0 perfectly. His determined running at Bayern’s defenders. His direction was all about getting into the box. The finish left one of the best goalkeepers in the world - Manuel Neuer - looking like a lost lamb.

Theo has faced doubts from his own fans before, but he has always faced them and then made a difference when he has been on the pitch. He is the type of player that will always have pockets of experts, pundits, journalists and fans that overlook what he brings to our squad. He is unique and we have a player in our ranks that offers what most teams find difficult to combat.

Theo is 28 today, and he is firing on all cylinders this season. Sit back and enjoy when he is on the ball, running full pelt at a full-back. He is approaching his peak this year, and if he can finally achieve a consistent run, then Theo could well go on to become one of our finest servants.

Happy Birthday Theo. Keep doing what you’re doing, and have a special birthday coffee. 

 

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