Posts Tagged ‘Theo Walcott’

Football

Arsene Wenger’s cunning plan for Lukas Podolski

By Stefano on April 15th, 2013

There have been a few rumours about Lukas Podolski recently that he might return to Germany or even try his luck in Serie A. The rumours were further fuelled by the fact that he has only started two games since the end of January.

Arsene Wenger was however quick to praise the German after his excellent cameo appearance against Norwich and insists that Podolski is part of Arsenal’s long term plans.

Wenger said

“He is a quality player and when he comes on you can see that straight away. You don’t get 100 caps by luck. Honestly he has a great attitude. He never moans, he never has a bad phase, he is always positive.”

Interestingly Wenger also revealed that he is working with Podolski, who has been playing mainly as a winger this season, as a main striker.

Wenger said

“I think he can play as a central striker as well. I work a lot with him as a central striker at the moment.”

It is an interesting admission and addresses something has baffled Arsenal fans all season. While Olivier Giroud has had a reasonable first term at The Emirates and has scored goals as well as created assists he is far from the clinical finisher that the Gunners fans are craving.

Conversely Podolski seems utterly clinical when he gets the chance and in spite of his limited appearances has managed to score nine goals this season – about one goal per three games.

The problem for Wenger is that Podolski is not really the type of striker who can hold the ball up and feed other players like Giroud. He also can’t rival Walcott, or many other winger/strikers for pace. His big strength appears to be cutting in from the wing and the unleashing very powerful shots. He is however far from being a traditional winger and quite often tends to get lost in games. His tracking back to help Gibbs and Monreal has also been questionable.

So I don’t think that Arsenal have got the best out of the German this season. Maybe next year we will see him playing more as an out and out striker and that is the role Wenger is grooming him for now.

The key for Wenger then is how do you feed the player? And I wonder if the Arsenal manager has a cunning plan for pairing Podolski with Jovetic? Podolski can yet be an Arsenal legend. But I think much depends on Wenger getting the best out of him.



Football

Walcott and Wilshere are back for Arsenal against Norwich. But should Wenger start them?

By Stefano on April 11th, 2013

The news from Arsenal just keeps on getting better. The club is in arguably its best form of the season, has a very winnable game against Norwich on Saturday, and now it appears too that the club’s missing star English players are back from injury.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that both Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott are going to be in the squad for Saturday. The manager told the official club website…

“Jack has joined normal training since Wednesday and Theo should join in tomorrow. They are 90 per cent available for Saturday.”

Wilshere has been out for six weeks with an ankle injury, while Walcott injured his hip playing for England last month.

The only bad news for Arsenal is that two-goal Tomas Rosicky could miss the game.

“The other uncertainty we have from last Saturday is Tomas Rosicky, who has a little hamstring irritation.

“His involvement is yet to be decided as well but it’s fair to say that he is a big doubt for Saturday.”

Rosicky’s absence may force Wenger’s hands on playing at least one of the England pair. Ultimately thought it is a shame to change a winning team, even if they did spend a chunk of the second half on the back foot against West Brom.

Santi Cazorla appears top be playing some of his best football in the more central role that he has inherited since Wilshere’s injury, so I wonder if the midfield trio will be Ramsey, Arteta and Cazorla with Walcott and Podolski on the wings. At least then Wenger has the option of bringing Wilshere on if Arsenal are struggling.

Also Wenger has to think about the upcoming Everton game on Tuesday – a much harder match and one that might have a huge impact on the campaign for Champions league qualification.

Mertesacker is suspended, so Thomas Vermaelen is sure to start.



Football

Arsenal update – Wilshere and Walcott news

By Stefano on April 5th, 2013

Not good news for Arsenal fans. That all important run-in is going to be that little bit more difficult as it now appears that neither Theo Walcott or Jack Wilshere will be back for the Norwich game on April 13th.

Arsene Wenger is expected to confirm today that the two English stars are struggling to regain fitness. According to the Express Wilshere has been out since the beginning of March with a foot problem and now looks like he might only make it back in time for the crucial Everton game on April 16th

The same is true for Walcott, who was injured on England duty. Arsenal gave four games in fourteen days starting with a trip to West Brom on Saturday.

Wenger will be encouraged by the fact that the side doesn’t appear to be missing the duo too greatly.



Football

Arsene Wenger on Walcott and Wilshere injuries and finishing in the top four

By Stefano on March 28th, 2013

It seems like it has been ages since Arsene Wenger’s last pre-match news conferences, but he has just finished his latest with updates on the fitness of Wilshere and Walcott and some stirring words for the Arsenal faithful.

Firstly the good news – Jack Wilshere is on his way back.

Wenger confirmed that the player’s ankle injury will keep him out of the squad but not for much longer.

Wenger said

“Regarding Jack? I think two weeks on Sunday. Not the next game, but the game after.”

Theo Walcott will also miss the Reading game (as will Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs) but Wenger isn’t annoyed with England for the pelvic injury the winger sustained while training with the national side.

He said

“Walcott is an accident that could have happened here.”

And Wenger is still confident that Arsenal can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League next season

He said: “We’ve got nine games to go – five at home and four away. The form we showed against Bayern was very good. We have a chance to finish in the top four.

“We have the experience of a few years and a special desire to do it together. It’s a good opportunity for us. We want to grab this chance. If we are consistent we will do it. We’re not focused on Tottenham, but the way we want to play.”



Football

Wenger admits Arsenal tried to sign Gareth Bale from Southampton, but rated Theo Walcott more important

By Stefano on February 15th, 2013

One other really great snippet from this morning’s conference which has been picked up by ESPN and others is that Arsene Wenger had admitted that Arsenal were looking to sign Gareth Bale from Southampton, but instead determined Theo Walcott to be the better prospect.

And it is a decision that he doesn’t regret.

Talking about signing Theo Walcott from Southampton in 2006 but not taking Bale too Wenger said :

“At some stage, we were looking to take the two if possible. We got Walcott, and I am very happy with that. Look, if I tell you the number of players we did not sign that we should have signed, you will be amazed. It’s the same for every club – you sometimes miss out on players.”

In words that will probably anger a few spurs fans Wenger said that he feels that while Bale is a brilliant player he isn’t the third best player in the world behind Messi and Ronlado as has been suggested by some papers today.

“He has the potential to develop and to get close to the players you compare him to, but Ronaldo and Messi?

“Messi has won two or three Champions League titles. He has won a few championships. He scored more than 90 goals last year. Let’s not go too quick [in comparing Bale to Messi]. You are always very quick here, but let’s slow down a bit.”

Bale was in sensational form for Spurs last night scoring twice in their win over Lyon in the Europa Cup.

Tottenham play Arsenal in what might turn out to the the Champions league fourth place decider on March 2nd.

Pic James Boyes



Football

Arsenal update: BBC says Walcott to sign today, Zaha favours move to Man United

By Stefano on January 18th, 2013

Ok, so he still hasn’t actually ‘signed da ting’, but the BBC at least is confident that Theo Walcott is about to splash the ink on a new deal at Arsenal. It even suggests it could be done today.

They say

“Agreements have now been reached between Arsenal and their top scorer, who could put pen to paper on Friday if legal formalities can be completed.”

So there’s no source and no details, but the BBC don’t tend to run stories like this unless they are very confident in their facts.

Arsene Wenger said yesterday that he was 99% sure that Walcott would agree a new deal.

Slightly disappointing news for Gunners fan comes from Goal.com which claims that Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha is on the verge of becoming a Man United player. Apparently The Reds have bid £6 million for the winger.

They say.

United made the first formal move on Thursday for the forward, who has privately told the Premier League leaders that he favours a move to Old Trafford ahead of the Gunners.

Palace have rejected United’s cash offer as they hold out for a higher fee and will wait to see if Arsenal will also make a bid.

It will be interesting to see if Wenger now makes his move.



Football

Arsene Wenger says he is “99%” confident that Theo Walcott will sign a new contract

By Stefano on January 17th, 2013

So one of the longest running contract stands offs in British football appears finally to be coming to a conclusion. And it good news for Arsenal fans

At a press conference this morning Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that he is “99%” confident that Theo Walcott will sign a new contract at the club. The Arsenal manager also said that he hopes the deal can be finalised by this weekend before the team’s big London derby with Chelsea,.

The actual quote from Wenger, which has also been reported by the BBC, was “My optimism is at 99% now. I was scared that he could leave.

“It took us some time to get where we want to get and it’s still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend.”

Wenger now has just over two weeks to add players to the squad.



Football

Arsenal update: Walcott contract almost signed, Kaka linked, Zaha saga rumbles on

By Stefano on January 17th, 2013

There isn’t a huge amount of Arsenal news this morning, but a couple of papers seem to have picked up on a story originally posted by London’s Evening Standard that Theo Walcott’s contract is with his lawyers and is waiting to be signed.

The paper reports

The contract is in the hands of lawyers and, although the exact structure of the deal is yet to be finalised, it is believed the total package is worth in the region of £20million, which includes a seven-figure signing-on fee.

It is thought Walcott could earn as much as £100,000 a week, including bonuses and other performance-related incentives.

Interestingly the paper believes that there’s no mention in the contract of Walcott playing upfront as a striker. Last night Walcott seemed to alternate between playing on the wing and moving through the middle alongside Olivier Giroud. He might not have scored but the player created a lot of chances.

Asked about the Walcott situation and new signings Wenger said

“We are working very hard. First of all we want to sort out the injuries and we are trying very hard to close the deal with Walcott. Once we have done that, we will certainly do something else. At the moment I cannot tell you more.”

There’s an update from Wenger here.

In today’s add one and one and make five Fanatix is suggesting that Real Madrid’s Kaka is an Arsenal target. It bases this on the view that Wenger is considering buying an experienced player and was considering Villa etc. It then links to a report in the Spanish paper El Economista that says Madrid are desperate to get rid of Kaka in a bid to reduce their wage bill. Apparently he could be available on a free transfer.

Lastly The Mail says that Man United are going to make the first move in the battle to sign Wilfried Zaha in presenting Palace with a £6 million offer for the winger. The paper says

The Barclays Premier League leaders are confident they are the only serious contenders to sign Zaha this month and are using that belief to drive the price down.

Well, over to you then Arsene.

Pic Wikipedia



Football

Arsenal transfer update – Diego Milito a target? Wenger thinks Fabregas will return and Walcott contract details

By Stefano on January 13th, 2013

Arsenal are in need of striker, Inter Milan need to slice their wage bill and lose a few senior players. Betting company Ladbrokes  have added one and one and made 33 – because that is the age of Arsenal’s alleged new target Diego Milito.

The veteran Argentinian striker hasn’t had much of a look in in Milan recently and could be available in a cheap deal. There’s no denying the player’s quality – he’s bagged almost a goal every two games across his career. But is Wenger really going to sign a 33 year old?

Sounds ludicrous until you think that Arsene considered signing a 35 year old in Thierry Henry and also brought Sol Campbell back to the club aged 35. Milito would bring some serious experience to The Emirates and he is a player who has among other things won the Italian treble – which Inter secured in 2011 and Milito played a major role in.

Milito could in theory be added to the squad without upsetting the current pair of striker Walcott and Giroud.

Meanwhile Wenger has also been talking about how expects Cesc Fabregas to return to Arsenal at some point.

Wenger said

‘I’m not convinced Fabregas won’t come back here one day. He’s an Arsenal man. He loves Arsenal. He watches every Arsenal game. Barcelona was his home town where he grew up and you have to accept this, especially as Barcelona are the best team in the world. He won’t return in the next two or three years but, after that, maybe.’

Finally The Mirror reveals that one of the main problems in finishing the deal with Theo Walcott has been the length of time the player wants to commit to. Apparently the player only wants a three and half year deal which means that in eighteen months they would have to consider starting new contract talks. The club want to tie him down for four and half years.

Pic Wikipeda

 



Football

Arsene Wenger ‘cautious, but optimistic’ that Theo Walcott will sign

By Stefano on January 11th, 2013

If you thought it was a done deal then think again. In spite of endless speculation that the player was on the verge of re-signing for Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger has told reporters (and it has been confirmed by BBC Radio Five Live) that he is ‘cautious, but optimistic’ that Theo Walcott will sign a new contract.

In some ways the news that the deal still has a way to go is not surprising given that Arsenal are linked once again with several new players including Palace’s Wilfrioed Zaha, who would be a direct replacement for the England winger/striker

Wenger full statement was…

“We’re on a good road with Theo’s negotiations. I’m more optimistic this week than last week. The discussions have progressed smoothly but slowly. As long as nothing is signed, you are cautious. I’m optimistic we’ll get to a happy conclusion.”

Pic from Wikipedia



Football

Arsenal update: Walcott to be offered £25million to stay. German defender linked

By Stefano on January 9th, 2013

Worryingly for Arsenal fans keen to see Arsene Wenger strengthen his squad it has been a fairly quiet morning for transfer rumours. The big one is the seemingly never ending saga of Theo Walcott and his new contract.

In an exclusive – ain’t they always – The Mail says that player will get a five-year deal worth in the region of £88,000-per-week, plus a £3million signing-on bonus, and that the club are now confident he will ‘sign da ting.’

The rest of the article says nothing new, but if true, it does seem as if the deal might be about to be done.

If it is then Wenger, Gazidis and co need to get their skates on. There is a big run of games looming and still no signings. Yesterday Barcelona President Sandro Rossel confirmed that his star striker David Villa, was gong nowhere in the window, so is it all back on for Atletico’s's Adrian Lopez? It is all quiet on that one.

TalkSport have linked Arsenal with one new player this morning, but it is not striker. The website says that a plethora of interested Premier League parties have been alerted by Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes’s decision to shelve contract talks with his Bundesliga club, including Arsenal.

The player, who has won ten German caps, is a central defender who would rival Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen for a place in the side.

On one level this sounds unlikely given the talent Arsenal have at the back. They have however leaked six goals in their last three games, so maybe Arsene is pondering a change.



Football

Arsenal update: Walcott about to sign, M’Vila holding out for a big club

By Stefano on January 8th, 2013

Goal.com is running with ‘an exclusive’ this morning that Theo Walcott is close to signing a new deal at Arsenal. The website says that he ‘will put pen to paper on a deal that runs until 2017.’

Arsenal have apparently offered the England player around £90,000-a-week and that salary will be supplemented by top-up bonuses and a multi-million pound signing-on fee.

Of course until they see a smiling Arsene and Theo many Arsenal fans won’t believe that a deal has been signed, but this does have a ring of truth about it. The gossip emanating from The Emirates for the past week or so has been that Walcott is on the verge of signing a new deal and the gap between the two parties was closing.

Wenger has also acceded to Waclott’s wishes to let the player start as a striker for The Gunners. He has certainly looked sharp in that position scoring four goals in give games.

The importance of the deal is that it now gives Wenger time to strengthen Arsenal’s comparatively under nourished squad. The club have been linked with goalkeepers, left backs, central defenders, central midfielders, wingers and strikers, though how many new players end up at The Emirates remains to be seen.

One player who hasn’t yet had discussions with the club is Rennes’ midfielder Yann M’Villa. Goal is suggesting that the player has turned down a move to QPR because he is holding out for a move to a bigger club.



Football

Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal contract. Wenger ends interest in Zaha, says Talksport

By Stefano on January 2nd, 2013

Talksport has an exclusive, which if proved true, could be one of the hottest transfer stories in January. They believe that Arsene Wenger is about to make his first signing of the window - Theo Walcott.

They say

“Reports have emerged from the Emirates that the former Southampton winger is ready to agree a new deal, having had various requirements met.”

Sky Sports is also reporting that Walcott is in news talks with the club today and that they expect a clear position on his future by the end of the day.

The down side for Arsenal fans is that Talksport also believes that Walcott signing will mean the Gunners cool their interest in Crystal Palace’s precocious star Wilfried Zaha.

The article also suggests that Arsenal remain in the market for other players with David Villa and Arda Turan on Arsene Wenger’s radar.

There have been positive noises coming out of The Emirates about Theo Walcott, so I don’t think many people will be too surprised if he re-signs. Arsenal are also not short of wide players, though they will lose one of them, Gervinho to the Africa Cup Of Nations, so cooling interest in Zaha isn’t too much of a shock. Not buying a winger thought would also rule out Turan. I do wonder if Arsenal’s main deal this winter will turn out to be Adrian Lopez who can play anywhere across the front three.

United are known to be very keen on Zaha, as are Spurs. Ferguson could even let him stay at palace on loan for the rest of the season. Zaha recently stated that he was ready to play Premiership football.

Here’s who else Arsene Wenger is considering signing this winter.



Football

Arsenal face tough battle to land the ‘new Gareth Bale’ Luke Shaw

By Stefano on January 1st, 2013

Arsenal are stepping up their bid to secure Southampton’s Luke Shaw, a left back whose ability has inevitability lead to comparisons with another Saints graduate Gareth Bale.

However they may face a tough battle to secure the youngster in the winter transfer window with manager Nigel Adkins adamant that his star 17 year old defender is going nowhere.

Adkins told the Mail

‘I think Luke gets linked every week with Arsenal, doesn’t he?’ said Adkins.

‘Luke is under contract, he is playing football for us in the Premier League, which is important.

‘We are not looking to let him go anywhere if anyone wants to come in for any of our players, by all means speak to the chairman. He does the deals and all the best with that.’

Wenger has apparently been tracking Shaw for several years. He also has swelled Southampton’s coffers in the past with big money signings of Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. The latter cost £15 million. The bid for Shaw is apparently a third of that figure and Arsenal will have to increase that offer to stand a chance of luring Shaw to The Emirates.

Shaw might also worry that he is trading regular first team football for a period as under study to Kieran Gibbs. Although one wonders if Wenger has plans to do a Bale with Shaw and turn him into a more attack-minded wide player.

Images PA



Football

Villa, Sneijder, Zaha and the 10 most wanted players in the transfer window

By Stefano on December 31st, 2012

So, there is just a few hours to go before paper talk can become reality and the winter transfer window opens. This winter expect some serious cash to be flying with Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool desperate to strengthen their squads to keep them in the frame for Champions League qualification, and Man City and Chelsea mulling over big money strikers.

Apparently ‘Arrry has £20 million to spend too.

So here then are the ten most coveted players in the window. I’d be very surprised if at least half of them weren’t wearing new colours come February.

10 Jack Butland

Picture 1 of 10
Picture 1 of 10

Financial problems mean that Birmingham City might be forced to cash in on their England keeper with Liverpool FC apparently at the front of the queue and Southampton circling. Expect the fee to be around £5 million and if it is Liverpool Reina on his way out.




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