Mindset, in addition to obvious talent, is what sets Theo Walcott apart
Theo Walcott showed on Tuesday night that he has obvious sensational talent. His two goals for the England Under 21's away in Germany to seal qualification for the European Championship play-offs were stunning and rightly bought immediate comparisons with his Arsenal mentor, Thierry Henry.
His running style, his touch, his control at sheer pace, his clinical side-foot finishes, and even his controlled but intense goal celebrations were Henry-esque. Training with Henry under the supervision of the 'potential exploiter', Arsene Wenger, appears to be having a major effect on the 17 year old who arrived at Arsenal last January as the world's most expensive 16 year old footballer.
On the evidence of these two goals and prior brief appearances for the Arsenal first team it is clear that Walcott falls under the 'exceptional talent' category. And, as I wrote last January upon his signing for the Gunners, his other crucial asset is an intelligent, grounded level-head. This again was displayed in his post-match interview last Tuesday when he spoke very well about the importance of his teammates keeping a clean sheet and then with no hint of arrogance confidently stated that he backed himself to score when in good situations.
If you look at the world's most successful and talented sportsman: Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Thierry Henry… what sets them apart is a fantastic level-headed, intelligent and motivated mindset that is seriously focused on continually improving, developing, winning and becoming the very best. I see evidence of the capacity for the same sort of mindset in Walcott whenever he speaks. And even in his celebrations - which I always take as a big indicator of someone's attitude -you can see he has a serious passion for executing his job.
It is these significant indicators of his mindset coupled with the fact that he has Henry as a mentor and Wenger as a trainer that really excites me about TW's ability to actually realise his amazing talent. Tuesday night should be just the start of many great moments for Theo Walcott.