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Saturday, October 14, 2006

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.


Blogger RedsMan said...

Walcott has shown on his sub appearances for Arsenal that he can add well to the team. On Tuesday night he came on with 15mins to go (?) and was simply forgotten by the Germans yet found by his colleagues and he gained the Henry-esque chance of being unmarked on the edge of the defence with only a length of running and the goalkeeper to deal with. The Germany U21 coach had not done his homework, silly boy. Looking good.


10/14/2006 9:50 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

What is scary T, is that you mentioned Tiger Woods...who has the same initials as Theo Walcott! Now...there's probably been an explosion of babies with the name Tiger...I wouldn't be surprised in the near future for Gunner fans to proclaim their newly born "Theo"!

Give him some time...and like Fabregas...he will develop his own style...even if it is in Henry's footsteps.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the bench for upcoming National Squad friendlies/qualifiers...but that might give him a little too much too quickly.

10/14/2006 9:54 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you. I think the main reason why English/British kids dont make it at Arsenal is their attitudes. They think just because they are at Arsenal Football Club they are great, and they take their positions for granted. The overseas lads we have like Toure, Eboue, Cesc, Senderos, Van Persie, Adebayor etc always say how lucky they are to be employed by Arsenal. Look at Bentley, Pennant, Jeffers and many others including the likes of Stephen Hughes who won the double: their attitude was wrong. That more than anything makes Arsene choose foreign players, and I think there is nothing wrong with that.

Another point, off subject but one I think has to be mentioned: Neil Wanker saying less foreign players would improve the national side...what utter nonsense. England did not qualify for 74 and 78. They did nothing in 82. The league was full of English players.
England have had the best three tournaments back to back in their history (shows the England fans' false sense of grandeur: England have never reached three quaterfinals back to back) 02,04 and 06 after a foreign explosion. Let's be honest, a national team only needs 25 players, and with regards to England, only about 15 because some players will never be dropped. So in a league of 20 clubs, if every club had only 2 players, it would be enough, and it would show that they are at the clubs because they are as good as or better than foreigners. As Arsene says, restriction on foreigners would 'promote mediocrity' and players would be picked for being English rather than being any good. Then, these mediocre English players, because they are keeping foreign ones on the bench will play for England. How will it improve the national side?

Rant over, I think Walcott will score or make one today against Watford.

10/14/2006 10:02 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scratch that- England won in 66, semis in 68 and quaters in 70.

10/14/2006 10:05 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....Yes T this is the most exciting squad Ive ever seen, and as you know I go back a very long way. Last year I showing off to you when recommending Eboue over Lauren, and Bentner for the first team squad. I would really like to see a few more Brits like Gordon the scots goalie & Naismith join us too. The best thing is that we know Arsene will only buy high quality, but as you quite rightly said, ' he wants quality personality too'. He learned his lesson very quickly with the spoilt English brats that he had. Jeffers went from top potential to nothing within months. Bentley & Upson(after AW nursed them through two long term injuries) paid him back with winging from the sidelines about how good they were and that they needed to leave to get a chance. This was probably the last straw for AW, as with Taylor our goalie, they overated their worth to AFC, and have paid for big time.

The worst of it all was Bentley was being groomed to replace Bergy, Taylor for Seaman, and Upson for Adams/Keowne. By now I expected all three to be England regulars, but they were obviously ill advised by a few greedy agents to go for the quick bucks.

Pennant of course was an even worse case. He turned into some head case and never showed the least bit of gratitude for the many times AFC backed him when he seemed destined for a big collision with the law.

Of the many, many, other stiffs that had potential, very few, with the exception of Sidwell, have dissapeared into the lower leagues.
I think Arsene still regrets letting Stevie go.

So, here we are with a very good first team which I expect to develope into a great side. The best reserves Ive ever seen, and a bunch of Juniors who are great to watch already. The supply chain for 10 years is there.

Finally, I still expect a few more signings in the next 12 months, and hopefully some will be brits, but thanks to our God Arsene, all the best players now want to come to The Grove, and not Manure or the Pool.....thats some acheivement.

10/14/2006 11:01 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theo Walcott appeared to be an unknown talent whom many suspected his ability as a 17-year-old boy. In the early days when he joined Arsenal, he did not have chances to show to all or to shut the critics. He was kept unknown for a period of time until his call-up for international duty. And boy, what a match he had. Since then, all suspicions of Wenger buying Walcott seem to disappear into thin air, and all attention was focused on how do we make use of this talent. He was given his Arsenal debut not long later and again, he showed that he had much potential within him, yet to be released. Imagine 2-3 years down the road,the main strikeforce of the Gunners to be Theo Walcott and one of the World's most lethal strikers, none other than Thierry Henry, combining the energy of Walcott and experience of Henry, Arsenal could re-enact another 38 EPL unbeated record.

Reporter, SPN

10/15/2006 2:34 pm

Blogger T said...

Thanks everyone for your comments... including the reporter from SPN... good to have your comments for the first time.

Nturtle- I totally agree that Walcott should be given time to develop... and fortunately in Wenger we have the best manager to judge the amount of match-time exposure that Walcott is given. I read a month ago an interesting observation from Wenger that it is most important that he keeps Walcott away from major injuries and burn out in the next two years in order to optimise his development. The implication is that Walcott will be a squad player for this time- and a fruther implication is that Walcott WILL be given time to develop instead of thrusting too much responsibilty onto him too soon. I agree with this approach.

GP- I deliberately watched the Scots under 21's a month ago in order to make an inital judgement on Naismith... and I must say that I really rated him. He reminded me of Eidur Gudjohnsen in that he has good close dribbling control for a striker. He also displayed a good workrate and some good pace. I wonder if Wenger will follow up the invitation for a trial with a bid?

By the way GP- I'll never forget that it was you who first informed me of the potential of Eboue... that was an outstanding tip-off!

10/15/2006 7:27 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought as much, this site is pure Arssenal, where is my comment, then? Dont like it when someone criticises Arsenal, do you? Cant defend it about overdoing it, because you are not better than Man Utd, the champions 2007. The Pool are rubbish and we will have them, Chelsea will be next, talk about Man Utd if you know football. All you know is Arsenal. Not so elitefootball are you?

10/17/2006 7:48 am

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Sorry anon of 17/10....your comments HAVE appeared...did you just make a mistake with previous comments?!? This site NOT pure Arsenal...and in fact only one of the contributors is a supporter. Not sure where you are coming from.

Look at the column on the will see we rate good players equally...Player of the Month...there's no sign of an Arsenal Player until he merits it...and Van Persie is the only one that has made it with his superb contribution last season for that month.

Be fair pls. - this site doesn't just blab about any old thing with non-sensical comments or emoticons...

10/17/2006 9:36 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

My days. I'm sorry but some people need to lighten up and obtain a better panorama. It's your opinion, Anon (7.48AM) but this site is not 'pure Arsenal'....but I'm repeating something Nturtle has clearly stated. As for the match between Man Utd and Liverpool on Sunday, we'll see. Certainly it is a good time perhaps to face Liverpool, at home, but many were counting down the clock to the Community Shield and came out surprised after that match.

I assume you are referring to T in regard to his football knowledge based solely on just Arsenal, I can assure you there he has a vast array of knowledge on football in general. Otherwise as nturtle already said, out of a team of five here at EFT, three are Liverpool fans, one a Gooner, the remaining one a Red Devil. If any of us were purely unilateral in our views then that would be unwise, as football is not based on just one team.

This article featured on Walcott and he may have come across an easier defence with the German U21s', as you said in your previous comment, but at 0-0 and on an aggregate of 1-0 following Leighton Baines' strike last week, England needed exactly what Walcott came on and delivered, goals, and they counted. Be it Premiership, be it a cup tie away to Oxford United, you challenge the opponents put before you.

Man Utd are currently pole position and I certainly appreciate Red Devil fans being excited about it, I would be, but there is still some months to go, plus cup competitions too so still some way yet.


10/17/2006 10:45 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone mind if i just take the time to say how utterly wonderful arsenal are and how completely fabulous walcott is?

if everone else had as big a panorama as us they'd see it too.

10/17/2006 7:42 pm

Blogger T said...

Anon (7.48am), I echo Redsman and Nturtle in answering your inaccurate objections about our site.

10/17/2006 9:41 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

'does anyone mind if i just take the time to say how utterly wonderful arsenal are and how completely fabulous walcott is?'

yeh, i do, kiss kiss, sweet and sugar. What a stupid girly comment typical from dreaming Goner fans. They weren't so sweet today while we won in style again, bring on the pool for the Sunday bbq! Dead red scouser sauce over the meat while Man U turn up the heat! Goners lov themselves, pool for the drop, Chelsea no more cups!

10/17/2006 11:26 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 11.26

I am indeed a girl and I am indeed stupid. Can I just take the time to say how utterly wonderful your rant was and to offer you the suggestion of looking up the word 'irony' in your dictionary. do have a dictionary?

10/18/2006 1:50 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to sound posh?? Dictionary? How about you look up 'Premiership table' and where you lot are. Not in top four, you and the Pool, rubbish. Let's hear you bleat about that, then, since your feeling so happy! You get Sheff Utd, Charlton, Watford and you're all happy! Been lucky, that's what!

10/18/2006 10:07 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Anon (10.07PM and previous), leave it be now. I understand your message, I suspect those who are reading them do too, isnt that enough? Would be more positive to provide constructive comments rather than continuous mocking of other fans and their clubs. Here ends the lecture, so either take note or leave for good.


10/18/2006 10:44 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whoever who is trying to mock at any club or site,

Being a new contributer to this blog, I'm no newbie to this beautiful game whatsoever. I just can't stand people who support one's team and mock at others. Just think about it, isn't it equivalent to mocking at someone's religion? And isn't illegal to commit any acts of racial abuse?

Please stop anymore acts of trying to provoke any particular club or person.


10/20/2006 5:07 am


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