Ex-Arsenal winger’s damning indictment of Theo Walcott’s striker role

Perry Groves believes that Walcott has finally discovered he is not a striker.

Speaking to talkSPORT, former winger Groves outline how Walcott struggling for England could finally put an end to his dreams of playing up front.

Walcott, 26, has long had dreams of being a striker, despite his best talents being in the wide positions.

He possesses no real finishing ability, and in many attempts as a number nine he has proven to be very wasteful.

Despite these limitations, the English international has proven himself to be a top level wide player. His final ball can still lead to frustration on many occasions, but his abilities out wide are what he is known for, and he should be looking to prosper for the Gunners there.

Having endured a tough campaign with the North London club, he was fortunate to have been named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the recent international break. Having made little impact, it was a surprise to see him named as a starting striker for the friendly with Italy, where he partnered Tottenham’s Harry Kane up front.

He did little to impress, and the poor performance will do much to further the claims that Walcott should never play as a striker again. He would be better suited to fulfilling his promise as a winger, and former Gunner Perry Groves has told talkSPORT that Walcott’s England failure could actually be the best thing to happen for his career.

The 49-year-old said: “Arsene Wenger said he was worried about Theo being a bit exposed from his experience playing up front for England against Italy, and he was worried about the psychological damage it could do to him.

“But I think it’s probably done Arsene and Theo a favour because he struggled up front. He doesn’t know what runs to make, and he doesn’t understand the timings of his runs.

“I think that’s finally put to bed that Theo thinks he can play centre-forward and he can now concentrate on getting himself back in Arsenal’s first team on the right, or on the right of a [front] three.”

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