Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he doesn’t think Theo Walcott has done enough to start for the Gunners in the FA Cup against Aston Villa.
Walcott bagged a hat-trick in the 4-1 win for Arsenal against West Brom on the final day of the Premier League season last weekend and while Parlour suggests he gives Arsene Wenger an option, he feels the Frenchman will go with a preferred option of Olivier Giroud.
“Walcott has given him (Wenger) a real option – He bagged a hat-trick last weekend but I feel Wenger will go with Giroud,” he said.
Walcott would be a good choice for a showpiece final at Wembley because he does have the pace needed to hurt Aston Villa on the counter attack.
He could start down the right but it’s doubtful whether Wenger will want the game to be open as he may prefer a setup based around a narrower formation and controlling the ball through the middle of the team.
Arsenal won’t have the final all their own way because of the positive impact and positive way that Tim Sherwood has encouraged Aston Villa to play.
There are likely to be spells during the game where Arsenal need to play with a more direct style of play and Giroud is arguably better suited to holding the ball up if the Gunners need to release pressure quickly.
Walcott can’t do any more than he has done because he’s obviously sharp and in good form, but whether Wenger will take a risk for arguably the club’s biggest game of the season is doubtful.