Former Tottenham and Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy told talkSPORT that he doesn’t think Theo Walcott’s best position at Arsenal is up front.
The ex-England midfielder was grilled on whether he thought Walcott was the man who could do a job up top for the Gunners over the coming year, suggesting that if manager Arsene Wenger was going to use him in that role then he needed to do so with some support.
“I think his best position is coming from wide – Watching him play there live now twice, in that system, I don’t think it’s natural to him. He’s playing with his back to goal a lot and it isn’t easy to do that – I think if he’s going to play as a striker then he needs to play in a pair,” he told talkSPORT.
Merit in using Walcott out wide
There is merit for Wenger in using Walcott from a wider position because he has the pace to exploit any space, which is left in behind the opposition full-backs.
He’s also a very skilful player in possession and that allows him to get on the front foot, pinning defenders back, which makes it easier for the entire Arsenal attack to pile on the pressure.
It’s a role he’s played well previously in his career and if he’s asked to focus there then he needs to be on top of his game because of how well Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is playing.
Merit in using him as a striker
There’s also merit in using him up front because he played well there towards the back end of last season and did a good job in the FA Cup win against Aston Villa.
He can be effective when he’s used at the very top of an attack, playing on the shoulder of a defence and relying on balls to run onto, which have been played into space.