Ex-Arsenal star Sol Campbell insists this man receives unfair criticism

Theo Walcott

The former Gunner says it is Arsene Wenger, not Theo Walcott, who is to blame for the England man's poor form.

Former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has voiced his opinion on the poor form of Theo Walcott, telling 888 Sport that Arsene Wenger, not the player himself, is to blame for the England star's poor form.

Walcott came in for criticism for a poor performance in the 3-2 defeat to Manchester United last weekend, and was less than dazzling again on Wednesday night as the Gunners went down 2-1 at home to Swansea.

The 26-year-old has scored just six times in 32 appearances in all competitions at club level this season, with just four of those strikes coming in the Premier League.

However, Campbell, who won five major trophies including two league titles in five years at the North London club after switching from arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur in 2001, believes the finger should be pointed elsewhere when looking to explain Walcott's poor form.

He told 888 Sport: "I don’t think it’s fair. He’s a great lad who has played for England and done very well. He doesn’t deserve all that.

"[Wenger] needs to set the team up and explain to Theo where he wants him on the pitch. What is his best position? As a centre-forward or out wide coming in?

"That conversation needs to happen between the manager and player and it needs to be a frank and honest conversation. He needs to get into his head and play the game for him and show him the light. Be a real mentor."

The debate about whether Wenger should play Walcott as a central striker or on the wing is one which has raged for years at the Emirates Stadium.

The England man's most successful season came when playing mostly through the middle in attack in the 2012-13 season, during which he scored 21 goals in 43 matches in all competitions.

That campaign remains the only one in which he has hit double figures in the Premier League, and he has failed to net more than seven times in all competitions in every season since, due mainly to a combination of injuries and being utilised in a wide role.

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