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Theo Walcott: The player Arsenal missed v Chelsea and Dortmund

Arsenal's attacking impotence in big games has exposed their need for speedy attacker Theo Walcott.

Who would have thought it? In two home games against Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, Arsenal managed a combined three shots on target.

For a side as talented as Arsenal, it's clearly not good enough, and something is not clicking. Something is missing perhaps?

Could it be that the attacking weapon they are missing the most in the big games is none other than Theo Walcott?

On this evidence it hard to dispute the winger and wannabe striker would have made them less of a threat.

Walcott can go missing himself too, as his impotent display on the opening day of the season at home to Aston Villa illustrated, but time and time again he has shown his value as a big game player.

Walcott last season scored in Premier League fixtures against Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester United and Liverpool.

His pace and direct running causes problems for defenders, and managers have to adjust their tactical gameplan accordingly. Walcott's presence also helps limit team's attacks down Arsenal's right-hand side because they are wary of getting caught on the counter attack.

Even if he is not having a great game, his presence can create space for the rest of Arsenal's attackers to explore.

Arsenal's unusual lack of drive in attack over the last two important home games and Theo Walcott's absence are surely no coincidences.

The good news is Walcott's return date from his abdominal injury is not far off. It is currently pencilled in for November 10, the same as Lukas Podolski, for the away trip to Manchester United.

Until then, Arsenal will have to find a way past Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund without him.

Do you believe Walcott's absence has been a key factor?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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