All About Theo. Again.

December 30, 2012 12 Comments by Sian

You often hear of Arsenal matches described as having been a bit crazy these days. Indeed, there had been a record 1094 goals scored in the league in the past calendar year at the end of yesterday – and believe it or not, even based on yesterday’s defensive showing, they weren’t all conceded by us and Newcastle.

But last night’s nasty stupid late 5.30 kick off, the kick off time that would be a rosé wine drinker and the kind to park between two spaces so as to protect its darling car’s side panels from any nasty damage if it were a real-life human thing, had two stupid matches rolled into one. In spite of the eight goal thriller (HORROR) that the two teams played out nearly two years ago at the then St. James’s Park, I always look at matches between Arsenal and Newcastle really fondly. It’s the first fixture I ever remember watching back in May 1998 in the FA Cup Final, and I also just really like the fact we play in red and white and they play in black and white. Their kit will always remind me of my first Arsenal match, so even though they do have Alan Pardew as their manager (for the next seven and a half years, chuckle), I can’t ever dislike Newcastle that much.

Last season’s home fixture was a bit spesh as well, because of the last minute-ness of it all, and because it was my main man Tommy who got us the 95th minute winner. This game was a different breed of dog altogether. It was half ridiculous because of the amount of times we went ahead before allowing Newcastle to equalise, and half ridiculous because of the amount of goals we scored in the final ten or so minutes. It was still 1-1 in the 50th minute, and we all thought we’d been watching a pretty dull game.

The fact that Newcastle were run ragged by Manchester United on Boxing Day while we were skipping through Hampstead eating crepes, really showed at the end there, because given the way the rest of the game had gone, only out and out knackeredness can be to blame for their collapse right at the end. So maybe there should be a little word of thanks to London Underground for having so many striking staff. But maybe not.

Every time Newcastle pulled one back, I thought ‘Well they’re not going to allow us to score again!’ and knew that a combination of our last home match with them and the final minute of their last match with Dutch badger’s new side, meant that a last minute winner for us was totally out of the question. I was swearing. We were all swearing. Jack was swearing a lot and got into plenty of arguments with his team mates (possibly concussed from his nasty clash with that homicidal ball that gave Ba his opener ?)

Obviously, as with all matches in which Theo has scored, the reporting of it has gone down as the Theo Walcott Show, but he cost us a couple of chances too. He should have put a second one away shortly after his excellent opener in the first half, and his shocking pass aimed in the general direction of Santi Cazorla’s shadow was another “FOR GOD’S SAKE, THEO!” moment. Credit where it’s due though, both his first and his third goals were basically fantastic. His third in particular, which harked back to his one against Chelsea away last year, showed signs of the ridiculous talent he can become.

That’s the thing though – he’s been showing this potential for years without completely fulfilling it. I don’t know if it’s his image or his politeness or his Englishness or just the fact he was picked up so young, but we seem to be much more patient with him than we are with others. If Theo is still being cut this much slack at nearly 24, how come Aaron Ramsey at nearly 22 (and excellent for his short spell on pitch yesterday) is written off by so many in spite of the troubles he’s faced that Theo simply has not? And of course Olivier Giroud scored two goals in 17 minutes playing centrally, while Theo’s second and third came from little bit wide. (Side note: Great things about supporting Arsenal #172: yesterday I got the chance to use the phrase ‘little bit leave it’ – who else can say this?)

I know it may appear I have somewhat of a vendetta against Walcott, but I really don’t. I want to believe he’s being genuine, but I just don’t understand him. He always looks so, so happy when we score, whether it’s through him or through someone else, but this contract issue has been a serious irritation. We always seem to have it happening with someone and I’m sure it’s more his agent than him, but I wish it would be over already. These things don’t take time, as evidenced by the five players who speedily signed their contracts last week.

That said, Teddy Eastoe had a trawl through the official website and if you look at the amount of times Arsene has mentioned Theo playing centrally, maybe you do have to have a bit of sympathy to his argument. At this point I would be extremely (happily) surprised if he were to re-sign and stay, but I won’t hold my breath. If he does, he’ll become my number one favourite player of all time purely for ending a contract fiasco in a way that benefits the team he owes a lot to, as opposed to taking his nurtured skills, his newfound maturity, and his flappy arms elsewhere.

My joint man of the match with Theo yesterday was Lukas Podolski. He’s had a mixed season thus far, and he does seem to make like a Polar bear and underestimate his own strength sometimes but he was on fire last night. It’s good to know he can burst into flames in this way, because we will need him to – and he will be wanting to – against Bayern Munich next year.

Per Mertesacker missed the game through some kind of tall person’s illness we mortals are immune to, and Koscielny came back into the side much more effectively than the last time he partnered Vermaelen against Chelsea. We were sloppy at the back, although none of the goals were either of the centre halves’ faults. Bacary Sagna’s sluggishness worries me  – he was jogging across the halfway line as Newcastle attacked: Bacary Sagna doesn’t do that. And finally, Kieran Gibbs was great at going forward yesterday, in spite of failing to square a pass which earned him the cold shoulder from Jack. He didn’t seem all that fussed about defending, mind you. Do you think it’s some kind of infection players who play in this position for us pick up?!

All in all though, it was a very enjoyable game – or at least a very enjoyable last 20 minutes of a game. We’re fifth with a good goal difference and a game in hand, and it was nice being able to leave the stadium smiling yesterday. Also I think it’s important to note that Zana and I have now watched two matches together, and have seen two wins and 10 goals from Arsenal over the pair of these games. Can someone sponsor us or something?

The game against Southampton isn’t far away at all, but for now have a very happy new year.

12 Comments

  1. Alan
    576 days ago

    Nice blog, bird. Poldi was well up for it, best game for us so far. Hope he does it again against Beyern Munich.

    Reply

  2. Mjc
    576 days ago

    I hear Mertesacker was suffering from Big Fucking German Measles.
    I’ll get me coat….

    Reply

    • FunGunner
      575 days ago

      ha ha ha!

      Reply

  3. Daniel
    576 days ago

    Great stuff Siansterino, as always. I do wish those lads were as consistent as you, but it seems they do sort of got that winning.. actually I won’t finish that sentence. What they do have is a knack of playing out some ridiculous games of football. During past seasons, last nights result would have come as quite the surprise, let alone the manner in which it happened. But, nowadays, it felt like just another day in the circus of nightmares/dreams that Arsenal love to be of late. May need to work on that name for the circus. Had we lost 7-3 it wouldn’t have been a surprise either somehow. Yes, I would have thrown up all over the row in front, but i wouldn’t have my eyebrows raised in a surprised face style while doing say.

    As for Theo Walcott, I really just think he is off. Only because they all leave now when it looks half likely. But his looks more than half likely. Basically, I want him to stay badly and deep down I think he will but it’s pointless really believing in them anymore, so I’ve begun the process of picturing him in someone else’s kit. Which would be devastating, I really think he could kick on playing down the middle and be a real hero for us. His finishing on all three goals yesterday was sublime and the way he made one out of nothing is priceless. Oh and his cross for Giroud. Ouch!

    Spot on about Poldi, he was running his arse off and really gave them hell down the right. Shame about their goals but we scored 7 so all is forgiven.

    I will sponsor you and Zana but can only pay you in tweets with that dancing Spanish lady in I’m afraid. Maybe some hearts chucked in too!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR X

    Reply

  4. Daniel
    576 days ago

    night’s* so* left* – too much chocolate orange.

    Reply

  5. FunGunner
    575 days ago

    yes to everything. and very entertainingly written as always.

    And the reason why Theo doesn’t look unhappy is that he is essentially a happy chap, perenially popular and would fit in everywhere. It means nothing, I think. So I’m not holding my breath, either. But I secretly wish he’d sign.

    I’m tall and I didn’t get Per’s illness. So that’s weird, isn’t it?

    Reply

  6. akag9
    575 days ago

    Good one, Sian. As always.
    Crazy game.

    Theo… likely gone. Likely to one of our rivals in the league.
    Sad.

    But life (and Arsenal) marches on…

    Happy 2013 to all of you guys! Family. Friends. Gunners.

    Reply

  7. Irishgray
    575 days ago

    Sian – Great write up as always. Nice to see Daniel offering to sponsor you and Zana :) Starting to feel and see a level of belief in The Arsenal that has been missing, I just hope it doesn’t disappear with Theo if he leaves. It will be a nice belated Christmas gift to us fans if he signs a new contract with us, that’s for sure.

    Happy New Year’s to all, may it be a healthy and happy one with at least one trophy thrown in.

    Reply

  8. Alex
    571 days ago

    Always an enjoyable read Sian, good to know that you and Zana are good luck charms at home games as well :)
    Have learned one thing recently though, not having Twitter on Mobile is detrimental to keeping up with the Blog releases :P

    Reply

  9. Irishgray
    568 days ago

    Sian – I understand you need to have advertising but does it have to be an ad for ‘Th Biggest Loser’ considering all the negative press surrounding The Arsenal these days? :)

    Reply

    • Sian
      568 days ago

      Hahaha the ads have absolutely nothing to do with me I promise! Once had one advertising a season ticket at Old Trafford… What. Hope you’re well!

      Reply

      • Irishgray
        568 days ago

        Very well thank you :) Glad I missed that Old Trafford ad!!

        Any inside transfer info?

        Happy New Year!

        Reply

Post a Comment

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *