Yesterday marks ten years since the day that Theo Walcott signed up for Arsenal F.C. as the intended replacement of club legend, the phenomenal Thierry Henry. While the man has not quite replaced the french hitman for the Gunners, he has provided many moments of joy to the Gooners over the years. His first goal for Arsenal came in the League Cup Final of 2006 against London rivals Chelsea in a controversial 2-1 loss in the first game ever held at the new Wembley.
Walcott is known for an explosive pace the like of which the game has rarely seen before. He recorded incredible stats in the 100 metre sprint, trailing the world record held by Usain Bolt by less than a second. Pep Guardiola once said that the only way to stop Walcott is by a pistol, with many of his charges at Barcelona also pinpointing Walcott as the biggest threat for the Gunners. Against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-finals at Anfield, Walcott embarked on a mesmerizing run through all of the merseysiders’ defense, setting up Emmanuel Adebayor to put Arsenal in the lead on the away goals rule.
Unfortunately for Walcott, this marvellous moment was also dampened by the match ending in a loss for Arsenal. In an incredible 7-3 victory over Newcastle, Walcott went on an amazing run through three of Magpies’ men before lobbing the ball in a goal reminiscent of Lionel Messi himself. Against Chelsea in the league in 2012, Walcott was brought down by the Chelsea players before he got up and dribbled past three of them to slot the ball past then-adversary Petr Cech.
Walcott may not ever match Thierry Henrt, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. He has his own identity and one hopes that he gets to play more his preferred centre-forward position from now on.
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