A warning for Theo Walcott - The grass is not always greener on the other side

Alex Song

Just ask former Arsenal players Alex Song, Alexsander Hleb, Mathieu Flamini or Emmanuel Adebayor. However others have disproved that theory at Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. So what does Theo do?

Theo Walcott is currently embroiled in a contract mire with Arsenal Football Club that has slightly taken away the gloss of what has been a genuinely impressive season interspersed with niggling injury breaks.

Reportedly the first issue surrounded his wage packet. Walcott, being one of the most senior players left at the club, was reported to be after a deal in the six-figure region which Arsenal were not prepared shell out.

Recently however he himself has insisted that the decision is based more on assurances over his future role at the club. Since arriving at The Emirates the former Southampton player has been used predominantly out on the right wing. Walcott believes that this is not his position and is adamant on a future as a central striker.

On the evidence displayed at Reading you can see why. He looked incredibly dangerous in Berkshire acting as the perfect foil for Arsenal’s style and Santi Cazorla’s supporting genius; not to mention grabbing a goal himself.

But still we are hurtling toward the New Year with Walcott’s contract situation well and truly remaining up in the air; meanwhile other star names have been agreeing contracts such as Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

So while Walcott’s grievances on a footballing basis are perfectly justifiable he should also be warned that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

While Robin Van Persie is a quite immediate indication of how wrong that statement is considering his impressive performances at Manchester United; not to mention Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy picking up winners medals; others have not fared so well after leaving the bosom of Arsene Wenger.

Currently one pertinent example is Alex Song. Last season he came-of-age under his master Wenger. Sublime in the centre of midfield he was often the catalyst for many of RVP’s numerous goals last campaign.

Since moving to Barcelona however he has struggled to replicate that form. Particulary poor against Celtic he struggles with the teams style of play and when utilised as an emergency centre back not even the analogy ‘a duck out of water’ covers his ineptitude. He has since been confined to the bench and not featured for the team since the draw with Benfica on the 5th December.

Others to have struggled since departing Arsenal for brighter prospects include Alexsander Hleb, Emmanuel Adebayor, Mathieu Flamini and even Cesc Fabregas has not performed to par at club level since his North London departure.

The contrast is clear. It works for some. Ashley Cole, RVP, Nasri, Clichy all have or look as if they are on to win individual and team accolades and while the less successful may have won team medals they have eventually petered out on an individual basis.

The warning then is apt; but if Theo does leave and chooses wisely the grass could well be equally green if not greener on the other side.

Do you think Walcott would be better off away from Arsenal?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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