Theo Walcott has the chance to be Arsenal's main main

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Football News

Arsenal's players are starting to collapse in front of Arsene Wenger's eyes, they now need someone to lead from the front and carry the injury-stricken squad.

That man has to be Theo Walcott. The striker returned from a calf injury against Sunderland on Saturday but had been in impressive form leading up to that injury.

Once upon a time, we would have been saying Walcott needs to look up to the more experienced players to guide him, but he now finds himself as one of the most senior members of this squad.


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In just over a month's time, the England international will mark his ten-year anniversary at the club since his move from Southampton. He will also only be a couple of months away from his 27th birthday.

So really, Walcott is in his prime. There shouldn't be any excuses, he isn't a kid anymore. He has to deliver now.

Injuries have halted his progress in recent years, making just 27 appearances in the last two seasons combined. However, staying fit isn't the only thing he needs to convince Arsenal supporters of his ability. He needs to show he can be Arsenal's go-to man.

Walcott's impact on teammates

You can notice the effect that Walcott has on his teammates when he is in the starting line-up. He has always been gifted with blistering pace and players like Mesut Ozil thrive on that.

Opposing defenders tend to push up against Arsenal when Olivier Giroud is playing. That restricts space and time on the ball for Ozil. When Walcott plays, he nudges defensive lines back, giving Ozil an unforgiving amount of seconds to pick out a pass.

The German has still been creating goals without him, setting up four of Giroud's eight Premier League strikes this season. But with Walcott in the team, Ozil is really allowed to flourish and he will undoubtedly be relishing the chance to build on their relationship in the coming weeks.

Big game player

The north London club will certainly miss Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla, and Francis Coquelin, but the fixtures over the festive period are not too difficult.

Manchester City represents their biggest opponents between now and the end of the year, but Manuel Pellegrini's men face a formidable task when they travel to the Emirates later this month. Do they push high up and leave space for Walcott to run into? Or do they drop deep and give Ozil time on the ball? Neither is ideal.

Olympiacos will try and do the same on Wednesday. In fact, Arsenal's season-defining trip to Greece represents a great chance for Walcott to reintroduce himself as Wenger's first-choice striker.

Even if it doesn't work out for the Arsenal striker in those games, Giroud always reacts to being left on the bench and will be a vital secondary option from the bench.

The last time the England forward scored against the top four was in 2013 and, coincidentally, against City in a 6-3 defeat in December. He doesn't want to be known as a flat-track bully.

There is no doubt Walcott can finish, the problem that some people have is with his movement. His lack of knowledge in that position shows. If he can get into the right areas you can bet he will put the ball in the back of the net.

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