Former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has come out in defence of Theo Walcott and blames manager Arsene Wenger for the current decline of the England international.
Campbell thinks Walcott is yet to know his best position and therefore the frustration with the 26-year-old should be directed towards his manager.
Walcott has been under severe criticism since the Manchester United defeat on Sunday where he was selected ahead of Olivier Giroud but produced a dismal performance at Old Trafford and fans have since turned against the Englishman.
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He was neither able to create any scoring chances nor register any shots on goal, only managing 17 touches in 63 minutes, and lost possession on ten occasions.
According to the 41-year-old, it is up to Wenger to decide where he wants Walcott to perform his best and should play him in that position on a regular basis.
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The former Arsenal hero told 888sport: “I don’t think it’s fair. He’s [Walcott] a great lad who has played for England and done very well. He doesn’t deserve all that.”
“He [Wenger] needs to set the team up and explain to Theo where he wants him on the pitch. What is his best position? As a centre-forward or out wide coming in?”
The centre-back is of the opinion that the conversation between the duo must be forthright and the French coach must guide Walcott being an ideal mentor.
He added: “That conversation needs to happen between the manager and player and it needs to be a frank and honest conversation. He needs to get into his head and play the game for him and show him the light. Be a real mentor.”
CRUCIAL GAMES FOLLOW
Arsenal lost further ground in their title bid following the away defeat against Manchester United with a loss at home to relegation contenders Swansea City midweek which puts them six points behind leaders Leicester City.
The Gunners face city rivals Tottenham Hotspur next in what is set to be one of the most anticipated north London derbies in recent years.
Campbell played for both clubs during his career but deems Arsenal as the more superior in terms of quality.
“If you’re looking at quality then Arsenal’s quality of football has been superior. You have to look at it over five to ten years to see how consistent they are and Tottenham have really come into their own this season. They have improved but let’s see after five seasons.”
“It’s a massive game.”
Walcott could, however, again feature against Spurs and the 26-year-old needs to answer the critics with commendable performance, justifying his selection and that his future lies at Emirates Stadium after his ten seasons with the club.