Theo Walcott is a man who has often divided opinion amongst Arsenal supporters throughout his career.
The England speedster is a valuable asset to some, while others view him as nothing more than a sprinter in football boots.
But what cannot be questioned recently is the superb form he has produced during the Gunners’ six-game winning streak in all competitions.
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Walcott has registered an impressive seven goals and two assists across the board this season, with six of his strikes coming in his last five appearances.
Numbers like these are usually enough to command the plaudits of even rival supporters – but not everyone is convinced the 27-year-old is worthy of receiving such rave reviews.
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Match of the Day pundits Phil Neville, Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker are all critical of Walcott despite his stunning performances of late, as per 101 Great Goals.
The former Manchester United star says he has “underperformed” for a player meant to be in the peak years of his career.
Neville went on to concede that while Walcott “is improving”, he “should have scored four” against Swansea rather than merely bagging a brace.
Lineker and Shearer second his comments by highlighting that the former Southampton youngster has not been contributing to the same extent for England, nor hit double figures in goals during all but one of the last seven seasons.
Shearer added that Walcott must be a leading figure for club and country on a long-term basis before he can even come close to being considered one of the best.
“If we continue to talk about him in the next two or three years, and say he scored so many goals, and he’s been brilliant, then I’ll change my mind on him, then I’ll say he’s a very very good player, at the minute he’s a good player.”
Understandably, some Arsenal fans have not taken kindly to their man of the moment being described as little better than mediocre.
The Emirates faithful are right to offer their support for Walcott during a period of such great form – even if few would be surprised to see him tail off again as the season progresses.
Whether or not that proves to be the case, Arsene Wenger will be eager to make the most of Walcott at his best while he can.
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