Paul Parker

What’s the big deal? Walcott won’t be missed by Arsenal or England

Paul Parker

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The knee ligament injury to the Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is very unfortunate. He will be out for six months, which is a blow to him. But if we are being honest about the situation, England won't miss him at the World Cup finals.

If it had been an injury to the Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, it would be different; he is a guy you'd want playing every game in Brazil.

With Theo, you wouldn't say he has been a regular player with England so therefore how can the national side miss him? He gives you extra pace, but when you think of a guy like Raheem Sterling coming to the fore at Liverpool, I would say he is in better form and is a better fit for England than Theo.

Theo is all about pace, but there is a bit more to Raheem's game and what he brings to the table.

Theo has pace to run in behind defences, but Raheem can run in behind defences and has tricks plus ability. I think that gives you more going to a World Cup finals.

It is far from a disaster the way some English journalists and former players are making it out to be. They should stop the mourning and be sensible enough to really see this for what it is: sad for the boy, but not a crisis for either club or country.

If people put their hands on their hearts, they would agree with those sentiments.

Yes, he is sharp going forward when you think about certain bits of his game.

But overall? No. He is not going to be a great miss. England's recent record without Walcott is as good as it is with him.

His club won't miss him too much, either. Arsenal are top of the Premier League yet have had to do without Walcott for two months this season due to an abdominal problem. Arsenal may or may not win the Premier League; the presence of Theo won't make a blind bit of difference either way.

Arsene have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain coming back from injury while Mesut Ozil is back after a shoulder injury.

If Arsene Wenger does a little bit of work in the January transfer window, it isn't too bad for them.

Arsene has enough to get around this. A few seasons ago it may have been an issue, but not now.

Should the Gunners fall short then I don't think they will look back at the end of the season and point to the Walcott injury against Spurs as the moment their title hopes died. It'd be different if it was Ozil, Per Mertesacker or Olivier Giroud.

As for Walcott's future? When he does come back from the knee injury, you do wonder about what state he will be in because his game is all about pace. They can't rush him back.

I don't think Walcott will play for as big a club as Arsenal again in his career. Personally, I think he will be keen to stay at the club - but Arsenal may look to sell him when he gets back to fitness.

He is saleable to a point, but it all depends on who wants him. He is good player, but remains a luxury rather than a necessity - for club and country.

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