A tribute to former Arsenal star Theo Walcott on his retirement
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A tribute to former Arsenal star Theo Walcott on his retirement

A tribute to former Arsenal star Theo Walcott on his retirement

Gary Neville reminded Theo Walcott that at the age of 34, Theo Walcott had accomplished what millions of children dream of but find impossible: he had “completed football.”

Former Arsenal player used the YouTube program Overlap to proclaim his retirement.

According to him, it would be unjust to accept one of the multiple offers as a free agent if his ‘heart wasn’t in it’ anymore.

Some may argue that in 2018, his passion for the sport began to wane. When he accepted a transfer to Everton, his 12-year tenure in North London came to an end.

Numerous injuries deprived him of the speed that had always been his primary weapon.

His mind was willing, as evidenced at Goodison and Saint Mary’s, but his body was not.

The fact that his contract was allowed to expire at his last two clubs with no extension proposals speaks volumes.

An interview to hang up his boots was largely focused on the narrative of a 16-year-old being selected for the World Cup without having played a single minute of Premier League football.

This decision, which thrust an adolescent into the national spotlight, was such a burden on his shoulders that it is almost fitting that he mentions it as he turns his back on the game.

It resulted in greater press coverage on and off the field than would have been the case had he not traveled to Germany.

The level of anticipation would have been reduced.

He would have had more room to develop at his own pace and with more breathing room.

As soon as Sven Goran Erikson chose him over Jermaine Defoe and Darrent Bent, everyone wanted to know what made this player so exceptional that Sven Goran Erikson would choose him over peers who started every week while Mr. Wenger wouldn’t even place him on the bench in the Premier League.

All parties have acknowledged the error. Theo appeared instead of being England’s secret weapon. That was precisely what he was, a timid, quiet child who stood out among the golden generation.

His teammates took care of him and made sure he felt a part of the squad, but even they couldn’t figure out why the decision was made.

Everyone wanted to know why Theo Walcott did not become the Three Lions’ version of Messi or Ronaldo.

The accusations included that he lacked the intelligence to develop and/or that he was too kind to succeed.

The attacker was excellent but not world-class at his peak. There is no shame in that.

He continued to play for one of the largest clubs in the United Kingdom, predominantly in the Champions League.

If he had been born in a different country, his career would be lauded.

As he correctly points out, he has compiled statistics that would be considered successful by the majority of people today.

Imagine if Eddie Nketiah tallied 21 goals and contributed 16 assists in a single season.

Yet, I have written on this site long enough to know that the very same readers who defend Eddie’s league goal totals of 15 in six seasons were always cruel to Theo. Occasionally truly foul.

It illustrates the standards our fanbase once held, and how a generation has grown up believing they cannot criticize our players.

The permissible standard has been lowered.

Only 19 players in our entire history have scored more than 100 goals for Arsenal, and only seven in the Premier League era.

As he sat down with Mr. Neville, the irony was that, despite being perceived as too polite, he fought back.

Instead of focusing on poor luck with injuries, Cup Finals he missed, international tournaments he was overlooked for, disagreements with Capello and Southgate, etc., Theo viewed the past 18 years in a more straightforward manner.

He desired to play football professionally.

Not only did that come true, but he also won trophies, participated in Finals, played alongside Europe’s best, represented his country, traveled the world, etc.

His last goal was appropriately scored against us.

Given how he was treated at the Emirates, many felt he merited the last laugh for his role in costing us the championship.

Theo may become more prominent in the realm of media.

Always and forever a Gunner.

From everyone at JustArsenal, we wish you a happy retirement. Theo.

A tribute to former Arsenal star Theo Walcott on his retirement