Thursday, August 30, 2007

Arsene Wenger wants Walcott as a central striker and Eduardo as a winger

In his post-match conference after yesterday's 3-0 drubbing of Sparta Prague Arsene Wenger discussed how he would be using Theo Walcott and new signing Eduardo da Silva in the future. Wenger has stated that he wants to use Eduardo as the goalscoring left-winger that Arsenal have been missing, while he hopes to convert Walcott from a winger to a central striker.

I think it would be great to use Eduardo as a left-winger. He played some of the Sparta Prague game out on the left flank, and while he did not cross the ball like an out and out winger, he often cut in, took on a defender, and then cut a pass back into the center of the penalty area - it was in fact a move just like this which set up Cesc Fabregas' goal. Eduardo would do well as a winger who pops into the box for to score his own goals as well, as he is obviously an excellent striker as well. I feel that this would be the ideal position for him. As Wenger said,
"I found him more at ease on the left flank, where he had tricks of a winger, and then through the middle. He's a great striker, you know, and you could see that." A combination of a striker/winger would serve Arsenal very well.

Eduardo was not the only one who showed promise in the Sparta Prague game - Theo Walcott also showed some of the quality that got him called up for England's 2006 World Cup squad. His blistering pace was reminiscent of the recently departed Henry, and although he is young, his runs caused the Sparta defense a whole lot of problems. It was a cut back from Walcott that set up Rosicky's goal in the 8th minute, and Walcott supplied many chances for others as well. Wenger would like to try some of his magic on Theo, by converting him to a central striker as he did to Henry.

"In the future he'll be used more as a central striker. He can make a difference for England because there are not many strikers in this country who have his qualities or pace.

"If a defender is one yard behind him Theo will never get caught. He makes good runs along the line of the defence and he will be able to use that more when he plays through the middle.

"But it's good for him to learn the job on the flanks."

I haven't seen much of Walcott in a central striker position, but with all of his talent, I'm sure that he will be able to function well in any attacking spot on the pitch. I just hope that Arsene can do with him what he did with Henry. At 18 years old, Walcott still has quite a future ahead of him...