Hands up who hates these International breaks? At the moment, we’re in the middle of an international break, the transfer window has closed and all the squads have been submitted to the FA and UEFA respectively… which really means there is no real news happening. No game preview, no transfer tales, the only thing I am interested in at all is how our players faired for their country’s games, and most of you will probably have watched the England game and to be honest, there was a lot of hype about it…. so le’ts start with Theo Walcott’s start yesterday and a little bit of analysis of his performance.
For England, Theo has been playing in a 4-4-2 formation and yesterday was no different. Capello employs a slightly more attacking formation for the wingers with the number 10 dropping deeper, thus, the midfield and forward line looked like this:
Walcott – Barry – Gerrard – Milner
Walcott could then get a little more forward than the conventional 4-4-2. Why I am making this point? Well, in order to compare the way Theo has been playing for club and country, it’s important to understand the comparison variables. Of course, the formation is a key component of that. In addition, managers ask players to do different things, and with Johnson overlapping at country level, it’s clear that Theo has a more disciplined wing role for country than for club.
Theo plays the right hand side forward line of a 4-3-3 for Arsenal and that is a different role. He often has 2 / 3 midfielders behind him (in Cesc, Song and Diaby). An example of the formation played for Arsenal would be:
Song – Diaby
Walcott – Chamakh – Arshavin
In this formation, of course, when defending both Theo and Andrei would drop to sit along side Cesc about 20 metres deeper than their attacking positions. But the key thing in this formation compared to England’s in that Song, Diaby and Cesc would naturally sit deeper than Walcott and that automatically allows Theo to get forward more. As well as get inside the full back more, acting in a more forward role, like a secondary striker.
The chalkboard for Theo’s shots against Blackpool, where he scored his hattrick this season is:
What does that show? Well, the majority of shots and the three goals (marked in white) came from a certain area of the box – this area is an area