Its no secret that over the last couple of months, things between Walcott and Wenger haven’t been rock steady. It all started when Theo Walcott wanted to renew his contract with a increase of wages that would see his weekly wage jump to £100k. Arsenal refused and the matter has stagnated for now-at least up until the January transfer period.
So the question that remains is why had Arsenal and Walcott reached a short term agreement at all? If Wenger was going to cave in to Walcott’s demands then it would have happened already. Arsenal won’t hang onto a player and release him for free especially if Walcott is going to warm the bench. A player of his ability isn’t going to sit back and allow that- not with other big clubs sniffing around. So is it a matter of principle or is Wenger preparing for Walcott’s exit?
Judging from what’s been happening regarding the player and his situation at Arsenal, I’d have to say that the latter seems to be the eventuality. I’m a Walcott fan, through and through – don’t know why, but I just am. I don’t think he’s the best winger around but I have this deep seeded feeling that he wants to play at Arsenal, that he wants to remain loyal. Everyone will say, ‘ If he was so loyal, then he wouldn’t ask for a high wage!’ But the fact remains, that we live in a modern football era, where a player’s salary is just a part of the game as anything else. Its not only about loyalty, but rather the fight against the human instinct. People go where the money is. Do I think £100k is above Walcott’s ability? In truth, yes. He’s not worth that amount. It hurts to say it, but if he’s after money alone then he’ll leave. I have a feeling though, that its not just about the money. He’s not asking for a wage that’s out of this world. At Chelsea, City, Liverpool or Man Utd, he would already be on that wage which in turn means, if he was out for only money that he would’ve left. I believe he’s after respect. He wants Wenger and Arsenal to acknowledge his worth, not in wealth but in loyalty. Call me naïve, but I think its true.
So it pains me to see him on the bench. I’ll always remember the defeat we suffered against Man Utd last season, when Walcott remained on the pitch after the game to applaud the fans and kiss the badge. Moments like that, revive some hope in me that a permanent resolution between the club and the player will come to light, sooner rather than later, when its too late.