Walcott Willing To Learn Under Hasenhuttl
Tuesday, 13th Oct 2020 11:00
Theo Walcott has started training back at Staplewood after a near 15 year absence but insists he is just as willing to learn now as he was as a fresh faced 16 year old back in 2005.
Theo Walcott has been speaking to the Saints official website and seems eager to earn a contract when his loan spell finishes and to end his career where it started insisting that the way that Ralph Hasenhuttl plays the game will suit him.
He told the club website:
“I have managed to speak to the manager.
“The way they press in packs and do a lot of things off the ball – I feel that’s going to fit into my style pretty well.
“It will take time to get into it for a few training sessions but, like I said, I’m a willing learner. I learn quite quickly. That will help the manager, I’m sure.
“I’ve been in the game for a long time, so I know how to adapt pretty quickly.
“I just feel like I want to do as best as I can for this football club and then we will see what’s going to happen. Simple as that, that’s all I can do.
“I believe in my strengths and the support that the fans will bring to me.
“There’s a lot to come.”
Making his debut 15 years ago for Saints in their first season in the Championship after relegation Walcott feels he has something to offer a young squad from his experience since leaving St Mary's.
“I am always that person, that you can come to me to talk about anything,” he added. “It doesn’t have to be football related. It could be anything.
“I always feel comfortable in that environment. I feel like if you are working as hard as you can on the training field, if people see me working hard, it’s only going to inspire them to compete as well.
“That head of me is going to be very important to this squad to hopefully push on people, to get them to the next level as well.”
Saints supporters will initially see Walcott as a short term fix, but even though he will turn 32 in March he could well offer something going forward.
In the Premier League it is often the case that those that break into a team early as Walcott did find it hard to sustain long term careers, 16-20 year olds do not have the core fitness needed to be able to train at the maximum needed and therefore as with the likes of Michael Owen for instance, they find themselves burned out long before their 30th birthday.
But Walcott was used sparingly by Arsene Wenger in his early years at Arsenal and several injuries also hampered his game time, that means that in his 13 full seasons at the Gunners he started just 170 Premier League games for Arsenal plus another 100 as sub, this out of a possible 510 or so when we add the half season after joining from Saints.
At Everton it is a similar story 54 starts and 23 as sub out of somewhere just short of 100 Premier League games he could have played.
What this means is that his body hasn't received the pummelling that it would have got had he been a regular starter, indeed the only season he played anything like 38 games was two seasons ago at Everton when he appeared in 37 Premier League games, the only time he has hit the 30 mark since 2013.
That could bode well for Saints both in the short term and perhaps longer, he might be about to turn 32, but in terms of playing time he is more like 28 or 29.
Saints fans have been excited about Theo Walcott's return, I have been more reserved, but I do say that at a cost in wages of around £4 million he is a gamble worth taking and he offers us something that we need in terms of quality, pace and experience.
Photo: Action Images
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