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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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Sanguin added 11:19 - Oct 13
His defensive stats are pretty poor, I don't know if that's how managers have used him in the past or his personal playstyle. Something is going to need to change in his game if he's going to fit into Hassenhuttl's pressing style of play.
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Saint4Life247 added 16:58 - Oct 13
I'd hope so otherwise there's not much point in him coming back
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underweststand added 15:23 - Oct 14
Firstly .." learning from Hasenhuttl "... obviously refers to learning to play Ralph's formation, (which to be fair was new for everyone last year). I don't know how much football technique he may learn - bearing in mind Theo 's career (so far) has been " a bit more illustrious " than Ralph was - but anyone who has played 200+ Prem. games and got almost 50 England caps ..AND scored over 100 goals ....has a lot to offer.
His departure from was a lot to do Everton's recent big money buys who certainly weren't bought in just to sit on the bench and anyone over 30 is a likely scapegoat when changes are made. Also noted Theo played no.11 at Everton... but he only talks about "playing on the right side. Playing anyone out of his best position is a waste of talent.

We will be able to judge form and fitness after a few outings, but it would be wrong to judge Walcott (or anyone) purely by the year of his birth...or by an injury absence.
On that basis... NO-ONE would have had a sensible argument for Danny Ings.
Time will tell, but I think quite a few people will be pleasantly surprised at Theos' return.
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halftimeorange added 16:17 - Oct 14
Theo is obviously going to make all the right noises, especially as he must know that there will be rump of supporters who won't have forgiven him for leaving us. We have him for the season and I hope both parties make the most of his unquestionable ability if played in the right position and, I also hope, with Danny Ings and not as his sub. I don't believe that Theo ever realised his true potential when he left the Saints and he generally rarely showed it when he played against us. This is his last chance saloon in the top flight and I'll be disappointed if he doesn't give us his all, injuries permitting.
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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
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