Arsenal’s long Premier League unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday night as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Goodison Park, and there were some very poor performances from a number of Arsenal players on the night.
One player in particular to pick up criticism was Theo Walcott. The Englishman has been in improved form this season but he still lacks consistency and that was particularly evident in this fixture where he literally failed to turn up.
Playing on the right wing, Walcott just couldn’t get into the game and was removed with around 20 minutes to go.
Walcott had an extremely quiet night, completing just 14 passes with a 71.4% accuracy rate. He was also at fault for allowing Baines to cross the ball for Coleman’s first half equaliser. Although he raced to close down Baines, Theo was weak in the tackle and that allowed Baines the space to swing in a delightful cross and spark Everton’s resurgence into the game.
Unfortunately for Walcott, the bad statistics do not end there… Offensively he completed 0 dribbles, 0 through balls, 0 key passes and 0 shots on target. It truly was like he wasn’t even there.
Here’s some of the reaction to Theo’s performance on Twitter.
Hope Theo Walcott's coffee machine doesn't work and he's lost the receipt.
— Jamie Dalton (@JamieDalton82) December 13, 2016
#afc marking poor. Undeniably missed Mustafi but not had a clean sheet in 12 now (all comps). In attack, Ozil/Walcott/Ox disappointing.
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) December 13, 2016
Walcott has been shocking, Get Perez or Iwobi on.
— Arsenal (@ffarsenalfc) December 13, 2016
Quite a few had bad games tonight but Walcott was a disgrace
— 1886 (@gooners_1886) December 13, 2016
Ozil Walcott and Ox where all missing today
— Héctor Mitz Calderón (@MitzProductions) December 13, 2016
This performance is reminiscent of last season. Walcott did nothing, Özil went missing, shaky defensive performance & Alexis trying too hard
— Mändär (@mandaarrr) December 13, 2016
Personally I have never been Theo’s biggest fan. His form this season was very good at the start, but it has faded and when he goes missing like he did on Tuesday night, it makes it extremely difficult for Arsenal to win games, it’s like playing with one less player. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t the only one. Mesut Ozil was very poor, as was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but after more than 10 years at the club, you would expect better from Walcott and he is running out of lifelines. The likes of Iwobi, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck (when fit again) will surely be pushing to take his place if he is to put in more performances like he did against Everton.
It continues to be a problem for Arsenal that very few players are consistent. There also seems to be an overwhelming effect on the team when one player is missing – in today’s case it was Skhodran Mustafi. The German helps dictate the way Arsenal play from the back, therefore having a big influence at both ends of the field. Arsenal certainly missed his authority in defensive areas for the two goals they conceded. Sadly, the Gunners have at least 3 more games before their summer signing will return to fitness. Wenger needs to find a solution and by Sunday.