Former Tottenham Hotspur and England winger Chris Waddle has once again stressed that Theo Walcott is not ready for England World Cup duty despite putting in one of his most impressive performances in an Arsenal shirt at the weekend.
The young Gunner ripped apart Burnley on Saturday, scoring a coolly taken left-foot effort from outside the box while repeatedly creating chances for his teammates. The demonstration of attacking flair came only days after Waddle had publically criticised the Arsenal starlet for his lack of ‘a football brain’; comments which sparked annoyance amongst both the Emirates faithful and coach Arsene Wenger.
Speaking again about the Arsenal winger, Waddle laid out the reason for his comments and made clear he was not about to stand down under public pressure:
“I have watched Walcott for a number of years and there are no doubts he has strengths to his game. Well, he has one strength in particular: his terrific pace.
“But why does he not use it more? Why does he not get more of the ball? You can only look at his movement and conclude it is not good enough.
“He proved he can cross and deliver a ball against Burnley at the weekend. But why does he not do that consistently? I stand by my assessment that he doesn't yet have a football brain.
“People keep telling me he is only young and he is still developing, but he is learning the game under one of the best teachers in the world in Arsene Wenger. Why are we not seeing that all important consistency in his game yet?
“Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and James Milner are still young, but they are all classed as intelligent footballers and have been that way from a very young age.”
Walcott looks likely to be handed another opportunity to impress by taking on the right wing duties against Porto in tonight’s Champions League match at the Emirates. The Gunners need to overturn a 2-1 deficit if they are to make the quarter-finals for the third successive season.