On a quiet day it’s nice to read an interview of a youngster who talks a lot of sense. The performance against Burnley has certainly given Walcott the right to hit back at his critics. What’s more impressive is his dismissal of the critics but not of the issues.
I heard what he (Waddle) said, but I don’t listen to people on the outside of football, I listen to people around me – the manager, Mr. Capello and my family.
The thing is I’m always the country’s biggest hope or the biggest disappointment. But it doesn’t bother me and maybe if I can keep performing as I did against Burnley it will shut people up.
The critics and commentators in the media deal in hyperbole and superlatives. That’s the reason we see players being portrayed as heroes on one day and zeroes on another. Reality is always somewhere in between but it doesn’t make good headlines.
It’s great to see that Walcott knows how the media works. It would be easy for a youngster to lose confidence or overreact in the face of criticism. Not only has Theo shown that he can handle it with aplomb, he also knows there is a lot of room for improvement.
Crossing and my left foot are the two big things I have been working on lately.
I will look back at my performance and see what I can do better. I will study my performance on a DVD and see what I can do better, and will take whatever I can into Tuesday’s [Champions League] game against Porto.
There is definitely more to come from me
Clearly, he hasn’t let the hype or his performances get to his head. I don’t think anyone believes he is a complete player, but the critics do forget his age and his injury problems.
I have had so many injuries this season, people don’t realise how hard it is to come back from setbacks after setbacks after setbacks. You can’t be at your best straight away and if you think you can, then you put more pressure on yourself. That’s what I had been doing this season.
As long as he keeps working hard and has a little luck with injuries, there is no reason why he can’t be a big player for us in the run-in. That will automatically lead to a place in the World Cup squad.
Reading his comments, I realized that, in general, Arsenal have developed a lot of youngsters and most of them have a good head on their shoulders. I don’t know if this is something the academy and coaching staff works on. Most of our youngsters have a lot of confidence but none of them can be called arrogant. It might be that the academy process weeds out the cocky ones. Maybe that’s the reason people like Bentley never made it at Arsenal!
At times I get a feeling that most of the critics are too full of themselves, especially the fans who go around slagging players. If only Wenger could train the fans as well!