Is Theo Walcott going to be the next Ray Kennedy?

By Avenell Dave

There are a few players who wore Arsenal colours that will forever live fondly in the memory for me.

Cesc Fabregas is the latest, but going back in time, Thierry Henry, David Rocastle, Liam Brady, Charlie George and Ray Kennedy are all players we have loved and lost, who didn't provoke anything but love when they returned to the club where, essentially, they amde their name.

Kennedy, who has suffered with Parkinson's Disease, was a gentleman and despite playing for the dominant Liverpool side for much of his career, his contribution to Arsenal, and in particular the Double-winning side of 1971, cannot be underestimated.

Talk today has been of Theo Walcott moving to Liverpool, his boyhood team, and we have to hope that the club find the right blend of first team assurances and salary to sign him up before it's too late.

It's so frustrating that we get ourselves in this position so often. It happened with RvP, it happened with Flamini, Edu and we even had issues with Dennis Bergkamp because we refused to break our one year contract deals for over-30s.

Walcott is such a hot and cold player, someone who showed on Tuesday that when given the right position and opportunity, he can take defences apart.

He is not a player capable of beating opponents on the wing in the manner of Ronaldo, but he has shown he can finish and that when played centrally he is capable of causing all manner of problems.

The fact that even Graham McNorthbank, one of Theo's biggest critics over the years, thinks we should sign him up underlines how much he has come on.

The thought of seeing him blossom and then come good somewhere else is just too much to bear.

Of course, the M*nure defence is more robust than Reading's back line, but it still lacks the ruthlessness of United defences of the past.

I hope Theo plays, but we also need Giroud to hold the ball up so I'm not sure how that will work unless Arsene Wenger goes back to a 4-4-2 which seems to suit the current crop far more than his preferred 4-3-3.

Our recent record at Old Trafford is pretty woeful and while M*nure's defence is poor, their attack is superb and we have to keep three or four players (Shrek, Valencia, Hernandez and RvP) if we're to have any chance of coming away with something from the game.

We're capable of winning if we are disciplined and it's surprising to see that we have the best Premier League defence even though we haven't looked particularly solid of late.

All eyes will of course be on RvP and the chances of him scoring are high.

Of course, there's no way the away fans will go easy on him, but I do hope we confine it to booing and avoid the kind of the awful chants that we get so up in arms about when the Mancs make them about Le Boss.

We can be vocal without losing class.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Vermaelen Santos

Cazorla Arteta Wilshere

Walcott Giroud Podolski