His Name Is Theo, And He Dances On The Sand

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Good morning and – well I never – the sun is out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m still trying to digest the news that Walcott is off to the World Cup. There are plenty of journos who feel that the inclusion has galvanised the England setup, especially given the metatarsalled players on our books, and I wouldn’t argue with that.

But it seems odd to me that Wenger, having dampened the hype since Walcott joined us, and having eased him in so gently that he hasn’t even played, was so unequivocal in his support of Theo’s inclusion. The resultant media bundle has been predictable – with Walcott’s girlfriend on the front of both the Mirror and the Sun this morning.

And a gamble – well it’s a massive one. Walcott’s clearly got grown men drooling, but he’s never played at the highest domestic level, let alone at the highest level there is, competitive internationals.

Thinking about it, it wouldn’t have been such a gamble had Sven dispensed with a midfielder – Hargreaves being the obvious one – and added a striker to the main 23. That would have given more cover, and in some ways, put less pressure on Walcott himself.

Whatever, it’s a great moment for him, and it’ll certainly be an amazing experience. If he has even a good ten minutes in the World Cup it’ll be justified I guess – though try telling that to Darren Bent.

As for the Totterers’ plea to get their Sunday game replayed, I’d be amazed if anything happened there. For them it was indubitably a hideous situation, but football can throw things like that at you, and trying to get games replayed could really open the floodgates. What if you have ten players injured, or with bad colds? Could you refuse to play then, or ask for a replay?

And what about the Boro situation [incidentally, good luck to them tonight – I’d like to think we paid our part in their resurgence by offering them a 7-0 wake-up call]. They were relegated some years back by a few points, and if I remember correctly they wouldn’t have been had they not been docked points for refusing to play a game because their squad had been struck down with injury. How would they feel if the rules were changed now?

And finally, congratulations to my friend Mrs East Upper, who bore Mr East Upper a daughter on Monday. She went into labour on the morning of the last game at Highbury – forefeiting her seat, obviously – but insisted Mr East Upper attended the game nonetheless.

Pregnant ladies of the world, take your cue!


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.