Earlier this week (and before he scored a brace against Coventry in the Capital One Cup), Sport-locker.net caught a quick word with Arsenal and England star Theo Walcott – we’re clearly his lucky mascot then!
Speaking at the launch of the Mars Just Play Week, the speedster was in good form as Jack Van Gelder found out:
We have to start with the John Terry story. Did any of the guys within the England set up know what he was going to do?
It was a bit out of the blue to be honest; you know you’ve got to respect JT’s decision. Personally he was great to me when I first came into the England squad and I played against him so many times now but I respect his decision and we’ve got to move on.
We’ve got some great players that’ll come in but he will be missed he’s a great player but you know we’ve just got to respect his decision.
Moving on to club matters, you’re in a lot more British dominated dressing room now at Arsenal – how does that compare to when you joined with a lot more older foreign players?
I feel like one of the older players in the dressing room to be honest! It’s great having different players different nationalities coming into one place but now you’re starting to see a lot of young players coming through the ranks and it’s great because everyone likes similar things, messing around on video games and playing a bit of golf.
You mentioned new guys. The likes of Podolski, Giroud and Gervinho can all play wide and centrally – do you think that’s going to help you with your goal count this season?
There’s a lot of new places up for grabs, you know I want to play up front. People were saying at the start of the season you’re never going to be able to replace the goals that Robin gives us but we’ve been able to deal with that quite well and it’s been a good start but I think it’s only going to get better.
Do you think because you haven’t got that one focal point of Robin you’ll be able to score more?
I think a lot more people will start to stand out a lot more now and hopefully now I can be a part of that. But yeah the new guys have started out very strong and it’s only going to get better.
We’ve seen Abou Diaby return to first team action this season after a lengthy spell out and he’s making a real big impact and Jack Wilshere coming back too. How important is that?
Abou’s started off strong, and he’s going do well for us definitely. Having the likes of Jack coming back to training, it’s going to take time because he’s been out for so long but you can see he hasn’t lost his touch or anything like that.
The next step for him is that he just wants to get whacked on the ankle, he just wants to get kicked that’s the way he is. It’s like me when I did my shoulder I just wanted to get kicked and fall over to see how it would react. But he’s a strong guy and a strong character and I’m sure he’ll be absolutely fine.
Character wise what does Jack bring to the dressing room?
He’s the sort of player that will spot something no one else will spot which is always good for me looking to get the ball out wide but it takes time coming back from an injury like that and he’s just got to be patient.
You’re here for the Mars FA Just Play campaign, which of your Arsenal teammates would still play football at any level because they’re so obsessed?
Aaron Ramsey. He tends to just kick the ball, he’s been practising a lot lately what we call “the wobble” we call it Ronaldo, so every time he sees the ball he has a go but he’s not close at all, not quite yet! He’s someone who will literally just play football, he loves it.
What were your first pair of football boots?
When Michael Owen first came to the scene he had a pair of Umbros, I had big feet when I was younger proper big feet size eight or nine which is what I am now, proper clown feet!
The Mars Just Play scheme is all about encouraging people to get back into football and what would you tell them to get in terms of the right pair of football boots?
Well, I’d have to say the Nike Mercurial Vapors – the best boots! The colours are a bit mad and I think a lot of kids these days like the colours. But I like the Vapors at the moment because they do a mixture of studs and moulds so it’s the best of both worlds and it’s what I wear.
You touched on the different types of studs in the Vapors but what is it that sets them aside from any other Nike boot?
Well for me the Vapors are light and they have a load of colours which is why a lot of the young kids want these sort of boots but the moulds and studs is just the best of both worlds really just the way they’ve developed over the years getting better and better and a lot more players are wearing these Vapors now so they’ve got to be doing something right that’s for sure.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been questioning your driving skills recently. Apparently you drive like a grandma! What’s that all that about?!
I keep to speed limits to be honest I’m quite a safe driver .I think the most important thing is being safe that’s the main thing to be fair. Chambo, I haven’t really seen him drive to be honest, is he old enough to drive?! Haha!
Is there anything in particular that you’re good at that he’s not very good at?
I’m better at FIFA and golf. He’s my partner at golf so he needs to step up his game as my back does get heavy at times. He can hit it further than me that’s for sure but my second shots better than his, my approach play.
You got to see Southampton up close last week, what do you think of their young players and the community they’ve got?
Yeah I think we probably caught them on a bad day I think they played into our hands. It’s great to see Southampton back in the Premier League where they belong.
They started off the season with some tough games but I’m happy they picked up a result against Aston Villa which is a strong result. I think they’ll always concede goals but they’ve got enough going forward to do well. With their home support I’m pretty sure they’ll have a good season.
Theo Walcott, a MARS ambassador, was talking at an event promoting The FA Mars Just Play programme. He added about the campaign: “Just Play is a great way to get back into football and hopefully the Just Play Free for One Week initiative will show people how easy and fun it is to come along and take part in a kickabout.”
The FA and Mars are offering a week of free Just Play sessions from October 8th. Search online for Just Play