Alan Hansen: I was wrong to criticise Arsenal star Theo Walcott four years ago
The former Reds central defender slammed the England international, claiming the 25-year-old did not have a football brain. Hansen is delighted that Walcott has proved him wrong one million per cent as he has been a key player in Arsene Wenger’s side over the years.
“Four years ago, I said that Theo Walcott did not have a “football brain”, without realising that my comments would be misinterpreted to such an extent,” Hansen wrote in his column in The Telegraph.
“The meaning of my observation was not as brutal as it may have come across, but nonetheless, I was critical of Walcott’s ability and I am pleased to say that Theo has proved me wrong one million per cent.”
“He is a proper player and I have to admit that my comments about him were the only time that I have ever been happy to be wrong.”
“Theo is an intelligent boy, very bright, with genuine ability and he has given the best possible response to my remarks by pretty much showing two fingers to what I said.”
“I have met him since I said it and there has never been a problem between the pair of us. I am delighted with how he has developed as a player,” he added.
The Gunners forward suffered cruciate ligament injury in January, which saw him sidelined for the rest of the season and that eventually cost him a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Three Lions were knocked out of the group stages of the recently concluded tournament in Brazil. Hansen believes England would have been in a better position if Walcott was fit enough to feature in the World Cup.
“England may have performed better at this World Cup in Brazil had Theo Walcott been fit and able to play a part, with his cruciate ligament injury ultimately costing him his place,” Anfield favourite concluded.
What Hansen said makes more sense as Arsenal were in firm at the top of the table when Walcott was fit in the first half of the last season. However, after his injury, the Emirates club struggled in all competitions and eventually ended the season finishing in fourth place. Their poor form in the second half also goes down to Aaron Ramsey’s injury as well.