Arsenal faced Viking FK at the Viking Stadion in their fourth game of the preseason. The Gunners dominated the match, which ended 8-0 in their favour. Arsene Wenger’s men had a somewhat shaky start to the game before they found their footing and started to take control. The first half ended 1-0, with Joel Campbell scoring the opening goal in the 33rd minute.
It was in the second half that Arsenal really took the game by the scruff of the neck. After scoring three goals in the opening ten minutes of the second half, the Gunners were comfortably in charge for the rest of the game. Let’s take a look at some things we learned as Arsenal took on the Norwegians to record their biggest preseason win so far.
#1 Theo Walcott isn’t clinical enough to be a striker
Walcott has made it clear for a number of years that he prefers playing up front as a striker than on the right wing, where he was most often deployed by his manager. Unfortunately, when given the opportunity he so craves, he has repeatedly failed to really justify himself and convince Arsene Wenger of his abilities as a centre forward.
The Englishman had a decent run out in this game, scoring a sweet goal and also creating one for his team. The goal was brilliantly taken. He showed a fine touch to control the pass from Campbell and then fired the ball low into the bottom left corner before any opposition defenders could even react.
However, the 27-year-old had a plethora of opportunities in the first half, all of which were spurned. He has shown good pace, intelligence and off-the-ball movement, but to be the centre-forward at a top club, one cannot afford to be so wasteful.
When playing against top level opposition, every wasted chance could come back to haunt you. It appears Walcott has realised his shortcomings, as he publicly admitted he wants to be played on the right flank again.