Smile about what?: Picture proof that Walcott has looked less excited year by year
This might be a tongue-in-cheek observation but if profile pictures that players take ahead of every campaign are anything to go by, there are some changes worth making note of.
Walcott, last season’s second top scorer, has been under the spotlight of late due to a contract extension saga which has seen him already turn down an improvement on his remaining one-year deal, citing a need to play as centre-forward regularly.
That said, it is certainly not inconceivable to suggest that Theo’s happier days at Arsenal may be behind him for now, and adding a little more proof to that claim is the image above. Carefully watch the pattern beginning with the picture at the top left to the last one on the bottom right. Noticed something? If not, then go back and check for how Theo Walcott’s bright smile has dimmed over the years at the club.
So here’s a bit of a timeline of Theo’s facial expressions from the winter of 2006 to the eventful summer that just passed.
2005/06: Amazed to be mingling with the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, Walcott fashioned the smile of a star-struck youngster who was just witnessing a dream at his new club.
2006/07: Getting to know his surroundings better, Walcott was less camera-shy but still had that humble smile to show.
2007/08: This is when Theo had his biggest ever smile. Thierry Henry had left and the chance to show what he has to offer was better than ever. Indeed, this was his revelation season where he made that run at Liverpool.
2008/09: Talk of stepping into Thierry Henry’s shoes, Walcott was now handed the Arsenal legend’s no. 14 shirt. That also handed him some boost in confidence as the smile turned into a smirk.
2009/10: After an underachieving campaign where injuries limited his contributions – missing action from November 2008 to April 2009 – Theo did not have a bright view of the upcoming campaign by the look on his face.
2010/11: Another season plagued by injuries and sub-par form meant Walcott had missed out on selection for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but now a young adult and spotting a new tattoo, he posed with an egocentric “me against the world” look.
2011/12: Walcott was now a household name in the Arsenal squad following his best ever tally which saw him net 13 goals in the previous term. But after the sudden exits of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, his excitement was hard to tell.
2012/13: No expression whatsoever. Robin van Persie was now gone, and “here we go again” was written all over Theo Walcott’s face.