West Ham legend compares Walcott to Henry

07:34 30 January 2013


Arsenal's Theo Walcott. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport


Sir Trevor Brooking can see a little bit of Thierry Henry in Theo Walcott.

Although Arsenal are not having the best of seasons, Walcott’s reputation is rising, with the 23-year-old scoring 17 goals for the Gunners and signing a new three-and-a-half-year contract after it seemed for a long time that he might be leaving the Emirates Stadium this summer.

Although he has not been a permanent fixture in attack, Walcott has revelled in the advance role when he has been given it by manager Arsene Wenger, just as the former Southampton man always thought would happen.

And, with England boss Roy Hodgson due to name his squad on Thursday for next week’s friendly with Brazil at Wembley, Brooking can see similarities between Walcott and a familiar figure from Arsenal’s glory days.

“Theo is a little bit Henry-like on the right there when he opens up and picks his spot,” the FA’s head of football development told TalkSPORT.

“He is starting to be pretty composed in his finishing too. He is picking his spot and tucking it away.”

In an era when England are short of world-class forwards, Walcott offers an extra dimension, although Brooking does not believe he has yet worked out the best way of utilising his pace.

“Theo has played through the middle once or twice and is starting to learn,” Brooking added. “He’s got such electric pace that he sometimes has a problem where he goes too early and gets caught offside.

“He needs to play in that role to realise how to make those sort of runs, because even if he’s a yard or two behind, he’ll take out those yards in the first five anyway because he’s got such acceleration.”

With Wayne Rooney and Jermain Defoe available, Hodgson does have options for the Brazil game, by which time Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck might have been crowned 2012 England player of the year.

It seems a remarkable prospect given Welbeck has scored just once for United this season.

However, he was England’s top scorer with five goals during 2012 and Brooking is delighted with the progress Welbeck has made.

“I am particularly chuffed to see Danny come through,” he said. “I have been with the FA nine years now and I have seen him come through the system.

“Danny can play as the top man. He can play in the hole or one of the wide positions. We just want him to add those goals because, in that position in international football, you have got to be able to score goals.

“We haven’t had the depth of choice in recent years but he is starting to get the cutting edge.”

Related articles


Latest Sport Stories

Michael Peart (yellow/black shorts) defeated Kristian Laight at York Hall. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington lightweight ‘Mustard’ Mike Peart made a successful step up to six rounds as he comfortably outpointed Kristian Laight on Saturday at York Hall.

Yesterday, 17:46
Islington BC's Simon Collins

Islington BC’s Simon Collins recovered from a difficult start to clinch victory against home boxer Joe Dennison on a Banbury ABC show on Saturday.

Yesterday, 17:38
Hanover Primary School's successful squad at the Islington Schools swimming gala

Four Hanover Primary School students secured gold medals as their girls’ team finished triumphant at the Islington Schools swimming gala finals.

Yesterday, 17:34
Bethune (blue) beat Young London Meteors 2-1 in the Dickie Davies Cup. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hackney & Leyton League Premier Division leaders Mile End are through to the next round of the Dickie Davies Cup after their impressive 9-2 win over Riviera.

Yesterday, 17:27
Left to right: Luca, Liam and Luan Veras with their medals at the Belgium Open Kumite Championships. Back: their father and coach, Sensei Raphael Veras

Brothers Luan and Luca Veras both overcame strong competition to pick up gold medals at the International Belgium Open Kumite Championships in Leuven.

Yesterday, 16:02
Chris Rainsford (left) in action on the road for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers were crowned national champions on Sunday as the prestigious UK 10k road race championships were held as part of the 30th anniversary of the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash.

Yesterday, 15:58
Great Britain's James Ward (far right) with Great Britain captain Leon Smith, Jamie Murray and Andy Murray

Great Britain stand on the verge of history in the Davis Cup as they prepare for this weekend’s final, bidding to win the crown for the first time in 79 years.

Yesterday, 11:30
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil (left) celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game against Dinamo Zagreb. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Uche Amako says the club’s record signing is making the most of his peak years.

Most read sport


MAC Makeup

Achieve the look you want, effortlessly with MAC, find your perfect match foundations, concealers and powders, and create your individual look with gorgeous lipsticks, eye shadows, nail lacquers and liners in every shade you can imagine just by entering here.


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder