Theo Should Turn His Back on Pearce
Stuart Pearce fought tooth and nail to get Theo Walcott to the European under-21 Championships. This was in the face of fierce opposition from Arsene Wenger who feared player burn-out. Theo wanted to go to the tournament as Pearce made clear he was a pivotal part of his plans.
Game 1, Theo started against Finland, but after a lacklustre performance from the team and when one of Pearce’s “loved ones”; Mancienne get himself sent-off it was Theo who was replaced at half-time. So much for Theo being pivotal to the team and so much for giving Theo “much needed tournament experience.”
In the run up to game two against one of the tournament favourites Spain, the word from the England camp was that Walcott was going to be dropped. This was a total disgrace. Theo is an integral part of the full England squad set up, one of the first names on the team-sheet, yet we had Stuart Pearce a failed league manager treating the boy like a failure. It was Pearce who wanted and begged Walcott to go to the tournament and now he was treating him in this shabby way.
Theo was dropped and England struggled in the first half with Agbonlahor injured after 39 minutes, Pearce turns to Campbell and leaves Theo kicking his heels on the bench. This was further insult to Walcott to be overlooked for a player who never made it onto the Tottenham bench never mind play any games for them last season. It was only when Walcott was introduced with fewer than 30 minutes left that England started to threaten and eventually won the game.
The way Pearce has treated Theo in a terrible way yet Theo has acted as a gentleman and not uttered a word of malcontent. Theo would have been justified to have walked out of the England camp and said his priority is to be fresh for Arsenal and England; instead he has remained loyal to a manager who deserves no loyalty. Once the tournament is over, Theo should make it clear to Pearce that under no circumstances will he play for the under-21s again.