"We've got Tim who works here, and he asked one of the lads if I'd be all right to sign something. So Dave, the physio, said to me, 'You should go to Tim and when he asks you, just say: 'No, sod off, I'm not going to sign anything,' because they always think you're a nice lad.' So I did it. Tim was like, 'What?!' It was brilliant to see his face. I signed it in the end... I felt bad."
- Theo Walcott, such a nice boy
I love Theo Walcott. I know I keep saying it, but I really do. The story above perfectly illustrates why I love him. He's such a nice boy. In an environment where even sensible, decent lads like Cesc Fabregas can descend into snarling, (allegedly) spitting, puffy-parka wearing hooliganism, it's such a joy to see Theo thrive without having to sacrifice his decency.
The article's a puff piece, and it rehashes a number of old quotes from various articles over the years. There's a bit about Theo preaching moderation and professionalism. There's another about him forgiving Gerrard's "he shouldn't have been at the World Cup" statement. There's a few bobs and ends about Theo being tough-as-nuts and able to withstand everything the English clod-hoffers throw at him.
It's not much of an article, but it's about Theo Walcott so it's still worthwhile. It's the kind of article that makes you think that working as a sport journalist at one of London's flagship newspapers can't be that hard. Makes you even think if it's worthwhile throwing in your old job and trying out for a cadetship at the local paper - because maybe one day, that could be you writing puff pieces about your favourite player.
You gotta have your dreams, I suppose.
Anyway, I started this post wanting to write about David Villa. I got distracted, because stories about Theo Walcott are usually the sporting equilavent of the "Cutest Puppy" competition at the dog show - they're so full of niceness that you can't help but stop by and go "aw...". Stories about Theo are such a joy to read.
But this other article goes the other way. I don't love David Villa, but I wish he was in our team. I'd happily sell Adebayor and van Persie to get him, such is my admiration for the guy. He's lethal. He's a killer. And he's available for the low, low price of.... £45 million. Yep, come July, that's the price at which Chelsea will start bidding.
I felt a bit sick reading that. It's like when you want to buy a house at auction, and the house is everything you want and the price is just within your budget. You can just about imagine yourself moving in. But when the first bids fly in, you're blown out of the water by a jet-setting Russian billionaire and a couple of sneaky Spaniards. And then, you realise with a chilling certainty exactly how far you are from where you need to be.
But it doesn't matter that much. We're the Arsenal, and we'll do alright. We've got Theo Walcott, after all. And he's such a nice boy...