Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were looking to emulate their 1-0 win against the Gunners in the FA Cup fourth round at St Mary’s on Saturday, but they were unable to produce the same level of performance last night. Arsenal had kept some of their players fresh for the league meeting and that ultimately proved to be the difference as the Saints fell to a second successive league defeat.
One player who endured a challenging night was Walcott, who was hoping that he could score against his former club as he did in the meeting at the Emirates Stadium last month. However, on this occasion, the 31-year-old’s finishing abilities and decision-making in the final third were consistently lacking, which prevented him taking advantage of getting into some dangerous positions.
Walcott has been an impressive performer since he made the return to St Mary’s last year, but this was a frustrating evening for him. He failed to record a successful dribble and was also guilty of giving away the ball on nine occasions (Sofascore).
Southampton needed more from him in the final third to get something from the game and he was the only one of their four attacking players not to record a key pass. Also, his meagre total of 13 successful passes was the second lowest of the Saints’ starting XI (Sofascore).
Saints fans lament Theo Walcott’s performance
Many Southampton fans were left annoyed by Walcott’s poor decision-making and his inability to make the most of the chances which fell his way. There were even a couple of suggestions that he might need to be rested by Hasenhuttl with Nathan Redmond back fit.
Hate to say it but Walcott has been dreadful tonight.
Nothing working for him, get Redmond or Watts on. #Saintsfc
— Josh Richards (@JoshR1988) January 26, 2021
Walcott has been awful tonight, his first touch, his decision making has been puke. Time for a change #saintsfc
— Adz (@saintadam1981) January 26, 2021
Walcott has been dreadful tonight. #SaintsFC
— Andrew (@andrewhal20) January 26, 2021
Feels like a run of games now where Walcott has lacked the quality to make the most of a good situation. Perpetually wasteful. Hate to say it but he’s just not as good as I wish he was. Give Redmond the position now he’s fit again. #saintsfc
— Ben Palmer (@BenPalmer78) January 26, 2021
walcott needs a rest #saintsfc
— charlie (@charliesaints98) January 26, 2021
For someone as experienced as Theo Walcott is at premier league level his decision making leaves a lot to be desired. #SaintsFC
— Sam Bishop (@BishhhhhyBoy) January 26, 2021
Walcott’s final ball in recent games has been frustratingly poor! #saintsfc
— Jamie Pragnell (@jamie_pragnell) January 26, 2021
Walcott having a shocker.
— Callum (@CaIlum999) January 26, 2021
Walcott has been awful today, Ings not much better. Not good enough with makeshift side. Big players have to do more #saintsfc
— Glen de la Cour (leagueoneminus10) (@L1minus10) January 26, 2021