Everton forward Theo Walcott has come under intense scrutiny from Evertonians and from pundits, but he has the unflinching support of his manager as he appears to start yet another game in a run of horrible form.
Walcott, signed from Arsenal in January 2018 by Sam Allardyce, initially brought pace and a bit of tenacity to the front line at Everton. Not that that was a tough task, given Ronald Koeman’s signings the previous summer would have been overtaken by a dead snail in a race to the byline.
Since the initial good showings, though, he form has fallen off and his place in the starting line up each week has become a growing cause for unrest among Everton fans.
After the defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford last year, Walcott’s failure to track back was highlighted, and has been exploited ever since by teams capable of doing so.
But manager Marco Silva is set to keep the faith and play him at Newcastle tomorrow afternoon, while Ademola Lookman watches on, no doubt dreaming of sipping on the riches of Red Bull.
“Of course [the last two games] have not been his best performances. Even he has this feeling,” Silva told the Echo.
“But ok, you are a team. In some moments perhaps Bernard performs well and maybe Theo doesn’t perform. But it’s not just him, against Cardiff Richarlison wasn’t the same.
“Theo has had good moments, but in the last few games it’s not been so good. It’s part of the season. We have four wingers and I am here to take the decisions on who is the best to play in each match.
“What I know and I am 100% sure about is that Theo works hard to do his best for the team in each match and will work tomorrow again to do his best.”