Written by Lyer O' Spoofer
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Thursday, 12 June 2008

image for Theo Walcott: The Fast and The Frightened
Ball phobia not unusual, look at Cinderella

Arsenal forward, Theo Walcott, is one of the world's fastest players, as well as petrified of balls, revealed manager, Arsene Wenger, during a press conference given after The Gunners' latest match against Fulham.

Walcott, probably the fastest footballer in the world has consistently taken to his heels whenever the ball moves towards him.

A visibly annoyed Wenger said: "Everyday I tell him Pourquoi Theo, Pourquoi, you need to wait for the ball before you run towards the goal post, you are competing for and not against it."

Some football pundits have always maintained that Walcott shows some sort of ball phobia on the field, making a high spirited dash to stay ahead of the round object whenever it's headed in his direction.

Arsenal's chance to equalise against Fulham was squandered when the young forward once again like a fugitive, fled towards the goal post without waiting for Emmanuel Adebayor's pass to reach him. Too many of such incidents have seen Walcott transform from every defender's curse to every goal keeper's dream.

Fulham goalkeeper, Antti Niemi, casually strolled forward to pick up a pass meant for the striker who for some reason had made a very energetic sprint towards the dressing room. Niemi said: "Well, I think the man is still very young and needs some more experience, but I have to admit I am always too happy to play against Theo."

The need to compete with or avoid the ball like a plague has been described by some physicians as a passing phase in most teenage footballers' lives. Andrew Farhum, a medic with Gustavo Lions basketball team, said: "You can tell from the bucket loads of sweat that he sheds every match that he is suffering from rounded object fright. It will pass away with time."

The most amount of water Walcott has ever lost during a match was the two gallons of sweat he shed during Arsenal's game against Chelsea last season.

During the Chelsea game, Walcott was seen to vamoose each time the ball was within range. A long pass from goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, saw the Gunners number 32 take flight like a man possessed, successfully reaching both goal posts twice before the ball came to rest at Chelsea defender, John Terry's feet.

Sky commentator, Andy Gray is recalled to have said: "It's amazing, in all my 35 years of doing this, I have never seen a man run from the ball like he would run for his life."

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