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Alan Shearer feels Theo Walcott has failed to make significant progress over the last "six or seven years". The former England striker thinks it is still unclear as to which position best suits Walcott, despite him playing Premier League football for a decade.
Walcott produced another underwhelming performance for Arsenal during their 3-2 loss against an injury-plagued Manchester United side at Old Trafford yesterday (28 February). Shearer admitted he feels frustrated by Walcott's lack of progress over the last few years.
"What I think is unfortunate is we're still asking the same questions now as we were six or seven years ago about Theo Walcott," he said on Match of the Day. "Is he a centre forward? Is he a winger? He's not even a regular in that Arsenal team. And we're still asking the same questions."
Shearer admitted that his own career benefited from working under Kenny Dalglish at Blackburn Rovers, although he also said top-level players should be able to use their own instinct, too.
"One of the things that happened to me was as soon as I went to Blackburn it was fortunate that Kenny Dalglish was the manager," he said in relation to the Arsenal player. "He knew the position that I wanted to play in. He guided me to make runs, when not to make runs, into the penalty box.
"A lot of it is instinct when you're sniffing the ball out or where the ball is going to fall to you in the box. I'm not so sure you can teach that to people but he doesn't make enough of those good runs."
Shearer urged Walcott, who joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2006, to make more runs in behind the opposition defence, thereby using his electric pace to beat the offside trap. "His biggest asset is his pace so he shouldn't be going that way all the time towards the ball. He should be going the other way to ask questions of defenders," Shearer said of the Arsenal and England player.