It’s not Theo Walcott’s fault he was the ‘next big thing’ of English football.
I’s not his fault Sven-Goran Eriksson took him to the 2006 World Cup as a 16-year-old with just 13 Championship games to his name.
And as far as we can see, he’s blameless for the fact he hasn’t lived up to the hype.
Walcott’s attitude is professional, he hasn’t surrendered to the excesses of a celebrity lifestyle, so often the reason for squandered talent.
Nobody from Arsenal has ever questioned his desire, work rate, or commitment to the cause.
It’s simply a fact that he is not quite the player many hoped he would become.
Arsenal can’t be accused of failing to give him ample chances to prove himself either.
Now in his 13th season with the Gunners, no player has come to personify the era in which Arsene Wenger’s side have failed to mount a serious title challenge.
There’s something there, but it’s not enough.
Many are eager to blame either the club or Walcott himself for him failing to live up to expectation.
But sometimes a player reaches a ceiling and that’s it, neither party are to blame.
If anything, it’s those who identified potential that wasn’t there who have been proven wrong.
Wenger’s generous patience is at an end — he is finally ready to admit that Walcott is not consistently good enough for Arsenal.
Aimless and lost, a move to Everton represents an escape route, a new chapter.
But what will be the theme, salvation or destruction?
There’s a chance that a smaller pond will suit him.
His pace has always made him a threat and perhaps a new set of fans will be more forgiving of his lack of composure in the final third?
Arsenal fans have almost come to resent Walcott’s spells of good form, they know too well how fleeting peak Theo is, how readily he leaves the party early.
But the Goodison faithful may appreciate the months he exorcises wastefulness, at least for a while.
It could go the other way of course.
Sam Allardyce recently said that Everton need to become ‘more boring’, a fearsome prospect for the season ticket holders.
The Toffees’ still don’t seem to have a trusted approach and it’s difficult to see what Walcott will offer that’s not already provided by Yannick Bolasie and Aaron Lennon.
Cenk Tosun has been signed to lead the line, which means Walcott’s preferred role as centre-forward is occupied.
Surely he wouldn’t agree to a move away from Arsenal only to sit on the bench in Merseyside as well?
With a proposed transfer fee of £20million, it’s difficult to know which club is getting the best of the deal.
The fact that many Arsenal fans are delighted at recouping his original transfer fee plus £4m from a club prepared to spend £45m on Gylfi Sigurdsson should worry Everton.
A likeable lad, few would begrudge him a rebirth at Goodison, a couple of injury-free seasons so he can just enjoy playing again.
But at this stage, few would bet on which route Walcott will take at this crossroads.