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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Walcott's shock World Cup blow

It is highly doubtful Theo Walcott had bothered making any summer holiday plans prior to the announcement of England's World Cup squad on Tuesday.

The Arsenal man was seen by many World Cup betting pundits as a likely starter in South Africa and as such almost everyone assumed Fabio Capello would select him as one of the 23 players who would form the squad.

However, Walcott was left out and it could be argued that his exclusion this time around is as shocking as Sven Goran Erikson's decision to take him to Germany four years ago.

This isn't the case though, and in not picking the player Capello has served to highlight what is lacking in the winger's game.

It's true that Walcott had an excellent game against Croatia, scoring a hat-trick for his country and boosting their qualification hopes in the process. He also enjoyed a number of good games for his club side, most notably his game changing cameo against Barcelona in the Champions League.

But Walcott has lacked consistency and confidence. Although he's regularly criticised for having no end product, this simply isn't the case. He can shoot and cross, it's just he's often unable to make up his mind. Too often his runs would end up with him losing possession because he'd held on to the ball for too long and it seems Capello finally lost patience.

Of course, the Arsenal player still has time on his side, he's only 21 after all and he's made all the right noises about what would have been a crushing blow.
Walcott said: "I am very disappointed not to be included in the squad going out to South Africa, but completely respect Mr Capello's decision.

"I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament."

If Walcott's good attitude can be reflected in his performances, then he could still have a key role to play in future England sides. The World Cup Odds certainly back him to be involved in the next two World Cup tournaments.

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