With the club football taking a break this weekend, the whole concentration is on the Arsenal stars doing their national duty. Theo Walcott enjoyed a productive outing for England against San Marino. After a noteworthy game, the Gunners star was gushing on the prospects of the ‘Three Lions’.
Walcott was introduced as a second half substitute against the minnows by Roy Hodgson. That didn’t stop the mercurial forward to score twice and make his mark. The win helped England become the first nation to qualify for the next year’s Euro finals.
With the qualification settled, Walcott sees no reason why England cannot challenge for the European Championship crown. The Three Lions were miserable at last year’s World Cup in Brazil but have responded positively in the Euro qualification.
Although the critics will pounce on the fact that this is one of the easiest groups in the qualification, England caught the eye at times during the whole campaign. Walcott is of the firm belief that next summer could be the time to erase years of hurt and pain.
‘It’ll definitely be a big achievement if we can go far.” Walcott said. “I am sure that we can. The manager has got that in our system that he believes in us. The belief is there, the confidence is there, so why not?’
On a personal note, this is a much improved performance from the Gunners’ star. He was long touted to shine on international stage but hasn’t grabbed his opportunities really well. After this performance, Walcott hopes that Hodgson will start him in the coming matches.
Interestingly, he can give competition to Wayne Rooney too to play as a central striker. With the Manchester United striker struggling for goals, Hodgson may be pushed to look around for goal scoring options.
In the wake of injury setback to Welbeck and the surprise decision of not signing a striker, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to push Walcott into a central role. He sees his ability to stretch defence as a vital component of being a striker.
The more Walcott plays for Arsenal, especially in his favourite centre-forward role, the better it would be for him to start challenging for a starting role with England. Now that he has set his sights on next year Euros, Walcott can get doors opened with stable performances for Arsenal.
But first of all, he needs to start scoring regularly for the Gunners….