Arsenal star Walcott has birthday destroyed by England snub

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has been a surprise omission from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming matches with Germany and Lithuania, and the manager has revealed that the news was not taken well.

The Gunners winger has been in top form this season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions thus far, and was expected to keep his place in the international set-up coming into these matches.

Gareth Southgate opted not to include him however, and called him to tell him his decision, but Walcott, who was celebrating his birthday at the time of the call, was angered by this.

The newly appointed England coach confirmed the disagreement, and maintains that his player had some valid points, but his decision was final.

Southgate said; ‘I’ve got to say he wasn’t chuffed to bits to get the call, and I understand that. Did he argue his case? Yes. Quite rightly, he said: “I’m one of the leading goalscorers in the league.”

‘I don’t mind being challenged on that. I totally respect that. I don’t expect him to be happy but I’ve got to make decisions and I think it was the right thing to call him to talk that through – even if the timing wasn’t great.’

On that note, the option to not call him up to the squad is even more surprising considering both Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane are forced absences through injury, but Gareth went onto explain what influenced his decision.

‘I don’t think he transferred his early-season form into the matches we had in October and November with England.

‘He’s a player I still like. I’ve said to him that I’m not ruling him out but, in terms of just having him as a squad player, I think it’s a better opportunity for me to look at one or two others. With our wide players – the way we’re playing at the moment we like to get the players between the lines slightly differently. Theo is more a player who runs in behind defences.’

The only Gunner to make the squad was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Jack Wilshere also overlooked in favour of some new players into the fold.

Was Theo right to argue his case? Did Gareth’s reasoning seem fair? Pat J

Tags Arsenal England Theo Walcott


  1. pubgooner says:

    OT: I wish Monaco can go all the way and lift the championship trophy. On the way they thrash Bayern and Barca. The team play so attractive football. Good passing with lots of skills and they have excellent strong players. They play and look like a team from Africa !!

  2. gotanidea says:

    “With our wide players – the way we’re playing at the moment we like to get the players between the lines slightly differently. Theo is more a player who runs in behind defences.”

    Southgate’s comment describes Walcott politely and correctly. If I were Walcott, I would have practiced harder to achieve what the other top players have done. Walcott is very good physically, but his other skills are still not in the same level as Sanchez, Draxler, Reus, Moses, Valencia, Hazard, Pedro, etc. For a player that has been staying in Arsenal for more than a decade and get more than fifty thousands per week, I think he should have done more.

    I hope the national team’s exclusion would be a motivation for him to increase his level. If he does not acquire more skills in the future, I think he will lose Arsenal’s internal competition to Welbeck, Chamberlain and Iwobi.

  3. Okayblack says:

    Many Arsenal players are just overrated and average. It serves him right!!!!

  4. Robin Vanpayslip says:

    Translates as: He us fast but we are looking for more than that

  5. davidnz says:

    Theo is unlucky but he is
    in the mix just needs to
    keep performing and he
    stays in contention.

  6. mark says:

    Walcott is a very on and off player. Erratic, but on his day very good.

    I suspect that is why he is being left out, and rightly so.

    Another one with ego bigger than his ability.

  7. Vlad says:

    I like Theo. In fact, he’s the only one of our current “English core” that I still have a soft spot for. The rest are pretty much useless, IMHO, and should be sold, including Ox. Theo has a solid point, he’s one of the top scorers, and has been in pretty good form this season. However, and this has been an ongoing problem for him, he’s been very inconsistent at times. He can go on a hot streak, and score 4 goals in 5 games, but then disappear for a month or more. I think that’s what Southgate’s concern with him is, and he’s in complete right/control to exclude Theo from a squad, and give a chance to someone else. My advice to Theo is to not dwell on it, continue to work hard, and his time will come.

Comments are closed