Walcott keen to make up for lost time with England

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott is hoping that his match-winning performance against Sweden can help ignite his England career.

With the Three Lions trailing 2-1, Walcott was introduced the game with 30 minutes left to play before equalising and then setting up the winner to put his country in a commanding group-stage position.

Walcott’s first involvement with England came when he was selected for Sven Goran-Eriksson’s 2006 World Cup squad, having yet to appear for the Gunners at the time and became the Three Lions’ youngest ever player at 17 years and 17 days.

He didn’t play a second of the tournament and had to wait until the 1-1 draw with France at Euro 2012 to sample his first taste of international tournament action.

In between that, the Gunner’s speedster became the youngest player to score a hat-trick for England in the 4-0 win over Croatia in Zagreb in a World Cup qualifier in 2008.

However, the 23-year-old is hoping that he has shown England boss Roy Hodgson what he has to offer, and can play an integral part in long-term for the national side.

“To make my first tournament performance in a high-profile match means so much to me,” said Walcott.

 “It’s been a long time coming and hopefully there will be more to come from me. It certainly whets your appetite. 

“It seems only the other day, rather than six years ago, that I was picked to go to the World Cup as a 17-year-old. 

“Now to finally play in a major finals is a special moment and one to saviour and remember, not only for me but for my family watching back home. I hope I can build on it.”

Walcott has highlight his good season with Arsenal as the reason for his success at the European Championships, stating that it was important that he had a run in the team.

“It was important that I had no injuries last season which was one of the best I had for Arsenal considering the amount of games I had. 

“I had a little hamstring injury at the start of this tournament but that is fine.’

Walcott will be hoping that he is again involved when England face Ukraine on Tuesday in their final Group D match where a point will be good enough to secure a place in the last eight.

Matt Cotton



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