Arsenal youngsters ready for England says Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott believes the experience already gained by Arsenal team-mates Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs mean they have an advantage over him in coming to terms with an England call-up.

Walcott had not played a single Premier League game when he was the shock inclusion in Sven Goran Eriksson's squad for the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

But Wilshere and Gibbs already have made their mark with the Gunners ahead of tomorrow evening's friendly international with France at Wembley.

Walcott told TheFA.com: "For me it was completely out of the blue going to the World Cup in 2006 especially as I'd not played in the Premier League.

"Gibbsy and Jack have been doing fantastically well for Arsenal when they get the opportunity to play and that is going to continue for years to come, I believe.

"I've always believed that if you're good enough you're old enough to play even in the Premier League.

I'm looking forward to playing with both of them for a long time. It would be good to see three English lads playing for Arsenal week-in, week-out.

"I think it would be great for the fans to watch as well. Hopefully we can bring back those memories of the successful Arsenal days of the past."

Walcott admits he takes great pleasure in seeing players like Wilshere and Gibbs earning their chance with England.

He said: "I suppose I am and old man in comparison!

"But it's lovely to see players at such a young age doing so well now at club level and getting the opportunity to play for the national team.

"It is a great achievement for them all and also showing the youth development side of things is working in the Premier League especially.

"Hopefully you will see a lot of people making their debuts against France."

Gibbs has paid tribute to the influence on his career of Arsene Wenger.

He said: "Arsene Wenger has given me everything. He is the reason I've been picked for England in the first place.

"He gave me my chance to play for the club. He gives a lot of young players the chance as well.

"That's a big part of what he does. He gives me a lot of confidence when he talks to me.

"That brings the best out of you and he does it every day with all the players at the club."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project