Theo Walcott backs Jack Wilshere to be England success
Theo Walcott is backing Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere to handle the sort of pressure that was previously thrust onto him of being regarded as one of England's big hopes for the future.
Walcott found himself in the spotlight after being chosen for the 2006 World Cup as a 17-year-old before playing a single Premier League game.
Now Wilshere is being built up as England's latest salvation and he made his full debut in the opening 45 minutes of last night's friendly international in Denmark.
Walcott said: "Jack did his job right. He just wanted to sit in front of the back four, spray the ball about and break the play when he could.
"You can't judge someone over one game, you have got to give them a run of games. Jack will be happy with his performance, I think.
"We have got a great young prospect coming through. We don't want to 'big' him up but he's a great player.
"I am sure he has got a great future ahead of him. I am pretty sure the pressure won't get to him.
"I just want to go out there and express myself every day when I train, when I'm with my team-mates and do it with a smile on my face - that's what Jack is doing.
"I think the best thing is to let Jack play. He will do his talking on the pitch."
Walcott is happy to see players younger than himself be given the chance with England.
He said: "It is great to see young players coming through now and getting the chance to play for the senior team.
"If you are playing well you get the chance, like the manager is showing that, with Jack and myself."
Walcott also believes Denmark's 18-year-old play-maker Christian Eriksen would be a great addition at Arsenal if Arsene Wenger ever decided he wanted to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.
He said: "Eriksen has good touch on the ball. You can see technically he is gifted, very comfortable and doesn't really lose the ball that often.
"It's a question to ask the boss (Wenger) but he would be a great addition."
Walcott is determined to make a big impact after encountering injury problems during the first half of the campaign and believes he has improved as a player.
He said: "I just want to make up time, I've had a lot of injuries, six weeks of them this season.
"I wanted to come back flying and I've managed to do that.
"I've just put my head down in training, been practising shooting, crossing and my general play is getting better.
"I think in the past I was going out there thinking I was going to get injured. Now I'm going out there to express myself, playing with a smile on my face.
"I feel my quality has gone up and I believe in myself a bit more and that is going to make me a better player.
"As a footballer, you always want to improve as a player so there is still a lot to come, but I am very happy with my season so far and hopefully it will just continue and continue."
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