Theo Walcott eager to replicate Arsenal form for England

Striker has 18 goals for his club this season

Theo Walcott wants to reproduce the impressive form he has shown for Arsenal this season with England and move his international career to “where it should be”.

Walcott has been the outstanding performer in an indifferent season for the Gunners and is their leading scorer with 18.

Now the 23-year-old wants to make the same impression for his country and become a regular member of the side under Roy Hodgson, starting with Wednesday's international friendly with Brazil at Wembley.

The withdrawals of Jermain Defoe and Daniel Sturridge through injury could even present an opportunity in the central striking role Walcott craves for at Arsenal.

He said: "I have been happy with the last couple of seasons but this one has stood out.

"At the start of the season, I wasn't playing at all but I felt I reacted in the right way.

"Hopefully I have proved something to the manager (Arsene Wenger) and he can believe in me like I believe in him.

"Now the next step is to get my England career where it should be. We have a young squad that is eager to do well. You want to be playing from the start."

However is he doesn't make the starting XI, Walcott insists he won't be too downbeat.

"If you get a chance coming off the bench, it is the way you make your mark. I want to give the manager a headache," he added.

"I have had limited opportunities and every time I have come away with England I have managed to get injured, which has set me back slightly.

"But I am only 23. I have four goals and 30 caps. Not many people get 30 caps at my age.

"I am very pleased with the way things are going. It is a slow process but, if I can get my club form going with England, I will be on top of my game.

"I will play anywhere for England. Things are going quite well for Arsenal on the right but Daniel and Jermain are both out so there is an opportunity (with England).

"That is the manager's choice. I trained up front today with Wayne so you never know.

"I will play anywhere for England and Arsenal but I do believe I'm a striker and I'm sure in the next few years I'll be playing a bit more regularly."

Walcott was a youngster at Arsenal when Ashley Cole was part of the dressing room and is quick to recognise how he can learn off him as well as the likes of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Cole is poised to win his 100th cap against the Brazilians, 11 years after making his debut.

Walcott said: "It is a fantastic achievement. There are only a few top-class players in that category (who reach 100 caps) and I am sure there will be many more to come.

"He is a difficult player to play against. I learned a lot from him. I got the better of him in the last couple of meetings, which I wind him up about all the time.

"We get on very well. I am only going to learn from the likes of him, Steven and Frank.

"Ashley is massively important. He is so experienced and has won many things. A lot of players look up to him.

"He is a strong character. He can deal with anything. It is all about the game. Nothing fazes him. He is very concentrated."

Walcott has praised the "mental strength" of Gunners team-mate Jack Wilshere in returning to the England squad after his lengthy injury lay-off.

He said: "I think the way he's started after so long out for Arsenal is absolutely fantastic. You have to give him credit. He's worked so hard to get back fit.

"To come back into an England team at such a young age at a high standard shows how good he is. He is mentally strong as well.

"I play with him every week and see him in training too and he loves every minute of it, and he's only getting better.

"He's strong, he's very level-headed and he can look after himself so he will not look out of place at all."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks