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

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders