Walcott omitted from World Cup squad
Tuesday 01 June 2010
Four years after earning a sensational selection for the 2006 World Cup, Theo Walcott has been left out of Fabio Capello's England squad for this year's tournament in South Africa.
Walcott has endured an injury-troubled time since scoring his memorable hat-trick against Croatia to launch England's qualifying campaign in September 2008.
Shoulder, back, knee and hamstring problems restricted Walcott to just 15 starting appearances for Arsenal this term.
But after being parachuted back into the England fold for the March friendly against Egypt and then keeping his place for the recent wins over Mexico and Japan, it appeared Walcott had put fears about his form to bed.
Yet Capello has today delivered his own verdict on the 21-year-old, leaving him out of a 23-man party that includes Shaun Wright-Phillips instead.
Walcott said: "I am very disappointed not to be included in the squad going out to South Africa, but completely respect Mr Capello's decision. I would like to wish the team the best of luck and hope they have a really successful tournament."
Tom Huddlestone, Adam Johnson, Darren Bent, Michael Dawson and Scott Parker were not expected to be involved and can now start booking their summer holidays after Capello confirmed they would not be part of his squad.
Aside from Walcott, the one unexpected decision involved Stephen Warnock's selection ahead of Leighton Baines, whose discomfort at committing himself to being away from home for six weeks eventually counted against him, even though he featured against Egypt and Mexico while the Aston Villa man did not.
With scans on Gareth Barry's ankle injury confirming that he was on track to recover in time to play a full part in training immediately after the Group C opener against the United States on June 12, Capello was able to formulate the rest of his squad largely as predicted.
England's 23-man squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa:
Goalkeepers: Robert Green (West Ham United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth).
Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)
Forwards: Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao: 'Changes are not easy, but there are times when you have to'
Female BBC presenter receives offensive and sexist letter after she criticised level of women's sport given TV coverage and sponsorship
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
The 12 worst haircuts of the 2014/15 Premier League season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger sets deadline for Theo Walcott contract talks with Liverpool keeping a close eye on his future
- 1 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
- 2 Irish people are travelling home from all over the world so they can vote to legalise gay marriage
- 3 Picture of couple posing with beached dolphin 'that later died' causes outrage
- 4 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
- 5 Witch doctor arrested after forcing newborn baby to walk in Indian village