Walcott relishing competition for place

Theo Walcott believes the fierce competition for places on the flanks in the England squad is bringing the best out of him in the battle for a World Cup spot.

Walcott feels England head coach Fabio Capello is facing a selection headache in terms of whom to select from himself, Aaron Lennon, Adam Johnson and Shaun Wright-Phillips for his final 23.

The Arsenal player started Monday's clash with Mexico at Wembley with Lennon and Johnson entering the action as second-half substitutes.

And Walcott showed a willingness to track back as well as making some of his trademark runs and crosses.

He said: "The boss wants me to stay out wide, to be an outlet with Stevie G (Gerrard) coming inside.

"But I also did a lot of tracking back. It is not always about getting forward and, when I could, I did (get back).

"People saw a different side of me, going forward and back.

"But it's not just about me. There's Aaron and Adam as well. It is great competition to have.

"It is a great thing having competition, especially in my position, because it gets the best out of you. Aaron, Shaun and Adam are among the best players in England.

"It is a headache for the manager, but a nice headache, because there are fantastic options.

"It was a nice little boost getting the chance to start in the number seven shirt, especially at Wembley with the tremendous support. It shows I had been training quite well."

Walcott reckons there are many players who possess the kind of pace he is able to demonstrate.

He said: "There are so many quick players out there. You saw Aaron show what he can do when he came on in the last few minutes against Mexico.

"A lot of players use their pace at different times in the game and it is not always about knocking the ball past someone and running. It is easier said than done."

Walcott does not feel being in the first XI against Mexico means he is certain to start in the World Cup.

He said: "It was just a friendly game even though we treated it as a competitive game.

"It was just a chance to go out there and express yourself but it didn't reflect anything about the World Cup.

"The most important thing for me is to train well and, if I train well, get the chance to play.

"I just enjoy playing football. I just want to go out there and show what I can do.

"There have been ups and downs in my career and you are going to face that.

"You can't play well for the whole 90 minutes and the whole season. It is just one of those things. Things go your way sometimes and sometimes they don't."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
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

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments