Wenger defends under-fire Walcott
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has no doubts Theo Walcott will come good for England.
The Gunners forward, who turns 21 next month, has seen his progress this season hampered by injury.
However, after a return to the Arsenal team, Walcott was called up to the England squad for the friendly against Egypt, and started at Wembley on Wednesday night before being replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips after an ineffectual display.
Walcott - who smashed a famous hat-trick in the qualifier against Croatia at the start of last season - admits he cannot rely on past glories to make sure of his place in Fabio Capello's final 23-man party for South Africa.
Wenger, though, feels the former Southampton man - a shock inclusion in the last World Cup squad four years ago - is on the right track, despite being an easy target for critics.
"I believe for a while maybe people expected too much of Theo and now they are too hard with him," said the Arsenal manager.
"I believe Theo will be a great football player, he is very young, he will be 21 this year, he will have a great future.
"I believe in him because he has a fantastic attitude, he's an intelligent boy and he is highly motivated. These players always improve."
Former England winger Chris Waddle questioned Walcott's England credentials, claiming the youngster "doesn't understand the game".
Wenger, however, defender his player.
"Don't worry for him," the Arsenal boss said.
"I believe Theo has not only a football brain, but he has a brain - that means he will continue to develop at a very quick pace."
Latest in Sport
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
Gareth Bale to Chelsea: Real Madrid to be 'tempted by £75m offer' this summer
Manchester United transfer news: Chris Smalling and Phil Jones face uncertain future with contract renewal talks on hold
Malaysia Grand Prix 2015 LIVE: Sebastian Vettel wins in just his second race with Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton second and Nico Rosberg third
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew