Belfast Telegraph

Walcott hungry to take his chance

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott knows he has the world at his feet this season - and does not intend to waste the opportunity.

The 21-year-old was a controversial omission from Fabio Capello's ill-fated World Cup squad, only to be welcomed back into the England fold following the dismal display in South Africa. Walcott produced a stunning individual display with a hat-trick as Barclays Premier League newboys Blackpool were ripped apart 6-0 at Emirates Stadium.

"This is the season where I have to push on, so hopefully I will get more opportunities to play," Walcott told BBC Sport.

"I am 21 and should be playing games every week now. I have had a lot of criticism, but I can take that.

"It has been very good criticism at times, because it has been an extra boost for me."

Walcott continued: "Last season I was unlucky with the injuries, but I had a good break during the summer, and just want to show people what I can do, prove a few people wrong, to play well for Arsenal and England.

"That is all I can do, I will keep my feet on the ground as I always do and look forward to every single game."

Wenger sees Walcott eventually developing into a central striker's role.

"What was pleasing with Theo was that he made right decision in final third and was calm in front of goal," said the Arsenal boss.

"He could finish, but also give final balls. That shows he improves."

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