We are now just a month ago from the European Championships in France. It has reached the time when players are trying to impress their managers and take the last couple of places in the squad. However for some it’s the time when their dreams die, and that may have to be the case for Theo Walcott, who has failed to impress in recent weeks.
It seems for the first time in a number of years, England have a wealth of options available to them in attacking areas. The likes of Dele Alli and Ross Barkley seem to be reaching the stage at which they are ready to take on the world’s best on the international stage. This pool of talent means that some players will be forced to miss out however.
Theo Walcott has been a part of the England set up ever since he was Sven Goran Eriksson’s surprise pick for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, even though he never played at the tournament. Since then he has made 43 appearances, scoring eight goals.
He was left out of the 2010 World Cup by then-boss Fabio Capello, and missed out four years later through injury. Despite his significant international experience, the 27-year-old has appeared just four times at major tournaments, every one of which as a substitute during Euro 2012.
Walcott has had yet another tough season at Arsenal, with injuries and lack of form meaning he has started just 15 Premier League games this season. He is now in his tenth full season with the Gunners, yet has still to nail down a place in the starting XI, or even a natural position to suit his talents.
It seems unlikely that Walcott could make it into England’s squad as a striker seeing Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy are the league’s two top scorers, and Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge are two of Roy Hodgson’s automatic selections. The Arsenal man’s record of 55 goals in 231 Premier League games does stand out as something a top class striker could produce.
As a right winger, Walcott still lacks the end product, despite having spent so many years playing in the position. He possesses the pace to beat his man, but once in the right areas, he rarely produces the pass or shot that is needed.
At Euro 2016, England may only be able to create a couple of good chances in a match, and Walcott is not the right man to take the chances when they are presented. Given that there are a number of other players good enough to take these opportunities; England can be a better team without Walcott in the squad.