Fabio has faith in ‘refreshed’ Theo

Walcott claims his hot start to the season has been helped by
having the summer off, but refused to be drawn on whether he might
have helped England had he been included in the World Cup squad.
Walcott was controversially left at home for a campaign in South
Africa during which England struggled before an early exit, but the
break seems to have done him no harm as he has started the season
in excellent form for Arsenal. “I had a nice break through the
summer and everything has gone well, so I just have to keep my feet
on the ground,” Walcott said. “It’s one of those things,” he added
of his World Cup exclusion. “I didn’t point the finger at anyone, I
didn’t blame anyone, it’s disappointing, but I’m not going to blame
myself, I just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again by working
hard on the training pitch. “I didn’t want to think too much about
it, and had a good mental break over the summer, because you want
to spend time with your family when you can. “But it’s going well
now and that’s all I can do.” Walcott is now hoping to start in
England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria on Friday night.
England waltzed through their World Cup qualifiers before the
disappointing performance in South Africa, but Walcott is not
expecting things to be easy qualifying for Euro 2012, despite the
good showing in the 2-1 friendly win over Hungary earlier in the
month. “No game is easy at the international level,” he said. “We
had a good result against Hungary and we managed to play well for
the whole game. “Sometimes the goals don’t go in because people
come to Wembley, a fantastic fortress, and they put people behind
the ball so it can be very difficult to break them down. “I think
they’ll be very organised on Friday but if we do the right things
we can get a result.” Three Lions coach Capello has come under
heavy fire since the World Cup, but Walcott said that was not
something that was concerning the players. “You would have to ask
him about that,” he said. “As players we want to go out there and
prove people wrong, and show we can do it on the pitch. “Our last
qualification went very well, we won every single game pretty much.
“We always know (what he wants), the message gets across to the
players and we know what to do on the pitch. It’s good to know that
the manager’s got the faith in us, and he’s got faith in me to try
to do it for him.” Walcott has been in and out of the England side
ever since his sensational call up to the World Cup squad in 2006
at the age of 17. However, he did not make his first competitive
appearance for England for another two years. His path may not have
been a straightforward one, but he believes he has come a long way
in the past four years. “At 19 to be playing for England is a great
achievement, and since me going to the World Cup in 2006 a lot of
stuff has happened,” he said. “I was 17 then, I’m only 21 now but
it seems like I’ve been around for a long time. There’s been a lot
of ups and downs but I feel like I am definitely a better player.”