Interim manager Gareth Southgate has announced that Arsenal forward Theo Walcott will start against Malta in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Malta.
Arsenal forward Walcott, left out of England’s Euro 2016 squad despite playing in the qualifiers, has been rewarded for an impressive start to the season for Arsenal.
He was a substitute in England’s first 2018 World Cup qualifier over Slovakia and now wants to emulate his club form onto the International stage.
Arsenal winger Walcott, who at the age of 17 made his England debut against Hungary over a decade ago, echoed Southgate’s call for the Three Lions to express themselves against Malta. In an interview, he said:
I don’t want this time to stop,
I have been working hard and I want to be better than the opposition.
It is stuff people won’t see, but deep down you know you are ready for the match having trained well during the week.
You do the things that get you to play for England in the first place. You want the right attributes to come out so you can express yourself in games and if we can do that, it’ll bode well for the future.
Walcott is in fine form, having scored four times in his last four games for Arsenal, and is eager to keep that going in an England shirt. He added:
I’m not going to dwell on what I’ve done in the past. It’s all about the next game. I’ve set myself standards this year which I don’t want to drop and I won’t drop them cos that’s just the frame of mind I’m in.
After scoring twice against Basel in the Champions League, Walcott is eager to keep that form going in an England shirt.
Malta is ranked 176th in FIFA football ranking and if Theo starts, we could see him grabbing another brace or a hat-trick against a very unprogressive team.