Theo Walcott’s World Cup nightmare continues.
Theo Walcott’s World Cup nightmare continues. At the age of seventeen he was selected by Sven Goran Eriksson in his 2006 side before he had even kicked a ball for Arsenal only to spend England’s entire campaign on the bench. Then, in 2010, he was controversially cut from Fabio Capello’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa even though many believed he should have been picked.
Now, age 24, when everything seemed to be going right for the winger, his career is rocked with an anterior crucial ligament injury that may potentially sideline him for the whole of 2014. This means, Theo Walcott, a player who started his England career at the age of 16 will have to wait until he is 28 to ever experience the biggest stage in sport.
But the show must go on and Roy Hodgson now faces a selection headache. If the injury was to come at the start of the season you would be safe in thinking Hodgson had an easy decision to make. Replace Theo Walcott with Andros Townsend. But the Tottenham winger has injury troubles himself this season not to mention a very mixed run of form that has seen him score one and assist 0 in 13 games for Spurs.
So who are the other contenders for Walcott’s seat in Brazil?
The Jamaican born winger has been in fine form for Liverpool since Daniel Sturridge’s injury, scoring four goals and assisting four and has developed a blossoming relationship with star striker Luis Suarez. Liverpool manage Brendan Rodgers has rubbished reports linking Sterling with a loan move away from the club stating Sterling’s importance to his side. If his form continues, it would be no surprise to see him make at least the provisional 30-man squad.
Southampton’s top scorer with ten goals, Jay Rodriguez had a taste of international football with friendlies against Chile and Germany and impressed Hodgson. The Saints striker has been key to his side’s push for a European place and should they achieve that feat, Rodriguez would definitely be a name Hodgson will consider.
Rodriguez’s team-mate Lallana has been just as influential to their side and was given a glowing review by Roy Hodgson after his England debut in the games against Chile and Germany. The 26-year-old midfielder has four goals and five assists to his name this season and will be hoping to stay in Roy Hodgson’s plans come the end of the season
The 20-year-old has been the star of a struggling West Brom side with 8 goals this season including a stunning winner at Old Trafford against Manchester United. Probably the biggest risk of all the contenders but his talent cannot be questioned. Should Berahino continue his brilliant form, he would definitely give Roy Hodgson something to think about.
Who do you think Roy Hodgson should pick to fill Walcott’s boots at the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section below.