BBC Sport
BBC Home
Explore the BBC
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Walcott unfazed by World Cup call
Theo Walcott
Walcott thought he might be on standby, but not in the squad
Teenage striker Theo Walcott is confident he can cope with the pressure of playing at a World Cup after being named in England's squad on Monday.

Walcott, 17, has not played a competitive game since joining Arsenal from Southampton in January.

But the striker told BBC Sport: "At Southampton I was 15 going on 16 (when he played in the first team) and dealt with a lot of pressure.

"I'm a bit more mature now, so I think I'll find it easy (to cope) really."

He added: "I've improved by training with world-class players and have been doing really well lately.

"I feel fresh - I haven't played for a while. I just want to get a couple of games under my belt now.

I've only been playing football for about six, seven years now, and didn't think I would come this far
Theo Walcott

"When I moved here (to Arsenal) I was very nervous - my hero was here, Thierry Henry - but now I've settled in fine."

Walcott was an unused substitute when Arsenal won 1-0 away at Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg and says it was a valuable experience for him.

"I did go to the Bernebeu and was itching to get on and there were 80,000 there - you can't get bigger than that really," he said.

"I've also played in front of big crowds for Southampton's first team."

Walcott was the surprise name in Sven-Goran Eriksson's 23-man England squad.

And the striker says he was as shocked as anyone by his inclusion.

"I woke up this morning (Tuesday) still shocked. You should have seen me yesterday though, I was so surprised and shocked.

"I would have thought maybe I would be on the standby list, but not in the squad.

"I've only been playing football for about six, seven years now, and didn't think I would come this far.

"Watching the 2002 World Cup, I didn't think I'd be here now."

Interview: England striker Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott photos
09 May 06 |  Photo Galleries
Level-headed Walcott 'will cope'
09 May 06 |  Berkshire
Eriksson yet to see Walcott play
08 May 06 |  England
Wonder of Walcott
20 Jan 06 |  Arsenal
Grip tips trio for stardom
19 Apr 05 |  Football

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs | Headlines for your site


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other Sport...

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport