My tribe

Arsenal boss Wenger surprised by Walcott England snub

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he was surprised Theo Walcott was left out of the England squad for their friendly against Germany.

"I was surprised last week when people were talking about a striking crisis in England and nobody mentioned Walcott," said Arsenal boss Wenger.

Walcott, instead, is on Under-21 duty at Bristol City in a friendly against Romania.

The 18-year-old missed the Under-21 European Championships in the summer as he recovered from shoulder surgery, and Wenger feels the youngster is now returning to full fitness.

"It has taken him some time but now in the last week I can see he is really coming back," said Wenger on

"I had the same experience with Philippe Senderos when he had an operation on his shoulder. It takes you much longer than you expected. When you fall down and your shoulder pops out, you cannot be the same player.

"Even when they are back for four or five weeks, when you test them in normal training they have not recovered their speed. It is because of your co-ordination. Only then do you discover how much a player needs his arms and shoulders to play football. It is unbelievable."

Although Walcott has impressed as a striker, he can also play on the wing or in other attacking positions. Wenger is unsure what his best position is.

"I am not completely sure yet," Wenger admitted. "At the moment I feel he is a bit more of a wide player but because he makes good runs he would be good in the centre as well.

"But you then have to find the right partner for him. He is a runner so you need someone who keeps the ball next to him. It is difficult for him and that is why I am using him more wide."

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?