England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce is confident that Theo Walcott's experience at the European Championship in Sweden this year will stand him in good stead at next year's World Cup in South Africa. "There was some contention over Theo's inclusion but I think the experience will help him in South Africa without a doubt," said Pearce, according to Mirror.co.uk.

"Hopefully he can now walk out in South Africa in a year's time with this experience.

"He'll know what it's like to take a penalty in a penalty shoot-out, he knows what it's like to play in sudden-death matches and in a major final.

"Theo knows what its like to be involved in tournament football now. He has been to the World Cup with the seniors but he never actually played.

"It's important that he didn't get caught in no-man's land in international football where he didn't get any experience."