Waddle worried about Walcott

04 March 2010 10:53
Walcott, 20, gave a disappointing performance in Wednesday night's 3-1 victory over Egypt, and England improved after he was replaced by Shaun Wright-Phillips early in the second half.[LNB]Four years ago, Walcott was selected for England's World Cup squad before he played a first-team match for Arsenal.[LNB]However his prospects of earning a place on the trip for the finals in South Africa this summer may have diminished after his underwhelming display at Wembley.[LNB]Waddle has serious concerns about Walcott's development, and the 49-year-old former England winger, who won 62 caps and helped Bobby Robson's team reach the 1990 World Cup semi-finals, criticised the young Gunner's knowledge of how to fill a wide role.[LNB]"People keep saying he's young but Wayne Rooney understood the game at 16, 17," Waddle said.[LNB]"I've never seen any difference in Theo Walcott since he was at Southampton and broke into the team at a very young age.[LNB]"I've never seen him develop. He just doesn't understand the game for me - where to be running, when to run inside a full-back, (when to) just play a one-two."[LNB]Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live, Waddle said: "It's all off the cuff.[LNB]"The ball comes to him and if he gets a good first touch, he might be on his way if he shows pace. But he has a plan in his mind before the ball comes to him. He's not looking as if to think, 'This is where I want to be, this is where I want to go, and this is what I'm going to do'.[LNB]"It just seems to be all off the cuff.[LNB]"People keep saying to me, 'Oh he's young and he'll learn'.[LNB]"I keep thinking, 'Fabregas has learnt and he's young, Rooney has learnt... they all read the game so well'.[LNB]"I just don't think he's got a football brain and he's going to have problems.[LNB]"Eventually he could play up front but would he know where to run? Let's be honest, good defenders would catch him offside every time.[LNB]"I just don't know whether he studies the game, learns the game, or what. He's at a great club where they play fantastic football week-in, week-out, and I'm just surprised he's never developed his game."[LNB]Waddle was baffled as to why Fabio Capello picked Walcott on Wednesday, citing his lack of action for Arsenal this season, and suggesting his hat-trick in World Cup qualifying against Croatia was a blip.[LNB]"I'm surprised Walcott was in the squad," Waddle said.[LNB]"He doesn't play a lot of football, he hasn't done anything. he hasn't done anything for a long time and I think Croatia was a one-off.[LNB]"I just think he's got a lot to learn. I've been more impressed by Adam Johnson at Manchester City than Theo Walcott."[LNB]Waddle's assessment was backed up by former England boss Graham Taylor, who said: "I'm not going to be in any disagreement at all.[LNB]"I haven't seen the improvement of Theo Walcott in terms of what Chris is saying of reading the game. I just haven't seen it.[LNB]"I just see a problem there."[LNB][LNB]

Source: Team_Talk