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Walcott secures Rio praise

09 Oct 2008 - 08:40:19

England stalwart Rio Ferdinand is confident that Theo Walcott can build on his recent hat-trick in the 4-1 World Cup qualifying victory in Croatia.

Arsenal forward Walcott helped sweep the Croats aside in Zagreb and Ferdinand believes that his colleague can continue to improve on the international stage.

He said: "Croatia got a pretty rude awakening in those first five or ten minutes.

"It's not that he had loads of space and time, just that he dealt with what was put in front of him very well.

"When you have that pace and an eye for making runs, sometimes it does not matter what you try to do.

"It is the same with Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United. When players like that see an opening, they are quick enough to get through it and not be caught."

Ferdinand also believes that former head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson's decision to take Walcott to the World Cup finals two years ago may be paying dividends in the longer term.

He added: "Sven should take quite a bit of credit for having the foresight to take Theo to a tournament like that.

"A lot of people said he shouldn't have gone, but hopefully now we will reap the benefits.

"You learn how people relax, what they eat, how they train and how they prepare themselves for a game. Then you can see how they come down from one in a tournament situation."


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