r the game. He was scratched from the s

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He was in England’s World Cup squad in 2006 but 10 years on and supposed to be in his prime, Theo Walcott will not be going to Euro 2016. Time is running out for the Arsenal man to fulfil expectations but his career is a difficult one to assess, writes Adam Bate… Its a decade since Theo Walcott, Englands player-tourist, wandered through Baden-Baden armed with a video camera. Having not even played a game for Arsenal following his January move from Southampton, he was predictably given only a watching brief at the 2006 World Cup. But Sven-Goran Eriksson still departed with a promise. England squad named Marcus Rashford and Jack Wilshere are in Englands provisional 26-man squad for Euro 2016. Youll see that benefit in the next World Cup and then people will be sending me flowers, said Eriksson. Instead, Fabio Capello didnt even take Walcott to South Africa. Four years later, an anterior cruciate ligament injury made the choice for Roy Hodgson. Walcott wont be at Euro 2016 either and will be into his 30th year by the time of the next World Cup. Walcott poses with Arsene Wenger at his Arsenal unveiling in 2006 Where has the time gone? Walcotts career feels like its been on the cusp of reaching the summit of its potential for years now. And yet, could he instead find himself on the downslope without even realising it? At 27, its both a possibility and a shame. Because for all the criticism thats accumulated over the seasons, Walcotts talent is real.His Arsenal career began as a replacement for Freddie Ljungberg in the first ever Premier League game at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott even provided an assist for Gilberto Silvas equaliser that day. Its over nine years since he opened the scoring in the 2007 League Cup final but the wait for true acceptance with club or country continues. Hear why Roy Hodgson picked Andros Townsend instead of Theo Walcott for Englands provisional Euro 2016 squad Consider, for example, the fact that Walcott is already the longest-serving player on Arsenals payroll. He has spent more time at the club than either Ian Wright or Thierry Henry, but opinion is still divided. Walcott is a player who leaves fans wanting more, while still offering enough to leave them making the trek down the Holloway Road with hope.In some ways, the arc of his Arsenal career can be summed up by two derbies. The first came in February 2012. The Gunners were two goals down and Walcott was struggling more than most. Targeted by the home fans, he responded with a brace as Arsenal recovered to win 5-2. Even his first goal came after a pr touch, but it was a turning point of sorts. Walcott celebrating with Robin van Persie, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas Walcott scored 21 goals in the subsequent season, finishing as Arsenals top scorer. It felt like the start of a journey to the top but it now lks like the peak. He began the next campaign well but a cruciate injury against Tottenham in January 2014 was a huge blow. Hed scored five in five going into the game. More than two years on, hes still recovering.It wasnt apparent when he smiled and gesticulated to the Spurs supporters as he made his way from the field on a stretcher that day, but Walcotts confidence suffered. Speaking in October 2015, Arsene Wenger felt it was still a factor in his performances. The only way to help him is to reassure, give confidence, he said. I believe hes still aware of his injury. Walcott scored in the 5-2 win over Leicester in September 2015 Wenger revealed that he had conversations with the England national team about whether Walcott should feature in a European qualifier away to Lithuania because the game was being played on AstroTurf. This was almost a year after hed returned to action let alone picked up the injury. It tk him a while to come back, I must say, admitted Wenger.Walcott started two consecutive matches on only two occasions last season - but did manage to score in all four of those games, including the opener in Arsenals FA Cup final win over Aston Villa at Wembley. It shows why Walcott has been worth persisting with. He always offers hope - doing enough to earn a new deal instead of being allowed to walk away. Walcott has scored eight goals in 43 appearances for England As recently as October and the 3-0 home win over Manchester United, Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness was moved to describe Walcotts performance as the best hed seen by him. But theres been little since, indicative of the sort of feast or famine that saw his only three England goals in his first 25 internationals come in one game against Croatia.Walcott did start nine games in a row either side of Christmas, but he has started only three of the last 20 games and two of them were against Hull in the FA Cup. At a time when Olivier Giroud was enduring a goal drought, its surely significant that Wenger still felt unable to entrust the role to Walcott. His managers frustration is clear. Theo Walcott reacts on social media to the news that hes not in Englands provisional squad for Euro 2016 Asked about how Walcott had progressed this term, Wenger said: Not as well as you could have expected. He had gd periods in the season. I think recently he has gone through a much more difficult period. But he will come back. He works very hard. He puts in the effort in training.The problem with Theo is he wants to play on the right and through the middle. You have to fix yourself somewhere. Its true that I fixed him more through the middle, because of the quality of his runs and the intelligence of his runs. [But] when he does go through the middle he thinks maybe its better for me on the right. Walcott has not been trusted with t much game time in 2016 Its extraordinary that Wenger is still prevaricating over Walcotts best position at a time when hes already become eligible for a testimonial at the club. The comparison with Henrys transition from winger to forward is surely now mt - the Frenchman was a 21-year-old World Cup winner when he made the switch. Wengers words from earlier this year hint at the reality of the situation. The next four or five years will be absolutely decisive for him because that is when you make your career, he said. Thats when a gd player becomes a great player, or just remains a gd player. Its an indication that the time will sn pass for such discussions. The next four or five years will be absolutely decisive for him because that is when you make your career,. Thats when a gd player becomes a great player, or just remains a gd player. Arsene Wenger Walcott can comfort himself with the knowledge that Wright had yet to wear an Arsenal shirt at the same age and that Jamie Vardy hadnt played top-flight ftball of any kind. On the other hand, 27 was also the age at which Michael Owen scored his last England goal. Extreme pace and cruciate knee ligament injuries are a bad combination in the life of a ftballer.Perhaps Walcotts ftballing life has now taken another step towards its conclusion. The boy with the camcorder has become a man and weve barely noticed. While theres still time to leave a greater mark - to achieve all that once seemed possible - the fear is that a career defined by England squad selections might somehow be over before he knows it. Also See: England squad named for Euro 2016 Rney wants midfield role Shkodran Mustafi Arsenal Jersey . On Tuesday, Ottawa placed forward Cory Conacher and defenceman Joe Corvo on waivers as trade rumours swirl around the Senators. Nacho Monreal Arsenal Jersey . Houston won 3-0 to advance to face New York in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Last in the game, Di Vaio and Romero got into a shoving match with several Houston players. Romero appeared to elbow and kick Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie. http://www.arsenalsoccerproshop.com/Authentic-Mesut-Ozil-Arsenal-Jersey/ . But the quarterback hopes to stay involved in ftball after officially calling it quits Tuesday. "Id love to lk at those opportunities as they arise," Pierce said in an interview from his Winnipeg eatery. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Jersey . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing rm, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. Alex Iwobi Arsenal Jersey . The 25-year-old Japanese star has officially been posted by his club team, the Rakuten Golden Eagles. MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins placed slugger Josh Willingham on the 15-day disabled list with a torn meniscus and bone bruise in his left knee on Tuesday, and they hope he wont need any more time than that to get the troublesome injury healed. Willingham has been bothered by the sore knee for some time, and the last straw came when he felt increasing discomfort during pregame warmups on Monday night. He had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed the tear, but GM Terry Ryan said he didnt think Willingham would need to have surgery during the season. "I think he will be all right in two weeks," Ryan said. "He could play on it, but unfortunately he tweaked it the other day. I think the two weeks will probably be ample time for him to be able to come back and perform." Willingham has struggled this season coming off of a career year in 2012. He is hitting .224 with 10 homers and 37 RBIs, and the Twins think some time to rest may be just what he needs to regain the power-hitting form he had last season when he hit 35 homers and drove in 110 runs. Willingham first tweaked his knee while sliding on a stolen base attempt, and hes been bothered by it for much of the last few weeks. He tried to take a shot to relieve the pain, but that was ineffective. "Well just have to wait and see how his leg respondss, and then well know," manager Ron Gardenhire said.dddddddddddd "You give him this time. We know it hasnt worked up to this point from the shot. ... Well just give him his rehab and if he starts doing rehab and it doesnt work, Im sure there will be other options." The 34-year-old, who signed a three-year, $21 million contract before last season, tried to play through the pain. But it all came to a head on Monday night as he tried to warm up for the game. He was scratched from the start and placed on the disabled list less than 24 hours later. "Ive been sort of battling it for a while and then I hurt it again on Friday night," Willingham said. "I tk a couple days off and tried to run last night, and it just wasnt happening. The injury depleted an already thin Twins outfield and left them with few options. Struggling rkie Aaron Hicks was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to replace Willingham. Hicks got off to a horrendous start after making the jump from Double-A to the majors, then went on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. The Twins were hoping to let Hicks get some extended at-bats in Triple-A to rebuild his confidence before recalling him, but the injury to Willingham derailed those plans. Hicks hit .190 in six games for the Red Wings since being activated. ' ' '

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