Walcott to Miss the World Cup: Reviewing England’s Alternatives
While we eagerly await Arsene Wenger’s iconic 1000th game in charge of the club against Chelsea, a guest writer, Mary Johnson, a freelance editor with vast years of experience in online journalism, shares her thoughts on Arsenal’s speedster that’s odds on to miss the World Cup this summer.
Watching England take to the field can sometimes be as exhilarating as a trip to the dentist. And with Theo Walcott and now possibly Jack Wilshere set to miss this summer’s showpiece event, England have lost two genuine match winners. Indeed there have been a great deal of injuries in the team including Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil, even if the latter will not be playing for England.
These injuries, combined with England’s recent performances, have ensured that expectations heading in to this year’s World Cup are at their lowest for several decades. You only have to check England’s odds with the World Cup bookmakers to see how far they are lagging behind the best in the world, being their odds to win 33/1 like in Portugal’s case.
Yet it’s not all doom and gloom for Arsenal and England fans, as The Ox is perfectly positioned to lift the nation’s spirits and capitalize on his teammate’s misfortune. The 20-year-old versatile midfielder has been in scintillating form since returning from injury, putting in a string of superb performances especially against Bayern Munich. The Ox now appears to be the trump card in Wenger’s pack as we enter the final stages of the season and there is no reason why he can’t become Hodgson’s key man in Brazil.
His form has made us question not if Hodgson will take him to Brazil but rather where will Hodgson play him. His versatility stands him out from England’s plethora of wingers but it is in the centre of the park where The Ox will have the greatest impact. He’s brave, ambitious and does not fear driving forward at the opposition. This is something England’s lack-luster recent performances have been crying out for.
The thought of The Ox and Wilshere teaming up in the middle of the park is one that is sure to excite England fans. Wilshere, who is out for six weeks, does have a chance of making the World Cup and we must hope he does make the final 23 men-squad as he has breathed life into England’s stagnate midfield over recent times. He loves big occasions. Remember his performance against Brazil at Wembley? A fantastic display. Injuries have affected Jack’s form this season as his performances have ebbed and flowed but a fit Jack Wilshere is a dangerous proposition for any opponent.
Likewise, a fully fit Theo Walcott flying down the wing is something no opposition wants to face. Theo’s torn ACL from an innocuous looking challenge with Danny Rose has been a blow to us Gooners but it’s been a hammer blow to England’s hopes in Brazil. It’s true England are spoilt for wingers with the likes of Townsend, Sterling, Lennon and Lallana but none bring with them the goal scoring prowess or experience that Walcott possesses.
Walcott and, should he not recover in time, Wilshere will be a big loss for England. However, if Hodgson is as brave as he is wise and puts faith in The Ox to drive England forward then England fans will at least have someone to get behind and believe in.
One thing is for sure, as long as Tom Cleverley isn’t on the plane we have something to cheer.
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