Waddle: Leave Walcott on the bench

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Football News

Former England winger Chris Waddle has called for Theo Walcott to be sensationally dropped for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The Arsenal teenager is expected to be one of the first names on Fabio Capello's teamsheet for the matches against Kazakhstan and Belarus following his hat-trick in Croatia last month.

But Waddle told the Daily Mail: "Despite his hat-trick, Walcott began the match very poorly in Croatia. He couldn't control the ball, he looked very edgy and nervous. I would even go so far as to say that I wouldn't necessarily pick him on the right flank against Kazakhstan and Belarus."

He added: "When a match is tight and teams are sitting on the 18-yard box and defending deeply, he needs to develop another side to his game to break down the opposition.

"If Capello uses injured Joe Cole's absence to make room for Steven Gerrard, then I think Manchester City's Shaun Wright-Phillips is a better bet than the Arsenal man.

"Everybody has been talking about Robinho, but Wright-Phillips has been the best player by far in a Manchester City shirt since his return to the club.

"I would definitely start him in the next two games.

"I know it sounds surprising after Walcott's hat-trick in Zagreb, but, if there is room for only one of them, I hope Capello leaves the Arsenal youngster on the bench."

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Joe Cole
Manchester City
Steven Gerrard
Shaun Wright-Phillips
Theo Walcott

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