England and Arsenal ambitions suffer setback with Walcott’s six month recovery
Injury to Theo Walcott has not only taken toll on Arsenal’s silverware ambitions, but has severely affected England’s campaign for the World Cup this summer as well. England coach Roy Hodgson expressed his disappointment over Walcott’s absence from the World Cup after the forward picked up yet another anterior cruciate ligament injury, which will restrict him to the sidelines for the next six months.
The 24-year-old England international was supposed to be one of the leading stars in Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer, but injury leaves Hodgson with a huge void to fill in his attack.
Walcott picked up the injury in a studs up challenge on his knee at the Emirates Stadium in a 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. The former Southampton winger was stretchered off the field with much controversy on the way.
“I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him,” Hodgson told the official website of the Football Association. “It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England.
“We had quite a lengthy conversation and it is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup, he has been incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery.
“Having worked with him for two years as England manager I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback.”
Arsenal are now bang in the middle of an injury crisis. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has already declared that he is now looking towards his second string for possible replacements after losing all three of his specialized forwards; Olivier Giroud and Nicklas Bendtner being the other two.
Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson backed Walcott not to lose hope and look towards a quick comeback.
“If anybody is going to come back better and stronger, it is Theo. He is incredibly focused and mentally he is a very strong character,” Jenkinson said in an interview to Arsenal’s official website. “Theo will be fine, I have no doubts about that. I am disappointed that we have lost him for the rest of the season because he is a massive player for us and brings us something unique.
“It is tough to see one of your friends out for a long period of time. You wouldn't wish it on anybody and it is probably the worst news we have had all season.”