By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger is backing Theo Walcott to make England's World Cup squad and make a big splash in South Africa.
The Arsenal man's participation at this summer's Finals has been questioned this week after Walcott struggled to impose himself during England's 3-1 win over Egypt on Wednesday.
Shaun Wright-Phillips, Aaron Lennon and David Beckham are all vying with Walcott for the right-wing spot in Fabio Capello's team but Wenger believes his player has the edge. What's more, he expects Walcott to put an injury-hit campaign behind him and light up the tournament.
"I believe Theo will go to the World Cup," said Wenger. "I am convinced of that and that he will have a great World Cup as well.
"He has had a season where every time he came close he got injured again. Now he looks to be completely free. He is developing very well; you see signs in training that will come out until the end of the season.
"Maybe before he was praised too much and now he is criticised too much. But we live in a world where we have to deal with those ups and downs and we have to find the right distance.
"I believe he has a big asset because when he was praised like mad he kept always a good distance with it and that will help him to deal with what he is facing now."