By Nick Ames in Kiev
Theo Walcott believes that his starring role in England’s 3-2 win over Sweden proves that any player at Euro 2012 can make a vital contribution at any moment.
The Arsenal forward entered the fray just after the hour mark to turn Friday’s match in England’s favour, scoring one and setting up another as Roy Hodgson’s side overturned a 2-1 deficit. His performance came just four days after he was limited to a two-minute cameo in the draw with France.
“In tournaments you’ve always got to wait your moment if you’re not starting the game,” Walcott said after the match.
“You’ve got to always train well and be ready when the boss needs you. There’s no point sulking when you’re not playing - you just make sure you’re ready, and hopefully I showed that.”
Theo had opted against talking to the media after the France game, but said that nothing should be read into his silence.
“As a player it’s always disappointing not to play at all, but that’s all it was,” he explained. “I was very happy the team got a result but I’d be disappointed if you saw me coming out all ‘happy days’ and dancing past the media.
“You’ve always got to show your disappointment at the right time, but it’s about the way you bounce back from it and that’s what I did. I’m sorry if I blanked anyone that day!”
The 23 year-old pointed to the depth of England’s squad as a reason to be confident ahead of the considerable challenges to come.
“It’s not always about the team that started,” he said. “Twenty-three players are going to hopefully win this tournament - or take us far anyway - and it just shows how much firepower we’ve got on that bench. We haven’t even seen Wayne [Rooney] yet, he’s still to come.”