Theo Walcott has vowed to “get out there and show people what he can do” this season.
By his own admission the Arsenal striker suffered the biggest disappointment of his career over the summer when he was omitted from England’s squad for the World Cup.
After a head-clearing holiday in America and a solid pre-season, the 21-year-old is now raring to go again. And, apart from missing out on South Africa, Walcott is also motivated by a stop-start campaign in 2009/10.
“It’s all going well, I’m all smiles,” he said.
“The full pre-season will definitely help. It was an on-off season last season and it’s difficult to come back from that. I would just get back and I’d get another injury.
“I was in double figures last season with injuries. Maybe last year I was thinking about it too much and I was being a bit too timid in games because I was thinking about injury. This year I’m just going to get out there and show people what I can do. It’s all I can do really.
“Not making the World Cup this year and not playing the last one, even though I didn’t deserve to be there, it’s one of those things - what can I do to improve myself to be there next time?
“There are always disappointments in football, this was my biggest one yet.
“But when I found out about not making the England squad, the Arsenal players were really supportive. The first player I had a text from was Nicholas Bendtner and the manager was very supportive too.
“I was obviously very disappointed not to have made it, but now for the first time in a long time,
I have been able to have a rest and a proper pre-season.
“I am really excited about the season ahead – we were pleased with winning the Emirates Cup last weekend and it’s good to see players like Jack Wilshere coming through and playing so well. It is also exciting to see new players like Marouane Chamakh joining the squad.”
Capello’s decision came as a massive surprise and dominated the back pages for days.
“I had the day off so I was on the golf course and I got the phone call,” said Walcott. "I actually missed Mr Capello’s phone call. But I had a voicemail and I had to phone him back.
“He just said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m not going to bring you to South Africa, but I’ll see you in 2012 for the Euros.’
“I didn’t know what to say at all. He said, ‘have a good break and good luck. I’ll see you soon’. I wished him all the best.
“Obviously I was disappointed but I wanted the lads to do well because I am an England fan as well. I said good luck and that was it.
“I will always respect the manager’s decision. If the boss at Arsenal leaves me out of a game, I am always disappointed and I show that. You can’t be happy when you are not there. I always want to be there, no matter what happens.
“Actually, I did have a tear to be fair with my cousin and my mate.
“Then I played the best golf ever.”
Now, Walcott’s intention is to follow suit for his football club this season.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 5 Aug 2010