Theo Walcott has revealed what distracted him during his long injury lay-off.
The England international suffered a knee injury that not only robbed him of the chance to play at last summer’s World Cup but also saw him away from England duty for nearly 18 months.
But after a groin strain temporarily halted his return for Arsenal, the 26-year-old is now fit and looking to the future.
Speaking about Hodgson he said, “The manager has always had faith in me.
“That’s what you want from a manager, someone who believes in you. I just want to repay that faith.”
Whatever you think of Hodgson as an international coach, there is no doubting his man-management skills and he could yet benefit from the faith he has shown in Walcott.
The wide-man will want to prove his doubters wrong and a fully-fit Walcott could be an excellent weapon should England do what is expected and qualify for Euro 2016 next summer.
Walcott has featured 13 times for Arsenal this season, and while the rest of this campaign will simply be about building up his match-fitness he will be looking ahead to a new start come August.
Arsenal have impressed without him in recent months but the speedster still offers much and a fully fit Walcott will be a huge boost for Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.