Arsenal star Theo Walcott can count himself extremely fortunate to been called up to England’s squad for their upcoming friendlies with World Cup winners Germany and the Netherlands.
Many have debated whether Roy Hodgson will pick his England squad for the European Championships this summer based on form or reputation, with each likely to draw criticism from some quarters.
Walcott first featured in the England squad as a 16-year-old travelling to the 2006 World Cup, a decision which was widely criticised as a rash decision by then boss Sven-Goran Eriksson.
But since then, the Arsenal man has gone on to earn 42 caps with little public complaint, with his finest moment coming in Croatia in 2008 as he notched a wonderful hat-trick.
The 27-year-old scored three goals in six England appearances in 2015, yet his club form over the past 12 months hasn’t been anywhere near good enough to warrant a call up now.
Walcott has made 22 Premier League appearances this season, scoring just four goals with his only goal since the turn of the New Year coming in the 2-1 victory over Leicester City in mid-February.
Questions have been asked of the former Southampton man’s best position - is he a striker or is he a wide forward? Well, in either position this season he has made a very little impression.
Walcott has been included alongside Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy, Harry Kane and Danny Welbeck as England’s striker options, with Wayne Rooney a noticeable absentee with injury.
But has Walcott performed any better than Troy Deeney, Benik Afobe or even Burnley’s 20-goal-a-season striker Andre Gray? The answer is no, largely due to his limited playing time at the Emirates.
His inclusion is based on reputation more than anything, and it will be interesting to see what Hodgson plans on doing upon Rooney’s return from injury ahead of the summer.