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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 10, 2008

Maturing Walcott wows England boss Capello

England manager Fabio Capello has lavished praise on Theo Walcott after witnessing the Arsenal youngster's impact against Liverpool in midweek.

Capello was at Anfield for the Champions League encounter and was blown away by the 19-year-old's brilliant run that set up a tap-in for Emmanuel Adebayor.

Walcott was an unused substitute when England lost 1-0 to France in Paris last month, but following Capello's comments it looks as though he has a bright future under the Italian.

The next international is against the USA at Wembley on May 26 and it now looks certain Walcott will play a part in that game.

Capello said: 'I was at Anfield to see Arsenal face Liverpool and the atmosphere was electric. It was a wonderful game and both teams played their part in creating such a spectacle.

'I was delighted with the impact that Theo Walcott made on the game - the run he made for Arsenal's second goal was incredible.

'To go past so many players with such speed and balance is one thing, but to have the composure and awareness to pick a pass at the crucial moment showed great skill and maturity.

'There can be no disputing Walcott's ability.'

Capello believes it can only be good for English players at Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea that they are all in the semi-finals of the Champions League again.

He also described a potential all-England final as 'fantastic'.

Capello said: 'I'm very pleased that England has three of the four semi-finalists for the Champions League.

'It is a tremendous situation for the supporters of those clubs and it shows the strength of the Premier League.

'For three sides with such contrasting styles, it is positive that English players are proving their flexibility and tactical awareness.

'Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United each play with unique style and it is promising to see English players flourishing in different roles and situations.

'It will be very interesting to watch the semi-finals and see who can reach Moscow.

'There is a real chance that it could be an all-English final, which would be fantastic for the England players involved, and that could only be a positive for the England team.'

Capello will be at White Hart Lane on Saturday to see Tottenham v Middlesbrough, then watch both Liverpool v Blackburn and Manchester United v Arsenal on Sunday.

His assistant Franco Baldini will be at Fratton Park for Portsmouth v Newcastle on Saturday before joining Capello for the double header on Sunday.

On Monday, Capello and Ray Clemence will fly to the southern African country Lesotho as part of the FA's international relations programme. They will assist with coach education and also further raise the awareness of HIV and AIDS in the region.

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