Walcott sees positive in omission
Theo Walcott believes his omission from England's World Cup squad may have given him the "mental break" he needed to recover his form.
Walcott was part of the preliminary squad in the build-up to the tournament in South Africa but, after some disappointing showings in friendly games, he was axed in favour of Shaun Wright-Phillips.
However, Walcott is now back in the England squad as he enjoys his best season to date for Arsenal and he feels he may be reaping the benefits of Fabio Capello's decision to leave him out.
"I try and work hard for Arsenal," he said. "My performances so far hopefully everyone's been watching and the manager's been taking notice of some of the goals and things like that.
"I had a good pre-season. I started off the season brightly and it's always nice that the manager's still got faith in you. I didn't go to the World Cup but I've just been working hard.
"I wanted to have a rest mentally as well. Physically you need to have that but I think I had a lot of ups and downs in my career so far so I just felt like I needed to have a mental break from it all. It might have done me a favour."
Capello has since said he may have made an error by leaving Walcott out of the squad, and the player welcomed his comments.
"It's a nice quote and that's helped me out so much this season," he said. "It shows the manager takes some sort of responsibility for what he did.
"For me, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone - it's his decision to make. I respected that, I looked at myself and that's all I could do really."
England take on Denmark in Copenhagen on Wednesday, and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been tipped to make his first England start in a deep role in central midfield.
"He'll be fine," Walcott said. "He's got confidence. He's playing week in and week out for Arsenal.
"He's absolutely gifted on his left foot and he's an absolute dream to play with. I'm sure if he gets given a chance he'll grab it with both hands."