Theo Walcott Criticised by Chris Sutton After Slovenia vs. England Performance

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2016

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 08: Theo Walcott of England during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between England and Malta at Wembley Stadium on October 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Interim England manager Gareth Southgate should drop Theo Walcott for the Three Lions' next match after he endured a "completely ineffective" night against Slovenia on Tuesday, according to former Chelsea and Celtic striker Chris Sutton. 

Southgate's side escaped with a 0-0 draw from their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and were heavily indebted to goalkeeper Joe Hart for their point.

The England attack looked remarkably flat, and Walcott—who has been impressive for Arsenal so far this season—was particularly poor on the right flank and was replaced by Andros Townsend just after the hour.

Sutton, a Premier League winner with Blackburn Rovers in 1995, slammed the 27-year-old's lack of intelligence and creativity and suggested he lose his place for November's clash with Scotland, per the Daily Mail:

All the fuss about Theo Walcott this season—I don't get it.

People are saying he is a changed player. He is neither clever nor creative and he was completely ineffective once again for England.

The Arsenal man has no guile and didn't link up at all or put any decent crosses in all night. His pass appreciation is desperately poor and his defensive clearance just after half-time summed his night up. Everyone has credited Gareth Southgate for having the courage to drop Wayne Rooney, but he needs to learn fast and leave Walcott out.

Andros Townsend was far more effective in his 28-minute cameo.

Walcott has netted three Premier League goals and provided two assists for the Gunners so far this term, per WhoScored.com.

He was left out of the squad that travelled to the summer's Euro 2016 tournament in France but earned a recall for September's Slovakia win under then-manager Sam Allardyce.

Southgate started him against Malta on Saturday and then Slovenia, but Sutton is not the only pundit suggesting Walcott has now run out of chances.

As hinted by The Independent's Mark Ogden, Walcott has had numerous opportunities over the last decade to prove himself on the international stage, and yet he is still unable to perform consistently:

Mark Ogden @MarkOgden_

Southgate missed a trick by not starting Rashford. Yet another chance for Walcott to realise his potential. At 27...

His 2008 hat-trick in a World Cup qualifier against Croatia undoubtedly marks Walcott's high point in an England shirt.

But the Zagreb treble accounts for almost half of his total goal tally of eight for the Three Lions, an indication of just how ineffective he has been in the majority of his 46 caps.

Given that England now have the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Raheem Sterling and even Townsend to call upon—the latter has three England goals in 12 appearances—Walcott's England chances may finally have dried up.  


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