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Walcott tips tussle for England berths

SoccerNews in English Premier League 5 Jun 2012

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Theo Walcott believes every position is up for grabs in the team for England’s Euro 2012 opener against France in Donetsk on Monday.

Walcott, 23, did not start in either of England’s warm-up friendlies against Norway and Belgium under new manager Roy Hodgson, coming on as a substitute in each fixture.

England won both games 1-0 and were criticised for their lack of attacking intent, but Arsenal winger Walcott believes defensive consistency is more important than scoring goals at this stage.

“Two clean sheets are the most important thing,” Walcott said.

“As a team, structurally, we are defending very well. The goals will come.

“If you go the whole tournament winning 1-0, I’m sure no one will complain about that.

“We are getting used to the way that Roy wants the team to set up and play.

“When you make a lot of changes you always expect lots of little holes but I don’t think that was the case. It’s a positive going into the tournament.”

Hodgson has several selection dilemmas ahead of the meeting with France, and Walcott believes the uncertainty means every member of the 23-man squad has a chance of making the starting line-up on June 11.

“Everyone’s role is up for grabs,” he said.

“There is always competition in any team. You have to train well and when you are given an opportunity you have to take it. If you come off the bench, it’s what you do on the pitch that matters.”

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