"He gets me excited, he gets me off my seat," said Stuart Pearce, the England Under-21 coach. "I see at this level, the more the season has gone on the more confidence he has gained. When I think back to August, and in some of the earlier games, I saw a bit of nervousness. He was snatching at shots, that sort of thing. When you have been around football, you can tell when a player is nervous. But he's just grown stronger and stronger. He strikes fear into the heart of opposing defences and I would have hated to have played against him. When you ask managers what they most want from attacking players you would have to say pace - and Theo has that in abundance. He's a defender's nightmare - you saw that for the penalty when he drifted past three or four as if they weren't there."
Indeed, if I was an opposing defender I would hate to be playing against someone who trips on the ball in front of open goals.
Looks like it won't be Arsenal fans who are embarrassed if Theo doesn't turn out well and ends up plying his trade below the top half of the league - it'll be the armchair 'experts' of Engerland.
Walcott, adrenaline pumping, got up and put the ball on the spot and was furious when James Milner asserted his rightful authority as penalty-taker. Milner converted and England won 2-0. The incident was intriguing, though. Thierry Henry would memorably avoid taking a penalty if he had won it, insisting he was not in the right frame of mind. As a boy, Walcott idolised the Frenchman, but these past weeks have seen him emerge from that imperious shadow.
If James Milner is the designated penalty taker, which is what I have heard, isn't it a breach of discipline to resist his taking the penalty? "Emerge from that imperious shadow"? Dear God.
Have these folks even been to a high school English class?